• The local time in Ixnay is
#1
Punth (Grid +6, D+)
Northern Confederation Lands
29 July 2027
Troops in Punth: 60ish


“What a waste,” Staff Sergeant Richard Williams said with folded arms. Looking around at the debris strewn about the coast, luggage, moldering clothing, pallets of Imperial Cola broken open along the otherwise pristine coast of the strange land he was standing in. all ruined with the garbage and the oil slick due to arrive and further pollute the coast soon. “Did they not have accurate weather information?”

“Nobody really knows what happened. HQ received received a distress call from the ship when we arrived all we found was an oil slick, and now we are here. ” Lieutenant Richard Danjou replied. Observing the scene himself as his platoon searched the area for any signs of survivors. A combination of transponder signals and a trail of wreckage had led his task force to the norther confederation. Although normally a shipwreck would be a matter for the investigative services, the distance of Punth from the Kingdom had meant that the Imperial guard would provide the search and rescue services as well as determine the cause of the shipwreck.

As two squads of solders searched the site, a third squad was setting up a base camp, now that they had found wreckage the general consensus was they would be here a while looking for survivors or bodies. They knew very little about Punth except what they had heard second hand. The Imperial Kingdom had never shown much interest in colonial expansion this Far East as instability and the threat of war always seem to loom closer to home.

The ship they had been searching for was the SS Manatee, a cargo ship bound for Thystara laden with as many pallets of Imperial Cola as it could fit and a small crew and an executive from Imperial beverage on his way to inspect the distribution process. The Coscivians had been early proponents of Punth colonization and their settlers wanted the tastes of the old world which companies from the mainland were always happy to provide. The Northern Confederation however had managed to stay untouched for the most part from outside influences.

As Lieutenant Danjou walked to the Tent which had been set up as his platoons Headquarters he noted the wide array of antennas and various other electronic devices protruding from it. Billions of dollars on fancy expensive gadgets and yet when shit happens, they send the foot, the oldest and most reliable technology around.

Inside, his orderly was taking care of the daily administrative tasks of a platoon in the field. While his radio operator was providing updates to higher headquarters currently still embarked on the ship. As the trail of wreckage had been found small detachments such as Danjous Platoon had been sent ashore to look for the Kingdoms missing citizens.

The sudden rapid popping sounds interrupted what had so far been a rather boring expedition.
“Get on the horn to Battalion.” Danjou told his Radioman, “We are taking contact.”


To be continued.
(OOC: sorry for the short post. future posts will be long and of better Quality."
 
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#2
INS Vengeance M-67 (Grid +6, +D)
Off the Coast of Northern Confederation
29 July 2027
Troops in Punth: 60ish


Commander Justin Garret stood on the bridge of his warship looking as his sailors on the deck below. His ship was tasked with sailing along the coast looking for wreckage and possibly survivors of the SS Manatee and he has his sailors out on deck looking for those items. The Seas were calm today and the water gently lapped the sides of his vessel as it slowly made its way through the water.

The Vengeance was an Imperial Monitor. A warship designed to patrol the coast and deep water channels of the kingdoms colonial holdings and provide gunfire to kingdom forces fighting on land. Like the rest of her class she was slow, heavily armored and packed 6 12inch guns to perform her missions. Normally a reserved for a niche role her slow steady speed proved useful during the search for wreckage.

The Vengeance had made its way from Wayfar to Thystara to retrace the voyage of the Manatee, Garret was thankful that during their port call none of his sailors had gotten into trouble but knew that he may not be so lucky on the return voyage. The men were bored and rowdy.

One of the raidomen monitoring the communication on the bridge spoke up. “Sir, troops in contact on the ground in Punth. They are requesting assistance.” Garret turn and said. “get everyone to their battlestations.”

The klaxons began to sound throughout the ship. Garret watched his men scramble to their designated positions while his fire direction team began to relay targeting information. He watched the bow turret begin to swing into position. “Guns are ready to fire on your order sir.” His fire direction team said.

“Fire” Garret said. A moment later the Vengance’s main armament salvoed it’s thunderous noise tearing though the sky. “Shot” he heard a member of his fire direction team say. Garret looked at his watch. After several seconds a member of his FDC team said “splash.” Well, the shells should have arrived on target now. Soon we will hear how we did. He thought to himself he heard some chatter on the radio and his FDC team began giving adjustment instructions to the gun crews.

“Fire when ready” Garret told his FDC team “The boys on the ground are going to need all the help they can get. “ The bow turret fired again, sending 3 twelve inch shells hurling toward an enemy he could not see looking like the most spectacular fireworks display he could ever imagine as they fired.

“Shot.” His FDC team said again and after a time “Splash.” More chatter on the radio and his bridge crew whooped with glee. “On target sir, shall we fire for effect?” someone asked him. “Do it.” Garret replied, and the whole process began again.
 
#3
Punth (Grid +6, +D)
Northern Confederation Lands
29 July 2027
Troops in Punth: 60ish


Lieutenant Danjou and his headquarters section scrambled out of the command tent, bullets kicking up dust as the hit the ground around them they dove behind some rocks in a desperate attempt to gain some kind of protection. Off in the distance a Machine gun began to fire, spitting death into the area he and his platoon occupied. He ducked making sure none of his body was exposed to the withering fire raining down on him.

He waited until the Machine gun began to turn its attention elsewhere; he then stood up and fired a few rounds at the position where he could see tracers originating from. Although he didn’t think it would have much effect, the enemy whoever it was well dispersed and in good cover, How did I let us get caught with our pants down like this? He grimaced at the thought.

His platoon was outgunned and as far as he could figure if they we not outnumbered yet, they soon would be. They had come ashore to search for survivors of a shipwreck not engage a hostile force. The Kingdom had not expected any violence to occur as they had never had any bad relations with the nations in Punth, yet here was his platoon, far from home and in the middle of a fire fight.

“Get us some fire support” he told his radioman “I don’t care what it is, if it explodes have them send it our way.” He turned his head to Staff Sergeant Williams. “Have the men choose their targets carefully.” Williams began moving to various positions at a crouch telling the soldiers to preserve ammunition. “Come with me.” He told his radioman and he got up ran toward another position. He had to get a better idea of what he was up against.

The machine gun began firing at him as he made his move toward new cover, he and his radioman dove for cover. He looked up at one of his soldiers firing his rifle at an enemy. “I got something for ya, you bastards.” Lance Corporal Henry Powell said as he pulled the trigger. “Good vacation you brought us on sir.” Corporal Henry Young another soldier of his said taking a break from firing to take a drink out of his canteen cup. “A bit more lead than I normally like but fine just the same.” He smirked at Lt Danjou.

“Glad we could keep things interesting for you Mr. Young. We try out best to please.” The Lieutenant quipped back. “The bastards Interrupted out lunch. They got sand in my soup. First time in years they put actual meat in it and these fools ruin it.” Corporal Young said as he fired another round at the enemy. “It’s probably cat meat.” Danjou replied. The men all chuckled as they returned fire.

“Shot out.” His radioman said. “The Monitor Vengeance is assisting us.” Lt. Danjou stopped thinking about the soup “Splash.” His radioman said and soon after the shells fired from the Vengeance began erupting near the enemy position. The noise was terrifying, overwhelming, enough to drive a man crazy. “Tell them 100 up, 100 right.” He told the radioman the two riflemen with him had stopped firing to watch the shells hit.

“No one told you to stop shooting.” He told the men, who them promptly began resuming the engagement. A second barrage of rounds hit with the enemy position the hits were on target this time. “Good hits, fire for effect.” He told the radioman. Soon after salvo after salvo began to fall onto the enemy position.

Danjou looked at the enemy position being bombarded. The ground was chewed up from the bombardment from the 12 inch guns of the Vengeance. What the monitors lacked in any capacity they made up for by sheer firepower. He would have liked the barrage to continue into eternity, blowing his still unknown enemies into tiny pieces and saving his troops from the standard task of the infantry. But the history books had taught him that even the most savage bombardment failed to kill the enemy in its entirety. The Fakolan civil war and the war of 1953 made that abundantly clear.

After fifteen minutes the shelling stopped. “Alright gents, secure the enemy position.” Danjou shouted, his men began to swarm out of their cover and rush the enemy positions dashing past shell holes, smoke, and flame. Unsurprisingly some enemy remained alive; a man near Lt. Danjou took a bullet and began shrieking.

Sure enough the Machine gun survived the bombardment as well and began to open up once again. Danjou dove into a shell crater convinced that the sound of a Machine gun was the most dreadful noise of all. He was he thought within 25 yards away from the blasted machine gun spewing out hate at him and his men.

He watched Corporal Young toss a grenade into the enemy machine gun position, the explosion sending plumes of white phosphorus streaks into the air followed by the sound of screams as the enemy abandoned the machine gun position and ran to get away from the burning flames. Corporal Young have the look of pure joy on his face, as if he had slayed the devil himself. He continued to shoot the burning enemies. Three or four men were taken prisoner.
 
#4
Punth (Grid +6, +D)
FOB Ocean Point, Company A 1st BN 15th Regiment Imperial Guard.
04 August 2027
Troops in Punth: 858


Corporal Allan Sharp looked through his binoculars; from the hill his observation post was on he peered down the valley toward a village belonging to the Punthite natives. Although they had taken sporadic fire from the all over the valley and that most of the dead native fighters had come from the village the Imperial Guard had yet to destroy or even take the village. Higher wanted more proof, as if 3 dead 12 wounded weren’t enough. He thought to himself with some disgust. Although from what he could see currently in the village nobody was being outright hostile. It was just the ordinary everyday tasks anyone back home would do with some modifications. He moved his glasses away from the village and toward the creak nearby it. Children played while the women washed and hung laundry to dry.

“See anything?” Lieutenant John Pratt, his platoon commander asked. “No sir, just a bunch of women and kids doing laundry.” He lowered his field glasses he turned to his platoon commander “They don’t seem to realize there is a war on.” Grinning, the lieutenant responded. “It’s important to be well dressed for battle.” They both laughed. “Well sir, if we do see anything we will be sure to blow it to hell and gone.” Corporal Sharp said nodding toward an 81mm mortar which sat in a pit not far away. “And I’d like that very much.” Lieutenant Pratt looked at him. “So would I corporal, so would I.” Corporal Sharp pointed toward the village. “Sir, you just tell us which building you want us to take out and we will level it for you.” Lieutenant Pratt chuckled, “Of that I have no doubt corporal.” Pratt began to walk away “By the way, battalion says engineers will be arriving in the next day or so, we won’t have to live in this squalor for very much longer.” Pointing to the various makeshift fortifications the company had made which resembled something out of the wars of the 1930s.

I’m finally going to have a comfortable place to sleep.Sharp thought turning back to his post his gaze once again looking down into the valley. Between his position and the village was full of foliage and rock broken only by the occasional small farm field which by the looks of it had been haphazardly thrown down; as far as Sharp was concerned the natives around here had no idea how to farm. To the east of the valley he saw the bright flashes of tracers fly out from the FOB where Bravo Company was occupying toward an unknown position, followed by two explosions churning the dirt and flinging it into the air, the low thudding sounds of the impact eventually caught up to him.

Bravo company’s’ position was the furthest up the valley they were slowly working their way north trying to search for survivors of the Manatee... instead of a lightly armed platoon conduction a non-intrusive search, the Battalion had all come ashore ready for combat. The locals could no longer be trusted to be peaceful so the general opinion on the ground was that they would now be only recovering remains, instead of people. Bravo Company would not be entering the village however, that would be Alpha Company if and when the time came but for now, Alpha Company could only watch the action from afar and wait

Corporal Sharp heard a low rumbling sound as a Pauldustllahani jet buzzed overhead speeding toward Bravo Company’s position. The Jet made a quick dive and then pulled up and began circling around Bravo Company’s area, he watched as more chucks of earth were thrown into the air, more tracers raked the area of the newly tilled earth and then ceased as no return fire answered the challenge. The jet peeled out of its turn and head back out to sea as quickly as it arrived.I hope none of our guys got hurt. Sharp thought shuddering slightly at the amount of death that had just rained down on the native fighters. Better them than us though, that’s what the basters get for fucking with us. . He began to scan his sectors again.
 
#5
Wayfar (Grid +5, +C)
City of Sanctuary, Governor-Generals Residence
06 August 2027
Troops in Punth: 858


The staff car that brought Major General Jacob Crawford to the governor-general’s residence was black, one of the more luxurious models coming of the industrial heartlands of Pauldustllah. The driver parked next to the other vehicles near a covered walkway so the commander of the Imperial Wayfarian Garrison would be protected from the rains of Wayfars monsoon season. “Let me get the door for you sir.” His driver a young lieutenant said exiting the vehicle walking to the rear passenger side door and opening it. “Thank you.” General Crawford said exiting the vehicle and taking refuge from the pouring rain underneath the covered walkway. “Go make yourself comfortable lieutenant, I the other junior officers are in the kitchen.” The lieutenant perked up a bit at the thought to getting out of the nastiness that the came with the heavy monsoon rain. “Thank you sir, I will do that.” The general replied, “I will summon for you when the meeting with the Governor-general is over.” The lieutenant saluted sharply and briskly walked toward the staff entrance of the mansion.

General Crawford walked toward the entrance of the Governor-Generals mansion, a few rain drops splashed him in the face despite the covered walkway, and such is the weather of Wayfar. At the entrance a members of the mansions staff greeted the general and took his coat and placed them in the closet with the others. “Good morning general.” Cynthia Cross the Governor-Generals chief of staff said warmly she had been standing nearby waiting patiently while the staff tended to the garrison commander. “Good morning Mrs. Cross.” The general replied. “I will take you to the others; the Governor-general will be speaking with you all shortly.” Cynthia said. “Thank you Mrs. Cross, I’m sure the Viscount has some good news for me.” General Crawford said in a questioning manner. “It’s Miss Cross General.” Cynthia said politely “as for news, I do not know yet but, this whole situation is terrible. I’m not a fan of war.” She replied.

Cynthia sounded a bit melancholy with her last statement, General Crawford couldn’t blame her, War was his profession but that didn’t mean he liked waging it, the events that had taken place over the past few day had not been anything to celebrate. She led him across the mansion to the meeting room where the other military commanders sat talking amongst themselves waiting for the Governor-General to arrive. “Gentlemen.” General Crawford said nodding his head in greeting. The other men, commanders of the other branches of the kingdoms military stationed in Wayfar greeted Crawford in reply; He took his assigned place at the meeting table. “I will inform the Governor-General that you all have arrived. I will be back shortly.” Cynthia said and walked out of the room closing the door behind her as she left.

A few moments later, Joel Hughes Viscount of Borderhold and current Governor-General of Wayfar walked into the room along with his chief of staff. “Good morning gentlemen.” The generals and admiral all stood up as he entered. “Please, take your seats.” Viscount Hughes said. He walked to his seat and the head of the table and sat down; he motioned his chief of staff to take her place at the table as well. Viscount Hughes paused, bringing hand to his face and then moved it downward pulling his beard slightly. “I have no doubt that you are all aware of the recent events that took place on the 29th of July in Punth.” He looked around the room making eye contact with everyone present to ensure they were all on the same page. Continuing he said, “Her majesty the queen has been informed and after consulting with her staff in Farpoint she has instructed us to continue as planned with the current mission. I am in agreement with her in this matter”

General Crawford grunted slightly as if being punched in the stomach. “With all due respect my lord, I have fifteen casualties, three of which are dead and a two how are on the brink.” He continued “What happened was an unprovoked act of war. In which the Imperial Kingdom suffered casualties, we need to respond with force.” Not responding to the aggressive acts is pure madness he thought to himself. “How will we look to the international community if we do not respond to this?” he said. The Governor-General responded. “Finding and safely returning our missing citizens are of the upmost importance, surely we are in agreement on that. As for the international community that is for Farpoint to decide.” Looking around the table he could see that the military men were unimpressed with the current course of action. Hughes went on, “I know you are not pleased with the current course of action, however that is the Queens decision, I know you will faithfully carry out her wishes.” All nodded in agreement. “I will say this; Farpoint has authorized the use of force against any hostile act toward Kingdom forces operating in Punth and has ordered the reinforcement of the Imperial Guard forces currently in the northern confederation, the rest of the 15th regiment will immediately depart to conduct further search and rescue operations.” Hughes said as somewhat of a consolation, somewhat a directive.

“How long is this operation supposed to go on for my lord?” General Clayton Schwartz asked. “The Imperial Guard is a fine organization however they are not equipped to deal with sustained combat operations.” General Schwartz was the commander of the Royal Army forces in Wayfar and while he had nothing against the imperial guard he did not want the imperial guard to gain all the glory out of this operation. Viscount Hughes responded “Well General, we are not in sustained combat operations, this is a search and rescue operation.” The Governor-general could sympathize with the military leaders sitting in front of him however; He had his instructions and allowed for no compromise. “The Imperial Legislature will be discussing the issue over the next few days and they will decide if further action is needed, until them all we can do is carryout the instructions we have.”

“The Navy will ensure the Imperial Guard can sustain themselves for an extended operation.” Vice Admiral Elias Ward said responding to General Schwartz’s comment. “But I have to concur with my colleagues on this matter, The Northern Confederation has watched as Punth has been colonized and portioned out by the old world powers often times violently, and with the sinking of the manatee they have had a chance not only to hold old world citizens hostage but we are giving them a giant target of opportunity sending a small response force and nothing more to find them.” Continuing he said “I fear that such a light response to their act of war will only be met with disaster.”

The Governor-General sighed, “Gentlemen, I understand your points of view but, a larger response is out of our mandate, I’ve no doubt that you are more than capable of blowing the northern confederation off the map but, that is not our mission. The Imperial Kingdom only wishes the safe return of her citizens.” The Viscount knew that they Military leaders would carry out their orders without question once they left the room however, he also knew that they would voice their concerns and give the best advice they could here in the meeting. “Should that mission change I would be the first to let you know of that decision but, until such action is authorized by the legislature our hands are tied.”

“The Northern Confederation is not Urcea, Hekuvia, Kirav or any Cronan nation.” General Crawford said. “We could negotiate a peaceful solution with our western brothers. The North Punthite natives on the other hand are determined to teach us westerners a lesson they have had enough of our meddling and as we found out a few days ago are no longer equipped with pointy sticks someone has been giving them modern weapons.” Crawford’s money was on Santhres and that was the general consensus but, nobody had solid evidence of that yet. Crawford continued to speak. “We went in blind to conduct a search and rescue operation and found ourselves paying the price of colonization. We have a colonial war on our hands and need to treat it as such. We are aware of the mobilization of Confederation forces it’s only a matter of time before we find our one regiment is facing off against the entire population of the north.” What will your precious headlines say then my lord? Crawford thought but left that unsaid at the table. There was no doubt in his mind that the Governor-General was more worried about his reputation in the press than a military victory, the rumor was that the good viscount was going to run for the senior house next election. “My soldiers will carry out the mission yes, but what is the acceptable cost here? If we have 15 casualties every engagement we are going to be in a bad way really fast.”

“The last thing Farpoint wants gentlemen is to destabilize Northern Punth, an outright invasion would cause problems for everyone. If we take out the Northern Confederation the balance of power would shift and potentially cause revolts in all of the colonies. We don’t want that. We just want our people back.” The governor general said. “An increased presence of Imperial troops beyond what was authorized is out of the question.” In truth nobody really knew what would happen if the northern confederation imploded, the northern continent had really been a collection of warlord before colonization and nothing had really changed much since, with the exception that they were better armed and could therefore kill each other with greater ease. “I’m not inclined to inform her majesty of anything to the contrary at this point in time. It’s not politically feasible at this point in time.”

Vice Admiral Ward spoke up “I can see that our attempts to rectify the holes in your strategy have fallen on deaf ears my lord viscount. We will carry out your instructions and continue the search and rescue operations.” The Governor-General glared at the Admiral who shrugged and continued on “However, while you do have full control of the land forces in Wayfar and as such have control over when and how much it may deploy, control of the Imperial Fleet rests with me.” The admiral stressed the last bit so the point would hit home. The admiral was aware that the monarch has authorized action but, had left the details to the Governor-general details that we’re not quite lining up with the currently reality “Political convenience aside, I will deploy a monitor squadron to the northern confederation to support your search and rescue operation, the men on the ground will surely need it.”

The Governor-General nodded curtly in agreement, he realized that there was not much he could do in this situation. The admiral was correct, the Imperial Fleet was independent of the Governor-Generals control a fact he intended to change once he was in the legislature. “Very well admiral, I will inform her Majesty or your decision.” The Admiral replied, ‘I’m sure you will my lord, I would also remind you that should you disagree with my decision regarding the deployment of the fleet you can always register a formal complaint with the Imperial Admiralty. They would then form a board of inquiry on the matter.” I would rather prefer you did my dear viscount. He thought to himself, a Formal board of Inquiry would bring to light the details of this meeting and quite likely kill the viscount’s chances of election next cycle which wouldn’t be the end of the world in the admiral’s mind. The half assed approach to foreign policy was a weakness of the viscount’s political party.

“Gentlemen, if there is nothing else, we should adjourn this meeting. I am sure you all have important tasks to carry out.” The Governor-General said he had heard enough dissent for one day. The military leaders all nodded in agreement. “In that case the viscount said good day to you all.” They all stood up and shook hands and the Govern-General left the room.
 
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#6
South Island Territories (Grid -4, +B)
City of Grunn, Royal Induction center.
09 August 2027
Troops in Punth: 3210


Martin Hayward stood in line with the other young men at the Induction center waiting for instructions. Listening to the various conversations taking place among the new high school graduates. Although the kingdom no longer conscripted people into active service it put every adult in the Territorial Army as a reservist. This was general considered by virtually all as a rite of passage into adulthood, a pathway from subject to citizen, and for the new graduates a great way to have some cash in their pockets after boot camp, many put it toward various education expenses. For most here their military experience would be short, just boot camp and infantry training, followed by the annual check in training the Territorial Army provides. The Territorial Army worked well for those who wanted to pursue other life activities. Martin had heard some lively stories about college life in Channelside; while that seem very enjoyable, Martin wanted a bit more.

The Induction center was busiest during the summer months and worked in cycles, the Kingdom tried it’s best to get all new graduates into boot camp during the summer months so they could continue their studies unimpeded in the fall. That didn’t stop the Kingdom from using the Induction Center as a last ditch recruiting opportunity, what better way to get recruits to volunteer in the Royal Army when they were getting conscripted. A member of the royal army walked up the line handing out paper work to the young men and women. “Do not fill anything out until instructed to do so.” The soldier said handing a form to Martin.

Every few minutes the doors at the front of the line would open and roughly forty of the young adults standing in line would be funneled into the room. Martins group finally arrived near the door and he along with many others we funneled into the room. “Please take a seat.” They were instructed as they entered. The young adults filled up the seats inside the room. “Good morning ladies and gentlemen, I am Major Wallace Royal Army. I know many of you are anxious to get today over with so you can move on with your lives but before we get you started today, we wanted to give you the chance to volunteer in the royal military, the various branches have representatives here today to discuss with you the opportunities you have If you decide you would like to volunteer for active duty instead of just doing your territorial army time.”


A woman came to the front of the room “I am Chief Nunez of the Royal Navy, and today I want to talk to you about the many opportunities and benefits of enlisting in the Royal Navy.” She continues to talk for a few minutes going over the various perks of volunteering to represent the kingdom at sea, there were many good reasons she gave to join but, the thought of being stuck on a ship for months on end did not appeal directly to Martin. The air force and army representatives both took their respective terms and offered similar reasons to join their branch, the technical jobs and steady paycheck sounded great but still, to Martin were lack luster offers. He wanted to leave his home town and come into his own.

Finally a tall stern looking man with platinum blonde hair came to the front of the room. He stood at the room and scanned across the rows of seats making eye contact with every one of the men and women sitting in the chairs. “Ladies and Gentlemen, I want to be the first to congratulate you for continuing a long tradition of selfless service to the Imperial Kingdom, many before you have sat in the very seats you are and gone off to do great service to the nation. Thank you for doing your part in answering your country’s call to serve.” He paused and again looked around the room before continuing. “You have heard from the army, the navy, and the air force. They offer many opportunities and are fine choice for any man or woman looking to serve with pride and earn generous benefits while doing so. I will offer you none of that.” The people in the room chuckled at the remark and the man paused while the room settled down.

“Instead, I will offer you the chance to become a member of the kingdoms elite fighting force, the imperial guard. I know all of you will do your duty if the country is attacked. I am offering you the chance to do your duty and make a difference now.’ Again he paused scanning the room looking for any interest in what he was saying. He continued, “I’m not going to offer you an easy life, the Imperial guard is often sent to the edges of the kingdom to defend its borders, go into hot spots around the globe and secure the kingdoms interests abroad, and fight. If you are on the fence or are unsure about joining the Imperial Guard, I don’t want you. I only want those of you who are up to the challenge of becoming a member of the kingdoms vanguard.”

Martin was sold, this was the chance he had been waiting for a chance to leave the Island territories and grow up. The major who had welcomed them into the room again took center stage in at the head of the room. “Those of you who wish to volunteer, Please stand up and meet with your respective representatives, the rest of you please head though the open doors for your medical inspection.” Martin and four others walked up calmly to the Imperial Guard recruiter. The Staff Sargent looked at the young men in front of him. “So you five think you have what it takes?” the young men looked at him and answered in the affirmative. “Good, come with me, we have some paperwork to fill out.” The Staff Sargent led them out of the briefing room toward his office.
 
#7
Punth (Grid +6, +D)
Northern Confederation Lands
15 Dec 2027
Troops in Punth: 3210


Nita Citlali hid under the table in the cooking area of her modest home holding tightly to one of the legs of the table as the earth shook round her. The bombardment had started off like any of the others, members of her village and other tribesmen from beyond the valley would get into a fight with the foreign soldiers and they would exchange gunfire. After a while the foreigners would launch a shell or two and the fight would soon end after that. All this would take place away from the village. This time however the fight had been close, very close to her village, and the bombardment hadn’t let up. The continuous wail followed by the explosion of shells had been going on for hours with no signs of stopping.

Her sister Ayelen, sobbed heavily as she clung tightly to another leg of the table. “When will it stop!” her sister cried out in between her sobs. “I don’t know.” Nita said softly in reply “I just don’t know it’s never been this bad before.” Thinking back she couldn’t remember a bombardment like this during any of the various tribal infighting the northern confederation had experienced during her lifetime. A shell exploded as it impacted into a nearby building, sending fragments flying through the window, Nita wondered if she would die in the next few moments.

“We should have left with the others.” Ayelen said in despair a large number of villagers had grabbed what they could carry and left during the early part of the foreigners’ arrival. Nita couldn’t blame them, she had heard stories about other parts of Punth where foreign invaders had shown up, and it hadn’t ended well for the people who called Punth home. Nita had wanted to join them but, her husband had convinced her to stay. Promising her months ago that they would drive the foreign invaders back into the sea; the foreigners were still here, they hadn’t been aggressive toward the locals and had only gotten violent when attacked. The Foreigners hadn’t even attempted to get near the village since arriving.

Many of her people had died in the several months of sporadic fighting. They would form raiding parties and attacked the foreigners only to be gunned down or blown to pieces in the ensuing fighting and the confederation had yet to send any assistance. Nita looked at her sister “It will all be over soon, our men will drive the invaders away.” She didn’t really believe it anymore link some of the other die hards in the village, now that the fury of the shelling had been turned onto the village even the most ardent believer in expelling the invaders cowered behind whatever they could find. Deep down she felt nothing but rage. The confederation was supposed to protect us. Where are they in our time of need? She thought. Her sister replied, “We still should have left with everybody else.”

“Not everyone ran off when the invaders came Ayelen.” Nita said somewhat defensively, she felt somewhat guilty, her sister had stayed because she had stayed and now they were paying a terrible price for that decision while the intolerable shelling continued to grind the village and it’s inhabitance into the ground. She continued to question the decision to stay. Until now they had continued to go about life unharmed even with the sporadic fighting throughout the valley. The foreigners had seemed more interesting in the coast and whatever activity they were doing near there. The general disinterest was rather comforting and she had begun to believe that these foreigners were different until the shells began to slam into the place she had called home. This bombardment seemed intent of leaving anything standing.

Nita peered out a window, now just an opening in the wall; the glass had been shattered hours ago. Fires burned the buildings nearby across the street, rubble and shell holes had destroyed what was once a smooth street that had been paved with stone as the village had grown more prosperous. She couldn’t remember if her neighbors had left or had stayed behind. If they had, she wasn’t sure anyone could be left alive in that pile of rubble which was once a home.

The thunderous noise of more guns firing made Nita look out the other window facing the coast; these were not the same guns that had been firing on her village. She braced herself, she just knew deep down this would be the barrage that killed her. Shells screamed overhead but did not land in the city she couldn’t see the impacts of these shells. But she could hear the dreadful thuds as they impacted in the distance. She didn’t understand what was happening. The shelling in the village continued but had died down as these new guns seemed intent on destroying whatever they were shooting at.

The shelling of the village stopped, but the thud of the cannons and the impacts in the distance remained, a terrible reminder of what had just happened. Nita’s sister crawled out from under the table. “We should try and leave while we still can.” She said, drying her eyes. Nita got out from under table and stood up too. “We should.” Nita replied the air around them was full of smoke, dirt and the smell of death and cordite. The house was full of rubble flung through the windows from the shelling.

The sisters went outside her neighbor’s house had been reduced to a burning pile of rubble. Nita had to turn away from it and sobbed. If the shelling had done that to a sturdy home, what could it do to people? That could have easily been her and she shuddered at the thought. The village had been mostly destroyed and the streets were now scared with deep pockmarks from where shells had impacted.

She looked over at another home also destroyed by the shelling she saw an outstretched leg sticking out through the rubble. Some of her neighbors had not been as fortunate as her and her sister. She looked toward the mountains, the direction she would need to go to flee deeper into the confederation. She saw smoky haze rising from the valley beyond. “I don’t think we can get out now Ayelen.” She said to her sister disheartened. The foreigners had turned their attention to the route the sisters needed to flee this place.

She turned to look toward the coast she saw a foreigner base that had been place upon a hill overlooking the village. It was also pocked marked with craters from shell impacts a fine layer of dust had formed around the position. She saw the occasional tracer as gunfire was exchanged between that position and what she assumed was her people trying to remove the invader from the hill. She watched the pyroclastic core of an explosion impact the hill. More thuds as the invaders answered the shelling blow for blow.

She heard gun fire off in the distance, closer than it had been earlier. A stream of village fighters began to come down the road from the coast. Some carrying injured. The fighters were running if they could not stop to help any of the village residents. One of the fighters looked at the sisters “You should probably go find somewhere to hide, the invaders are coming.” He said. “We will hold them for as long as we can.” Ayelen shouted at him. “Coming! They were already hear, look what they have done to our homes!” Ayelen was at her wits end, the bombardment had taken its terrible toll on her. “Miss.” The Fighter said. That wasn’t the invaders guns who shelled this village. Our neighbors in the next valley wouldn’t move their guns forward to support us; they lacked the range to do any real damage to the foreigners and instead gave us and your village a terrible pounding.” Nita was stunned, their own people, the confederation had shelled its own people.

“So much for confederation support.” Nita said angrily the fighter looked at her. “Lady, I don’t think there is a confederation anymore. No one is coming to help us.” More fighters began to pour into the village and crowed around their leader the fighters all varied in age and were all dirty from eh bitter fighter that had taken place over the months but, they all seemed to be determined to fight off the invaders at any cost.

A group of fighters pushed a wheeled artillery piece along the street, trying to get it into a position where they could use it. Man-handling it while trying to avoid shell holes as they pushed it down the street. The gun fire moved closer to the village as more and more fighters retreated into the village. The more seriously wounded were beginning to arrive among the droves of fighters who could no longer stand the intensity of the combat down closer to the coast. The more fighters that arrived the more disheartened they looked. The bombardment and the fighting had broken some of the toughest men her people could muster to fight the invaders.

Nita looked up as she heard a cracking sound in the air followed by a quick whizzing noise. The fighter she was talking to grander her and her sinter and threw them on the ground. A huger bang followed the whizzing sound. She heard the screams as an explosion ripped into the group of fighters sending men and pieces of men flying as if they were mere toys. More shells began to fall into the village again the sisters crawled back into their home these were smaller shells than had been bombarding them earlier and the fragments were stopped mostly by the walls of their home. Although some still screamed through the shattered windows and landed in the wall across from them.

The long bombardment they went through earlier was the most terrible thing Nita had experienced in her life, or so she had thought earlier in the day. Adding in the screams from wounded men in this new shelling gave her a whole new level of despair as the wails of dying men now cluttered the streets.

As quickly as the bombardment came, it went away, leaving behind only the shouting of orders and moans of the wounded. She and her sister grabbed rage and other cloth they could find in the house and began to help treat those they could help. Nita began to treat a wounded fighter who had lost his arm in the shelling, trying to stop the bleeding the best she could. The gun fight had move closer to them and she could now hear the terrible ripping sound of a machine gun as fired at the remaining defenses on the outskirts of the village. The Fighters who were still able to walk began to run away. They had had enough of the terrible fighting and seeing the majority of their comrades now in bits and pieces on the streets broke any remaining will to stand and fight.

Nita looked toward the coast and saw the hill the foreigners were occupying, their Green Purple and blue flag still fluttered in the wind.
 
#8
Punth (Grid +6, +D)
Northern Confederation Lands, Company B 1st BN 15th Regiment Imperial Guard.
15 Dec 2027
Troops in Punth: 3210


Lance Corporal Floyd Mitchell fired his weapon with haste, only having time to take quick aim before he pulled the trigger hoping that the enemy he had just shot at had been sufficiently hit enough to stop his attack before moving onto the next. The firefight had lasted for what seemed like a lifetime as wave after endless wave of men attacked his position. So far Bravo Company had held its position against an increasingly aggressive and reckless attack. He couldn’t even begin to guess how many rounds he had fired today.

“Frag out!” a solider next to him shouted while throwing a grenade toward the oncoming enemy before resuming firing with his rifle. “I’m getting low on ammo.” the man said. Mitchell reached into his pouch and pulled a magazine from it and handed it to the man. “Here, it’s my last one.” Mitchell said grimly. The enemy kept coming and the realization that he might not live past the next ninety seconds began to set in. “We need ammo over here!” Mitchell shouted hoping someone would hear him over the fighting all around him.

“Ammo here!” he heard a shout in his ear as Corporal Eduardo Sullivan tossed an open ammo box full of filled magazines onto the firing position, “the Walking wounded are filling mags, keep firing I’ll grab your empty ones.’ He dumped the full mags onto the ground where the men could reach them and began filling the now empty box with the empty mags. He went up and down the firing line giving instructions and encouragement to the men as he passed out the ammo he could and collect the empty mags.

Once satisfied that he had all the mags he could he shouted “I’ll be right back, gotta get more ammo.” He then ran off toward the casualty collection point. Relieved that he now had more bullets to throw at the oncoming enemy Mitchell picked up the pace of his shooting, hoping that the sheer volume of firing coming from Bravo Companies FOB would eventually cause enough causalities on the enemy for them to break. A machine gun to Mitchell’s right chattered away at the enemy felling 8 or some attackers as they tried to rush its position.

Machine gun fired raked the area to the front of Mitchell as explosions of all shapes and sizes did there dreadful job tilling the pocked marked earth and killing and flinging men and pieces of men in all directions as fire smoke and death filled the air. The enemy had gotten close, within 15 yards of the earth and cement wall that surrounded the fob. the enemy had finally had had enough they began to slowly be beaten back further from the wall exposing themselves to the fire of the Kingdoms soldiers as they tried to retreat.

“Payback is a bitch you mother fuckers!” Mitchell shouted as he shot the retreating fighters. Once they had retreated into ranged of the 81mm mortars of his FOB the mortar section began to resume fire on the fighters. The small arms fire began to slowly fade away as the enemy retreated but they were now caught out in the open with a bombardment of mortars and artillery fire as shells screamed toward the fighters sending them into further disarray, preventing an orderly retreat.

The Platoon commander Lieutenant Andrew Obrien rushed up to the firing line. “Grab Fresh ammo gents and gather round. The men complied quickly restocking their once again depleted ammunition stocks. Mitchell filled his magazine pouches full again and stuffed as many as he could in his cargo pockets. He didn’t like the feeling being on his last mag gave him. “Alright gents listen up, the Enemy is retreating into the village, and they have attacked us all along our area of operations and have been repelled. Regiment has ordered us to take the fight to the enemy 2nd and 3rd platoon are moving out in 5 minutes, grab whatever water and ammo you can carry.”

Soldiers began to gather whatever supplied they needed for the upcoming assault after 5 mins had passed Lt. Obrien gathered the men again “2nd battalion is moving up to attack but, right now we need to get out there and keep the pressure on the enemy.” He said. Looking around at his men who had been fighting for hours he took a more reassuring tone. “I know you’re tired gents but if we don’t drive the enemy out of the valley today, we are going to keep having battles like this. So let’s go take the fight to ‘em, let’s do it clean, let’s do it right. Just like you are trained, let’s go boys.”

The men left the protective walls of the forward operating base and began a light jog toward the village and the retreating enemy. The farm field no longer being a smooth open field suited for crops, the artillery had turned the earth into a hellish moonscape full of craters and dead bodies. Mitchell took care not to trip over any of them as his platoon made their advance. Resistance was muted with only the occasional sporadic gunfire; the sheer amount of indirect fire from both sides kept the fighters in the village hunkered down.

As they came closer to the village Mitchel began to see fighters taking whatever cover they could to protect themselves. His platoon commander shouted “Pour it on them.” the men began to fire on the enemy advancing in sections, stopping to take a new position to fire and support the next sections advance. The enemies tried desperately to defend what positions they could but were quickly overwhelmed by the arrival of second battalion who had driver up in vehicles. With fresh troops and new support weapons the enemy defense melted away and the Imperial guard entered the village

The enemy had set up a machine gun in one of the houses to use as a strong point. They began raking the Imperial solders as they advanced into the town. Some of the enemy seeing their comrades making a defense stopped retreating to join in the fight and formed a firing line. The machine gun hammered rounds into the imperial solders as they pushed into the city cutting them down by the dozens. Mitchell Saw Lt. Obrien takes a bullet to the throat as they made their advance toward the strong point. Obrien keeled over onto the street lying alongside dozens of Pauldustllahani and Confederation fighters.

Fighting their way into the village had cost the Pauldustllahanis dearly but they were still advancing. The firing line the confederation fighters had set up was thin and collapsing as the volume of fire from Pauldustllahanis increased in ferocity and volume. Someone fired a rocket into the strong point, buying enough time for the Imperial guard to bypass the building. Now on the flanks the Pauldustllahani soldiers rained all sorts of fire onto the confederation soldiers. Satisfied that they were safe from the machine gun they entered the building, sporadic small arms fire erupted from the building as more Pauldustllahani soldiers rushed the building. Eventually the firing stopped, the Imperial Kingdom had taken the village.
 
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