Hidden 6 mos ago Post by Andreyich
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Andreyich AS THOUGH A THOUSAND MOUTHS CRY OUT IN PAIN

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Senator Thorpe closed the door to his study, locking it lest his children once more tried to get inside for a looksie about what daddy was up to. He had no idea politics would look anything like this. He should have stayed at the university, waited out his tenure and just retired in whatever remained in the blighted remains of the United States. It was as he poured himself an aged wine he noticed that the light was on, without him having turned it on when entering.

Thoughts raced through his brain, paranoia over this being some retribution for the (at the time seemingly innocent) comments he made during all those fucking meetings. He flopped onto the desk, reaching in the drawer with the gun in it before flopping yet further onto the ground, looking around for whatever intruder might have been there. After he started coughing from all the floor dust he brought up spinning on the ground, he at last got up having not spotted any sign of intrusion. He got up, opening the door and peering out to find his wife asking him what had caused the ruckus. After muttering some explanation about tripping on a sticking floorboard he once more shut the door, wiping his brow with the conclusion he simply must have left it on the night before.

That was until his hand lowered, and he found a beaming woman in his chair. He tried to scream, but as she cocked her head to one side he found himself unable. It was only after the third attempt that he gave up, prompting a nod from her. “Who the fuck are you.” He finally said.

“A friend.”

The man groaned, putting his hands to his head.

“Cut to the fucking chase, please my fucking God I don’t have the patience for this.”

She sighed. “They told me you people love this shit. Alright. I represent a special interest group that can see the troubles your country is going through. We have solutions.”

Senator Thorpe’s mind races. Special interest group? Could be just about anyone. “Who?”

“You’re on the West Coast, who the fuck do you think?”

“I’m not a traitor.”

“We’re not asking you to be. Quite the opposite. Keep doing a great job! It’ll make us look all the more credible when you become a governor.”

“You got to be fucking kidding me. Think I’m going to risk anything on the off chance commie fucks take over this place?”

She laughed. “I thought you wanted to cut to the chase? I can kill you where you stand, your family, your children, and destroy everything you’ll be longing for in whatever hell you’re sent to.”

Once more the Senator found himself unable to perform the movements he wanted. The hand bearing his pistol simply could not rise, and if anything dropped to the ground.

“Pick that up, bring it to me.” she demanded, and once the order was completed continued with “thank you.” Holding the gun she inspected it to ensure it was loaded, before putting it on one of the handles of the chair. “Not sure yet if I’ll kill you if you decline, still have the night. I don’t actually like it you know, I’m not an evil bitch. Still have time to be ordered to spare you and all. But the chaos your death would make is probably a lot more useful to the Union. So, before you try to make some grandstand sacrificing yourself and your family to avoid the horrible fate of a cushy desk job, think about all the things you’re standing for now. You’re all about the big old nuclear WASP family, but when’s the last time you’ve seen a little cluster of bright eyed kids playing happily? Save your own with that negro mistress, I’m sorry, maid you have? When’s the last time you had a vacation that was shining with equatorial sun instead of Langium?” She held out a small receipt to sign. “You’ve got like, ten seconds before I shoot you. I’ve got some fucking teenagers to give guns to.”





Proctor Yesenin strode down the corridor, fuming. He wanted to say “what is the meaning of this”, or “who do you think you are?” to all these bureaucrats stomping about his university. But he didn’t want to be laughed at in his own office.

Nevertheless, he made sure to ask very pointed questions until he was at last lead to the lab where all the attention was pointed.

Arriving there, he raised an eyebrow, spotting the acne covered intern… Vadim? Vladimir? Something with a V. Valeriy! He was surrounded by important looking men in suits, men who weren’t wearing any safety equipment and did not belong here and who’s importance wasn’t enough to justify their intrusion.

“Professor!” The student exclaimed, motioning for him to come over before running close himself. “What have you done?” Yesenin demanded, assuming some sort of crime had transpired to warrant the presence of people from without the university.

“Well, I just took the new Langium samples and well….”

It was pure accident. The boy had somehow through luck in playing with a great many artifacts created the first ever observed tachyon. The explosive results described to him certainly explained all the new lab equipment that replaced the rusting pieces from the 70s.

Slowly, the conversations that circled around him turned into a feint ringing. Government men were now ordering him around, he who so desperately avoided the subject of scientific communism from corrupting his pure place of science. A fat general strode in, discussing moonbases and deep sea submarines to tap into the rare artifact deposits that would hold the means for more of such particles to be investigated.

Yesenin felt sick. This was a place of science, one unfettered by the organized chaos that was the Soviet Union’s bureaucracy and governance. A single youth had changed it to now be a place to further the geopolitical goals of the nation’s elites. For long the Soviets had eyed all other scientific efforts with suspicion, ensuring that the ancient research apparatus of the Union published papers with more [REDACTED] than UFO documents from the 40s. Now he felt it was going to get worse. The Professor had considered using the communist arguments of internationalism and solidarity to protest this, but he knew that at best he would received auditoriums of laughter. Defection briefly entered his brain, but he knew he couldn’t get his whole family abroad. All that was left was to try to turn young minds like the young Valera on a better path.

Hidden 6 mos ago Post by Jeddaven
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Jeddaven the Dunmeri

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Alcântara Space Center, Maranhão, Brazil

"VLMP-5, you are go for launch."

To late to turn back now, Chikako thought, turning her head from one side to the other, glancing at her fellow astronauts. She was about to head into orbit for her first time, aboard one of the most top-of-the-line space stations in orbit... And she was nervous. Not about the launch itself, of course - she'd always wanted the chance to be in space, after all - but about the reason she was being sent up.

"VLMP-5, we're go for launch." Major Guimarães, the mission commander, replied.

"T-minus thirty seconds."

That reason, of course, was the cargo. Several thousand pounds of containment, all to protect one single, tiny little alien artifact that she hadn't even had the chance to look at yet. She was set to be the first person to see it - but what if something did go wrong? What if looking at it killed her?

"T-minus fifteen."

It was an opportunity she couldn't afford to give up, though.

"Ten."

"Nine."

"Eight."

"Seven."

"Six."

The rocket began to rumble and shake beneath her, engines abruptly igniting. For the next six seconds, it continued to shake - not violently, but certainly enough to discombobulate Chikako, scrambling her thoughts. It was her first launch, after all, and she felt her hands reflexively tighten around her seat, muscles tensing.

"Five."

"Four."

"Three."

"Two."

"One."

A great force thudded into her back as the solid boosters fired, like the sensation of being violently kicked at the center of her spine. Suddenly, they were rocketing upward into the sky - and not dying, she realized!

"We have liftoff!"

Whatever the artifact was, the violence of being launched into the air hadn't activated it and killed them all, though the shaking didn't stop until they'd shot well past most of the atmosphere, light blues and clear skies giving way to darkness, and, eventually, the twinkling of stars and the emptiness of space as the boosters decoupled.




Chikako watched, transfixed, as a sextuplet of robotic arms locked into the six red locks on an unassuming, matte grey box with a dull *clunk*, servos gently whirring as they lifted away the lid with perfect precision. That was a relief, at least - despite being virtually weightless, Chikako felt as if she were wearing a suit of lead armour. She'd been handed the enormous responsibility of overseeing the testing and analysis of one of, if not the most valuable things in the world, with full knowledge that Artifact EVGD-1 could just decide to kill her and everyone else on the Stella Maris at any moment. She didn't understand it, the government didn't understand it, and the universities didn't understand it all that well either. It was all guesswork, but, thankfully, removing the lids on containment wasn't. The first was gently secured in a second series of locks as it was set aside - and then the arms slid right back in, unclasping the second set of locks. Chikako watched with bated breath, reflexively clenching her teeth, and then...

Nothing.

She wasn't going to be shot into space or crumpled into a thin, red paste by a mysterious alien artifact. Not yet, anyways.

It wasn't even the first time she'd exposed the thing, or even tested it, but it was still an enigma. Today was another battery of extensive tests, designed by Kawaguchi and that fancy new AI, all occuring in a fancy new tungsten-lined testing chamber, designed specially for NLC artifacts too dangerous to be kept on Earth. This was one such artifact.

Still, watching the camera feeds of the testing chamber, some nagging part of her mind couldn't help but feel as if it was staring back at her. It was a small, unassuming little... triangle-shaped thing, indescribable script etched into various spots along its surface (serial numbers, perhaps?), what looked like a large display taking up most of one face.

"Computer, please expose the langium sample." She said, again reflexively clenching her teet, expecting to die violently.h in anticipation of a violent death. She couldn't close her eyes, however, even if some part of her desperately wanted her. There was a point to placing her at the controls of the testing chamber, a mere handful of feet away, even if other station personnel were themselves watching from even more distant camera systems, ready to evacuate the moment things went horrifically wrong, unlikely as that was.

Slowly but surely, a small blue rock was revealed from behind a tungsten panel, secured tightly in place with a dozen tiny graspers, and a socket fitted exactly to its shape. Chikako turned her eyes to the laser interferometer console, waiting for something to happen...

And, surely enough, it did. Almost instantly, it returned a signal, indicating that the lasers had arrived a fraction of a fraction of a second too late.

“I have been ordered to inform you that this is sufficient confirmation of the artifact’s ability to manipulate gravity.” Intoned O7’s artificially chipper voice through her headset. Automatically, the tungsten panel slid shut once more, and the interferometer display went dark once again, just as expected.

That’s that, then. Chikako thought to herself, another sigh of relief escaping her lips, gently pushing her back against the hard chair she was strapped into. She finally allowed her eyes to close, just for a moment, long enough to suck in a deep breath and-

“However, I have detected further irregularities.”

Goddamnit.

“What’re the irregularities, Oh-Seven?” She said, audibly groaning, though her frustration failed to entirely suppress the excited hitch in her breath.

"My visual sensors are detecting a fine layer of NCL-AG on the surface of the device. During the test, I noticed that it was not repulsed from the surface, and remained on the devious with no noticeable motion."

Chikako blinked, shaking her head. She instinctively reached up to rub at her eyes, only to stop her hand mere inches in front of her face.

"And you didn't- I-"

"I didn't tell you because it seemed that you needed time to process the results of the test."

"...Right." She replied, releasing another labored exhale. "...That's interesting, to say the least. We'll need to sequester the particulate matter before we continue further - Oh-Seven, is everything else in the testing chamber secure?"

"Yes."

"Please evacuate the material from the chamber."

Just as well, Chikako thought - it'd take time to remove the material, since the testing chamber was already in vacuum, but she needed a few moments to rest regardless.




"I've finished sequestering the antigravity particulate as requested.”

Chikako jumped - or she would have, if not for having been strapped securely into her seat to stop herself from simply floating toward the ceiling.

“...Right. Repeat the last test, please.”

...And again, the Langium was exposed, and... Nothing. Absolutely nothing happened.

And again.

And again.

And again.

Over and over, a whole lot of nothing happened for the next hour.

“Well, that’s... Interesting.” Chikako hummed, narrowing her eyes as she stared at the display before her, showing little more than a strange little object and a fairly blank testing chamber.

“Oh-Seven, reintroduce the anti-gravity compound, please.”

Slowly but surely, a small, glassy tube lowered into the chamber, practically invisible crystals flitting about inside - and the interferometer instantly lit back up.

And again.

And again.

And again, Chikako watched the tube cyclically retracting back into the ceiling before being pushed back down again, the interferometer lighting up each time, without fail - but only when the Langium was also present. If either were absent... Nothing. Absolutely nothing.

She'd spent hours whittling away at the mystery of the device, staring, typing, recording and relaying results, listening...

One more thing to try.

"Oh-Seven, remove the Langium from the testing environment. Give me an X-ray of the artifact - minimum dose."

"One moment."

Once again, Chikako's eyes were drawn to the interferometer display as the X-ray emitter warmed up, moving into position around the artifact. Servos whirred and gears turned as it moved, and the display remained dark.

"Initiating dose. Point zero zero eight millisieverts."

Suddenly, the display flashed.

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Hidden 5 mos ago Post by TheEvanCat
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TheEvanCat Your Cool Alcoholic Uncle

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HMS Fearless

Capitaine Fillion was busy puking her dinner out over the railing of the HMS Fearless when she sensed someone approaching from behind. She finished with the last of a dry heave, barely saving herself from collapsing over the thin chain barrier as the ship bounced over yet another whitecap in the cold, rough seas of the North Atlantic. Wiping her mouth and catching her breath, she shakily turned around to see Stabshauptmann Arthur Kohl chuckling at her as he lit a cigarette in the chilly air. Under combat conditions, smoking was technically not allowed on the ship’s exterior: Stabshauptmann Kohl simply pretended not to understand whenever a British sailor told him off for it.

“You don’t like the ocean?” he asked, prodding her. Fillion shook her head, sweeping hair out of her face and trying to tuck her bun back together.

“I can’t sleep, I can’t keep any food down, I can’t do anything!” she complained. The taste of vomit in her throat almost made her sick again, but she knew she had nothing left to throw up.

“We should be done soon. Maybe a day or two,” Kohl said. “The new order is being published: we’re scheduled to land at dawn on the twenty-seventh.”

“And getting shot at is preferable to sea sickness?” wearily asked Fillion.

“Seems to be for yourself,” chuckled Kohl.

Fillion scowled, but a sudden crack in the sky stopped her before she could say anything else. A pair of twin-engine jets with swept-back delta wings screamed across the cloudy grey sky, leaving behind a sonic boom that shook the Army officer to her vulnerable stomach. They raced west towards the coast, seeking targets that had been identified in the days prior to the invasion.

The Mirage fighters, painted a slick light grey and launched from the Charles de Gaulle carriers trailing behind the troop vessels in their own OTAN battlegroups. The Mirages were advanced fighter-bombers, derived from years of the Dassault company’s aviation developments. Painted green for the Armée de l’Air, they flew over thick jungles and vast deserts to deliver precision strikes against terrorists and insurgents in Vietnam or Mali. Painted grey for the Marine, they carried long-range missiles designed to hunt and kill both American and Soviet ships. These latter planes were carrier-borne, designed and customized specifically for the newest French carriers.

The Charles de Gaulle class, constructed quickly during the 1980s, represented the bleeding edge of France’s power projection capability. Weening from American naval might, OTAN required the Europeans to fill in the gaps. Almost immediately, the naval question was actioned by the high command. French military industry expedited planned designs of novel warships and carriers, feverishly pushing their shipyards to the limit with requests and funding for new hulls in an arms race against the Americans. A new emphasis on combined naval task forces emerged, the French Navy and the Royal Navy were now the combined backbone of OTAN’s mission force.

The Mirages didn’t have to fly far beyond the fleet to find what they were looking for: Canadian radar installations, built and jointly integrated into the American NORAD system, were built in the fringe tundra wastes of the east coast. With a good anti-radiation missile, these airspace defense radars were easy targets. The Mirages coasted for a few minutes, carefully validating their targets, before letting their payload loose and immediately breaking back east to return to their fleet. The missiles dropped from the wings, their own rocket engines bursting into a roaring flame, and raced towards their targets.

Like clockwork, the missiles hit their targets. On the ground, nobody was hurt: the sparsely populated bases maintained only a few watchstanders at most and far away from the physical location of the radars. But they saw the missiles impact, shattering the immaculately crafted and sensitive radomes in a careless ball of fire and shock. Millions of dollars of investment vaporized as the French missiles decimated the radars’ heavily engineered facilities. One by one, the Canadian air defense radars were disabled. In command centers across the country and in NORAD itself, phone lines begin to ring.

The Canadians knew that the Americans were coming, of course. The mobilization of dozens of ships was far too obvious to miss. The knockout of radar capabilities obscured the tactical movements of French jets as they sought to maneuver to more specific points of military significance. Controlled by technicians on ground, in the air, and in orbit, the Armée de l’Espace launched a simultaneous disruption attack against Canadian and American satellites. The risk of escalation was significant and the orders had come down from higher: no lethal force was authorized.

Reconnaissance satellites were targeted by lasers and optical blinding devices from French attack satellites. Aboard les Quais, Armée de l’Espace personnel mobilized for their first combat mission: they proved pivotally important in launching small spacecraft and shuttles posturing themselves to aggressively disrupt American satellites. In a game of strategic chicken, the manned French shuttles won and forced the adversary’s satellites to redirect orbits and camera views while the fleet crossed the Atlantic. The battle in orbit played out bloodlessly and harmlessly: even the laser dazzlers were tuned to not permanently damage equipment. The OTAN fleet below was clouded by the fog of war once more.

Capitaine Fillion watched the fighters sailing off over the horizon. The delta-wing fighters disappeared into the Atlantic’s misty fog. She sighed again, steadying herself against the barrier. Turning to Kohl, she gestured that they should both go inside. Her stomach demanded the outdoors, but she knew there was nothing left to do except sit and wait for the OTAN force to start their operations. It became a purgatory, stuck on a rocking ship with nothing to do. They watched movies on the berthing’s VCR player or played board games or worked out in the gym, but the soldiers could do nothing but wait.

The OTAN fleet neared the coast within the next twenty-four hours, its task forces splitting into the planned sequence of attack. The landing sites chosen in the east of Nova Scotia and New Brunswick had access to highways and small airports to immediately facilitate the military convoy towards Quebec City and Montreal. The problem, however, was the appearance that running military equipment through the “Anglo” portions of Canada would violate the OTAN mandate on Quebec. This politically sensitive maneuver had been discussed at echelons far higher than Capitaine Fillion’s staff shop, and the plans had come back down.

Canada’s east was divided into two areas of responsibility: the primary area, encompassing all of Quebec, was led by French military commanders supporting the Quebecois government in exile. The second, a supporting area, would be under the direct control of British units. The British had been surprised by OTAN’s offer of dual command and took up the mantle in stride. As a result, the British were first off the ship to secure the land needed for the French. Once the British Army made its rounds and secured vital infrastructure, the French would merely need to offload at the landing sites and drive themselves into Quebec itself.

In a makeshift command post set up aboard the HMS Fearless, Fillion and Kohl stood and observed a digital map with blinking icons move slowly further towards the Canadian coast. Each icon was named and numbered according to their nationality. British battalions, a few French brigades, and supporting units from the Belgians and West Germans: OTAN solicited support from everyone to prove its multilateral commitment to Canadian security. It helped obfuscate the French desire to put its Quebecois allies back in charge in the province.

One by one, the units began moving. Clambering into big hovercraft and landing vessels, the first of the Royal Marines slipped away from their amphibious assault ships. Even below in the well deck of the Fearless, troops were piling into ships and speeding out of the stern to their formations. The map controller zoomed in, the GALILEO GPS transponders broadcasting their every move. Battalions were split into the more accurate location of companies, and then into the individual discretized landing craft. Their green icons blinked against the black screen, casting a sickly glow on the command post. Radio communication blared on speakers in the background.

The British reported their positions and sped forward under the cover of helicopter and close air support. The planes swept the coast, firing their afterburners and cracking sonic booms across the landscape. Helicopters kept watchful guard with thermal optics, seeking out their opposition. But nobody came to meet the British at the beach, despite their predictions, and the first Royal Marine vehicles rolled onto the rocky and pebbled beaches of New Brunswick without incident. They spread out and rolled slowly yet deliberately off the beach, infantry trailing behind in light jogs as they used their armored tracks for protection.

The landings continued unopposed all day, the Canadian military conspicuously absent from any suspected lines of contact. British formations maneuvered out to establish security as the rest of the OTAN troops landed. Capitaine Fillion led her own section onto the beach by mid-afternoon, with her landing craft dropping ramp at low tide. In a cargo truck towing a tent trailer, she sat in the passenger seat. The body armor and helmet she wore felt awkward and heavy: she hadn’t been to the field since she was a company commander back in France. In between her legs awkwardly balanced between her rucksack and the dashboard was her service rifle. Hopefully she didn’t need to fire it.

The truck grumbled, its engine thrumming as the truck drove off the landing craft and onto the beach. Ahead was a traffic lane marked by bright orange and pink panels with spray painted arrows directing them to the assembly point. A military policeman started to wave vehicles off with brightly lit batons, a glorified traffic cop in the early stages of a new war. On Fillion’s truck, a trailer held an OTAN command post that was to be set up later. Her driver, a young private, shifted the gears on the truck’s transmission and they both heard a loud hiss of air as the pneumatic brakes disengaged. Slowly, they rolled forward off the landing craft.

Around them, the beach looked like any other beach in France. Vibrant green forests lay ahead of them, a well-kept grassy park lay to their right. Military vehicles lined up in vacant parking lots, personnel running between them to check with each other. Troops in combat uniforms slinging rifles over their shoulder meandered about, performing their duties in the logistical chaos of an amphibious landing. Now on the beach, Fillion’s truck crunched the grey pebbles below its heavy-duty tires. As they traveled off the beachhead, a musing came to her. It didn’t look like a great place to take a family out, that’s for sure: the beach looked far too sharp and cold.
Hidden 5 mos ago 5 mos ago Post by CaptainBritton
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CaptainBritton Man of War

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>>>The Oval Office, Washington D.C., USA
>>>March 25th, 1991

”General-”

”That’s Mr. Brown, Mr. President. I’m retired, remember.” The black suited man pointedly corrected, sitting comfortably in a plush chair across the Resolute desk.

The President, for his part, sat in his tall-backed leather chair, hands gripping a fountain pen idly. He hadn’t slept a full night for what felt like weeks, and it took all he had to take day after day of press conferences and interviews.

”Right. Mr. Brown. You’re wondering why you’re here.” Hunter spoke stilted, broaching the subject with a characteristic smirk.

”Is this about Quebec?” Arthur E. Brown Jr. was a retired General. West Point graduate, former Vice Chief of Staff of the Army, and once upon a time, part of the NATO Military Committee in Belgium.

He was as straight a shooter as they came, and was one of the few people that could make Hunter uncomfortable.

”Ah, yes. That would be it, Mr. Brown.” President Hunter replied sternly, clearing his throat. ”Your experience puts you in a unique position. One I can’t source from any of my current cabinet members.”

Arthur was silent, brushing his fingertips on the padded chair arm, sighing. ”What’s the aim here, Mr. President?

Hunter slid the packet across the desk. ”I need you to make this go away. You know NATO better than anyone. I’ll give you your own staff, you exhaust every non-military measure you know to make sure we don’t have Frogs crossing the border and traipsing all over Ontario.”

Arthur took a moment of deliberation, before posing a query, ”And if I say no?”

”You go back to whatever it is you do at that tech institute in Lowcountry South Carolina.” Hunter rebutted, staunching his worry and putting on his face of confidence. He called the bluff.

”Right. Give me a week to get my affairs in order. I’ll be in touch, Mr. President.” That was as straight an answer as Hunter could’ve hoped for. His worry faded as he stood, shaking hands with the General.

”And Mr. President, call me Art.”



>>>Toronto, Canada
>>>March 26th, 1991

"9-1-1, what's your emergency?"

"-they just turned over a street car!

"Ma'am, where is this happening?"

"Corner of Queen and Jarvis. Please hurry."

>>>Three hours later.

The 278th Armored Cavalry Regiment of the Tennessee National Guard was officially in Ontario for 'springtime maneuvers'.

Corporal Raeder knew that was bullshit. In fact, just about everyone did, and the reality that he, and the rest of 3rd Squadron's Troop L were in the back of a deuce-and-a-half truck rolling through downtown Toronto proved it.

It was unusually chilly for March in Lower Ontario, but a sickly, acrid smell of smoke permeated the mostly abandoned street, bringing a false warmth radiating from the asphalt. The truck rolled as one of a dozen down an eerily empty street. Raeder craned his neck as they rode by a bale of concertina wire, stretched through an alley and manned by a pair of Canucks from Toronto PD.

The Corporal looked forward along the enfilade of the convoy, centering his sight on the lead vehicle: An M113 armored personnel carrier, an ugly aluminum box on treads. The machine held what looked like a communications array where the pintle gun was meant to be. And were it not for the prior briefing, Raeder would've mistaken it as just that.

Instead, this was the Army's perfect opportunity to test the latest in riot control technology.

'They call it the Active Denial System,' he recalled the briefing before they rolled out. He didn’t understand the technology, but it supposedly made you feel like you were being boiled alive without even leaving a scratch on you.

The truck rolled to a stop, a soft hiss and whine sounding as the driver pumped the brakes.

"All out!"

Raeder instinctively stood, shuffling into a line with the rest of his squaddies. He pulled his rifle over his shoulder, noting the empty magazine well. Every man was issued two thirty-round magazines for the excursion, each with hundred-mile-an-hour tape over the feed lips. The tape only came off if the Colonel gave the order. The hell did the Colonel know? He was still back at the TOC.




>>>White House Press Briefing Room, Washington D.C., USA
>>>March 27th, 1991

Secretary of State Thomas Hudson was assaulted with a brilliant flash of cameras and a barrage of questions as he took the podium.

“Mr. Secretary, what’s the US stance on the escalation of police violence in Toronto?”

“Mr. Secretary, what do you have to say about the ‘microwave gun’ the military used yesterday?”

“Mr. Secretary-”

Hudson put up a hand, thumb tucked into his palm.

“That’ll be enough, please save any questions until the end.”

Returning the hand to the sheet of paper on the podium, he straightened his tie and cleared his throat.

“Yesterday, there was a mass civil disturbance in Downtown Toronto, including destruction of property and a degree of violence enacted against both civilian and police personnel in the employ of the City of Toronto. At the request of the Toronto Police Service and Mayor Eggleton, an element of the United States Army partaking in training maneuvers was diverted to provide security for City Hall, allowing crucial police personnel to respond to the civil disturbance.”

He paused, turning the packet to the second page before looking up at the gathered press.

“In order to secure City Hall from a group of agitators, the Army personnel deployed countermeasures in the form of tear gas and active denial systems to ensure the integrity and safety of City Hall and its employees. We’ll take questions now.” He looked up, pointing towards the CBS journalist in the second row. Out of the corner of his eye, a female aide was beckoning him.

“One moment, folks.” He stepped back from the podium, moving off into the concealment of the curtains.

>>>Thirty minutes later.

“-good afternoon, Dan. We’re live from the White House Press Room, where President Hunter is about to give an unplanned televised statement.” The female CBS newscaster spoke matter-of-factly, stepping clear of the frame as the camera zoomed on a grim-looking President Hunter at the podium.

“Good afternoon, my fellow Americans. Today, at 11:13 AM, Eastern Standard Time, I was notified by the North American Aerospace Defense Command, or NORAD as you know it, of a deliberate attack on United States military personnel on the coast of Nova Scotia in Canada. The attack was carried out by a squadron of French jet fighters under orders of OTAN against NORAD facilities along the Canadian Eastern Seaboard, resulting in the injury of at least six soldiers, followed by a landing of military forces as part of an OTAN resolution. This attack, at a time of crisis in both the United States and Canada, and indeed across the North American continent, is a display of heartless contempt for the security of the North American community.

We stand in solidarity with our Canadian brothers and sisters, with whom our fate as free people are inextricably intertwined. As such, I met with Acting Prime Minister Harper by phone mere hours ago, and have presented a united front by which the North American community will abide:

We demand an immediate halt of advance by OTAN forces in Nova Scotia and New Brunswick. We demand the withdrawal of these forces, as well as the withdrawal of any OTAN-affiliated military vessels off of the Canadian coast. We demand that OTAN removes itself from the affairs of sovereign Canada, and allows order to be established on the terms of the Canadian government and its people. The consequences for failing to meet these demands will be far-reaching and firm. The security of the American people is the security of the Canadian people, and to threaten American security is to fill with resolve an entire people who value freedom above all else.”

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Hidden 5 mos ago 5 mos ago Post by Jeddaven
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Jeddaven the Dunmeri

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Wednesday, 27 OF MARCH 1991 YEAR LXXVI - № 31.132 Irineu Marinho (1876-1925) RIO DE JANEIRO oglobo.com.br



Building a New South American Economy in a Post-Visitation World

In a world where Washington is dying, what can the continent that relied on it most do?


The solution, at its most basic, is a simple one, according to Mr. Juan Devilla, the Bolivian Minister of Foreign Affairs, a man many of our readers who have followed the news in the past week will be well aware of.

They work together.

The model they plan to use already exists elsewhere in Europe. Devastated by the Second World War, Europe west of the Iron Curtain sought to recover from the War - and prevent it from ever happening again - by making such violence utterly impossible. The European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC), proposed by French Foreign Minister Robert Schuman in 1951, was arguably the first major step in this direction, and sought to integrate Germany's coal and steel industries with those of the rest of Western Europe (and them with each other other) so heavily that none of the involved countries could wage war on another, all in the face of massive ultranationalist opposition in France. Regardless, the French Assembly passed the measure, and so the ECSC was formed. Following a scant seven years later was the Treaty of Rome, which took principles of economic integration much further to form the European Economic Community (EEC) all the way from intertwined industries to striving for a customs union, to common economic policies (especially standardization) and striving for a single market. This, Mr. Devilla says, is what the Americas need to strive for, and as of 12:00PM UTC today, it's what they will be striving for; formally, at least.

In reality, such plans have been in the works for months, maybe even longer. Mr. Devilla has worked with every government on the continent, all the way up to Belize and Guatemala, to ensure that plans were finalized before anything was released to the press.

"It's a shame," he explained, "that we must worry about retaliation simply because we want to succeed, but we won’t allow anyone to intimidate us.”

It’s equally true, however, that the American continents haven’t been left entirely high and dry. OTAN member nations have become major investors in Latin American economies with the sudden absence of American companies and government money. It’s undeniable that their assistance has been invaluable in maintaining some degree of stability, and ensuring continued economic growth, but as Mr. Devilla puts it, there’s so much more that can be done, and it’d be downright foolish for us to simply rest on our laurels when there is so much more to be done. With the devastation of the United States, there is an enormous agricultural niche for South-Central America to fill. Vast mineral resources are available for exploitation, too, from materials we might think of as basic like silver or tin or copper to components for more complicated things, like those used to make superconductors. These, and many more, are resources Mr. Devilla and the diplomats and economists he’s working with hope to make available to the global market - but through local companies and governments, not through exploitation and theft by Washington and the corporations that bribe its politicians.

There are more than just natural, earth-made resources to access, though, as anyone knows. South America is home to one of the largest anomalous zones in the world; by some measures, the second largest contiguous zone in the world, after the central United States. Compared to the United States, though, far more of this zone is uninhabited, leaving it ripe for use. What Mr. Devilla emphasizes, therefore, is that close international cooperation and regulation would be required to take full advantage of this anomalous zone. Without close cooperation in the future, the Amazon Rainforest Anomalous Zone (ARAZ), in other words, would become an unproductive mess at best, and a flashpoint for massive military conflict at worst, potentially to the point of causing nuclear armageddon.

The organization’s reasons for existing are well-established, then, and are well-supported both by historical precedent (in the form of the EEC and its predecessor organizations) - but what is the plan for this new international community, and what will it be called.

“In Spanish, it is the Unión de Naciones Sur-Centro-Centroamericanas. In Portuguese, it is the União das Nações Sul-Centro-Americanas.” He explains, additionally pointing out that the organization intends to use both languages for its business, though it will primarily rely on Spanish for day-to-day work, and will provide documentation in several languages used both within the organization proper and abroad. The official acronym, somewhat obviously, is UNASUCA, for both Spanish and Portuguese languages, and construction for the organization’s headquarters is already underway in São Paulo, the third largest city in the world by population, after Tokyo and New York-Newark. Until it is complete, large sections of office buildings in the city have been leased out for temporary use; construction is estimated to take approximately two years.

They don't plan to wait for the complex to be constructed to get to work, however. Work is already underway on drafting common economic policies, from food and safety standards to more unified rail gauges. Trade barriers are being gradually removed to allow for the eventual creation of a single, common market, and border and immigration treaties are being adjusted to allow for freer movement of people, and talk is already underway of integrated justice systems. The basic structure of the organization and its organs, in fact, have already been quietly put in place, from independently appointed experts to ensure the objectives of this new organization are being met (and are being met in ways consistent with its ethical standards) to councils and committees of ministers and representatives from its constituent nations to ensure that their interests are being met - and, radically, to vote on measures that the organization might take.

Mr. Davilla, the architect of UNASUCA, is aware that this might all seem like little more than talk, even though the constituent nations have already confirmed their participation (Brazil's senate, the last to finalize its decision, confirmed its intent earlier this week).

That's why he's come to us with a specific proposal, what he dubs the "Amazon Rehabilitation Project", a massive infrastructural initiative to render the ARAZ traverable and, perhaps more importantly, industrially viable. Initial clearing and preparation efforts are already underway as the member militaries secure the expected infrastructure routes necessary for further construction against hostile mutants and other unnatural hazards, up to and including systematic "meter-by-meter" sequesters and occasionally even purges of those anomalous lifeforms deemed to dangerous to earthbound life to be allowed to survive. Carefully prepared defoliants, selective against anomalous foliage, are likewise being air-dropped into sectors intended for development where the flora is equally dangerous, and plans have been drawn up to secure and harvest the now incredibly valuable antigravity materials for UN-affiliated scientists to examine. If all goes well, Mr. Davilla explains, South and Central America will finally be an economic force to be reckoned with.

Note: the full list of member nations is being continually updated on our website, but presently includes Brazil, Argentina, Chile, Peru, Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, Paraguay, Uruguay, Venezuela, Costa Rica, and Honduras, Guatemala, and El Salvador, Nicaragua.
Observers, those with limited participatory status and diplomatic involvement, include the Netherlands, France, and the United Kingdom.
César Assunção Saraiva


Hidden 5 mos ago 5 mos ago Post by Jeddaven
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Jeddaven the Dunmeri

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A Collab between Jeddaven and CaptainBritton

Mexico City, Sección Bosque de Chapultepec

A small, unassuming white Ford van rolled down the Avenida Constituyentes, the words "Le Bec-Fin" emblazoned in extravagant cursive across its sides. The streets weren't empty at this hour of night - but there were clear enough for the van to proceed smoothly toward its destination, smoothly turning off into a small road leading into the Parque La Hormiga, following its chosen path west toward the presidential palace - Los Pinos.

For a minute, perhaps a little more, it proceeded undisturbed beneath the cover of trees, watchful sentries gazing at it as it passed by their posts. A handful didn't bother to turn and look, simply glancing the van's way, hands on their rifles.

Eventually, though, the van was forced to come to a stop in front of a large, patina-covered gate, a tan-skinned man leaning out of the driver's side window as the vehicle slowed.

The guard box was a few meters away, and a shorter man in a camouflage uniform stepped out, adjusting his black beret and pulling it snug on his head.

"Hola." He mumbled as he reached the driver's side window, craning his neck over to read the text on the van's exterior. "You the catering?"

"We are." He said, gesturing to the large woman sitting next to him, her long black hair tied into a tight bun behind her head. "There are five of us in total. The other three are in the back."

"Ay, sí." He eyed down the woman in the passenger seat particularly, breaking eye contact begrudgingly, waving them on. "Avanzar, have a good one."

The oxidized copper gate parted without input.

And the van, of course, proceeded, moving along at a crawling pace. Diaz glanced sideways at First Lt. Caldeira, but no words passed between them. Only silence.

The roundabout in front of the palace was lined with meticulously trimmed hedges, accented by ornate lamp posts which lined the stairwell. A side path labeled 'SOLO SERVICIO' - service only - snaked off to the right towards a loading dock. They were directed onto it, and found themselves parked at a service ramp manned by a single uniformed guard.

"Hey, uh - sir, I mean - we're the caterers. Is this where we go inside?"

"Sí, door leads to the kitchen, there's a lift inside for you and the goods." Christ, this kid couldn't have been nineteen. He was a baby-faced guard wearing the insignia of the Mexican Army.

Enéas nodded, popping open the door as he stepped out of the van. Out from the rear came three more people, each wheeling out a large, tablecloth-covered metal cart - one more woman, far more lithe than the giant, two tan-skinned men, and one with a distinctly fair complexion.

"Alright - we'll just be headed inside. Watch the van and we'll see if we can get you some leftovers, eh?" Enéas joked, leading his fellow staff up the ramp.

"Sí, sí." The guard grinned, helping to hold the door.

Directly inside was a room of solid white. The floor was a reflective marble, shined to perfection and matched with textured pillars of Roman style bordering a marble staircase with brass-inlaid stairs. On their right, a metal swing door was already held open by a woman in a server's dress clothes. A lit sign was suspended above the door labeled in both Spanish and English: 'COCINA / KITCHEN'.

Entry into said kitchen showed yet more white, but instead made of grout tile and reflective metal surfaces. The service lift in question sat on the far side of the room, manual door already open and waiting.

Toward the lift they went, making idle chatter about how nervous they were, how they hoped the President would like the food they prepared - they hadn't much time to rehearse, but they had enough for whoever was watching them, hopefully. Then, the moment they filed into the lift and closed the door - nervous, jittery silence.

All rehearsed, all acted out in an elaborate display.

The lift ascended slowly, delicately before coming to a stop with a thump. The door would be opened to reveal an opulent hallway, floored with polished hardwood and buttressed with brass arches. The floor plan indicated the dining room was just down the hall, which was corroborated by a soldier in an ornate formal uniform standing at parade rest outside the indicated door.

One by one, the covered carts wheeled down the hallway, Enéas at the front of the line and Caldeira at the rear. Not one of the five dared speak until they finally reached the door, and Enéas finally spoke up. "Excuse me - may we enter? We've brought a full seven-course meal as requested. It was difficult to prepare on such short notice, but... Frankly, it's to die for. We wouldn't have anything less."

"Sí." The guard gave a knowing smile, pulling open the door. As Enéas passed in, the guard leaned in close. "Buena suerte, amigo."
The caterers otherwise passed through without incident.

The room was a quaint dining room, not quite as gaudy as the remainder of the palace. A long wooden table sat about a dozen men, with a balding, lanky gentleman sitting at the table's head and flanked by two plainclothes guards. The group paid almost no mind to the catering crew, continuing talks which centered around words such as 'economía' and 'centroamericano'. It was hard to make out much in the low rumble of murmurs.

And the catering crew, of course, went about their work almost instantly, retrieving plates of canapes from the carts. Each cabinet member - including the president himself, was served a plate with a selection of seafood canapes, then the "caterers" moved to return to their carts.

The guests of the dinner scooted back in their chairs as they were served, preparing their own cloth napkins in their laps as they continued speaking among each other. They hadn't the slightest clue what was coming.

They would - and soon. One by one, the caterers bent down, examining the insides of their carts. Lifting one of the tablecloths with Caldeira, Enéas peered inside, into the darkness, feeling around with his right hand, until it touched cold polymer. He glanced sideways at Caldeira, nodded - and they all rose, Colt 635s in hand. The moment Enéas say his barrel peek over the cart, he squeezed the trigger, the sharp, snapping sounds of five submachineguns filling the room, sweeping from left to right with almost mechanical precision. The armed guards, of course, were first to go, first to be targeted - then the rest, massacred all at once.

The room went deathly silent as charging handles racked from behind the carts. The guards moved, breaking the silence but were cut down in sequence, falling upon their half-drawn pistols.

Then began the yelling and the screams. The politicians in the first few rows died quickly, as did the President of Mexico, face down in his plate of lobster and mussels. One of the politicians fled for the door, making it for one heavy moment and jerking on the handle. The door was locked from the outside, and he crumpled under withering gunfire.

It all happened in the course of less than a minute, and the Mexican President, along with his entire cabinet, were slain.

"Get the photos?" Campbell spoke up, receiving a nod in reply from the man standing to Enéas's right as he pulled a balaclava over his head, and the rest of the 'caterers' followed.

Enéas turned, knocking on the door.

"Dinner's finished."
Hidden 4 mos ago 3 mos ago Post by Andreyich
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Andreyich AS THOUGH A THOUSAND MOUTHS CRY OUT IN PAIN

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It was claimed by the Soviet Ministry of Defence that the KSh suit was better than the ones of the French in every respect; faster, lighter, stronger, harder, cheaper, more ergonomic. Only the final two were vaguely true, the many cut corners and comfortable synthetic fibers put in making the suits simple to produce and easy to wear. Of course, the comfort only lasted so long as the servos didn’t twist the wrong way leading to one’s limbs getting torn off within their armour, a fatal flaw that had caused a recall after the arms and legs that had to be stitched back on entered the double digits.

It was thus no surprise to many grunts that - after sufficient trial in the Soviet armed forces - most of the suits were eventually relegated to use by the other members of the Warsaw Pact. Strangely though, just as men like Corporal Rudolf Stirlitz were seeing them deployed to the border forces of the DDR, they were getting recalled back to the USSR for some other purpose, one that was rather hush-hush and didn’t spread by word of mouth from Russian to Poles to Germans on military exercises. Still, while they were here the clankers would have to do.

One particularly annoying aspect of the KSh was just how god damn hard it was to scratch yourself in it. He had an itch standing at the post, staring at the West Germans for almost an hour now and there was no remedy to it. He could try rubbing his back on the bloc-post behind him, but chances are that would damage the thing and be taken right from his salary along with a mark on his file.

Looking on at the lines of cars going through customs control of the borders, he sighed as a cacophony of car horns blared at the sight of someone attempting an illegal U-turn on the road, prompting him to walk over to the concrete railing by the road. He gave a salute to the soldier on the other side that approached him, the two meeting half way and turning to face the traffic jam. “Morning.”

“To you too.”

“You saw the game?”

“Which one?”

“Never mind. What are we going to do about this one?”

“Don’t know. There’s too many trucks.”

The West German sighed, offering Rudolf a cigarette. As the sleeve on his uniform lowered, a tattoo of a 4 just below the wrist. Rudolf took the cigarette, but spotting the tattoo raised an eyebrow. It seemed familiar, perhaps from some briefing much time ago. The other man noticed this, and smiled. “Enjoy the smoke. Please, quickly.” he said, lighting the cigarette for Rudolf, before walking off to the road. As the East German took a long pull, he watched his counterpart go to the middle of the road. He was about to call out and ask him what he was doing, but the ball of oxygen consuming flame that the man turned into put a stop to that.



The air in the room was smoky, several of the attendant ministers and other personnel having lit up Cubans as the hours dragged on into the night. As problems domestic and foreign alike piled up, meetings like this were becoming ever more common, ever longer. Ties were loosened, and men switched to first name bases along with singular informal addresses rather than the Russian plural-individual formal address. In one of the corners the Polish representative was sleeping, while behind a door the German was calling his wife to tell her it would be another long day at work.

They had been speaking for so long now, and yet the agenda never seemed to shrink. Curtains were closed, and yet the protestors outside were still audible, occasional phrases on the themes of treachery to the revolution being possible to make out. The meticulous, central-planning of the Supreme Soviet was unraveling, it dawning upon the assembled men that everyone on the planet was working against the orderly world they were envisioning. There were too many variables, and the equation was unsatisfiable.

“Sirs, I’m out. Its too late.” Comrade-General Gagarin said. “No, wait, stay just a little.” Premiere Pavlenko said, waving a hand. “Please. Just a moment.” The Astronaut turned leader of one of the Soviet branches of armed forces sighed, sitting back down and once more removing the sweat-stained blazer had had been putting back on.

“Before we leave, we need to finalize what we’ve discussed so far, and I need your assent, comrades.” The Premiere continued. “Speed up the recall of the suits. In a week we need to start sending new satellites to orbit the moon, I want the announcement ready in a month by the latest. Yuri, when will Baikonur be ready?”

Gagarin shrugged. “You know the rails for spacecraft are slower. Maybe… two weeks?”

“Good. You’re free to go. Isaac, you’re next.”

“Well, Sir, I’m sure we can make something with the sea of Japan in… a week or two? An agent or two of ours in Kyoto were apprehended, but the rest of the country has more than enough. I can give the order today, but a cautious approach….”

“We don’t have time for it. Give the order after we’re done here, then send in the cruisers.

“Very well, Premiere.”

“And the Yugoslavs… well, its time for the Macedonians to decide they’ve had enough oppression. The President will either decide its time to finally join their comrades in labour to the East or… well, Bulgarians will decide they must support their Northern kinsmen with a peacekeeping mission.”

The Bulgarian attache spilled his tea moving to appear alert from his half-asleep state, before nodding along.

“The Hungarians should prepare to make a no-fly zone. I want anyone trying to intervene shot down, I don’t care if they’re UN or NATO, they go down.”

“Understood.” This came from General Harkony, a man appearing ever more in these meetings.

“I know you’ve said the Serbs polled seem largely averse to separatism, but try them anyway. It’ll be a lot easier to get RY leadership to shit their pants if their core of support gets cold.’

The Premiere sighed as he looked down to his computer screen, seeing the notification of new intelligence. Several men present followed, murmurs spreading among them.

“Isaac… what do we do?”

The Minister of Defence looked up from reading the message. “Well, you’ve been skeptical in the past, but hear me out this time. We have GLONASS, but we aren’t using it to a fraction of the potential we could. We have the greatest coverage for satellite navigation, tracking, imaging, and we’re using it so civilian planes don’t get shot down. Any proxy that doesn’t answer to us first and foremost we mess with their navigation and such. We use our anonymous agents to give satellite images, or rather information from them to the government. It won’t be hard to believe they got caught and ours weren’t simply by variance in competence. And not just in South Africa and Rhodesia, Sir. In the Americas, world-wide.”

Anatoli gripped his forehead for a minute or two in the silence, before at last replying. “Do it. While you’re at it, send more to the Arctic and Antarctic, secure the artifacts propping up there.”

The Minister of Science and Education opened his mouth to object, but seeing glares from everyone else simply sat deeper in his seat.
After more silence, Premiere Pavlenko looked to the Minister of Foreign Affairs. “Arrange a meeting with the Americans. Tomorrow.”




Hidden 2 mos ago Post by Jeddaven
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Jeddaven the Dunmeri

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April 1st, 1991

"One of the biggest bastards on the planet in a little town like this... Huh. Why are we killing him, again?"

"Please tell me you're joking. I know we didn't get much school, Jair, but you've gotta be-" the woman across from him began, the resulting wrinkles on her sepia-brown skin barely visible beneath the lenses of her full-face helmet.

Jair's hand went up, flat-palmed, signalling her to stop.

"Sarcasm", he said simply, shaking his head. "He's the king of bastards, the way I see it, the Neo-Nazi fuck. I know why we're here - to make an example."

"And show the Americans that there's a new player on the block," Jônatas - the man immediately to his right among another five - said, not so much as bothering to glance up from the rifle his eyes were boring a hole into.

"I know why I'm here!" Samara shouted over the noise of the helicopter's rotors, turning away from Jair.

"I'm talking about the government! The brass!" Jônatas snapped back, stopping to briefly glance out one of the helicopter's door windows. "I mean, think about it, right? All the shit that's going on, it's a great way to confuse the Americans, split their attention, distract them..."

Jair nodded.

"...So they want ways to do that that aren't going to cause problems for us! I mean, Terre'Blanche is a known war criminal. 'Africans should be exterminated or enslaved' kind of war criminal. The Butcher of Transvaal! Even the Americans aren't stupid enough to throw a fit about him getting killed, even if they do find out." He continued, animatedly waving his right hand about, a few more of the twenty heads around them turning to listen in to the conversation.

"So we kill him, the Americans either do nothing, so we know we can do whatever we want here, they dedicate resources to the area that then aren't going somewhere else..."

"...Or they side with a Neo-Nazi," Samara nodded in understanding, her grip on the butt of her rifle tightening.

"Exactly," he replied, Jair staring directly at him. "And, well, we get to kill a Nazi. Everybody wins."

"One minute!" A voice announced over the intercom as the two side doors of the helicopter swung open, a pair of personnel - one next to Jair - working to fix thick, weighted ropes in place.

"And we get some nice family photos out of it," Jair said, gesturing to another man, toward the front end of the helicopter's cargo bay, a Canon camera in a pouch at his hip opposite his sidearm.

"You think they'll know we're coming? Samara asked, posing the question to nobody in particular. Jair shrugged.

"Probably not. With the new antiradar missiles the SAIC is running, not to mention the jets we sold them, they'll be lucky if they even see us."

"Thirty seconds! Up, up, up!"

Jônatas nodded, jumping to his feet, and Jair followed soon afterward, then Samara, then, one by one, everyone else inside the helicopter. "These French helicopters are pretty quiet, too. I mean, figuratively - the pilot told me they've got tiny radar profiles. If they knew we were here..."

"We'd be dead by now," Samara said, and all three of them nodded together, while Jair struggled to flex his hands in the thick leather gloves around them.

"Ten!"

"Nine!"

Jair leaned, glancing out the open door, wind whipping past his face. Past the formation of slate-grey helicopters to either side of his, a handful of a distance away, were the dim lights of Ventersdorp, and a fenced-off compound a few hundred meters away in the kiddle of the town.

"...Five."

"Four.

"Three."

Closer and closer, the helicopters rocketed toward the compound. Now, it was practically under his feet - just as he heard the telltale, muted crack of a suppressed gunshot ring out, then another - helicopter snipers taking their pick of the compound's sentires, he imagined, and still no visible sign of anyone else waking up in the compound.

"Two!"

The roof of the largest building in the compound was beneath his feet now, gloved hands tightly clutching at the rope dangling from the helicopter.

If their intelligence was right, Terre'blanche wasn't far.

"One. Go!"

A pat on his back sent Jair sliding down the robe, the friction of the rope he was clinging to tangible even beneath thick leather gloves. The flat, green roof approached rapidly, so fast that Jair didn't even have time to think before his boots hit the ground and he shuffled away, yanking away at his outermost gloves as he watched the remaining seventeen follow, sliding down the four ropes one by one... But only for a moment.

Time, unfortunately, was of the essence. Jair had a Nazi to kill.

Only briefly glancing over his shoulder to make sure his comrades-in-arms were following him, Jair shouldered his rifle, moving up to the side of the door nearest him - rooftop access - and pressed a large, handheld millimeter wave scanner against it, watching the small display on its body for any sign of movement behind the door.

Nothing yet

By the time he'd finished, four of his squadmates were already beside and behind him - and with a muffled grunt, he brought his leg up and drove his heel into the door just beneath the keyhole, smashing the thin wooden door open, leaving him in yet more darkness.

Sliding infrared goggles over his face that bathed his vision in green light, he fast-walked down the stairs, moving past the first landing, yet more of his comrades heading into the door he left behind to the telltale snap of suppressed gunfire.

He finally paused at the second landing, glancing through the small window at the door.

A face - no, two. Three?

Stepping back to the side of the door, he held up his hand to stop, quietly testing the door handle...

It didn't stop.

Flinging the door open, he fired a burst down the hallway, another flying past his shoulder - and he say the first bodies drop, the first barely managing to start shouting curses in Afrikaans before three sharp cracks sounded and a large hole opened in his neck.

"Second hallway. Take a left where the first hallway bends, then take your first right, then it's the fifth door on the left, right on the northwest corner of the building." He reminded himself, paying no attention to the soldiers filtering in behind his group, checking the doors behind him, the chopchopchop noise of whirling helicopter blades still audible outside as yet more came in to land, gunfire becoming more and more frequent, behind, above, and below him.

Reaching a fork in the hallway, Jair quietly peaked past it, catching sight of another pale-skinned militaman. Quickly popping around the corner with his finger on the trigger, he gave it a quick squeeze - and down the man went, writhing on the ground until Jair ended his life with another pull of the trigger, the barrel of his gun mere inches from his head. His body went limp as blood and brains oozed from his burst-open skull, and Jair moved on without another thought, turning right down another hallway.

Fifth door on the left, northwest corner, he reminded himself, practically sprinting down the third, much shorter hallway, past more closed doors. It took only a handful of seconds to reach the end, and, once again, he pressed himself to the side of the thin wooden door, backing up a handful of steps.

Ambrósio - the fifth assigned to their squad - knelt down at the door, sliding a small, black strip beneath it, a small box in his upon which were two buttons. One red, one green, and a small red switch on top. A brief glance and a nod passed between them as Ambrósio, a handful of inches shorter than Jair, stepped away from the door, flipping the red switch.

He we go, he thought - then a click and a loud, nearly ear-piercing bang, muffled by his ear protection. Stepping forward to the sound of a deep, slurred voice cursing in Afrikaans, he jammed his heel into a thin wooden door, and down it went.

Eugene Terrblanche, half-dressed out of bed, barely had the chance to turn to see Jair's dark-skinned face befpre his rifle went up and three bullets cut open his throat.




April 2nd, 1991
The call came to Adriaan's station fourty minutes after midnight.

Five helicopters moving toward Ventersdorp that'd somehow managed to slip past the ANP's radar networks, landing at the HNP compound in the middle of the town.

So late at night, and on such short notice, the SADF Army colonel hadn't much time to organize a response - but he had enough to smash together a group of one hundred-somethibg militiamen and stuff them onto tent-backed SAMIL 20s, onto an hour-long drive toward Ventersdorp in the dead of night.

Their drive through Ventersdorp, for the most part, was uneventful. A few people stared out at the convoy from the windows of their poorly lit houses, some with broken roofs or crumbling walls - but most, it seemed, were perfectly content to keep their curtains drawn and their lights off, leaving the town as something more like a ghost town than anything inhabited.

It was eerie, he thought, as the convoy rolled up to a large, green-roofed fenced off building - Terreblanche's compound, up to a busted-open gate.

The very moment the trucks stopped, the militamen, wielding battered R1s older than most of them were.

Adriaan followed with a sharp grunt as he dismounted, sauntering toward the gate as troops rushed toward the building, not a single helicopter in sight, clustering about the door, quietly muttering about something in hushed whispers.

The first hint he had that something was wrong was one of the younger men stumbling away and emptying the contents of his lunch onto the ground, then another, and another, and as he got closer, he finally saw why.

Tying together the handles on the large double-doors ahead of him was a rope dripping with blood, and hanging from that by its hair was the head of a chubby, grey-haired old man, his sockets empty aside from a mess of blood, gore, and ravaged muscle, a note nailed to his upper lip, in fluent, penciled Afrikaans.

"A gift from friends of Africa"


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