Ever since the escalation of tensions with Hastur, the General Assembly has called for a mass conscription programme that expanded the military capacity of the nation from around 500,000 active personnel to more than 3,500,000 and still counting. Of course, domestic economy has suffered due to the overnight lack of workers, as the effective has switched to wartime training, with entire fields in the desert dedicated to veritable simulated warzones. This further alienated the wealthy from the government, with the business owners complaining that the government has excessively pushed the human resources of Acrad beyond it's power, therefore leaving the market without viable workers. To combat this, the government initiated the programme "Women & Industry", promoting the voluntary sign up of women as labor force where men aren't available. Windolia, as in the case with the other metropolies of Acrad, has seen daily parades of recruits marching their boots down the streets in the cheers of the crowd, women throwing flowers for the brave soldiers and families watching their sons in uniform nervously awaiting news that the tensions will soon drop off between Hastur and Acrad and peace will return to reign once more.
The atmosphere in the General Assembly has been tense, indeed. Ovald, together with his most trusted advisors and colleagues, worked tirelessly day and night to prepare the nation for what was turning out to be an unavoidable war. The political stage was unstable aswell, with Ovald enjoying the wide support of nationalistic political figures and the common folk while the main political adversary was none other than Sir Yuden Bontvon, the infamous wealthy baron of Windolia, leader of the capitalists and free-market militants. Ovald's support from the elite classes of Acrad has been waning steadily, but the government's heavy invest in military assets has seen a sharp rise in the numerous arms business conglomerates, an advantage that has managed to refrain Sir Yuden from gaining enough momentum to break the political stalemate in the present.
Passing through paperwork, Ovald reached the documents that stated "Dresdal Affair - TOP SECRET". Reading through the paragraphs, the General Commander decided to summon Aaron Trenton, who was the general commander's advisor in terms of national and interational law and political affairs, and Ada Zaox, Ovald's advisor in terms of economy and trade.
Ovald: "You know, my lady Ada and sir Aaron, that I'm a soldier at heart and will always be. You have both reviewed this case before it was forwarded formally to me, can you summarize some key aspects of the Dresdal Affair?"
Ada Zaox: "General Commander, the Dresdal Conglomerate is listed as an official public trading company listed on the Coral City's Public Exchange, reaching an uptick of 5% in prices, commanding a fleet of 17 ships from which 12 are officially dedicated to hasturian exportation. We could persuade Queen Kumena to take legal actions agains-"
Aaron Trenton: "They cannot. Our secret services have established undercover contact directly with the Palace of Pearls. Such legal actions could result in domestic political suicide for them, their hands are tied, so to say..."
As the discussion carried on, Ovald scratched his eyebrows, becoming more and more involved into the subject.
Aaron Trenton: "Queen Kumena is more than eager to draw a line from where they are eligible to operate inside acradian territory and jurisdiction in order to 'quietly' put a stop to Jonathan Dresdal's illegal profit off Acrad's stolen oil."
Ovald Regis: "Is there any way we could use this situation to our political advantage? Acrad needs reliable friends for Hastur is trying to drag us into a slimey political stale on the international stage."
Ada Zaox: "Our business conglomerates are listed on the Public Exchange, and with considerable economical impact. I suspect both Acrad and Hastur are major columns of support for Verdasou's market's economical stability, an advantage we should capitalize on."
Aaron Trenton: "As for your question, General Commander, I believe our chances to persuade Southern Verdasou into war against Hastur are slim. We already have cordial relations between eachother as their armada safeguards our exports across the sea, the best course of action is to give Verdasou limited jurisdiction to act in our territory together with the acradian Secret Service in order to stop the Dresdel Affair. Verdasou and Fenice are our economical allies on the sea, our exports are safe with them. Any attempt to distrupt our sea exports would imply Hastur directly attack their fleets, which would rationally trigger their response."
Ovald Regix: "Understood, then grant Southern Verdasou enough jurisdiction to convertly operate across our territory. They are to provide the acradian Secret Services with any necessary piece of information about the Dresdel Conglomerate AND carry out operations together. Any request from them regarding assets and resources, grant them within understandable limits. Public attention must be avoided at all costs, else we risk the capitalists to accuse us of mendling in foreign economical affairs, because I doubt that Verdasou will make public any proof of Dresdel's illegal seize of acradian oil."
The two advisors are dismissed politely, taking their leave out of the General Commander's office.
Among the rising skycrapers of the great capital, a grim and faceless soldier watches silently the dispersed crowd, his fellow colleagues being met by their families. Among shouts of congratulation and smiles, recruit Skylar was alone in a sea of people. He knew nobody would come to see him for the first time in uniform, rifle in hand and bearing the sign of the 326th Division on his shoulder pad, for Skylar was an orphan for as long as he could remember, being raised in one of the state's hardy institutions for orphaned children. Since young he was indoctrinated into the greater nationalistic zeal of Acrad, knowing only discipline and labour. The silence of Skylar's sorrow ceased once the commanding general ordered the division to leave Windolia and make it's way towards the desert's endless fields.
After a dreadful day spent inside the compartiment of a transportation train, the 326th Division finally arrived at Army Group B's designated training area. The HQ was a brutal looking half-military half-industrial oil refinery complex located inside a canyon the colour of crimson yellow, beneath the scrotching karakusian sun.
The endless barracks dot the encampment around the facility. For the next weeks, the soldiers would train together in the same unforgiving desert, eating the same rations and playing cards together. The routine hardly changed most of the days...
Here, Skylar was introduced to his colleagues, who together formed the 50th Divisional Cell led by Sgt. Norton "Boss" Hentox. The sergeant was a middle aged military careersman. White hair barely began to form on his temples, and his short stubble gave away an elevated status within the military because low rank soldiers are not allowed to keep a beard. His pale brown eyes stared right into your soul and his stocky built body could offer more than a satisfying combat to the enemy. His hobby? Cleaning his boots.
The other two riflemen in the squad were Zaheb "Blondy" Fux and Viteh "Oiler" Ianevy. Zaheb was a blonde blue eyed young man, son of a petty business owner from the 2nd District of Windolia. Blondy was an intelligent and well educated person, with a calm temper. The Oiler was the tanned mid-twenties factory worker from the desert's oil rigs who had some of the biggest and most rugged hands Skylar has ever seen in his life. Oiler's military buzzcut almost hid the curly tendency of his black hair, and he had to shave daily so that his beard would not overcome his face. The last was grenadier Uvy "Wildcat" Jonxe, a charismatic and friendly man standing at 6'2 ft. Wildcat wore a stylish undercut hairstyle, going to far lengths as to keep it as smooth as possible at all times. Wildcat was a family man and a construction worker, having two sons and one daughter back home in Windolia.
Taking a break from all this stress, the General Commander put on his best suit and watch and went on to step inside in one of the General Assembly's specially designated lavish cars. As the car made it's way through the heavy traffic of Windolia, the car suddently broke down and the driver had to pull aside on the boulevard. "Damned engine, not now!" said Ovald, reaching for his hat in order to throw it aside on the backseat while cursing. The driver, who was a different figure from the old one, turned around and replied calmly "I'm sorry sir, we have to postphone your visit to the Opera House for a little while. I'll see what I can do and, hopefully, deliver you in time for the show!". The driver was none other than Vipir.
Eventually fixing the engine, the car resumed it's course to the Opera House, arriving in the parking lot late by two hours. Dissapointed, Ovald Regix took a step out of the car and had a long glance at the building, before an explosion engulfed the upper windows, rising above the street level prompting the pedestrians to scream in fear, some starting to run away desperately while some threw themselves down unto the asphalt for cover. People poured out of the main entrance of the Opera House, some badly scarred and some eager to survive. In the chaos that ensued, many were trampled to the ground by the crowd, trying to escape. Within mere minutes, a contingent of Enforcerers arrived on the scene in order to establish order and secure the perimeter. With mouth wide open, the General Commander immediately threw himself inside the car and told Vipir "HIT THE GAS, GENERAL ASSEMBLY BUILDING NOW!" as the driver pulled down his foot's weight on the acceleration, leaving the zone in time while groups of enforcerers were fighthing the fire that was consuming the building in the background. The radio was blasting with latest news reports that the Opera House has been hit by a large explosion and confirmed deaths include several government officials and dozen of civillians.
In the same day, a nationwide broadcast from the General Assembly took place, coming directly from the General Commander himself...
"Good evening, citizens of Acrad. I hereby dismiss the rumours that the terrorist attack on the Opera House claimed my life, however it is necessary that we acknowledge the death of so many of our fellow acradians, including my governmental colleagues. This terrorist attempt, carried out within the highest echelons of audacity and unfolded by the acradian Secret Services, is the works of hasturian aggression, without doubt. For too long the civilized nations of this world have allowed Hastur to carry out it's own misery, and this is the result. Let this event be proof to the nations of the entire Othea that Hastur has decided to declare war on Acrad unofficialy in a spirit so disgusting and vile that we can only pity the people who blindly follow the orders of that masked madman in his palace! They are the ones who cried to the world at first that their warlords aren't implicated in illegal proxy war on our very own southern territories, yet when the world did not answer with support, they decided the only logical solution to avoid war with Acrad was to topple the one man who said 'ENOUGH!' in their face!
It is therefore, my solemn obligation to my nation, to officially declare war between Acrad and Hastur as of today, urging the good willed nations of the world to join Acrad in it's crusade against an enemy that would engulf and control the entire world, if he could!"
And so, as of today, the entire acradian military force has mobilized itself...