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Doom of Ceris


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It was quiet at this early hour of the morning, dawn still hours away, a half light starting to rise in the east. Apart from the dawn chorus that was starting up, it was strangely quiet, considering there was an entire taxiarkhon (corps) sitting in the dark. It was the northern most of three corps that was poised to advance into Sentist-controlled Hodrea. They had been sitting there since the day before, when they had slowly assembled along a dirt road that led across the Secryaean border into Hodrea. The road lay along the bottom of a low valley, which was dominated by arable fields. They had been harvested before the onset of the relatively mild Ceriser winter, although the remains of the crops hadn't been ploughed back in. Despite the relatively safety that the Arhomaiki forces had brought to Secryae, the crisis still had driven much of the population that had lived near the border away, to the east. During the day, the defensive works that had been built over the last few months could be seen to the west, if you knew where to look or could guess from how the terrain made certain areas more likely to have some trenches or a strong point. Tagmatine defensive doctrine called for defences in depth rather than a hard border and this had been forced onto the locals as well.

Although before the Arhomaioi had arrived, the borders themselves were very permeable, usually consisting of a bunker and a couple of huts, where the border guards lived in between extorting money from any travellers through made up fees and tariffs. If papers were checked, then it was often by guards who were only semi-literate and enough cash or a portion of whatever goods were being carried meant that travellers could pass through. The border guards stationed on roads or passes had been amongst the very few of the Secryaean military that weren't malnourished or impoverished. Those who had been placed along quieter stretches of the border or in the wilderness tended to disappear, going back home with whatever they could carry with them.

The border guards were one of the first things replaced by the Arhomaiki forces in Ceris. They didn't want any Sentists getting too much of an idea of what was brewing to their east. Now, they were amongst the better paid and better drilled forces that the Noble Republic had, keenly watched by their Europan allies.

During the light of day, beyond the hard-to-see defences, there were the coastal plains of Hodrea. Columns of smoke could be seen rising in places, although whether from air strikes from the forces arrayed against the Sentists or through the actions of the Sentists themselves, it was difficult to tell. Aircraft flew from bases in western Secryae and from the naval forces out to sea almost constantly, guided by drones or through reconnaissance missions undertaken by the Hippakontistai, the scout units of the Tagmatine army. It was a mix of trying to dissuade any Sentists from massing forces to try to launch an attack into Secryae and to keep break down their logistics when the inevitable counter attack came from the east.

Precisely how effective it was remained to be seen. The Sentists didn't seem interested in Secryae, but were determined keep ruining Hodrea. There were even rumours of attempts at mass murder, of indiscriminate killing of civilians in order to thin out the numbers on the island. The Arhomaioi had been denied the chance to stop this happening in Gharon and this would likely be an opportunity to vent their frustrations on the religious fanatics that were determined to take over Ceris.

Akothoulos (lieutentant) Kyprianos Dagalaifos knew most of this, as he had been to all the briefings organised by his regiment and corps. The misery of life under the Sentists was certainly appalling but it was more or less on an academic level. Secryae looked like a grim, backwards shit-hole, certainly nothing like life in the Megas Agios Basileia. At the moment, the tank commander wasn't really thinking about it. He was watching a pair of blackbirds, in the half light, by the side of the road. They chased each other, both of them seemingly vying for a higher position than the other. As soon as one of the pair landed on a fence post or a branch above the other, the second one would fly off further away, trying to put some distance between them. He knew a bit about birds – both of the blackbirds were male, from the black plumage and orange beaks and rings around their eyes. He was idly thinking about what had been about what was causing the problem between the two.

Plus, as he was going to be sitting in the lead tank, he didn't really want to think about that right now. An entire kometon of massive tanks wound its way down the dirt track, topped by armoured cars and behind the tanks, were infantry fighting vehicles from the armoured infantry units. The recce vehicles would scout ahead and the tanks and IFVs would engage any resistance that they found. All of them were from the élite Palationoi. Behind them, the rest of the corps of armoured lorries and more tanks and assorted vehicles. But Dagalaifos couldn't really see much further than the edge of the road in the half-light of the dawn. A moonless night had been chosen by the Epistrategaion for the attack into Hodrea, in the hopes that the technological advantage held by the Arhomaiki armed forces over the Sentists, who would be literally blundering in the dark as the night vision equipment of the Tagmatines could see them almost as clear as day. But something had caused a delay and the armoured column was still sat as dawn edged closer.

The peaceful moment was broken as the loader's hatch thumped open and his loader pulled herself up onto the rim of the hatch. The blackbirds stopped bickering for a moment, startled by the sudden noise before they picked up their argument again.

“Here you go, boss,” she said, waving a mug of tea at him. “I thought this could warm you up.”

The tank commander accepted the metal mug a grunt of thanks. He wished the loader hadn't spoiled that moment. He wrapped his gloved hands around it and rested it on the lip of the hatch. It was too hot to drink from at the moment. The loader, Maioriana, put her own mug on the roof of the turret and stretched, windmilling her arms around but careful not to knock the machine gun that was fixed to the remote mount on the hatch.

“What you doing up here, anyway?” she asked looking around. “It's cold out here.”

A frost was starting to form on the ground and their breath steamed in the air when they spoke. It was no where near as cold as Arhomaneia was at this time of year. The Akothoulos was from up near Dyrrakion, which suffered from winds blowing straight out of the Argic Circle, only mildly slowed down by the Hexanesa, the Six Islands. That nest of traitors. Maioriana, however, was from a small town to the west of Matapon, so didn't have to freeze in Argic winds throughout the winter.

In answer to the loader's question, the Akothoulos shrugged. “Just seeing what I could see, I suppose. There are some blackbirds over there, having an argument.”

Maioriana smirked at him. She knew her commander liked to look at wildlife. “I don't think there will be anything for miles when we all start our engines. It'll scare the shit out of most things. Them Sentists will shit their pants when this thing gets moving.”

To emphasise her point, she slapped her hand against the turret. The commander didn't really disagree. A modern main battle tank was something that most Cerisers had never set eyes on. To have three corps lead by them sweeping into Hodrea was going to send the Sentists scattering. At least, that was the plan of the Tagmatine forces in Ceris. In case it didn't, the Arhomaiki army, air force and navy were going to redouble their bombardment of known and suspected Sentist positions preceding the advance before settling into offering the ground forces dedicated fire support.

“Did you see the pictures of that ancient Ceriser dude giving a speech to Akilios, that rat-faced f*cker from the Logothesion ton Barbaron and that fat f*ck barbariki prince?” she asked the smirk getting broader. “He was on a white horse, silly armour and everything.”

He had seen the pictures and didn't really want to look again but the loader seemed eager. She was waving a PDA at him, although she was trying to shield it with her hand to make sure that the glow from the screen wasn't seen too far away. The elderly Ceriser Republiksoberstmarschall was sat on a giant white charger and dressed in red armour and a towering bearskin, giving a glorious speech about how the combined Secryaean and Aroman forces were going to crush all before them. Another officer, similarly dressed to the Secryaean commander, was standing next to the horse and holding a microphone so that the dry, whispering voice of the commander could be heard by the assembled crowd. It was one of many similar speeches in the last few months, one set of allies trying to confirm to the other that they still had their heart in the plan. There was a rumour that the Secryaeans were getting nervous about the sheer number of foreign soldiers in their country, more than enough to completely conquer it if the fancy took the Arhomaioi.

“They look f*cking mental, don't they?” Maioriana's smirk turned into a full grin. “Completely stupid in their armour and hats and shit.”

The irony of a Tagmatine laughing at someone else's dress uniform was completely lost on her and Dagalaifos.

All barbaroi are mental,” came another voice over the tank's intercom, voicing the typical chauvinistic opinion of the average Arhomaios. That was the gunner, Kouritikos, who was sat in the turret below and between Dagalaifos and the loader. “But hopefully we can do something more than last time we were all sat in a tank, about to advance across a border.”

The three of them fell silent for a moment. They were thinking about the last time the forces of the Megas Agios Basileia was deployed in a similar number, when it looked like its nearest neighbour was about to collapse. The advance was called off at the last minute.

“Instead, all we did was nearly run over a Vigla car,” replied Maioriana.

“That was pretty funny,” said Dagalaifos, despite himself. No one really liked the Vigla, the Tagmatine military police. The rest of the crew could almost hear the driver's furious silence over the intercom whilst they grinned at the shared memory. He didn't find it quite so funny as the rest of them. They had been digging at him about it for months now.

It hadn't really been Praeiektos' fault – the sixty-odd tonne Tyfos tank had worked its way up to near enough full speed before the military police car pulled out in front of it in a desperate attempt to halt the advance across the Adapton border. Luckily, the bluecaps had been able to jump out just before the front of their vehicle was squashed almost flat beneath the tank's tracks. And almost an entire army group's worth of vehicles had been banged up in similar accidents as they ground to a halt just short of causing a major war.

“Does anyone want a cuppa? I'm going to make one. Another one,” said Maioriana, disappearing back through her hatch after necking her tea. “I know the boss has got some biscuits somewhere. Go grab them, will you?”

The Akothoulos smiled to himself as he climbed out of his hatch, careful to not knock the handles of the light autocannon on the hatch's pintle mount. He walked over the deck of the turret towards his pack. Opening it up and rooting about in it, he grabbed a tube of oat biscuits, which he'd got from his girlfriend before being sent out to this island beyond the edge of the civilised wurld. He sat back down on the seat in the cupola and tore open the pack. A cup of tea was set down next to the cupola rim and in return he passed the packet into the grasping hand put towards him, but not before he put a couple of biscuits onto his lap.

Thinking, the armour officer bit into a biscuit. His tank was going to be the lead tank into Sentist-held territory in a bit and it was held to be a great honour to be the lead vehicle. It would be one that he could personally do without. It would be a six hour stint before he rotated to the back of the kontoubernion (platoon). Depending, of course, on whatever the Sentists had in store for them. He ran a hand over the prayer inscribed on the inside of the hatch's rim.

“I heard we were meeting up with some Salbeioi,” said Kouritikos and Dagalaifos guessed something a derogatory was about to come forth. “Of course we need to rescue those bloody heretics.”

A Salvian expeditionary force had landed some twenty miles into Hodrean territory and forced a beach head, holding it for the last few months against attempts by the Sentists to dislodge them. Aerial support from both the Basilikoploimon and the Basilikoaeroporia, as well as the foreign naval forces out to sea, had meant that they had been able to hold out. Now part of the Tagmatine force, following in the wake of the advancing forces, was going to link up with them and enable to them to advance alongside them.

“They need our help because they were silly enough to land in the middle of the damn fanatics,” muttered the loader from the hatch. Kouritikos' harsh laugh echoed up from the hatch Dagalaifos was stood in.

Dagalaifos stopped paying attention as the other two turret crew were muttering about Arhomaneia's coalition partner. Very few other countries matched up to their home nation's inflated sense of self-worth. Whilst the tank commander did definitely hold similar opinions, he didn't real feel like listening to them. He look around, trying to see where the two blackbirds had gone.

The loader's voice came over the intercom, muffled by a mouthful of biscuit.

“I'm surprised we haven't seen Akilios walking down the column and shaking everyone's hands. He loves doing that sort of shit. I heard that he handed out wine to a load of skoutatoi when they arrived in this shithole.”

“Really? That sounds like bollocks,” replied the driver. There was a pause, likely the driver considering what Maioriana had said. “Well, it's probably better than drinking the local water.”

“I wouldn't mind on having some of that now, either,” said the gunner. “Not that I don't like tea and biscuits but some booze would be good.”

Again, the crew was silent in agreement. The rest of the them knew what the gunner meant. Advancing into enemy territory, even one that had been being hit by air strikes day and night for months, was always going to be a stressful experience. It sounded easy enough, from when the Kometes was explaining it. They were cavalry and they were going to act as one of the main thrusts, clearing the way for the infantry to follow on. All the while, the air force was going to pound any communications hub or areas of resistance. Even now, a half hour before the ground forces were due to advance, Dagalaifos could see the lights of dozens of aircraft overhead, on their way to ruin some poor sod's day.

The armour officer checked the time again. H-hour was nearly upon them and he felt his heart beat harder in his chest. Necking his tea, Dagalaifos put the mug down and put a serious expression on his face.

“Alright, tea break's over for the moment,” he said, causing a chorus of groans from the rest of the crew. “Last checks. Run through it all.”

Despite the informal and close relationship, the crew flipped over onto a professional footing straight away. Kouritikos checked the primary and back-up circuits of the main gun, Maioriana gave a rapid count of the ammunition of the Tyfos's weaponry and Praeiektos gave him the read-outs from the driver's position. All seemed good.

“There are no tinnies in the smoke launchers, Maioriana?”

A surprisingly large problem within the Tagmatine armed forces was that the standard vehicle smoke launchers could happily fit a 500ml can of beer in the tube. Booze was regularly smuggled on exercises that way. There was an apocryphal story of a tank launching beers rather than deploying smoke and giving its own infantry support several cases of concussion. It was a story that Dagalaifos could readily seeing happen.

“Nope, boss. Just Willy Pete.”

“OK. Now we sit and - ”

The latest H-hour ticked over. They'd had several false starts already. As soon as it did so, the higher communication setting on the tank's system blinked on. The Kometes's voice broke through what the Akothoulos was going to say.

“Well, get a move on, then.”

A cool feeling washed over Dagalaifos. The advance was on. Still sitting in the open cupola, he hesitated before giving his driver the order. Over head, he could see flights of bombers moving off to start pounding anew anything that might give the Tagmatine advance any trouble. He looked over one final time towards the squabbling blackbirds. One of them had disappeared and the other one, sitting on a fence post, was starting to give an alarm call, as if it had just noticed that it was perched next to the lead elements of an armoured division.

“Driver. Advance.”

The sound of the tank's engine roaring into life and the tracks grinding and squeaking made the remaining blackbird fly to the nearest bush.

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Estaria Falls: A Ceris Episode

| Part 1: Preludes

 

The events leading up to the disastrous loss of Estaria were precluded by what many in Iverica's military intelligentsia would call "damning signs". In an unusual and gross lack of decisiveness, the Armada Iverica would suffer the loss of many brave men and women in the failing defence of the northern Ceris state.

 

Foremost, the Ivericans were never deployed in a combat capacity. Their sole mission was to assist the Prymontian and Russian coalition with logistics, intelligence, and occasional fire support. Thus, little more than 600 Ivericans—mostly in support and auxiliary roles—were supporting the defence of Estaria. In opposition would be an estimated 500,000 Sentist forces, 50,000 of which were attacking the capital city where the coalition was quartered.

 

Further, the events unfolding elsewhere in the region, a coup in the island of Westerpunkt and the infiltration of the Estarian coast by Sentist minelayers had respectively divided the ships of the Iverican group in Estaria and prevented reinforcements from the Armada's Carrier Task Force "Deiargon" (in Variota) from arriving in time. Had 2 of the 3 frigates present not diverted to Westerpunkt, there might have still been a chance at escape. As chance would have it, only a single frigate and the group's sole Amphibious Transport Dock would be left to face the coming onslaught.

 

The most damning factor of all, which was likely the cause of such a casualty figure for a simple non-combat support mission, was the 4th Fleet Admiral's unwillingness to bear the shame of an early withdrawal. All intelligence available and reported by the operation's senior officer—Armada Capitan Ignacio Arnarson, suggested that withdrawal was indeed the best course of action. Nonetheless, all warnings were ignored and the situation was severely underestimated by command. In the end, more than half of the Iverican taskforce deployed on Estaria would be lost, along with the state itself.

 

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Estaria in Ceris

 

---

0530hrs
25th of February, 2021
Oclait-Estaria Border

 

A man sat in a dark room. He had a greying beard, kept short on a face that had gotten to know the touch of age's wrinkles and creases quite well. His fair complexion was illuminated by the clinical cast of a display's cold light. It was the face of a hard man. A Ceriser, accustomed to the decades of strife and hardened by the loss of many brothers and sisters. Many did not live past a half-century and as a fighter, you'd expect far less. But this one, watching in the dark was easily pushing into 50.

 

The man's steely blue eyes traced the objects on the screen, irises twitching and scanning with a predatory focus.

 

Displayed was an Iverican warship, a frigate bristling with armaments was anchored at Estaria City's harbour.

 

Saragossa Class, sporting a new Ancile Tiered Defence System—able to shoot down nearly a dozen incoming missile or jet aircraft threats with a magazine of supersonic interceptor missiles and still lay waste to a greater host of slower targets with a rotary 30mm close-in weapon system and several remote 12.7mm turrets. Equipped with a 127mm naval gun that could fire satellite-guided bunker-busting rounds and defended by a host of unknown electronic and physical countermeasures, it was truly ship built for war. However, it was alone. Just as his sources had confirmed, the only combatant in port.

 

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An Iverican Sargossa Class Frigate

 

The man thumbed a control stub beside the screen he was using. The camera, gimbal mounted on a small drone, panned left. The harbour district. Various warehouses filled with Ivericans, Prymontians, and Russians. Interlopers. Hostiles. The camera panned right. An amphibious transport dock. A ramped ship for loading vehicles and with flat topdeck for landing rotorcraft—a threat, but lightly armed.

 

The sound of his door opening broke the train of thought. A single bar of light bisected the dark room.

 

"Kommandant Wolf—", came a younger man's voice.

 

Wolf held up a single finger in reproach. The elder man did not break his gaze from the drone's feed.

 

The younger man promptly fell silent and instead, waited patiently in the darkness as he entered and shut the door.

 

Patience. Patience allowed a fighter in Ceris to grow old while brothers and sisters wandered into minefields as playing children, or crossed into a marksman's kill box as adults. Patience allowed the Wolf of the Oclait to know his enemy, survive his failures, and learn from them.

 

He had sensed that eventually, given enough of a lull, the Iverican ships would be vulnerable at anchor. There was a window approaching. A window that he had been preparing for and would soon be open.

 

Wolf shut the display off. Rising, he regarded the young Sentist officer.

 

"Rouse them. The hour is upon us".

 

The young soldier waiting at the door nodded.

 

The hour was upon them—the hour of the wolf.

 

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Kommandant Wolf

 

 

---

 

0530hrs
25th of February, 2021
Estaria City Harbour District

 

Ignacio Ruis Arnarson, Captain of the Saragossa Class frigate, VRI Sant Lazaro, stared through his pair of rangefinders. Reflected in its lenses, he beheld a cheap little drone, presently hovering around the boulevard but loitering unmistakably to get a good view of the Iverican ship.

 

He had noticed it just as the faintest stroke of dawn light hit the Estaria City harbour and had been watching it for a good 5 minutes.

 

The 42-year-old Narvic-Iverican Capitan had stepped out onto the top-deck promenade after yet another teleconference spent fruitlessly arguing with 4th Fleet Headquarters. He tried once again to get the Almirantasgo [1] to act decisively about some troubling intel gathered on the southern border of Estaria. Previously that night, he had done the same with the commanders of the Estarian defence forces and the Prymontian-Russian task force—much to the same moot effect.

 

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Capitan Arnarson

 

There had been sure signs of mass movement from northern Sentist territory to the Oclait regions near Estaria. The Iverican Armada's satellites had spotted far too much thermal activity on highways and train lines to be normal in a war-torn country. And yet, neither Estarian nor Prymontian could agree on how to respond. There was too much confidence on their side and waning confidence on the Sant Lazaro's—as his collection of lieutenants watched him pace silently about the bridge for the past 3 evenings. Three things weighed on his mind.

 

One: The Sentists were surely coming in vast numbers. Two: The Coalition had its head up its arse. Three: His two other frigates had been called off to respond to an emergency on the other side of Ceris

 

What had the Capitan spooked, had the ship spooked.

 

Nonetheless, the sleep-deprived Arnarson forced himself to take a break that morning and step above deck. But just as the morning breeze began to calm him some, he had noticed the drone... Peculiar. Drones were illegal in Estaria. Not to mention rare in the hands of civilians. Estarian Defence Force maybe? But why? They'd been taken on board to tour the ship last week.

 

Just as the Capitan was about to shout for a handheld signal jammer, the drone dipped suddenly, landing somewhere in the Estarian capital's sprawl. The Capitan held his tongue then—it would do no good to worry the crew further.

 

There was no shaking the feeling that the enemy was about to try something. The writing was on the wall—to which Arnarson had reported in meticulous, pedantic detail, all thhat the satellite imagery and drone footage implied; and yet, 4th Fleet HQ had the same response.


Hold your position, maintain service support for the coalition forces and continue intelligence gathering. Make no tactical decisions unless requested by the coalition.

 

When Arnarson pitched a contingency plan—prompt withdrawal—the Almirante accused him of cowardice and threatened to have Arnarson stripped of command.

 

Was he being a coward?

 

Capitan Arnarson grit his teeth. He had done his research. He knew not to underestimate the Sentist threat, especially when there was also word that a new commander had assumed leadership of the northwest Sentists. Educated abroad or something—Arnarson had followed up with foreign intelligence, the SSO, but had not received a file yet.

 

"Capitan", saluted a young Cabinero (ensign) as he jogged past. Ignacio Arnarson took that as his slot of outdoor privacy expiring.

 

The Sentists are attacking, boy, and we're outnumbered 10-to-1.

The Coalition wants to diddle your mother, boy, and not start conscription.

Boy, my fucking Squadron is galivanting in some shithole island miles and miles from here.

 

He relaxed his jaw, returning the salute with a casual touch of his hat and feigned smile.

 

If the coalition wanted to downplay it and get exterminated, fine. If Armada wouldn't intervene and send real troops on the ground, fine. When Estaria fell, Arnarson and his 400 inexperienced Sailors and 200 Tercios would withdraw without shame.

 

Fuck this place.

 

Capitan Arnarson took one look around the city that could be a slaughterhouse in the next week and shook his head. Why were the Ivericans even in this mess?

 

He briefly flipped a bird in the rough direction of the drone's landing and made for the officer's mess for a breakfast he had no appetite for.

 

---

1330hrs
25th of February, 2021
Estaria City Harbour District

 

The last thing a young officer expected upon mustering his work crew was to be very nearly de-jugulared by a Tercio [2], much less one of his subordinates.

 

Nervous, jittery, fresh off academy, Cabinero (Ensign) Manuel Sant'Angelo Garcia dei Leon—Mani for short, looked around the last deserted warehouse in the compund in search of the Tercio assigned as security to his work crew. He was a quartermaster's mate and as a junior officer, was placed in charge of logging and sorting assets they happened to find in the compound of warehouses the Estarians had allowed the Ivericans to use.

 

In the far end of the warehouse, he spied a solitary figure napping atop a shipping container.

 

Tercio Audante (rough equivalent: Sergeant of the Marines) Sergio Hernan was stretched out lazily atop the container, an oddly large and sturdy looking one covered in Cyrillic stencil.

 

"ahem.", Mani cleared his throat. No response.

 

"Audante stand-to!...", Mani's voice cracked a little, sounding close to autotuned.

 

Mani looked around helplessly. Finding no one to aid him, Mani clambered up a staircase-stack of smaller crates until he came upon the other man's napping form.

 

The Audante was shirtless, save for his plate-carrier body armour and sheathed knife. It was all wiry muscle underneath. Mani could make out bulging deltoids in areas of skin not covered by the man's massive Black Dog tattoo [3]. A service rifle lay a few feet away. There was a bottle of Narvic Malt liquor in the man's hand.

 

Drinking on duty was punishable by 20 licks of the whip [4].

 

Mani very gently knelt beside the man. He could smell the alcohol.

 

Mani reached out to rouse the man.

 

A mistake.

 

The sleeping man's eyes burst open, snowglobe-wide. A muscled arm shot out with such speed that Mani was surprised it didn't break the sound barrier.

 

In an instant, Mani's wrist and neck were in the control of the Tercio. Mani's whole world spun as he was reversed onto his back with a load bang of skinny teenager body hitting a shipping container. In two motions, with Mani still pinned by the neck and the Tercio's knees anchoring his arms to the surface, the thickly built man had his Ka-Bar knife out and to his throat. Mani couldn't help but wince.

 

The Tercio paused, his eyes finally returning to focus.

 

"Mér", cursed the old Tercio.

 

He let the young officer go and helped the gasping boy to his feet.

 

"Apologies sir.", muttered Audante Hernan.

 

Mani took a second to catch his breath

 

"Y-you assaulted an officer..."

 

"Yes, sir"

 

"You're drinking on your watch", continued Mani. Taking two cautious steps away from the Tercio Audante.

 

"Yes, sir", Hernan repeated flatly.

 

"God damn your state man! I'll have to report this", spat Mani. He wouldn't realise it then, but the curse was too high a pitch to sound very threatening

 

There was a pause.

 

"No, Sir."

 

"I-I'll have to—what?", said Mani in disbelief



"No, sir you won't report this, sir."

 

Mani was perplexed. Never in his 3 measly months of service had a ranker, and Tercio at that, questioned his authority.

 

"Why not? I-I'll have the skin off your back for this!", Mani's voice cracked again, just slightly.

 

"Because sir...", Hernan began, stepping closer to Mani.

 

"If you report me and you whip me—I myself, or my bo'crew will find a time when the others aren't looking and drown you in the harbour with your shrivelled little cockn'balls as a gag."

 

There was a tone in the Tercio's voice that somehow made Mani think he had actually drowned young idiot Cabineros before.

 

Mani's mouth had gone dry as he again remembered that they were alone in this warehouse. Mani swallowed.

 

Not pausing to wait for the young officer's affirmation, the Audante (still shirtless) stood up straight and at attention.

 

"Audante Sergio Hernan, awaiting your word sir."

 BlQurm5m.png      RqihcDKm.jpg

(Left) Cabinero Manuel "Mani" Dei Leon. (Right) Audante Sergio Hernan

 

---

 

[1] Almirantasgo- (Iverican) Anglish: Admiralty

[2] Tercio- a member of the Iverican marine regiments. Historically, the oldest maintaining military institution in the Iberosphere.

[3] The Black DogSeirios (Iverican), Sirius (Anglish). Constellation, a figure in Aroman myth, depicted as a Lucifer-like spirit in the Iverican folk epic "Faethon", the mascot of Tercios; and infamous as an omen of war or misfortune.

[4] Corporal Punishment- despite being illegal in Iverica, corporal punishment is still perfectly legitimate in an Iverican military setting. In the Iverican judicial system, military personnel are judged and prosecuted by a different, harsher standard. In the Armada, lashing with a multi-tailed whip is still practised (albeit much less commonly than in the age of sail).

 

---

 

Summary

Day 0: Preludes

  • The Sentists have set up means of observing the coalition's movement. Wolf is planning something more.
  • The majority of Iverican ships in Estaria have departed for Westerpunkt some days before.
    • Leaving 1 Frigate and the ATD in Estaria's coast for support.
  • Forces in Estaria are warned of Sentists massing in the south. The Coalition is unable to coordinate a good plan.
  • The inexperienced Cabinero/Ensign Mani and the jaded veteran Audante/Sergeant Hernan are forced into the same team.
    • What's in the Container.

Dramatis Perso-Fine fine, The People in this story:

  • Kommandante Wolf- "The Wolf of the Oclait", officer in the Northern Sentist forces. Experienced and pragmatic, patient and observant. Allegedly, had trained with insurgents abroad.
  • Capitan Ignacio Arnarson- Narvic-Iverican, in command of the VRI Sant Lazaro, a Guided-Missile Frigate one generation out of date.
  • Cabinero Mani- A young ensign of 18 years with barely 3-months of actual experience.
  • Audante Hernan- an old Tercio. Formerly of the 1st Tercio Regiment "Seirios".

 

OOC: I couldn't help myself. I did it again. Its another fucking novella. Goddamn me. This is gonna be like 5 parts. I don't even know how many edits I'm going to put this through KIIIILLL MEEEE. Shooty bangs and pew pews but this time--THE IVERICANS LOSE? Oh no, we're not all OP and shit man. I DEPLOYED for an AUXILIARY MISSION MAN. 600 Ivericans + like 3000 foreigners plus some indigenous conscripts are gonna get fucked up by like 500,000 terrorists. Whoppee.

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