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The Anglian Thorn


Seylos

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Aidan woke up to the sound of knocking on his bedroom door. He grumbled and rolled over looking at the clock on his nightstand, groaning when he saw the time at just past two in the morning. The knocking on the door persisted as he swung his legs over the side of the bed. "Yes yes I hear you just hold on!"

He threw on some sweatpants and a shirt and threw the door open to a wide eyed young attendant. "I swear to god if someone isn't dead I'm going to fire someone."

"The King of Fearannteth You Majesty... died tonight." The attendant said, gulping.

Aidan closed his eyes for a moment, "Of course he did. Alright lead on."

The two of them left the bedroom walking through the halls of the Royal Palace towards the building's situation room in the basement. At the end of the hallway was an elevator that they both got in with the attendant hitting the basement button.

"So are you just the bad news guy?" Aidan asked turning his head towards the attendant. "I swear every time something terrible happen, Ceris falls into chaos, or some important bloke gets murdered it's always you knocking at my door."

"Oh um... I'm just the night attendant Your Majesty." The man replied sheepishly.

"I have a night attendant?"

------------------------

The Royal Council had already convened far ahead of Aidan's arrival, and despite the time of night, the room was buzzing with activity as Councilors spoke with each other and aides made their rounds dropping off documents. What had brought them all together though was some of the worst news they had heard since the beginning of the war in Ceris. The first nation in the New Wurld had fallen to the Anglians, and without so much of a fight. It had been startling to the Ministry of Foreign affairs when one of their diplomats had come rushing back to the Seylosian embassy in Paisley telling them to immediately begin emergency exit protocols. They had barely finished destroying sensitive documents when Anglian soldiers showed up to the embassy grounds and began forcibly escorting the occupants out. Nobody had seen this coming and the rapid capitulation to Anglia was something to behold as well.

Two guards within the situation room opened the door revealing a tired King Aidan walking in rubbing his eyes and taking a seat at the head of the meeting table. "Alright, somebody want to tell me why the entire council has assembled for a foreign head of state's death?"

"Because that foreign head of state's death had led to Fearannteth being effectively annexed by Great Anglia." Minister Tatum said.

Aidan sat up straight in his seat, suddenly looking much less tired, "Good god what? Anglia is in the New Wurld now? That haven't even fucking finished with the old one?"

"Unfortunately it gets much worse," another man said, standing up. Director Darryl Haig ran the Foreign Intelligence Services and had been monitoring the situation for some time, "We've confirmed delegations from Anglia being sent to multiple countries... including Dolchland."

"Dolchland?" Aidan replied angrily, "Director, under no circumstances can Dolchland be allowed to align themselves with Anglia. We are spread way too thin as it is."

"Of course Your Majesty, we are taking steps for the moment to try and get any intelligence on their meetings. The FIS is confident however that what happened in Fearannteth couldn't happen in Dolchland." The Director replied.

Minister Tatum spoken up, "We've already begun the process of contacting other nations regarding the incident. We'll be focusing on other Eastern Argic nations as well as trying to organize some sort of response with Metzlitlaca and Oyus regarding Fearannteth. We've also taken the initiative to gather the NAU council to begin deliberating on a unified response."

"Alright then," Aidan said, pausing a moment to think about something. "The king is dead, but what about the princess? Eileen right? I think I met her a few times when I was younger. Director Haig, do you think we might be able to extract her from Paisley?"

"It's certainly possible, our intelligence assets within the country are mostly intact. More importantly is gauging whether or not she will want to leave. I'm sure Anglia will not be happy that we'd be adding another government in exile."

"Well maybe they should stop exiling governments then Director," Aidan quipped. He sighed and leaned back in his chair, "Alright I'm guessing this is another all nighter. I'm going to guess the economy isn't going to like this at all either."

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Commodore Linnette Rowland had been placed in command of the Second Fleet following the transfer of the former HMS Trabezon to the North Adlantic Union. With the next Defiant Class carrier still not finished yet, her command of the amphibious assault ship HMS Terra Firma was the next choice to head the fleet on a temporary basis. They had dispatched on what she had considered probably one of the most impossible missions she had faced to date. Save the remaining Ryderian fleet without firing a shot… versus the Anglians.

Fighting the Anglian fleet was on the bottom of the list of things she ever wanted to do, and despite similarities between their two peoples on a superficial level, she felt nothing but contempt for the aggression they were perpetuating across the Europan continent, and fear for what they may bring to the New Wurld. Despite this, her orders were simple, save the Ryderian government without firing a shot. Easier said than done.

“Captain,” a junior officer said while approaching her, sticking to the custom of calling the commander of a ship a captain instead of their actual rank, “We’ve managed to establish communication with the Ryderian fleet. It isn’t looking good ma’am.”

Rowland nodded, “Get me in communication with whomever you made contact with.”

The officer sat back down and fiddled with some instruments before handing Rowland a microphone, “They’ll hear you ma’am”

“This is Commodore Linnete Rowland of the Seylosian Royal Navy, we’ve been dispatched to safely escort your ships to Seylosian waters,” Rowland said, speaking into the microphone nervously waiting for a response.

Commodore, it is good to hear a Seylosian voice. This is Captain Adekoge Babtunde of the RDS Manyikeni.

“Captain, we are on an intercept course at flank speed. Can you tell us the status of your fleet?”

It is not well Commodore. Admiral Temitope took the Oluwaytowin to hold back the Anglish to give us time. We are certain they have been sunk. Only ten of our ships remain. We have been saving our munitions for our meeting Commodore.

“Copy that Captain. You understand our constraints? We can’t fire on the Anglian Navy.”

Understood Commodore… we have a plan in place.” The transmission then cut.

“Lieutenant Aster, what’s the fleet’s position relative to the Ryderians and the Anglians?” Rowland asked, turning to a young lieutenant at the bridge’s radar station.

“We are currently ten kilometers from the bulk of the Ryderian fleet. The Anglian’s appear to be in pursuit another eight kilometers behind them.” she replied, suddenly a look of concern on her face. “Ma’am I think two of the Ryderian ships have broken from their formation and are doubling back.”

“What are they doing?” a voice called from behind, Rowland’s first officer, Commander Longstaff, had just gotten onto the bridge.

Rowland sighed, “Probably trying to buy us time to intercept their ships.”

“The two Ryderian ships have finished their course change and are heading full speed at the Anglian formation.” Aster said. “It looks like the Anglian fleet is adjusting itself in response.”

There was tension on the bridge as radio silence had fallen between the Seylosian ships and their Ryderian counterparts. It was another minute before the communications officer spoke up.

“I’m hearing an open transmission from the Anglian fleet demanding the surrender of the Ryderian ships.” he said, “They aren’t replying back.”

“Ma’am radar is showing several missile contacts coming from the Ryderian ships moving towards the Anglian fleet. The Anglians have also returned fire.”

“How far away are we?” Rowland asked again.

“Five kilometers,” Aster replied, “The Ryderian missiles have reached their targets, it looks like they were intercepted before impact. The Anglian missiled have also reached their targets… with a probable impact.”

Silence again on the bridge, broken by Rowland, “Commander, prepare the fleet to pull alongside the Ryderian ships at close range. We have to make sure that the Anglians risk firing on us as well if they fire on the Ryderians.”

--------------------

“As always, Naval Command has managed to prevent us from securing another victory. Why won’t they let us sink those ships!? When they reach the Seylosians-”

“Enough Captain Morce, do tend to your ship instead of complaining about our superiors,” Lord Admiral Parish said.  Morce angrily glared at the back of the admiral’s head before walking back to the radio operator's station.

“The Seylosian ships have closed into range with the Ryderian ships. If we don’t fire now, we won’t be able to distinguish between the ships.” The bridge’s radar operator spoke up.

Admiral Parish stared forward stoically while Captain Morce turned around again and ran up to Parish, “We have to fire now.
Parish quickly turned his head to the side, keeping his body still, “Do you think you know better than the King?”

“Of course not,” Morce replied carefully, “But another government fleeing to those pretenders-”

“Admiral! We’ve received authorization to fire on the main Ryderian fleet.”

Morce stopped talking to the Admiral and turned his attention to the radar operator,”Are we clear?”

The operator shook his head, “No sir, they’re too close now.”

Morce grumbled in anger, while Parish kept looking forward, “Don’t worry Captain, I’m positive we will get another chance.”

 

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