by Max Barry

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by Northor. . 4 reads.

War Against Northor - Part II

One week after Bloody Monday:
The sun slowly rose on the city of Edmonton, and with it rose columns of black smoke from the many ruined buildings. The government of South Alberta, as that is what it was now called since the planned secession of the North, was in disarray. Most of their major government buildings had either severely damaged or destroyed, and the electrical grid of the city was flickering between life and death, as if it could not decide without human interference.
In the Albertan Parliament Chamber, or what was left of it, the Prime Minister of South Alberta, Robert Hill, stood up to address the Parliament. The cameras of foreign and domestic news crews swiveled in almost perfect unison to focus on the man. As he got up, he stood a little taller than usual, which surprised those present.
"Ladies and gentlemen, the capital is in a state of disarray," he said. He had an annoying habit of stating the obvious, but that had won him political favor during Ministerial Election Debates, so everyone had to put up with it. "We all know what has happened, we know what is currently happening, but we do not yet know what is to come.
"What has happened is an attack on the entire nation. A gang of self-proclaimed radical isolationists has overtaken the local governments in the north and caused a series of events designed to confuse and undermine us here in the south. What is occurring even as we speak is what they intended. People are confused, people are angry, and they are, above all, scared. No one is quite sure what to do or how to do it.
"As I said before, we don't know what is to come next. But we do know what those terrorist pigs want to happen, and it very much so could, given enough time. They want us to start to turn on each other, to become a house divided, instead of standing together strong.
"This could very well happen. But we still have the power to influence the future. We had, up until a week ago, been bickering amongst ourselves about trivial matters, we were turning backs on friends over things that had next to no effect on the future or the well-being of our populace. But that's what we were sworn into office to do, isn't it? Protect the people, uphold the laws passed down to us from the beginning of this nation's history, and be strong and united.
"Yet we have broken our oaths. Not directly, and I hope and pray not intentionally, but we have done it. That is undeniable. Could this have been prevented? Possibly. But now is not the time to scrutinize every aspect of the situation. That job is left to those in the future who will look back on this day. And what will they see, I ask you? Will they see a group of men and women who cannot be in agreement on even the simplest of matters, turning their backs to settle petty arguments while their nation falls to anarchy? Or will they see a strong Parliament, one that takes action and that conquers the issues as they appear, all for the good of the nation and its people?
"I don't know about you, but I prefer the latter of the two options." He paused, his grey eyes sweeping over the crowd of dishevelled men and women before him, then continued. "I know that something needs to be done. I know that it needs to be done soon. Let us look at the facts, united as one, actively searching for a solution, instead of sitting and waiting for a solution to find us.
"We know that we have a small military. We know that the seceded state north of us is strong. And they have proven that they can organize an attack and carry their goals out effectively. But they lack a key element in their tactics, and that is their mental fortitude. Maybe even a decent mental capacity and an IQ, but that's another speech for another time." The audience shared brief chuckles at this statement, then returned to a gravitated and serious state as Prime Minister Hill continued. "Our military is strong in training, and they have seen combat. These hooligans have only seen a handful of explosions in the city, and most of them probably have never directly killed anyone before. They leave that to the few hardened radicals that actually carry out their attacks.
"Our brave soldiers could combat these people for a small amount of time, maybe hold out a month at best. That is why I now propose something for the vote of this great Parliament. I hereby move to ask our gentle giant neighbor, President Fireheardt, to render aid. I know historically that the nation of Alberta has not accepted much in the way of aid, least of all of the military kind. But I do know that we might not pull out of this alone. Ladies and gentlemen, you may cast your votes. I can say no more."
And with that, the tired and dishevelled Prime Minister stepped down from the stand, which miraculously had remained intact during the bombings. The cameras followed him in eerie silence, swivelling as one to focus on the giver of the speech. Then, they turned toward the voting members of the Parliament, who were now casting their votes on paper ballots, since the electronic system was unusable.
The cameras followed the designated ballot-collector as he moved between the aisles, then as he walked to the front of the room, where he proceeded to a small, enclosed booth for counting votes. The tenseness in the air was almost visible as the votes were counted. Then, the ballot-collector passed the final result to Prime Minister Hill, and he took the stand once again.
"The result of the votes of the members of this Albertan Parliament are in. The results are..." There was a short pause as he unfolded the paper with trembling hands, and the cameras slowly zoomed in on his face.
"Unanimous..." He read, his hand trembling somewhat.
" favor of the motion." He breathed an audible sigh of relief as others did the same.
A few hours later, a press statement was made, publicly asking President Norman Fireheardt of Northor to send military aid to combat the evil in the North. A matter of minutes later, a public statement was made in Juneau by President Fireheardt, accepting the call for help and ordering his generals and High Commanders to begin making plans for war against the north.
War against Socialist North Alberta had been declared, and troops started mobilising en masse for invasion.

Three days later:
As opposed to the stealth-led invasion of Vancouver, a massive invasion was planned on the newly proclaimed capital of Socialist North Alberta, Fort McMurray. The ever-increasing militant nation was rapidly arming and preparing for the inevitable Northorian forces. They used the centralised government-run and planned economy to try and bolster the arms manufacturing industry, and several SAM batteries had been installed around the city.
Fort McMurray is a very small city in terms of population, with about half of the population of Vancouver, but had about twice the space. However, two larger cities, Tar Island and Fort Mackay, are just north of it, and they are the largest industrial centers of Alberta. Or at least they were, until the secession happened.
The overall plan of invasion was simple. It was the hundreds of smaller plans that individuals and small teams had to fulfill that were the complicated part. A team of helicopters would approach directly from the north, known as "Team North." I can't figure out why, but for some reason the planning commanders felt a sense of deja vu when they assigned strategic team names. These helicopters would come in low, and land just south of the large Richardson River Dunes Wildland, where they would unload half of their troops. Then, the helicopters of Team North would take off, and fly directly to the south-east, and land just north of the Kearl Oil Sands. This would be the most heavily guarded and fortified of the entire area of attack, and would require some special forces backup.
While Team North would be unloading the rest of the ground troops to take the Kearl Oil Sands, a second invasion force, Team West, would come in from the, uh, well, the west. Team West, unlike their northern counterparts, would be comprised of heavy armor and ground troop transports. They would unload about 1 mile from Fort Mackay, and hopefully complete a rendezvous with Team North at Fort Mackay. Team North, after taking the oil fields, would then advance towards Fort Mackay to complete the rendezvous as well.
United, the two teams would advance south to Tar Island, where the many smaller plans would come into effect. After the taking of Tar Island, they would again head south to Fort McMurray, where they would be backed up from the west by a small amount of armor that had separated from Team West upon taking Tar Island. This would complete an encirclement maneuver which, if executed correctly, would leave the entirety of Fort McMurray surrounded. The SAM batteries would prove essentially useless, since this was a ground-based attack. The separatists had been anticipating an air attack, especially since the success at Vancouver on the part of the Northorian Armed Forces, and did not anticipate, nor plan for, a ground attack.

The clocks in the people's homes of Fort McMurray struck 12 midnight. 0:00 Hours. All seemed well to the causal observer, but something was afoot. At a silent signal, seventeen Bell Chinook helicopters, each one containing maximum personnel capacity, zipped low and fast over the terrain, and landed at their designated location. As they landed, ground infantry hustled out of them, their weapons raised. They immediately began advancing, and after the last designated small team was headed towards the objective, the helicopters took off once again, this time headed south-east.
Team North made their deliveries, than sped off back towards the makeshift base that had been set up in the northern wilderness of Alberta only a day before. So far, so good.
Meanwhile, Team West was arriving. They had also come from the makeshift yet functional base, although they made a wide berth to get to their objective point so as to maintain a decent amount of stealth. The forces in Team West were comprised of three OBRUM PL-01 Tanks, and 10 HMMWV M1114 Avenger troop carriers, plus maximum crew numbers for all of the vehicles, and the maximum personnel capacity for infantry.
The taking of the first two facilities, the Kearl Oil Field and Fort Mackay, went almost as smooth as could be possible imagined. However, once the teams moved towards Tar Island, things got hectic. Apparently, some of the radicals had set up a makeshift alert system, which alerted insurgent forces in Tar Island to the presence of enemies. A group of thirteen radicals armed with AK-47s and backpack bombs advanced out in the open towards the invasion forces of Northor. These were taken out after several shots were exchanged, and two of Northor's soldiers received serious wounds. Team West arrived at the correct time, and put a damper on a surprise attack that had been hurriedly put together to ambush Team North. Now, the teams were united, and they continued south, leaving a portion of their forces behind to keep things under control.

The rest of Team West arrived a few minutes too early, and ran smack-dab into the middle of a minefield, which destroyed the lead transport, killing all but one of the troops inside of it. The advance was slowed, and Team West was unable to continue their advance at a fast enough rate to circle around the objective (Ft. McMurray) in time.

Meanwhile, the main attack force was met with a second ambush, this one far more violent and effective than the last one, which had been foiled with relative ease. This time, one soldier died in the confusion, but the ambush was eventually quelled with deadly force.
In the heart of the city, cowering in a bunker, lay the masterminds behind the entire secession. Their names will remain classified, and Northor cannot confirm nor deny that one or all of them are dead or in Northorian Federal custody.

After the raid on the self-proclaimed capital, the attack and the logistics of the assault teams were kept secret, and almost identical raids around the entirety of North Alberta before the details were released to the public.

Northorian occupied territory now includes all of the north half of Alberta. The war is won. Northor has triumphed.