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Reformed Avalon wrote:134 Tauberg Hills, Prime Minister’s Residence, Anfang
5th of May 2022
02:43AM

The handset on Prime Minister Gauthier’s desk rings, he presses the speaker answer button: “Prime Minister, we’ve got Vice Admiral Labarthe in the foyer.” “Get him in here”, says Gauthier as he toasts his Cohiba cigar.

The heavy office doors swing open and Vice Admiral Eduoard Labarthe steps in, the man had an oppressive presence. Edouard Labarthe was the former Grand Admiral of the Royal Erusean Navy, he was present at the signing of the Farbanti Armistice in 1991. His exceptional service record during the Eruso-Avalonian war had not escaped the attention of the victors, after briefly serving as governor of Chopinburg province, he was made Vice Admiral of the Federal Avalonian Navy and commander-in-chief of the submarine forces. Even at 71, Labarthe was able to stun people with his demeanour and appearance, his colleagues say that his cold grey eyes can choke one’s soul like the pressure of crush depth. standing at 6’5” he towered over the Prime Minister, he resembled his nom de guerre: the grim reaper, in his drenched black Submariners coat. Avlonian sailors gave him this name during the war: his submarine warfare campaign was responsible for the sinking of several thousand tonnes of Avalonian shipping. To this day, Labarthe’s chest is adorned with old Erusean medals.

Labarthe hung his coat and took a seat at the Mahogany desk

Labarthe: “Mr. Hugo, it’s good to see you.”

PM: “Thank you for coming Edouard, cognac for you?”

Labarthe: “Merci”

The men clinked glasses, and each took a deep sip. Out of all the military officials he had to deal with, Prime Minister Gauthier was most friendly with Vice Admiral Labarthe – both hailed from Erusea; the rest of the ‘top brass’ were Avalonians. There was a strong trust between the two.

Labarthe: “Awfully early for a meeting Hugo, and awfully rainy to have made me walk from the gates.”

PM: “My apologies, I’m sure you’ve gathered by now that this is something of a secret meeting.”

Labarthe: “I figured as much, let’s not waste any more time, shall we?”

PM: “Its Kommeria, I trust you’ve been keeping up with the news. I’m not happy Edouard.”

Labarthe: “I thought so, Ms. Kaltiz doesn’t seem too eager to assist our old friends. Look, I understand our policy of neutrality, this isn’t Erusea anymore and a new country means new goals. I didn’t expect her to run to their aid, neutrality and peaceful relations with Kommeria is an ideal middle ground, no? The fact that we’ve been able to stay on good terms with them after the armistice is miraculous in and of itself.”

(The Kommerian and Erusean royal families had long standing ties. During the Eruso-Avalonian war, Kommeria was one of the largest financial supporters of the Erusean Federation. Following the war’s end Avalon chose to continue its friendship with Kommeria but has taken a colder stance towards its royalist/militarist ideals. The continued friendship with monarchist nations is a major point of contention in Avalon’s political realm, the country remains equally split on the issue.)

PM: “Kalitz is a figurehead Eduoard, you and I know this. The socialist intelligentsia needs an educated, pacifist, moderate, and most importantly Avalonian leader to speak for the country. And don’t misunderstand, I am a Marxist – through and through! I just happen to see the bigger picture, Kalitz wants to be a crowd pleaser before anything else. Let her tell the world we are neutral, let me give her my blessings, and let the masses believe every last bit. That being said: I have my own plans.”

Labarthe: “That Cuban cigar speaks volumes of your Kommerian sympathies. I’m listening.”

PM: “The fact of the matter is that our prosperity depends on Kommeria’s prosperity. Avalon chose to maintain Erusea’s trade agreements with them, yet we pretend like they’re just another dirty royalist state we can cut off at any time – its dishonest. We are an export economy and the Kommerians are our largest customer, the downplaying of their importance as an ally is infuriating. I’m a socialist Edouard, but also a doctor in economics. If Kalitz does decide to cut them off, our country will suffer greatly. What we need is a quick end to this war, the sooner the world forgives Kommeria the better.”

Labarthe: “I’ll drink to that dear Hugo. I’m a royalist, I can tell you that in confidence and I know you don’t resent that. I’m too old to switch tack – as such you must understand that I have my own sympathies and respect for them. That aside, I agree with the numbers; anyone who understands our trade reliance on Kommeria knows that a protracted war will ultimately affect us. What’s the plan?”

PM: “I need submarines in the Caribbean. However, until I give the order, they must remain completely hidden – the confidentiality of this task is paramount. As of right now, the only other people in the know are Defence minister Glass and Martin Hakke from Grunder Industries. Following this meeting I want you to brief only those trustworthy and necessary to the plan. Assemble a crew and make sure that they’re mostly Erusean, with royalist sympathies if possible.”

Labarthe: “Understood, why is Grunder involved?”

PM: “They’ve just completed the Multiple Purpose Burst Missile prototype, codename hypersthene. You’ll no doubt know more about this than me, but the warhead is apparently some sort of polynitrogen compound.”

Labarthe: “Yes, I’ve been following Hypersthene – they’re meant to be carried by our Scinfaxi class submarines – the Russians delivered the R-39 carrier missiles back in January, I had no idea they had a functional prototype already. Hugo you must understand that Hypersthene will be the most destructive conventional explosive ever devised, just below tactical nukes in terms of blast force.

PM: “Four warheads are complete at present; I want all of them loaded onto the Scinfaxi – the rest of your payload will be standard HE. There is a high likelihood that we will not fire these missiles during the operation. This will be a two-ship force, the Scinfaxi and one of our Akula class subs. I must emphasise the secrecy of this mission, remain undetected for as much of the voyage as possible. I trust that this will be of no challenge to you, the Avalonians couldn’t intercept a single one of your subs during the war – I know you’re the man for the Job Edouard. Codename for this mission is Operation Reflex. As of right now, the only official orders you have are to ready the ships and their crews. After that you are to sail towards the Caribbean Sea and loiter undetected until further instructions.”

Labarthe: “Understood. I’ll begin the preparations tomorrow night – you’ll receive a phone call when we are ready to go.”

PM: “Good, go well Vice Admiral.”

OOC

Did you speak to Kommeria about this?

A leak from a source high up in the Papal States government says that the Kingdom of Italy has asked permission to cross into Papal territory and to base forces there. This is seen as a prelude to an attack by Royalist forces into the Kingdom of Two Sicilies, the former Fascist state that controls southern Italy and Sicily.

This could be seen as a danger to the Papal States, as large numbers of Royalist forces could be a prelude to an attempted takeover.

The Royalist Government has never formally accepted the claims by the Papal States of control over central Italy, nor its claims to other parts of the peninsula.

But it is believed that nothing will be attempted as long as Eastern Roman forces are in the Papal States territory, as the Royalists would not wish to antagonize the Eastern Roman's and possibly cause a war.

The Eastern Latins wrote:OOC

Did you speak to Kommeria about this?

As of right now I haven’t officially joined the Jamaica RP, once the submarines reach the Caribbean they are only going to loiter. At some point they’ll contact the Kommerians (OOC I’ll telegram Kommeria to get the go ahead). Only after our TG correspondence will anything further take place.

Random Thoughts From The Founder:

The AEH Land Claims Factbook has (finally) been updated.

Please review it and if there is an error, please TG me.

MIT research paper shows Non-Woven Fabric Could Filter Toxins From the Blood Stream

A recent research paper from MIT could show promise in the near future as a report yesterday states. One of the severe health conditions prevailing worldwide is chronic kidney disease (CKD). When CKD patients reach stages III and IV, clinicians remove uremic toxins from the blood via hemodialysis. Typically, a dialyzer is composed of membranes that can separate uremic toxins (waste products) and excess water from the blood.

The membrane material used in hemodialysis requires various properties that include absorption, asymmetry, and homogeneity. Scientists working with researchers at MIT have modified the surface properties of Nylon-6 fibers, one of the most commonly used polymers, such that they can remove uremic toxins from the blood and, therefore, be used in hemodialysis treatment.

Graphene Nanoplatelets (GNPs) are a class of carbon particle that has been extensively used in membrane technology, especially in the field of membrane separation. Scientists use ultrasounds of different amplitudes and frequencies and diamines (chemical method) to modify GNPs. One of the commonly used adsorbents is carbon black (CB). It is widely used owing to the relatively low cost, high microporosity, and large surface area.

Recently, the research teams have developed non-woven fabrics that can absorb uremic toxins and, hence, are useful for treating CKD. As stated above, this fabric is based on Nylon 6 containing GNPs modified with amino groups. Additionally, it also contains CB modified with carboxylic groups by the melt-blowing method. In this process, the fibers are randomly oriented with a prominent homogeneous surface in an orderly, dense fashion. It is important to bind the fibers closely such that it does not collapse.

The teams have analyzed the mechanical properties of the newly synthesized material and determined its elongation capacity, tear force, and resistance to breakage. Compared to Nylon 6, which possesses 77% elongation, Nylon-6/GNP/CB exhibited an increased elongation of 98.4%. The enhancement in the elongation might be due to the loading and dispersion of the nanoparticles.

Researchers observed that Nylon-6/GNP/CB exhibited improved tear force and maximum resistance to breakage. Typically, the mechanical behavior of a non-woven fabric depends on the bond strength of the fibers and web density, orientation of the fibers in the fiber web, and fiber slippage.

The researchers used Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM) to characterize the newly manufactured fabric. The SEM image of non-woven Nylon 6 fabric revealed smooth and uniform orientation with interconnected pores. The average fiber diameter was measured at 12.5 mm. The Energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDS) spectra revealed the presence of three elements, i.e., carbon (C), nitrogen (N), and oxygen (O).

The SEM image of Nylon-6/GNP/CB showed uniform fibers with roughness. Scientists calculated the average fiber diameter to be 17.5 mm. Additionally, this fabric was studied under higher magnification of 7500X, where graphene and carbon black nanoparticles were well dispersed throughout the fiber. Similar to Nylon 6, the EDS spectra of Nylon-6/GNP (0.5%) revealed the presence of C, N, and O elements. However, compared to EDS spectra of Nylon 6, Nylon-6 / GNP revealed increased C and N content and decreased O content. This result hinted at the proper incorporation of C nanoparticles. The porosity of the non-woven Nylon-6/GNP/CB was also found to be marginally increased compared to Nylon 6.

Researchers evaluated the newly developed fabric based on different carbon black and graphene nanoparticle concentrations. They observed that Nylon-6/GNP/CB (0.25 %) could eliminate 90% of urea in three hours and ten minutes after simulating dialysis for four hours. A previous study revealed 79% of urea removal by a polylactic acid (PLA) membrane with immobilized heparin on its surface.

The current study also reported the removal of creatinine and uric acid toxins by Nylon-6/GNP/CB. Researchers reported that 0.5% Nylon-6/GNP/CB non-woven fabric exhibited the highest percentage of removal of creatinine (81%) and uric acid toxins (88%).

The authors of this study stated that the percentage of removal of uric acid using Nylon-6/GNP/CB was greater compared to those reported in previous studies. This result might be owing to the improved porosity and the presence of two adsorbent nanoparticles in the fabric. Importantly, researchers also determined that no adhesion of proteins occurs in the newly developed non-woven fabric.

In this study, scientists revealed that Nylon-6/GNP/CB-based non-woven fabric possesses improved mechanical properties, high porosity, and fibers that are suitably interconnected. As this fabric could significantly remove urea, creatinine, and uric acid, it could be effectively utilized for hemodialysis treatment for patients with CKD.

NEWS! – This Week in Avalon

Farbanti FC to face off against SG Anfang Ost in the National Football League final.

Prince Regent Raphael Lasalle D’Elise of Erusea released from Hoffnung Federal Prison. Full Amnesty granted for charges of war crimes during the occupation of Ustio.

Elements of the Mediterranean fleet depart Sudentor (Marseille IRL) harbor for training exercises south of Sicily. The task force consists of:
- Aircraft Carrier Fenris
- Cruiser Trombe
- Frigate Hestia
- Frigate Thiassi
- Destroyer Rigaux
- Destroyer Triglav

Selbourg Nuclear Power Station operational. Russian team of engineers and technical advisors brought to Anfang and awarded the first class labour medal. Morgan-6 is a VVER reactor, projected to supply both Hestia and Klébant province with 21,000 GW•h.

Famed mountaineer Bill Palmer summits Avalon’s highest point, OS-13 in the Waldreich Mountain Range.

Grunder Industries unveils the export version of the MCT-95A “Slon” Main Battle Tank at the global defence convention. It’s Gauntlet-K hard-kill active protection system drew substantial media attention. Developed by the Roshon Corporation, Gauntlet-K is one of the first operational APS systems to be mass produced. The cutting edge main battle tank is now available for purchase at a price of USD 7.6 Million.

The Central News Agency of Ethiopia is reporting that there may have been more than one war crime committed by Ethiopian Army troops in Eritrea.

The reports have not been confirmed by any other sources, and the government says it has no information about such crimes. A spokesman said that they will however investigate the matter "in a full and timely manner." It is well documented that the Eritrean Liberation Front rebels have slaughtered both civilians and government soldiers whom they have captured, but this is the first report of any such activities being done by government soldiers.

The long and bitter insurgency in Eritrea has been a major source of dissention in the nation.

An Order in Council

Be It Known:

This day, I, Constantine XI, Imperator, Basilus, Autokrator, Equal of The Apostles, Consul of the Roman Empire for Life under our authority as Magister Militum of the Legions, and in the name of the Vice Gerent, the Senate, and the People of The Roman Empire do order the reactivation of the following regiment of the Imperial Guard:

The Optimatoi Guards (OG)

The Optimatoi Guards were formed as a regiment of Light Cavalry of the Imperial Guard in 1765 and served with honor and distinction until they were disbanded in 1922. It is my great honor to reactivate them.

The Regiment shall be constituted as Armored Cavalry and shall replace the Guards Reconnaissance Battalions now serving as the Armored Reconnaissance elements of the Imperial Guards Legions.

The Regiment will consist of 4 battalions, of which 3 shall be in the Imperial Army, and 1 in the Imperial National Guard (ING). A Mounted Troop shall also be formed to carry out Public Duties and shall be part of the Guards Cavalry Battalion.

The Officers and soldiers of the Regiment shall be drawn from the personnel currently serving in the Guards Reconnaissance Battalions, from other Imperial Guards regiments, or any other units of the Imperial Defense Forces (IDF).

It is our further will and pleasure, with the concurrence of the Council of Guards Colonels, that Their Imperial Highnesses, the Tsar and Tsarina of The Empire of Far Eastern Russia shall be the joint Imperial Colonels of the Regiment, and shall take up their appointments as soon as possible.

It is our command as Magister Militum of the Legions that the above-named actions shall be carried out in as timely a manner as possible, with all necessary cooperation from all branches of the IDF.

Given under my hand

In Our Imperial City of Constantinople

Constantine XI

Imperator, Basilus, Autokrator
Equal of the Apostles
Consul of The Roman Empire for Life
Magister Militum of the Legions

MCT-95A
Grunder Industries approves the sale of 10 MCT-95A main battle tanks to the Ethiopian Empire (Abyssiopia). They will arrive in 5 days at the Port of Djibouti. Along with the 10 vehicles, an ample supply of 13mm, 130mm ammunition has been supplied. The Gauntlet-K APS unit has been fitted to all vehicles. Engineers from Grunder Industries, as well as training specialists from Avalon's 23rd Armored Division will accompany the tanks and assist in training of Ethiopian crews.

Vehicle Nr. 4378 "Tigray":


Armaments
+130mm TC-130M Smoothbore Cannon (60 Rounds)
+13mm MGT-75 RCWS
+12.7mm M2HB

TC-130M Ammunition
+CC130FDP APFSDS (10m/500m/1000m/2000m): 595mm/578mm/560mm/539mm
+CC130FSC HEAT-FS (10m/500m/1000m/2000m): 580mm/580mm/580mm/580mm
+CC130HEF HE-FRAG (10m/500m/1000m/2000m): 50mm/50mm/50mm/50mm
+W22T ATGM-Tandem (10m/500m/1000m/2000m): 850mm/850mm/850mm/850mm
+W22B ATGM (10m/500m/1000m/2000m): 700mm/700mm/700mm/700mm/700mm
+CC130CFS Canister Flechette (10m/500m/1000m/2000m): 12mm/12mm/12mm/12mm

Survivability
Hull (front/side/back): 100mm/45mm/20mm
Turret (front/side/back): 150mm/45mm/20mm
+Composite turret front (tungsten/high carbon steel/ceramic/polymer)
+Composite front plate (tungsten/high carbon steel/ceramic/polymer)
+Composite lower glacis plate (tungsten/high carbon steel/ceramic/polymer)
+Rear bustle blowout panels
+CMB-65 Oxide ERA [Chemical:450mm / Kinetic:120mm]
+Roshon Gauntlet-K APS: 360 degree coverage
+Shtora IR strobes
+24 Smoke grenades

Mobility
+Grunder VT-4816 V16 liquid-cooled twin-turbo diesel engine: 2,166hp @ 2,600rpm
+KL-1695 twin-transmission (5 Forward, 5 Reverse)
+Power/Weight: 23.1hp/tonne
+Maximum Speed: 67km/h
+Fuel Capacity: 1000L
+Suspension: Torsion bar

Crew
+Optikon CS-9000 3rd generation thermal imager (Commader)
+Optikon CS-600M 3rd generation thermal imager (RCWS Mount)
+Optikon GS-600 3rd generation thermal imager (Gunsight)
+Driver (Hull)
+Commander (Turret)
+Gunner (Turet)
+Loader (Turret)

MCT-95A





Read factbook

Reader discretion is advised
Strong Language
_____________________________________

Blood of Patriots: Interlude

Port Maria, Jamaican Democratic Republic
Colonel Winston Grant Jamaican Republican Army

"Ah, feck it," Grant muttered under his breath, advancing on the noisier of the two commandos, "listen Lieutenant, go home and tell whatever career desk jockey that thought sending a God damned pair of condescending lieutenants would convince me to allow him to station a pack of imperialist thugs in Jamaica to soak his damn head. Allowing Charles to put any of you yankee pricks on Jamaica is like fighting fire with a God damned tsunami! Do you think ol’ Chucky boy would let Iranian or Colombian special forces run around Houston or Los Angeles?”
“Personally, sir, I have my doubts,” Lieutenant Colonel Ingram said, cutting off whatever the Imp was about to say.
“I’d agree, Lieutenant Colonel, ” Grant said, “Say, you wouldn’t happen to have a spare port laying around for this yank freighter to dock at?”
“You're looking at it, sir.”
“That’s right, this single small dock in this shallow bay is the only ‘port’ we have right now,” Grant said, turning back to the Northerner, "Kingston Port is rubble and I don't currently have the manpower to take Montego Bay from a brigade of the enemy's elite air cav.”
“Doesn’t matter, sir,” Ingram chimed in again, “that freighter’s probably just bait for Princess Alina’s trigger happy little speed boats to blow up.”
"It wouldn’t surprise me, Lieutenant Colonel and it doesn't surprise me that Chucky wants war with Carlos, Britannian dictators have always lusted after the Panama Canal and this would be a good reason to seize it," Grant continued, cutting the commando off, again, "but you're using the deaths of our women and children to justify killing his women and children, and taking his stuff; all while dangling a literal boatload of empty promises in front of us in hope that the Kommies blow it up."
“Which is a little screwed up, but I kinda like the idea of the Yanks and Kommies killing each other," Ingram interjected.
"They're going to need to do it on someone else's island though," Grant said, spinning to face the commander of the soldiers he brought with him to Port Maria, "Captain, if dumb and dumber are still here in ten minutes, kill them and take their stuff."
"Yes sir," the Captain said, turning to the sergeant to relay the order.
"Lieutenant Colonel," Grant continued, turning to Ingram, "if any more of these Imperial jackboot pricks show up, treat them the same way you'd treat the Kommies. Pass that order to the other militia commanders."
"Yes, sir," Ingram answered.
“You gentlemen enjoy your boat trip home,” Grant said, turning and walking away.

Yanks on Jamaica!

Kommeria City, Duchy of Guatemala
The Royal Inquisition released photos of what it claims to be a Britannian underwater unmanned vehicle docked in Port Maria two weeks ago, with what appears to be Jamaican rebels guarding it.
The Inquisition did not elaborate on the methods used to acquire the photos, which appear to have been taken by a smartphone or a hand-held camera.
We reached out to the Royal Inquisition for further comments, and were put in contact with a spokesperson from the Antilles Chapter. Our reporter, Jorge Rojos, sat down to ask her a few questions.
AC- “We can’t reveal the class of the vessel, but it appears to be large enough to carry two or three commandos and a small amount of cargo, while also being small enough to be carried by a submarine.”
Rojos- “Were there Britannian commandos on Jamaica?”
AC- “We cannot reveal that information.”
Rojos- “Okay. Does the Inquisition suspect that Emperor is arming Republican Terrorists on Jamaica?”
AC- “We do. The UUV seems to have a handful of crates that could be large enough for Javelins or MANPADS.”
Rojos- “MANPADS?”
AC- “Man-portable air-defense systems. It’s an army term, not ours.” [chuckles.]
Rojos- “Oh, okay. Are those a threat to our military?”
AC- “Yes. Stingers are similar to our Fletcha missiles and can easily shoot down our helicopters and light strike aircraft. Javelins can engage both aircraft and tanks.”
Rojos- “Does the Inquisition know how many of these weapons have been smuggled onto Jamaica?”
AC- “I can’t reveal that information.”
Rojos- “These Stingers... does the Inquisition know if they were the weapon used to shoot down the Prince’s plane in January? Was it New London that supplied them?”
AC- “We do not. With Kingston still under rebel control, we haven’t had the access to the scene of the wreck to do a proper investigation. We originally suspected Gran Colombia, but now we can’t be so sure.”

According to the King’s office, the Kommerian Royal Air Force was made aware of the infiltration mere minutes after the Inquisition and conducted airstrikes against the Port Maria pier and rebel defenses. The following morning, a task force made up of Stormtroopers and paratroopers of the 550th conducted a helicopter air assault against Port Maria, capturing the town and driving the militia forces away.
While the UUV was not present by the time the town was taken, the army reports the death of the enemy militia commander, one Aaron Ingram, and thirty of his men. No word on Kommerian casualties.

The King's office stated that they will be making statements on the infiltration this weekend.
It's rumored that the King will play his trump card and bar Britannian merchant ships from the Panama Canal. If the King does choose that course, it is expected to cause immense damage to the Britannian economy, especially the Mexican local economy, by forcing them to rely on their weak rail networks, overstretched trucking fleet, or the primitive Northwest Passage.
Britannian warships have been barred from the Canal since April.
_________________________

King visits wounded at Port Morant

Port Morant, Territory of Jamaica
King Carlos III made an unscheduled visit to wounded soldiers and civilians at the Princess Margarita Hospital and the 7704th independent medical battalion earlier this morning. Reporters were not allowed to follow, so all the following is from the social media posts of several patients and staff.

Picture description: The King shakes the hand of a wounded paratrooper who is laying on a cot. The younger man doesn't have visible wounds or bandages, but his skin is rather pale, as if he had lost a lot of blood recently.

Picture description: The King talks quietly with a civilian nurse. The nurse looks as exhausted as the King does, the steady stream of wound from the fighting near Church Corner starting to take a toll on her.

Picture description: The King holds a baby who was born via cesarean six weeks early after his mother was badly wounded by rebel shelling in Church Corner. His mother, who survived, watches the King and her son with a tired grin.
This is the first photo of King Carlos where he is smiling since January.

Reader discretion is advised
_____________________________________

Blood of Patriots: Episode XVI- The Sum of All Fears, Part 1

Kingston, Jamaican Democratic Republic
President Ethan Williams,
12 May, 0600 hours

Williams paused the news report and stared at the image of Carlos III, the man that kidnapped his wife and bombed his city. The King looked even older than he was and exhausted, no doubt the delays in his invasion and offensives kept him up at night. He wore his tanker jumpsuit, ruffled and worn; with dried mud on his boots.
The president stood up and crossed the room to his desk and lifted the phone from its place and dialed.
"Colonel Hunt," the President said once the call connected.
"Yes, sir," the voice on the other end said, "how can I help you?"
"It's time."
"Yes, sir."
"Then you may fire when you're ready."

Task Force “Helix”
330 Kilometres Southeast of Puerto Rico
12th of May 2022
01:59AM

A Dim blue light hangs over the Scinfaxi’s control room, aside from the occasional mumble – the crew is silent. If it weren’t for the uniforms, the Scinfaxi could be mistaken for an Erusean boat, 4 of every 5 crew members are of Erusean descent; and though speaking is seldom, its always done in French. The nostalgia in the Scinfaxi’s pressure hull is palpable, many of the submariners have hung old Erusean flags in their crew quarters. Much to the distaste of some on board.

The control room is suddenly awoken by a shrill electronic ringtone, Vice-Admiral Labarthe quickly grasps the handset.

Labarthe: “Go ahead.”

PM Gauthier: “Surface immediately, go ahead with protocol.”

Labarthe: “Understood.”

Labarthe hangs up and slings his black leather coat over his shoulders, making his way to the front of the control room. “Lights!” he barks, startling the crew; suddenly the blueish darkness gives way to an astringent bright red. The rest of the control room rises to listen to their captain. “The time has come; I have just received the order to surface. We have no way of knowing what other vessels are in the area. Although its unlikely we’ll be spotted, I want every man at his station; we have strict orders to torpedo anything within detection range. Civilian or military.” The crew scuttles to their positions and while Labarthe paces the control room.

Labarthe: “Lieutenant Arnault, flood tubes 3, 4 and 6!”

Arnault: “Oui Amiral!”

Labarthe: “Caziot, I want a single sonar ping right now!”

Caziot: “Oui Amiral!”

An almost deafening sonar pulse rings out across the pressure hull, everyone aboard waits in anticipation for an echo. Sure enough, an echo sounds back from U-129, but then so does another. And much too quickly for comfort. “Damn it that’s close! Bearing, Caziot!?” the sonar technician consults his display and replies “just east of us Amiral! 600 meters!”

Captain Rose pulls Labarthe aside.

Rose: “Admiral, I advise that we wait – if we surface now, we will surely be spotted. What if its military?”

Labarthe: “We have direct orders Henri; we must surface now and deal with the witness. Excuse me. Caziot! Radio U-129 tell them to prepare for engagement!”

Rose: “Admiral, wait. What if that’s a Britannian destroyer?! We’ll be torn to shreds by depth charges if we’re lucky, and tried for treason if we survive. This could start a war.”

Labarthe: “Captain, I’m ordering you to stand down – we must surface now, we’ve already broken silence with our sonar. If that really is a destroyer up there, it’s already too late. Say a prayer and prepare for surfacing.”

Labarthe pats the captain on the back and moves back to the front of the busy control room. “Frossard! Set depth, zero feet!” he shouts, “Oui Amiral!” replies the helmsman. The submarine begins to groan and hum as an alarm siren sounds out across the pressure hull.

Labarthe leaves the control room and heads towards the crew quarters, he turns into the second cabin on his left. “Admiral, I heard the sonar, do we have company?” says a young sailor while dressing into his surface uniform. His name is Sascha Grissot, at 22 years old he was recruited by the army’s elite ‘huntsman corps’, a special forces outfit consisting of the army’s very best marksmen. His skill and Descent from the Erusean Aristocracy is what landed him on the Scinfaxi. Labarthe leans against the doorway “Yes, something is waiting for us up there. Its small – but could be military. Get your rifle and bring a raincoat, I need you with me on the conning tower.” Labarthe turns and heads for the sail deck. “Oui Amiral!” belts the young marksman into the corridor as he readies his equipment.

The dark ocean begins to stir and undulate, angry white foam erupts from the sea.

Scinfaxi emerges.

The weary trawler captain sets his binoculars down.

“My god.”

Jamaican Democratic Republic wrote:Reader discretion is advised
Strong Language
_____________________________________

Blood of Patriots: Interlude

Port Maria, Jamaican Democratic Republic
Colonel Winston Grant Jamaican Republican Army

"Ah, feck it," Grant muttered under his breath, advancing on the noisier of the two commandos, "listen Lieutenant, go home and tell whatever career desk jockey that thought sending a God damned pair of condescending lieutenants would convince me to allow him to station a pack of imperialist thugs in Jamaica to soak his damn head. Allowing Charles to put any of you yankee pricks on Jamaica is like fighting fire with a God damned tsunami! Do you think ol’ Chucky boy would let Iranian or Colombian special forces run around Houston or Los Angeles?”
“Personally, sir, I have my doubts,” Lieutenant Colonel Ingram said, cutting off whatever the Imp was about to say.
“I’d agree, Lieutenant Colonel, ” Grant said, “Say, you wouldn’t happen to have a spare port laying around for this yank freighter to dock at?”
“You're looking at it, sir.”
“That’s right, this single small dock in this shallow bay is the only ‘port’ we have right now,” Grant said, turning back to the Northerner, "Kingston Port is rubble and I don't currently have the manpower to take Montego Bay from a brigade of the enemy's elite air cav.”
“Doesn’t matter, sir,” Ingram chimed in again, “that freighter’s probably just bait for Princess Alina’s trigger happy little speed boats to blow up.”
"It wouldn’t surprise me, Lieutenant Colonel and it doesn't surprise me that Chucky wants war with Carlos, Britannian dictators have always lusted after the Panama Canal and this would be a good reason to seize it," Grant continued, cutting the commando off, again, "but you're using the deaths of our women and children to justify killing his women and children, and taking his stuff; all while dangling a literal boatload of empty promises in front of us in hope that the Kommies blow it up."
“Which is a little screwed up, but I kinda like the idea of the Yanks and Kommies killing each other," Ingram interjected.
"They're going to need to do it on someone else's island though," Grant said, spinning to face the commander of the soldiers he brought with him to Port Maria, "Captain, if dumb and dumber are still here in ten minutes, kill them and take their stuff."
"Yes sir," the Captain said, turning to the sergeant to relay the order.
"Lieutenant Colonel," Grant continued, turning to Ingram, "if any more of these Imperial jackboot pricks show up, treat them the same way you'd treat the Kommies. Pass that order to the other militia commanders."
"Yes, sir," Ingram answered.
“You gentlemen enjoy your boat trip home,” Grant said, turning and walking away.

Lt. Pierce nodded his head before holding out a encrypted Sat phone to Grant

"We'll leave as you requested Sir but at least take this back with you. Like I said, we're no longer seeing eye to eye with the Kommies as you called them and I'm certain that will cath nicely with Command. If you ever need anything else besides relief supplies or God forbid the Kommies attack one of our ships, well...We'll cross that bridge when we get to it."

The other Lt., Bowman, who up to that point, had been quiet, spoke up

"I want to ask you Sir: Do know of any woman and man with the last name Castillo? They resided in Kingston before the Kommies decided to drop that damned bomb. They were killed when it hit and were my uncle and aunt. There's plenty of folks back home who had some family members in Kingston when that happened and more than a few would love nothing more than to kick Carlos out the ports he controls and link up with any Republican forces. You have friend and allies to the north Col. Grant, it's just a matter of time before we send more than a small batch of weapons and other supplies. Should that day come, this island will be free to choose it's own path without outside interference. We'll help rebuild the cities and towns at our own costs. The days of expanding Britannia by gunpoint at over. This time, we extend the hand of true friendship."

Pierce nodded again and both he and Bowman turned back towards the dock and got in the manned mini sub and departed.

Reformed Avalon wrote:Task Force “Helix”
330 Kilometres Southeast of Puerto Rico
12th of May 2022
01:59AM

A Dim blue light hangs over the Scinfaxi’s control room, aside from the occasional mumble – the crew is silent. If it weren’t for the uniforms, the Scinfaxi could be mistaken for an Erusean boat, 4 of every 5 crew members are of Erusean descent; and though speaking is seldom, its always done in French. The nostalgia in the Scinfaxi’s pressure hull is palpable, many of the submariners have hung old Erusean flags in their crew quarters. Much to the distaste of some on board.

The control room is suddenly awoken by a shrill electronic ringtone, Vice-Admiral Labarthe quickly grasps the handset.

Labarthe: “Go ahead.”

PM Gauthier: “Surface immediately, go ahead with protocol.”

Labarthe: “Understood.”

Labarthe hangs up and slings his black leather coat over his shoulders, making his way to the front of the control room. “Lights!” he barks, startling the crew; suddenly the blueish darkness gives way to an astringent bright red. The rest of the control room rises to listen to their captain. “The time has come; I have just received the order to surface. We have no way of knowing what other vessels are in the area. Although its unlikely we’ll be spotted, I want every man at his station; we have strict orders to torpedo anything within detection range. Civilian or military.” The crew scuttles to their positions and while Labarthe paces the control room.

Labarthe: “Lieutenant Arnault, flood tubes 3, 4 and 6!”

Arnault: “Oui Amiral!”

Labarthe: “Caziot, I want a single sonar ping right now!”

Caziot: “Oui Amiral!”

An almost deafening sonar pulse rings out across the pressure hull, everyone aboard waits in anticipation for an echo. Sure enough, an echo sounds back from U-129, but then so does another. And much too quickly for comfort. “Damn it that’s close! Bearing, Caziot!?” the sonar technician consults his display and replies “just east of us Amiral! 600 meters!”

Captain Rose pulls Labarthe aside.

Rose: “Admiral, I advise that we wait – if we surface now, we will surely be spotted. What if its military?”

Labarthe: “We have direct orders Henri; we must surface now and deal with the witness. Excuse me. Caziot! Radio U-129 tell them to prepare for engagement!”

Rose: “Admiral, wait. What if that’s a Britannian destroyer?! We’ll be torn to shreds by depth charges if we’re lucky, and tried for treason if we survive. This could start a war.”

Labarthe: “Captain, I’m ordering you to stand down – we must surface now, we’ve already broken silence with our sonar. If that really is a destroyer up there, it’s already too late. Say a prayer and prepare for surfacing.”

Labarthe pats the captain on the back and moves back to the front of the busy control room. “Frossard! Set depth, zero feet!” he shouts, “Oui Amiral!” replies the helmsman. The submarine begins to groan and hum as an alarm siren sounds out across the pressure hull.

Labarthe leaves the control room and heads towards the crew quarters, he turns into the second cabin on his left. “Admiral, I heard the sonar, do we have company?” says a young sailor while dressing into his surface uniform. His name is Sascha Grissot, at 22 years old he was recruited by the army’s elite ‘huntsman corps’, a special forces outfit consisting of the army’s very best marksmen. His skill and Descent from the Erusean Aristocracy is what landed him on the Scinfaxi. Labarthe leans against the doorway “Yes, something is waiting for us up there. Its small – but could be military. Get your rifle and bring a raincoat, I need you with me on the conning tower.” Labarthe turns and heads for the sail deck. “Oui Amiral!” belts the young marksman into the corridor as he readies his equipment.

The dark ocean begins to stir and undulate, angry white foam erupts from the sea.

Scinfaxi emerges.

The weary trawler captain sets his binoculars down.

“My god.”

Task Force 45, HMS Lancelot (Excalibur Class Arsenal Warship), 215 Miles southeast of Puerto Rico

The bridge of the Lancelot was a hive of activity, crewmen manning their posts as live satellite feeds were broadcast to the CIC down below. Rear Admiral Gaines, commanding the task force, had orders to patrol this sector of the Caribbean just in case the Kommerian Navy got frisky. Just thing a report came in from the HMS Foxhound, one of the task force's Harpy Class DDGs, reporting that a sonar ping 10 miles out from the task force just surfaced. As the fleet had just recovered it's UAVs, they could tell the class of sub just from the sonar alone due to some issues following a system reboot. Thinking of idea, Gaines turned towards the Communications officer

"Inform both the Foxhound and Laffey to intercept whatever the hell just surface and barring that, to identify the contact. A sub that close is concerning and I want to know if it's either the Kommerians or even the Columbians. They would likely be the two suspects seeing how this is just as much their turf as it is ours."

Task Force “Helix”
331 Kilometres Southeast of Puerto Rico
12th of May 2022
02:28AM

Labarthe and his sniper stand in the conning tower. Grissot peers through the scope of his GM6 Lynx while Labarthe looks through his binoculars.

Labarthe: “it’s a small trawler… can’t make out any identification.”

Grissot: “I think I can see a flag… yes – Turks and Caicos islands. Looks all quiet aboard sir, maybe th– Sh**!”

Labarthe: “damn it!”

Grissot: “you see those lights come on sir? I can see someone standing in the bridge. Looks like there’s another on the deck with binos.”

Labarthe: “they’ve seen us. The man at the bridge, take the shot.”

Labarthe pulls the radio handset up to tell his escort.

Labarthe: “Captain Larsen, we’ve been spotted. Small Civillian trawler, bearing 280, about 500 meters. Torpedo it now.”

Larsen: “understood Vice Admiral.”

Grissot fires, a low boom followed by a mechanical clunk. “scratch one, bino man is running towards the bridge!”

Labarthe: “drop him! make sure nobody on that trawler gets to the radio!”

Another bang. “He’s down sir.” Labarthe now frustrated picks up the handset again.

Labarthe: “Larsen I need this trawler sunk right now or were done for, status report!”

Larsen: “target is on the nose, we’ve got her sighted…”

there’s a pause

Larsen: “torpedos away! torpedos away!”

Both men stop to watch the trawler… and after about 45 seconds, the little boat is disintegrated In a plume of white water, shards of wood, glass and metal land all around.

Labarthe: “stay here, keep watch for survivors – I’m going to the control room.”

Labarthe descends the ladder down into the pressure hull.

Labarthe: “Caziot, have you been able to contact the Kommerians?”

Caziot: “No sir, it’s all quiet – we might be out of their range.”

Labarthe: “Okay, contact the PM and tell him that we’re going to dive and relocate – we were spotted but dealt with the witnesses.

Caziot: “Oui Amiral!”

Grissot comes down for the conning tower and locks the hatches behind him.

Grissot: “No survivors sir. That ship was damn near disintegrated.”

Labarthe: “Good, you did well Grissot.”

Labarthe: “Frossard! Set depth 1,300 feet!”

Frossard: “Oui Amiral!”

Scinfaxi disappears.

Ministry of National Defense

[classified]

Report of the latest acquisitions of the MoND, for a total cost of $36.48 billion with the aim of replacing old units and introducing new technologies and means into the armed forces and increasing their defensive capabilities.

    250 Cloud Shadow at 2 mn / unit for a total of $ 500 million

    75 Wing Loong II for a total of $ 1.125 billion

    25 Chengdu J-10 for a total of $ 1.25 billion

    10 Chengdu J-20 for a total of $ 1.1 billion

    $ 200 million for the construction of new Air Force bases in the Spratly Islands

    $ 2.3 billion for the purchase of ammunition, missile systems and other equipment

3 Type 055 Destroyer for a total of 2.1 billion. The ships will replace the Kee Lung class cruisers.

2 type 052D for a total of 1.3 billion. The ships will replace the Kee Lung class cruisers.

10 type 054A for a total of 3.5 billion. The new units will replace all units of the old British-built Cheng Kung class.

4 ballistic submarines type 094 for a total of 3 billion

4 newly developed type 096 ballistic submarines for a total of 3.48 billion

$ 470 million to continue building naval bases and other facilities in the South China Sea

$ 2.5 billion to purchase Minor ammunition and units

$ 175 million for expenses related to maintenance and expansion of existing infrastructure

$ 9.25 billion for the purchase of ammunition, firearms, anti-aircraft systems and other weapon systems

1450 Type 99 tanks for a total of 3.77 billion. The new units will replace older tanks

700 IFV CM-32 for a total of 1.4 billion. 210 units are commissioned for the ROCMP.

80 CAIC Z-10 attack helicopters for a total of 1.36 billion

Qingdao Daily | 青岛日报

The Shandong Region develops offshore wind energy

East China's coastal province of Shandong is aiming high in developing its offshore wind industry.

Construction of an offshore wind farm has recently begun with investments from Shandong Energy Group.

Located in the Bohai Sea area, the 500,000 kW project will include 60 wind turbines, a 220 kV offshore voltage raising station and a ground control center.
After entering full operation at the end of 2022, the wind farm will generate 1.7 billion kWh of electricity per year, contributing to a saving of approximately 1.33 million tons of carbon dioxide.
Last year, two offshore wind farms were put into operation in Shandong, covering one sixth of the Chinese coast.
The province has planned the construction of three offshore wind bases with a total installed capacity of 35 million kW within 3 years, as part of the national push for green energy transformation.
Data released by the National Energy Administration shows that in the first quarter of 2022, the new installed capacity of wind power in the Asian country was 7.9 million kW, including 360,000 kW of offshore units. At the end of March, China's total installed wind power capacity reached 337 million kW, of which 26.65 million kW from offshore units.

Reformed Avalon wrote:Task Force “Helix”
331 Kilometres Southeast of Puerto Rico
12th of May 2022
02:28AM

Labarthe and his sniper stand in the conning tower. Grissot peers through the scope of his GM6 Lynx while Labarthe looks through his binoculars.

Labarthe: “it’s a small trawler… can’t make out any identification.”

Grissot: “I think I can see a flag… yes – Turks and Caicos islands. Looks all quiet aboard sir, maybe th– Sh**!”

Labarthe: “damn it!”

Grissot: “you see those lights come on sir? I can see someone standing in the bridge. Looks like there’s another on the deck with binos.”

Labarthe: “they’ve seen us. The man at the bridge, take the shot.”

Labarthe pulls the radio handset up to tell his escort.

Labarthe: “Captain Larsen, we’ve been spotted. Small Civillian trawler, bearing 280, about 500 meters. Torpedo it now.”

Larsen: “understood Vice Admiral.”

Grissot fires, a low boom followed by a mechanical clunk. “scratch one, bino man is running towards the bridge!”

Labarthe: “drop him! make sure nobody on that trawler gets to the radio!”

Another bang. “He’s down sir.” Labarthe now frustrated picks up the handset again.

Labarthe: “Larsen I need this trawler sunk right now or were done for, status report!”

Larsen: “target is on the nose, we’ve got her sighted…”

there’s a pause

Larsen: “torpedos away! torpedos away!”

Both men stop to watch the trawler… and after about 45 seconds, the little boat is disintegrated In a plume of white water, shards of wood, glass and metal land all around.

Labarthe: “stay here, keep watch for survivors – I’m going to the control room.”

Labarthe descends the ladder down into the pressure hull.

Labarthe: “Caziot, have you been able to contact the Kommerians?”

Caziot: “No sir, it’s all quiet – we might be out of their range.”

Labarthe: “Okay, contact the PM and tell him that we’re going to dive and relocate – we were spotted but dealt with the witnesses.

Caziot: “Oui Amiral!”

Grissot comes down for the conning tower and locks the hatches behind him.

Grissot: “No survivors sir. That ship was damn near disintegrated.”

Labarthe: “Good, you did well Grissot.”

Labarthe: “Frossard! Set depth 1,300 feet!”

Frossard: “Oui Amiral!”

Scinfaxi disappears.

HMS Foxhound, approaching last sonar contact

Capt. John Samson muttered under his breath as he looked at the still burning wreckage. Judging from the remains, the vessel had been a fishing trawler, whose, he didn't know. He looked to port and saw the Laffey conducting a search via her RIB boat, same as the Foxhound's. So far, they had found no survivors, not even a body. Whatever happened to this trawler took cause the remains to go to the bottom. He looked at the Sonar operator who shook her head, signalling there was no submerged contacts within sonar range. If there was a a sub lurking, it was the Foxhound and Laffey's job to flush it out and so after contacting the Laffey, both ships went to Active Sonar. Whoever was lurking below was going to get a headache for the time being.

Patrol force 381
150 Kilometres South of Kulusuk Island, Greenland.
15th of May 2022
11:56AM

U-234 and U-771 have arrived to relieve Patrol force 376. 376 had been stationed in the North Atlantic quite recently, but U-771 and her escort had been ordered to take over on short notice: It’s U-771’s maiden patrol.

The changing of guards for submarine patrols is usually a seamless process, the replacement force approaches the designated area and deploys an LF radio buoy – the other submarines are then contacted and relieved. Before resuming the patrol, its common practice to dock while surfaced and resupply before the submarines go their separate ways.

Today it’s too quiet.

Captain Veers of U-771 is starting to get concerned, “Have you heard anything Newman?” he says leaning over the main communications console. “Negative captain, still quiet on the LF buoy – nothing showing up on sonar” says the listening officer. Captain Veers shakes his head “Something is wrong Newman; it’s been almost two days and there’s no sign of them.”

The problem is that Patrol force 376 doesn’t exist, it was nothing but a cover story for Operation Reflex. When treasonously commandeering a Typhoon class ballistic missile submarine, an important prerequisite is a viable alibi. Two submarines can’t just leave port without an authorised reason. Co-conspirator Rear Admiral Bernier and his staff handled the fabricated voyage plan, the Navy had been under the impression that Scinfaxi and U-129 were off patrolling the North Atlantic. An unfortunate stroke of luck will soon unravel their cover up.

“Newman, radio 234 and tell them to call off the search – then I want you to get Admiral Schwartz on the phone, tell him we’ve scoured this sector top to bottom and there’s no sign of them.” Says Captain Veers putting on his coat. “Aye aye sir, right away… where are you going?” says the listening officer. “Up to the conning tower, I need a smoke” says Veers.

12:41AM

Lt. Newman: “Captain, I have Admiral Schwartz on the line.”

Captain Veers: “Admiral, this is Veers.”

Admiral Schwartz: “Veers, Bernier knows something – he’s been detained and we’re questioning him as we speak, but he won’t tell us anything.”

CV: “Christ, detained?! Sir, do you think this is some sort of plot? What about Bernier’s staff?”

AS: “Nothing from them, none of them are cracking. Veers those subs aren’t missing, these men know exactly where they are; there’s something much larger at play here. Let’s not say too much right now, but the whole damned Military is on high alert. Don't let anyone overhear us, the last thing we need is panic.”

CV: “Newmann leave us please, get everyone out of here… I’ll call you back in in a second. Anyways Admiral this doesn’t sound good, a f****** fully armed rogue boomer, commanded by Eduoard Labarthe no less.”

AS: “My thoughts exactly, Captain. I’ve contacted the other Navies and just about all of them are as concerned as we are – they’re preparing their own search operations right now. I’m still waiting to hear from some of them, but if anything is found we’ll know about it… Another thing Captain… I suspect the PM might be involved: him and Labarthe are close, and to be frank I don’t trust either of them, especially if one of them is definitely involved.”

CV: “Wouldn’t be surprised Admiral, have you gotten a hold of him yet?”

AS: “We’ve spoken to him, but he’s not giving us much. Its too early to confirm his involvement – but between you and me I think he knows something. Right now, we’re focusing on Bernier, if we can get him to crack, we’ll find those subs.”

CV: “Understood, what are our orders?”

AS: “I need your force to steam Southward towards the American coast, Continue your patrol in the area.”

CV: “Aye aye Admiral.”

AS: “God speed you Veers, will keep you updated.”

The Russian Rodina wrote:The Tass News Agency is reporting that there has been a major shakeup in the Government.

The report states that Foreign Minister Vladimir Kasparov, Defense Minister Pavel Zotov, and First Deputy Defense Minister Mikhail Sukhorkov have all resigned from their posts.

Calls for the resignation and/or replacement of both Zotov and Sukhorkov have been widespread in the past few years, due to what is seen as a lack of progress in modernizing the Armed Forces, and in acquiring new and more advanced arms systems. Both Zotov and Sukhorkov have been widely condemned for the lack of action in getting the T-14 tank, the AK-12 assault rifle, and the Su-57 5th generation fighter jet in the hands of the Armed Forces. Also, the plan for the conversion of army divisions into brigades was seen by many as weakening the defense of the Rodina by leaving the borders less well defended. The plan, a pet project of the First Deputy Minister, was halted in early 2021.

These issues, together with multiple reports of rampant corruption, incompetence and cronyism in the Ministry of Defense, have led insiders and observers to wonder why they have not been already replaced.

But the resignation of the Foreign Minister was a totally unexpected development. Kasparov was and is a close ally and friend of Premier Mikhail Zelmanov, well liked and respected by the Tsar and a stalwart of the ruling political party. The report states that his resignation is due to ill health, and there have been rumors that Minister Kasparov suffered a severe angina attack just after the liberation of St. Petersburg, and another early last year.

His likely replacement is Aleksandr Gorchakov, the First Deputy Foreign Minister. A 54 year old career diplomat, he served as Ambassador to Neo-Egypt and was an unseen, but instrumental player in keeping both that nation and Yamnat firmly in the Russian sphere of influence.

Replacing the Defense Minister and his First Deputy is more tricky. According to the Tass report however, it is likely that Alexei Birilev will be the choice for Defense Minister. 50 years old, he is the leader of the more progressive faction inside the ruling party, and was a vocal supporter of modernization and reform. His ties to the Premier are not as strong as those of the former Minister, but his technical expertise and former service in the Imperial Army should tip the balance.

Izvestia is reporting that the first signs of a new era are being see in the Ministry of Defense.

The first of these signs is the announcement that the AK-12 assault rifle will now be the standard issue rifle of the Imperial Armed Forces.

The fielding of this new and improved rifle, along with other new weapons systems such as the T-14 Armada tank and the Su-57 5th generation fighter aircraft were points of major contention under the regime of former Defense Secretary Pavel Zotov, but now will be pushed to the extent the defense budget will allow. However, it is estimated by defense experts that it will take possibly as long as 5-7 years to re-equip all of the Armed Forces with the AK-12. Currently, only the Tier 1 forces, meaning the Airborne Forces (VDV), the Spetsnaz, the Naval Infantry (MRP) and the Imperial Life Guard (LG) are equipped with the newer weapon.

Reserve troops, along with the National Guard and the Ministry of the Interior forces (MVD) will still utilize the AK-74M3 for the foreseeable future.

In other defense news, a completely unexpected rumor is making the rounds of both military and civilian defense experts. This rumor is that those darlings of the Army and the public, the VDV will be downsized. Currently the Army maintains 6 full Airborne Divisions and 9 Air Assault Brigades. According to insiders, which spoke to Izvestia under the condition of anonymity, it is possible that as many as 3 of the Airborne Divisions may be disbanded, and the remainder reassigned to the Strategic Reserve. Currently, the divisions and brigades are assigned to the individual Military Regions.

The men from the disbanded units will be put into the Ground Forces. This move will, it is hoped, bring what an insider termed "The VDV spirit" to the rest of the Army.

Reformed Avalon wrote:Patrol force 381
150 Kilometres South of Kulusuk Island, Greenland.
15th of May 2022
11:56AM

U-234 and U-771 have arrived to relieve Patrol force 376. 376 had been stationed in the North Atlantic quite recently, but U-771 and her escort had been ordered to take over on short notice: It’s U-771’s maiden patrol.

The changing of guards for submarine patrols is usually a seamless process, the replacement force approaches the designated area and deploys an LF radio buoy – the other submarines are then contacted and relieved. Before resuming the patrol, its common practice to dock while surfaced and resupply before the submarines go their separate ways.

Today it’s too quiet.

Captain Veers of U-771 is starting to get concerned, “Have you heard anything Newman?” he says leaning over the main communications console. “Negative captain, still quiet on the LF buoy – nothing showing up on sonar” says the listening officer. Captain Veers shakes his head “Something is wrong Newman; it’s been almost two days and there’s no sign of them.”

The problem is that Patrol force 376 doesn’t exist, it was nothing but a cover story for Operation Reflex. When treasonously commandeering a Typhoon class ballistic missile submarine, an important prerequisite is a viable alibi. Two submarines can’t just leave port without an authorised reason. Co-conspirator Rear Admiral Bernier and his staff handled the fabricated voyage plan, the Navy had been under the impression that Scinfaxi and U-129 were off patrolling the North Atlantic. An unfortunate stroke of luck will soon unravel their cover up.

“Newman, radio 234 and tell them to call off the search – then I want you to get Admiral Schwartz on the phone, tell him we’ve scoured this sector top to bottom and there’s no sign of them.” Says Captain Veers putting on his coat. “Aye aye sir, right away… where are you going?” says the listening officer. “Up to the conning tower, I need a smoke” says Veers.

12:41AM

Lt. Newman: “Captain, I have Admiral Schwartz on the line.”

Captain Veers: “Admiral, this is Veers.”

Admiral Schwartz: “Veers, Bernier knows something – he’s been detained and we’re questioning him as we speak, but he won’t tell us anything.”

CV: “Christ, detained?! Sir, do you think this is some sort of plot? What about Bernier’s staff?”

AS: “Nothing from them, none of them are cracking. Veers those subs aren’t missing, these men know exactly where they are; there’s something much larger at play here. Let’s not say too much right now, but the whole damned Military is on high alert. Don't let anyone overhear us, the last thing we need is panic.”

CV: “Newmann leave us please, get everyone out of here… I’ll call you back in in a second. Anyways Admiral this doesn’t sound good, a f****** fully armed rogue boomer, commanded by Eduoard Labarthe no less.”

AS: “My thoughts exactly, Captain. I’ve contacted the other Navies and just about all of them are as concerned as we are – they’re preparing their own search operations right now. I’m still waiting to hear from some of them, but if anything is found we’ll know about it… Another thing Captain… I suspect the PM might be involved: him and Labarthe are close, and to be frank I don’t trust either of them, especially if one of them is definitely involved.”

CV: “Wouldn’t be surprised Admiral, have you gotten a hold of him yet?”

AS: “We’ve spoken to him, but he’s not giving us much. Its too early to confirm his involvement – but between you and me I think he knows something. Right now, we’re focusing on Bernier, if we can get him to crack, we’ll find those subs.”

CV: “Understood, what are our orders?”

AS: “I need your force to steam Southward towards the American coast, Continue your patrol in the area.”

CV: “Aye aye Admiral.”

AS: “God speed you Veers, will keep you updated.”

Task Force 45, HMS Lancelot CiC, several hours after last submerge contact

Admiral Gaines, along with Captain Richards of the Lancelot looked at the reports sent by both the Laffey and Foxhound, detailing teh destruction of what was a fishing trawler. The nationality of the boat was unknown but was known as there was still a submarine out there. The Harpy DDGs and airborne patrol were out looking for the contact, having no luck so far. Just then, the Comm officer broke the silence

"Admiral, I have a contact bearing 2-7-2 at a range of 20 miles and a depth of 1,200 feet. Sounds like a Typhoon Class!"

Both Gaines and Richards had a look of shock on their faces before Richards replied

" A Typhoon Class? What the hell is a Russian boomer doing all the way out here in the Caribbean?!"

Gaines was more practical in his thinking, remembering that the Russians weren't the only nation to operate Typhoons

"Or Captain, it's not Russian but Avalonan. They operate two Typhoons according to our latest reports and this could be one of them. Either the Scinfaxi or Hrimfaxi. Either way, we need to either get them to surface or state their intentions via communications. I'd be willing to bet they won't be in a mood to talk so now we must play cat and mouse and force them to surface. It may cause the Prime Minister a headache and the Emperor might want answers as well but our job right now is to get that sub up on the surface. Sound General Quarters. I want all hands on every ship to man their battle stations right now. Start tracking that Typhoon WEPS. I want him to know we're aware of him now."

Reader discretion is advised

Language
Violence
Disturbing Description
_____________________________________

Blood of Patriots: Episode XVI- The Sum of All Fears, Part 2


30,000 ft above the Caribbean Sea, 220km Southeast of Haiti
Lieutenant Colonel Edmundo Ramirez, AWACS mission commander
15 May, 0630 hours

Ramirez's third morning coffee was interrupted by a violent curse from his Radarman.
"Missile launches!" The Radarman cried.
"Damn!" Ramirez swore, spinning his swivel chair toward his Air Battle Manager, "Nunez, vector Colmillo squadron onto those Yank Gremlins and have them enga..."
"No!" The Radarman shouted, then realizing that he just cut off an officer, "...uh, no, sir. The missiles aren't from the Britannian fighters! They're from Jamaica!"
"What?"
"Ballistic missiles! Eight... no, nine! Ten!"
"I thought those were destroyed?" Nunez wondered out loud.
"Where are they headed?" Ramirez barked.
The Radarman let the computer run a calculation before answering, "Based on the trajectories; three to Guantanamo, three to Port-au-Prince, and four look like they're aimed at the beachhead near Port Morant!"
"Damn!" Ramirez swore again, "Nunez, have Colmillo Squadron attempt to engage those missiles! What do we have over Cuba?"
"A flight of F-5s from Rojos Squadron," Nunez said, hands flying over her keyboard, "Colmillo won't be able to get here in time, but they should be able to get to Port-au-Prince in time to intercept."
"Nearly a million people live in that city," Ramirez said, feeling the ice in his own voice, "they need to stop those weapons by any means necessary."

Port-au-Prince, Territory of Haiti
Clément Badeau
15 May, 6:35am EST

"Thank you for coming, Mr. Badeau," the older Kommerian said, "I'm Major Velazco. This is Master Sergeant Fletero. We're in charge of this mess."
Clément and the two soldiers exchanged handshakes. The mess that they were referring to was the scores of burned out hulks that once were large vehicles.
"What happened here?" Clément asked, looking at the wreckage of bulldozers and armored vehicles alike.
"The King kicked the Romans and the Northerners out of Haiti," Feltero said, "and naturally, they left in the most melodramatic way possible, burning all their vehicles."
"Left a right mess in the barracks, too," Velazco muttered.
"Anyway," the sergeant continued, "naturally, the civilian government and the army went back and forth for weeks trying to figure who’s job it will be to clean all this mess up, before finally deciding on us. All of our wreckers and heavy equipment are on Jamaica right now, so we'd like to hire your company to help us chop the junk up. Salvage what we can and scrap what we can't."
"Of course!" Clément said, already imagining the insane government paychecks, "when do you want to st..."
A deep rumble cut off the conversation and drew the eyes of all the men skyward. Three vapor trails streaked from the heavens at incredible speed.
"What the..." Velazco started, "those look like ballistic missiles!"
Two jet fighters raced to meet the missiles, flying faster than sound with the fiery exhaust from their afterburners visible from where the three men stood. The jets fired a volley of air-to-air missiles at the descending ballistic missiles, which all missed.
With no apparent hesitation, the lead fighter flew directly into the path of the leading missile. Weapon, machine, and pilot all disintegrated in a blossom of fire.
"Jesus Christ!" Clément exclaimed.
The martyr's wingman wasn't fast enough in their own attempt to ram, missing the second missile. The three men watched in mute horror as the two remaining weapons descended on Port-au-Prince.

Port-au-Prince, Territory of Haiti
15 May, 6:37am EST

Both surviving ballistic missiles were equipped with four 225kg thermobaric warheads each, which split at an altitude of 20,000 feet and scattered the weapons across a large swath of the territorial capital.
Five explosions ripped through the city's sprawling residential areas and slums, fireballs twisting into mushroom clouds that darkened the sky. Two impacted the port itself, setting a fuel bunker and the ship next to it ablaze. The last landed in the center of Stade Sylvio Cator stadium and exploded completely harmlessly within.
Fires caught and quickly began to spread through the city. The Kommerian garrison and the two navy cargo ships in the harbor were completely unharmed.

Guantanamo, Duchy of Cuba
12 May, 6:40am EST

Guantanamo Bay Joint Base and the surrounding villages were a bit better off. Despite the vectored F-5E fighter jets not being fast enough to get in position to intercept the inbound missiles, Kommeria’s largest Caribbean military base was far from undefended.
A battery of patriot surface-to-air missiles opened fire within seconds of the missiles being identified, loosing a volley of six missiles. Unfortunately, the inbound weapons deployed their warheads before the patriots intercepted them, the SAMs destroying the missile’s second stages instead of the thermobaric devices.
There was only one warship armed with vertical missile launchers at Guantanamo Bay JB, the corvette ARK Lince, who had been suffering issues with her propulsion and could not sail. The ship's skeleton crew rushed to their stations and immediately started firing off Type-162 Sparrow missiles, eight of which intercepted ballistic warheads in a fireworks show of explosions.
The surviving three warheads fell through a cloud of tracers as a dozen naval close-in weapons and anti-aircraft artillery opened fire. One of the missiles was shredded by the guns of a M79-6 Glotón anti-air tank, and plowed into the parking lot of the base’s detention center with a plumph, instead of a tremendous explosion.
Two explosions ripped through the town of Caimanera, with one of the warheads impacting the local hotel and the second landed among the houses on Salina Street.

Off Port Morant, Territory of Jamaica
15 May, 6:40am EST

As soon as the ballistic missiles were fired from central Jamaica, the Kommerian landing fleet jumped into action.
The 2nd Destroyer Squadron acted as one, with ARK Rey Carlos taking control of the weapons of her escorts. Before the enemy missiles had even reached the top of their ballistic flight path, the weapons officer on the Carlos had firing solutions and was choosing which weapons to employ.
Nearly simultaneously, each of the four warships fired a Type-174 extended range active missile from their forward launchers. Four seconds later, Rey Carlos fired a second volley of two more ERAMs to act as a reserve in case any of the first wave failed to kill a threat.
They didn't.
The ERAM fired from the frigate ARK Daga was the first to eliminate its target, exploding in the path of the leading missile, and shredding the enemy weapon with a blast of hot shrapnel. The next three Kommerian ERAMs were similarly accurate, detonating the incoming ballistic missiles one after the other.
In the combat information center on ARK Rey Carlos, the weapons officer let out the breath she’d been holding for at least the last minute as all around her, sailors cheered their victory. The engagement had been just like training, save for the thousands of soldiers, marines, and civilians that those missiles could have killed in Port Morant.
“Just like shooting skeet on the farm, right Lieutenant Commander?” The ship’s Command Master Chief said with a grin.
“Exactly like, Chief,” the weapons officer said, then to the rest of the CIC crew, “great work, ladies and gentlemen! Stay sharp and keep me informed. Oviedo, get me a fix on where those missiles came from just in case someone comes and tells us to blow those douchebags to hell.”

The Eastern Latins wrote:Empire Broadcasting Company (EBC)

By an overwhelming majority, the Imperial Senate today voted to make Wallachia a Province of the Empire.

All of the Conservative (Blues) Party Senators, along with 75% of the Liberal (Greens) Party Senators and all of the small but vocal right wing Nationalist (Black) Party Senators voted in favor of the measure. The far-left elements of the Greens, along with the entire Radical (Reds) Party voted against.

The vote comes after much heated debate on the issue, but insiders said from the beginning that the Government had the votes it needed to pass it, even if the Greens had not gone along.

The next step is the calling of a Constitutional Convention to draw up a Provincial Constitution, then elections for a Provincial Legislature and other government offices. It also means that the transition to governance under Roman law and not Romanian law will begin. A Provisional Senator will be chosen by the Grand Exarch (Viceroy) to represent the people of Wallachia in the Senate.

Once the Provincial Constitution is approved, Wallachian citizens will become Roman citizens, with all the rights and responsibilities that pertain to citizenship. This includes, of course, voting in elections, paying taxes, and obligatory military service. Until that time, Wallachia will retain its status as an Imperial Protectorate.

In other diplomatic news:

Grand Logothete (Foreign Minister) William Nix welcomed the Foreign Ministers of Srl Lanka and the Maldives to the capital for the biannual renewal of the Imperial Commonwealth Pact (ICP).

The ICP, agreed upon shortly after the granting of Independence to the 2 former Provinces of the Empire, acknowledges His Imperial Majesty as Head of State of the 3 nations, but grants him only limited powers. He is represented in the 2 other nations by a Grand Exarch (Viceroy), who has only one real power. He/she has the authority, in times of crisis, to dissolve the respective national assemblies and call for new elections. Otherwise, each nation rules itself as it sees fit.

The ICP links the 3 nations together in matters of defense and trade, in their shared history, language and culture, and in their commitment to the values of democracy, free speech, human rights, and the rule of law.

There have been rumors in recent years of other nations joining the ICP, with Oman and Estonia being frequently mentioned. But as of now, they remain only that, rumors.

Imperial Broadcasting System (IBS)

Targoviste, Wallachia

In this historical city, the capital of an independent Wallachia in the 14th and 15th century, a new era of Wallachian history has begun.

Men and women from all over the province have gathered for a Constitutional Convention which will decide the future shape of this newest part of the Empire.

The first order of business is the drafting of a Provincial Constitution which will set the laws under which the province will be governed locally. This will also set the type of provincial Legislature that will govern the province, the number and type of provincial offices (Governor, Lt. Governor) and other such matters. One of which is the site of the Provincial capital.

Most observers assume that the capital will be Bucharest, the largest city and former capital of an independent Romania before the Austrian takeover. But some are pushing for this city, Targoviste, with all its historical associations, to be named. The debate over this will be one of the more interesting things that will be happening during the convention.

Once drafted, it will be put to a referendum, to be voted on by the people of Wallachia. If approved, the next step is the elections of members of the Legislature and government officers. Once the Provincial Government is up and running, elections will then be held for a Senator or Senators to represent the province in the Imperial Senate until such time as a national election is held. It is expected that it will take at least 2 years after the approval of the Provincial Constitution for the elections for Senator to take place.

When a national election is held, the rules of proportional representation will come into effect.

Grand Exarch (Viceroy) Gheorge Magheru has named John Hunyadi, one of the leading military commanders of the revolt against Greater Austrias as the Provisional Senator for Wallachia, to serve until the elections take place.

Post self-deleted by Neu-Kaiser-Reich.

Task Force Helix
U-129
17th of May 2022
01:33AM

A sonar ping engulfs the pressure hull of U-129, so close its deafening. “Captain! Two surface contacts on our 6 O’clock – they’re close!” Shouts the communications officer. Before anyone has time to react, another sonar ping rattles the sub.

Captain Helsing takes his seat and begins frantically rattling off orders to his crew. “They’re too close to evade, begin combat preparations! Johan! Set depth 450 feet! Slaby! Flood all aft tubes and fire when ready – give me a call out when they’re on the way, reload immediately after!”

“AYE AYE!”

Helsing leans over to his helmsman “Oskar, on my command I want you to give full right rudder and increase throttle to a maximum.” The helmsman nods and grips the controls tightly.

“Sellinger! See if you can radio the Scinfaxi – tell them we’re being attacked.” Yells captain Helsing to the communication officer. “I want you to broadcast the Erusean anthem on high band! make our righteousness known! if we die – we will die under our own flag!” This order is met with uproar and cheers.

“AYE AYE!”

“Glory to Erusea!” The crew yells in unison

“Long love the House of D’Elise!” Yells captain Helsing.

Another sonar ping.

“Torpedos on the way!”

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