by Max Barry

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Empire of Andrew RMB

WA Delegate: The EPCOT and Conch Republic of Timmy City (elected )

Founder: Imperospheric reclaimation

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Most World Assembly Endorsements: 165th Most Influential: 235th Most Cultured: 252nd+39
Most Rebellious Youth: 279th Largest Black Market: 307th Largest Publishing Industry: 381st Highest Economic Output: 440th Most Subsidized Industry: 452nd Highest Poor Incomes: 493rd Smartest Citizens: 551st Most Scientifically Advanced: 581st Healthiest Citizens: 583rd Highest Average Incomes: 621st Largest Information Technology Sector: 643rd Most Advanced Public Transport: 645th Lowest Crime Rates: 659th Largest Governments: 662nd Most Inclusive: 690th Nicest Citizens: 724th Most Beautiful Environments: 751st Most Developed: 796th Most Advanced Public Education: 810th Most Popular Tourist Destinations: 856th Most Compassionate Citizens: 941st Most Corrupt Governments: 979th Most Advanced Law Enforcement: 986th Largest Manufacturing Sector: 1,024th Most Eco-Friendly Governments: 1,073rd Largest Arms Manufacturing Sector: 1,125th Most Advanced Defense Forces: 1,126th Most Extensive Public Healthcare: 1,135th Most Nations: 1,218th Longest Average Lifespans: 1,313th Largest Welfare Programs: 1,376th Highest Foreign Aid Spending: 1,429th Most Devout: 1,858th Most Efficient Economies: 1,991st Highest Wealthy Incomes: 1,994th Largest Furniture Restoration Industry: 2,165th Highest Average Tax Rates: 2,212th Most Valuable International Artwork: 2,214th Largest Populations: 2,468th
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Head Administrator and Marshal of the Empire of Andrew: Socialist Republic of Andrew
Enforcer: The Orson Empire
WAD: Timmy City
Minister of Territorial Affairs and Homeland: Novo Wagondia
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If you want to join the EOA, please telegram Socialist Republic of Andrew or WAD.
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Embassies: Sunalaya, Strategos Prime, Atlas, United Federation of Planets, United Empire of Islam, Hellenic Civilization, Eastern Roman Empire, The Republic Nations, Nintendo, Astyria, Greater Dienstad, Alliance Of Armed Nations, The Illuminati, Nationalist Commonwealth of Free Regions, Eladen, Nelborne Union, and 18 others.League of Christian Nations, U R N, The Species Alliance, The Dirt Alliance, The Meme Must Go On, The Bar on the corner of every region, Asiana, Avadam Inn, Dauiland, International Debating Area, Regionless, The United Islands of the Atlantic, Salutations, Lardyland, Kingdom of Adonai, Barbaria, Montrandecs Neighbours, and Northern Ocean.

Tags: Capitalist, Casual, Democratic, FT: FTL, Founderless, Future Tech, Medium, Modern Tech, Password, Post-Modern Tech, Regional Government, Role Player, and 2 others.Social, and Socialist.

Regional Power: Moderate

Empire of Andrew contains 13 nations, the 1,218th most in the world.

Today's World Census Report

The Largest Black Market in Empire of Andrew

World Census agents tracked "off the books" deals and handshake agreements in order to study the size of nations' informal economies.

As a region, Empire of Andrew is ranked 307th in the world for Largest Black Market.

NationWA CategoryMotto
1.The Empire of Socialist Republic of AndrewInoffensive Centrist Democracy“Per fortitudinem ferro, victoriam propter fratrum”
2.The Infinite Empire of Cybus1Father Knows Best State“Nos autem vitam et mortem.”
3.The Empire of Santa LucijaInoffensive Centrist Democracy“Qua Patet Orbis”
4.The State of The Orson EmpireCivil Rights Lovefest“Victory for Orson”
5.The Neo-Dominion of SterkistanInoffensive Centrist Democracy“The endless waltz of war, peace and revolution”
6.The Second Great Imperium of CorsahnimCivil Rights Lovefest“The greatest nations require the strongest wills of men”
7.The EPCOT and Conch Republic of Timmy CityNew York Times Democracy“It started with a windbird”
8.The Imperio Constitucional of Novo WagondiaCivil Rights Lovefest“Slavery is the Daughter of Darkness”
9.The Democratic Republic of The Unified Nations of FeluciaCivil Rights Lovefest“Many hearts beating as one.”
10.The Constitutional Principality of OcearaInoffensive Centrist Democracy“People, Country, Wealth.”
12»

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Empire of Andrew Regional Message Board

The Orson Empire wrote:Recently, me and Andrew had a long discussion about the tactics and strategy of our nations in the Third World War, and why the Orsonians ultimately lost in the Middle East while the Mamarans came out on top. I thought I'd compile everything into a single post so the entire region can see our combined conclusions:

1. Failure of the Orsonian blitzkrieg: In the early months of the war, the Imperial Army utterly smashed the fairly weak Provisional and Territorial Forces guarding the India-Pakistan border. Entire Mamaran field armies were routed, with the Orsonians advancing hundreds of kilometers within the first six weeks. 500,000 Mamaran soldiers were taken as prisoners of war during this time, interned in concentration camps throughout the Empire and forced to perform slave labor. However, by the time Orsonian troops were preparing to advance into Iran, the well-trained and well-equipped Mamaran regulars were assembled and called into battle, and they managed to stop the rapid Orsonian advance by inflicting severe losses on both the infantry and armor. The blitzkrieg transformed into a grinding war of attrition reminiscent of World War I. Though the Mamarans were still at a disadvantage, every meter of ground the Orsonian took was paid for in blood. Entire units were destroyed, and many senior officers also killed; millions of elite veterans also perished, with inexperienced green units or newly conscripted soldiers taking their place. Every victory from this point on was pyrrhic in nature, and the consequences for the Orsonians were dire. By the time Sultan Andre was killed at the Battle of Constantinople in 2023, the invasion force was understrength and nearly a shadow of its former self.

2. Failure to seize the Suez Canal: This was one of, if not the greatest reason for the Orsonian defeat. Turner and his officers were well-aware that the Suez Canal was absolutely critical to the Mamaran war effort. The Orsonian plan was to launch a massive offensive into Egypt and towards the Sinai Peninsula while an offensive into Anatolia occured at the same time. The plan envisioned the canal falling into Orsonian hands just before the assault on Constantinople began. This would have allowed the Imperial Army to assault the city from two fronts (and possibly have the Lucijans open a third front in the Black Sea), while the Mamaran Armies in North Africa would be totally cut off from Asia and Europe and thus unable to stop the siege of the capital. The twin defeats at the canal and Constantinople would be enough to force the Sultan to sue for peace. However, this never materialized. The Mamarans also knew that if Suez fell then the war was over, so Egypt was immensely fortified. The Mamaran Navy also held and advantage in the Red Sea and stopped the Imperial Navy from performing major operations. All offensives into Egypt failed miserably, leaving the Middle Eastern forces to take Constantinople alone. With the canal still in Mamaran hands, their North African armies were able to rally and ultimately force the Orsonians to retreat from Constantinople by 2024.

3. The Great African War: Before the war began, Imperial High Command assumed the West African Confederation was a paper tiger, and that their decentralized government model would result in immense infighting and the collapse of the individual States, leading to a quick Orsonian victory by 2021. Instead, the Malians quickly mobilized 10% of their population (around 10 million troops) and ended up outnumbering the Orsonians 2 to 1 by mid 2020. The Malians fought bitterly and never truly broke, and the African War proved to be a nightmare for High Command. Almost half of the Imperial Army was dedicated to try and force the Confederation out of the war, meaning the Orsonians were unable to face the Mamarans with their true strength. Marshal Bran Jaina was so frustrated with the African War that he nearly resigned several times, and reportedly was haunted about the failures of the campaign for the rest of his life. Had the Confederation broken and been forced to surrender, Marshal Jaina would have been able to use millions of fresh troops to invade Egypt, spelling certainly doom for the Mamarans.

4. Logistical issues: The supply lines in the Middle East gradually grew to become thousands of kilometers long, making it very difficult to get reinforcements and equipment to the front lines. Even early in the war, the Orsonians often had to slow down their offensives to consolidate their gains and wait for supplies. At the Battle of Constantinople, units were not only understrength, but also running out of ammunition and food. Tanks and other armor were running out of fuel. Had the army been properly equipped and at full strength, it's possible they could have made an effort to invade Egypt and sieze the Suez Canal from the north, while Orsonian forces in Africa simultaneously invaded from the south, but supply issues made it impossible By 2024, Orsonian troops operating in Central Asia were finally forced out by the Mamarans and the supply lines collapsed; combined with the North African armies rallying, the Orsonians had no choice but to retreat.

5. Civil unrest: The war of attrition had already caused very low morale on Imperial units, with soldiers viewing themselves as mere cannon fodder to be fed into the meat grinder. The war was also very unpopular at home, with many civilians viewing it as nothing more than a means to boost Turner's ego. Wartime measures such as conscription and mandatory 16-hour workdays generated further unrest. The Devolution Acts and other reforms by the Imperial Council ultimately did little in the long run to please the civilian population, as the government was insistent on continuing the war to its conclusion. Desperate for peace at all costs, Orsonians began to turn to the Federalist movement in massive numbers for the first time, as the movement promised to restore peace and prosperity to Orson. By 2023, Jerick Pallas and his Unified Front had started the 3rd Orson Civil War, resulting in entire territories seceding and complete chaos on the home front. The Imperial Army was now forced to fight the Unified Front while also fighting two other nations, and in a heavily weakened state.

6. Failure at sea: The Imperial Navy was never able to gain an advantage over the Mamaran and Confederation navies in the Battle of the Atlantic. If victory had been possible, the Navy could have blockaded Mamaran ports and inhibited the flow of supplies to their war effort. The Orsonians were also unable to stop the Wagain Arsenal for Democracy, with the attempted Interdiction Campaign being a dismal failure and forcing the Orsonians to back down.

Firstly, I wish to state just how well put and detailed your points were Orson, once again you knock it out of the park!

And secondly, going off these points (as per the discussion held by Orson and myself), it would only be fair to mention some of the downsides that the Mamarans face throughout the stages of the war, that ended up costing us dearly, suffering irreversible loses and damages beyond comprehension.

1. Lack of preparation:
The Orsonians, especially in the early stages of the war, proved far more ready and prepared for this conflict, than initially anticipated. In truth, this came in the form of Turner himself, having already began scheming and plotting his Grand Plan, 20 years prior, when fully taking power in 2000. Turner, with his ingenious mind, sadistic tendencies, a massive Empire and his finger tips and 20 years of preparation proved itself to be far greater of a threat than anyone could have anticipated, even Sultan Andres himself. As Orson stated, the Orsonian blitzkrieg proved devastating itself, but the fact that it occurred in multiple fronts throughout the beginning and utterly wiped out entire armies of Provisional and Territorial forces within mere days (and leading to the capture of 500,000 Mamaran prisioners) spoke levels of just how efficient and prepared the Orsonians were during the early stages. As stated, it wouldn't be until the Orsonians already reached Iran, months after the start of the war, when the Mamarans were able to set a proper defense force and slow the blitz to a crawl and begun inflicting heavy casualties against the Orsonians, but even then the Mamaran Regulars would suffer greatly as well.

2. Lack of unit coordination:
As stated, entire field armies and fortifications were decimated within mere days of the Orsonian arrival. This however played into a massive failure of Provinces and Territories communicating with each other, and rather than link up with adjoining territories and merging forces, they refused, deciding to hold their ground in attempts to stop the hordes, which effectively just added onto the Mamaran body count. It was theorized by Mamaran High Command, that if the Ter. And Pro. Forces were to communicate and reinforce one another, rather than face the Orsonians in straight head to head battle, then there would've been less casualties (or at the very least, bought more time and slow the blitz even sooner), but they continued to get torn through the meat grinder that was the Orsonian advance, due to poor communication and coordination.

3. Sheer numbers and extensive supply lines
Two massive advantages early on that the Orsonians held over the Mamarans (especially the Ter and Pro forces) were the sheer number advantages and supply lines. At the time, the Mamarans simply couldn't assemble or mobilze an effectly large enough defense force to contend with the 2 million strong Orsonian Army Group A, typically resulting in any attempt at an organized force to be severely outnumbered and decimated within short periods of time and could not effectively prepare for a proper defense. On top of this, even if the Mamarans early on in the war, were able to muster a big enough defense force and inflict some damage onto the Orsonian advance, the loses would simply be replenished from the Indian supply lines within a moments notice, fixing any lose that the Orsonians would have experienced at the time. And another note that must be made, is the fact that the Mamaran Imperial Forces (our active duty forces) in East and Central Asia couldn't properly reinforce the Pro/Ter forces, as they were busy combating the Orsonian Indian forces, that continually held them at bay. It wouldn't be until 2023, when the Mamaran regulars in East and Central Asia would finally be able to break the steel Orsonian lines (primarily due to the Orsonian ranks in this theater were constantly diminishing, due to having to replenish the ranks of Army Group A, after they began suffering heavy casualties in this part of the war.

4. Lack of experience:
One thing that has proven both a gift and curse of the Mamaran Empire (especially during Andres reign from 2002-2023) was that up until the start of the 3rd World War, the Mamaran Empire had experienced a long gap of peace time (outside of some minor conflicts, though nothing of this scale), so the Mamaran military itself, while both well trained and well equipped by normal standards, lacked a great deal of actual combat experience, compared to the Orsonians who not only were bred for war, but were regularly within some type of armed conflict (either with someone else or themselves) and this proved to be a massive advantage for the invading forces, as even the active duty Mamaran Imperial Forces had trouble in the later portions of the war when they were finally called into battle. While they were able to finally put up a tough resistance and inflict heavy casualties against the Orsonians, it is widely pointed out among both Mamaran Military leadership and international military experts, that the sheer difference of battlefield experience between was clearly visible during the various battles, and definitely proved to be a difference maker throughout the war.

5. Advanced technology:
It is no surprise that the Orsonians, especially during the war, have proven themselves as experts in military technology and always seemed to be a step ahead of the curb. While the Mamarans themselves did in fact posess their own advance military weapon systems that could counter the Orsonian tech, the problem was that they either were still in developmental stages or just hadn't been mass produced to the point that they couldn't be distributed amongst the regular army and the various ter/pro guard forces.
These systems, such as the HALDS, Firefly Missile and Spartan Droids, would of course make their appearances later in the war and certainly proved effective, but during the early stages of the war, when the Orsonians already possessed their advanced and field tested weapons and in bulk, going up against the Ill-equipped Territorial and Provisional Guard forces...it was clear who was at the advantage during this portion of the war.

The Unified Nations of Felucia wrote:That's a very interesting habit, and I don't doubt that Andres would retain it as far as 2021. Having spent so many years within the ISI, it would have been absolutely necessary to walk in such a manner, and even in the years since then it would still be useful should he ever be in danger (assuming he carries a sidearm at all times). Unfortunately, I can't really think about President Clanton having any weird or interesting habits as I've always imagined him being a generic person, but if I ever come up with anything I'll certainly bring it up in the future.

That is definitely a correct assumption. After years of doing something, especially after having hammered into your head, then it almost just becomes habit and is hard if not impossible to break. While he doesn't actively carry a firearm anymore (at least until the Battle of Constantinople), it certainly still is a testament to just how far the ISI training went and how much of an affect it had on him.
And as for President Clanton, I understand what you mean with him being somewhat generic, but if you ever do come up with something, do let us know! I always love hearing about little facts about everyone's leaders!

Oceara wrote:We would be interested in a .44 magnum cartridge (a bit earlier than the official .44 version released to the public) but with explosive bullets as a "Commando Stopper" sidearm for our troops to have better odds when Orsonian infantry make their final charges into melee. Our elite infantry already have SMGs with explosive bullets and short shotguns with explosive slugs so they are pretty well settled with close range engagements, but our bulk mass mobilized army needs something on hand and a revolver is both familiar making them useful for panicked basic infantry as well as being easy to acquire. Double action is an absolute requirement for the role so they don't need to mess with the hammer while panicked and just need to pull the trigger.

We'd also like a feature where they could come with holsters that are shaped in a way to engage the safety upon being inserted into the holster and will engage a release of the safety when pulling it out.

Company gunsmiths would immediately begin working on a new magnum design to fit the standards requested by the Confederation. Once a design is finalized, work will also commence on the custom holsters that have been ordered. They plan on working on the holsters after the magnum in order to make sure that the holsters are perfectly suited for the weapon's design.

OOC: It just occurred to me that the latest variant of the magnum would actually be double-action rather than single-action, and I completely forgot about that when making the description for it. I was too busy thinking about the visual differences to take the way the weapon operated into consideration (though I did say the new model had a faster firing rate, so we could just associate this with the fact that the weapon was a double-action magnum)...Anyway, the .44 variant would already be exclusive to military and security forces, so I guess the design made for the Malians could potentially serve as the template for the official .44 Model, if that's okay with you.

The Unified Nations of Felucia wrote:Company gunsmiths would immediately begin working on a new magnum design to fit the standards requested by the Confederation. Once a design is finalized, work will also commence on the custom holsters that have been ordered. They plan on working on the holsters after the magnum in order to make sure that the holsters are perfectly suited for the weapon's design.

OOC: It just occurred to me that the latest variant of the magnum would actually be double-action rather than single-action, and I completely forgot about that when making the description for it. I was too busy thinking about the visual differences to take the way the weapon operated into consideration (though I did say the new model had a faster firing rate, so we could just associate this with the fact that the weapon was a double-action magnum)...Anyway, the .44 variant would already be exclusive to military and security forces, so I guess the design made for the Malians could potentially serve as the template for the official .44 Model, if that's okay with you.

Seems alright with me, it's not like our enemies having the same kind of thing would be a particular disadvantage for us as we already face Orsonian usage of explosive bullets as a retaliation for our own usage of the explosive bullets and the end result is both sides take heavier casualties and charges are more dangerous meaning that the Orsonian physical advantage is mitigated.

Oceara wrote:Seems alright with me, it's not like our enemies having the same kind of thing would be a particular disadvantage for us as we already face Orsonian usage of explosive bullets as a retaliation for our own usage of the explosive bullets and the end result is both sides take heavier casualties and charges are more dangerous meaning that the Orsonian physical advantage is mitigated.

Sorry, I may have forgotten to clarify that I was specifically referring to the design of the magnum itself, and not the ammunition that would be provided to the Confederation. I was thinking that the magnum designed for the Confederation could serve as the template for those that would essentially be sold elsewhere as a double-action magnum, which wouldn't happen until either the late stages of the war or maybe even after...probably...depending on when that is.

The Carrington M2017, more commonly referred to as the Falcon, is a semi-automatic pistol manufactured by the Carrington Institute, a subsidiary of Carrington Industries, that was based on the design of the Glock 17L (first produced in 1988 by the Austrian firearms manufacturer Glock Ges.m.b.H.). The weapon was first introduced in late 2017 and was exclusively issued to the Carrington Institute's private security forces, the Covert Action Staff (CAS), under the designation "F9-CAS" (Falcon, 9mm - Covert Action Staff). The CAS model is notable for being the company's first step into the Formosan Arms Industry, though it is also known to have been built with an experimental feature that made the weapon unique. In 2019, the Institute began to see the potential of selling the Falcon to the public and created a new model, the "F9-CV", that could be marketed towards both civilians and security forces alike at a retail price of NT$16,757 (≈$542 USD). This model is fundamentally similar to the F9-CAS (but without the experimental feature made specifically for use by the Institute's forces during their operations) and although it has been described as being a fairly standard sidearm, the weapon became relatively popular among gun enthusiasts and police forces for their compact size. Regarding the F9-CAS, the Covert Action Staff would continue to use the weapon as its standard firearm until 2021, when the newly introduced Falcon 2 began showing better performance on the field, and eventually replacing the Falcon entirely.

Since its release, there have been three variants of the Falcon made available for sale through local vendors and directly through the company itself. All variants, despite their differences, have rubberized inserts within their steel grips, sport the company's signature initials in multiple areas across the weapon (such as on the rubberized inserts, the steel slide, and above the trigger guard) and have the name and ammunition type of the weapon inscribed near these areas. In addition to this, each variant is extremely accurate (a feature that all future Institute weapons would be known for), though they are generally not considered to be the most powerful weapons available for use in combat, and their relatively small effective firing range makes them best suited for close ranges. The F9-CAS has been, and continues to be, an Institute-exclusive weapon issued only to the Covert Action Staff, despite seeing a decline in popularity among its ranks following the adoption of the Falcon 2. It is a fairly standard sidearm though it is known for featuring built-in laser sights (activated by placing a finger on the trigger), containing customized medallions resembling the Carrington Institute's logo in the rubberized inserts of the grip (branding it as the official sidearm of the CAS), and utilizing experimental magazines that discharge any rounds of ammunition held within said magazine upon being thrown onto the ground with enough force (known as the "Firecracker Function"). These "firecracker" magazines would not be utilized in the remaining variants of the weapon in fear of risking collateral damage due to possible negligent usage of the function in question. The F9-CV is visually similar to its predecessor, with some minor differences (such as the exclusion of the Carrington Institute's logo in the grip), and can be chambered for 9×21mm ammunition in instances where military service cartridges like the 9×19mm Parabellum are banned by law for civilian use. As of 2023, prices for the weapon vary from vendor to vendor depending on the seller in question and the condition of the gun, though they generally range anywhere from NT$12,354–NT$21,620 ($400–$700 USD). The latest model to be created was the specialized T63 variant designed for and adopted by the Formosan Armed Forces in late 2019 as a Close Quarters Battle Pistol. The official designation of the weapon (meaning "Type 63 Pistol") is more in line with the domestically produced weapons of the Formosan Armaments Bureau than it is with its predecessors, though it retains the Falcon nickname. The T63, which sports a gunmetal gray coating (compared to the silver of its predecessors) to fit in with the other weapons issued to the Formosan Armed Forces, was specially made to be capable of chambering in .22LR, 9mm, .40 S&W or .357 SIG through simply switching out the barrel and or magazine when the situation calls for it. Even though the weapon is not the most popular with the FAF, it is commonly praised for being reliable in close quarters combat.

Well, after some time, I finally finished my description for the Falcon. I've tried keeping the description around the same length as the DY357's, though it was a bit difficult to do...Anyway, I hope you guys like it.

Cybus1

Wagain Ambassador Mahalia Isserson has approached her Cybusian counterparts with a proposal for a new binational commercial enterprise. Building on the success of the São Gonçalo Airship Works, our government views the Cybusian market as a strong growth opportunity for commercial aviation, and has invested considerable resources in encouraging travel between the two countries. Now, with Isserson's help, PDC Wagondia is looking to expand into the realm of lighter-than-air dirigibles, in which the Cybusian Empire is a leading user. They are proposing the creation of a new airship line, termed Deutsche Luft-Wagondien (German Air-Wagondia), in which PDC Wagondia is a majority stakeholder. The corporation would be based in Berlin, and focus specifically on the international market between Germany and Latin America, as well as Angola and the Philippines.

Isserson believes that the new airship line should capitalize on the image of zeppelins in Cybusian society as sleek, comfortable liners connecting the Empire with distant tropical destinations. As such, the emphasis should not be on cheap ticketing and fast travel (in which the airship would undoubtedly be bested by the airplane), but on luxurious accommodation and longer campaign-style tours — an 'ocean liner in the sky'. Dirigibles would link together the large cities of Cybusian Europe and make multiple stops along their route, showcasing foreign cultures and offering passengers the chance to disembark and sample local hospitality for a few hours. With Cybusian advances in speed and lifting power, we believe we will be able to offer this relaxed sightseeing experience to more passengers than ever before, and with only modest sacrifices in overall journey time. Journeys could be divided into faster, direct trunk lines, offering a somewhat slower but more comfortable alternative to the airplane, and more circuitous empire lines, which would be a vacation in their own right.

The objective of such an enterprise would be twofold — to increase the appeal of Latin America as a destination for Cybusian travelers (and vice versa), and to cultivate among the Wagain populace a stronger relationship with airships, which are becoming an important industrial product. Isserson believes that airships are more appealing than ever, especially since Orsonian submarine warfare has greatly increased the peril of traveling by sea. Airships are perfectly suited to fill that void, and re-draw touristic geographies in the process.

Socialist Republic of Andrew

While the Commandos continued to cause havoc in the front trench line and the Sundras surged forward, all the soldiers immediately noticed as streams of what seemed to be a napalm-like substance would shoot out all over the trenches, covering all Mamaran and Orsonian soldiers. At this time, the rage of the Commandos was mostly tapering off. While the Mamarans were understandably confused, the Commandos instantly knew what was happening- their officers intended to defend the fortifications at all costs, even if it meant they had to sacrifice their own soldiers in the first line. The officers yelled out orders to retreat back into no man's land and the Commandos did so still within their formations, showing their extreme discipline as they marched. Even as hundreds of shells rained down on the Commandos and the white phosphorus burst out of them, they didn't even flinch. Thousands of Commandos had been set alight, but the fire burned harmlessly into the outer fire-resistant layer of their powered armor. The last units out of the trenches turned back as they heard horrible screaming, seeing Mamaran soldiers covered head-to-toe in flames as the fire spread to engulf the entire line. They began firing their rifles to put the poor bastards out of their misery and clear the way for the IFV's.

Then, another wave of artillery fire began as rockets exploded and released a variant of the firefly missiles, which acted as bunker busters. The Commandos and any other Infantry in the area were forced to go prone in hopes of increasing their chances of survival, but it would do little seeing as the explosions erupted from the ground beneath them. Indeed, it could have been catastrophic for the Orsonians were it not for the laser defenses acting at the last minutes. 500 of the advancing Sundras were variants that carried point-defense laser cannons capable of targeting artillery shells and rockets mid-air, and as they began firing, tens of thousands of flashes would light up the sky as many of the rockets and the firefly missiles inside them were destroyed. Laser variants of the self-propelled artillery further added to defense, and the blow against the Orsonians was significantly softened. Nevertheless, a number of the bunker busters made their mark, creating vast trenches in the ground and swallowing up some units of Commandos and infantry and destroying some armor. The soldiers being transported in some of the Sundras had to get out and push the IFV'S trapped in sand out so they could remain in the fight, but their advanced continued. Dozens of Sundras soon began to cross into the first line, riding straight through the fire, and continuing towards the subsequent lines.

The Zamburakchi had retreated back to no man's land, not wanting to drive too deeply into the Mamaran lines and be destroyed by superior defenses. Meanwhile, the tank battle was now decisively in favor of the Orsonians. The missile barrage was not enough to stop the armor, and thanks to the successful air strikes on the hidden tank entrances, the Mamarans had lost their reinforcements. Additionally, yet another division of 1,000 tanks was advancing from the Orsonian lines, right behind the previous two. The Tamils began to encircle the remaining Hercules, attempting to trap and ultimately destroy them.

Major Sako watched as tank reinforcements arrived while shells constantly impacted and exploded on the positions of the Spartan Droids. They had rapidly torn thousands of infantrymen to pieces, but the Orsonians were finally gaining the advantage. The droids were tough but certainly not invincible, and their own armor was constantly worn down by ever single hit; they had begun to collapse one-by-one. Sako, who had been been forced to remain prone in the dirt to avoid being mowed down, saw his opportunity and finally stood up.

"Soldiers, on me! Now is the time!" the Major screamed while firing his pistol at the droids. Dozens of infantrymen around him, finally seeing that a breakthrough was in progress, also rose up and began slowly advancing with the armor in the direction of the first trench. Other officers, seeing Sako's company advance, barked out similar orders to their units, and eventually tens of thousands of Orsonian soldiers began to move forward. They fired their rifles in the direction of the Spartan Droids, with explosive bullets and grenades raining down on them. The Zamburakchi, having retreated from the Mamaran lines, met up their comrades in the area and made what they hoped was one last charge towards the droids.

"Speaking of the cult, I have some advice on how to narrow down possible locations, in case their coerced agent never went to their hiding place before. Expect them to be based in abandoned structures or perhaps an abandoned church -for the irony- somewhere in Santa Catalina, likey somewhere within easy driving distance of both this base and potential targets. Contact Santa Catalina utility companies to see if any seemingly abandoned buildings still receive power -they would need power for the equipment and such if they actually planned to modify the virus in any way, and an advanced cold storage unit similar to the kind at the base, at the very least to store the sample-; also try to locate abandoned structures somewhere in an area with an elevated number of missing persons in the past few years. Generally speaking, the cult is the reason for the missing persons, and, as I am sure you aware, a missing person can be explained by any number of factors other than foul play, so local PD give them a lower priority than more pressing concerns. I'm not sure how much you ladies and gentlemen have seen over the course of your careers, but it will be..." he fumbled for the right word "...like a nightmare in there, gore, body parts, mutilations, and other such things. I am telling you this as a warning, because I imagine that the works of even the most disordered minds you have dealt with in the past were not as horrible as ritualistic sacrifice and mutilation of their fellow citizens. And, yes, I will lead the charge alongside you Colonel."

Santa Lucija wrote:"The rebelling provinces will respond to order" said Maizel, his stern voice cutting through the cold. "The people answer to the state, not the other way around. When lawless thuggery ceases to imperil their livelihood, they will welcome the Tsar with open arms. Your points may have merit in the Cybusian Empire, but Lucijans have always responded best to authority."

"Speaking of which, I am interested in why you have taken an interest in our affairs. I do not normally pay much attention to politics, but I understand the Cybusians tend to remain neutral in international affairs. You have nothing to fear about this story getting out; we'll operate the satellites through untraceable shell companies, the details of which won't even be known to the Tsar. He is a man of pride, and would rather this country's unrest be settled by Lucijia's strength alone. The reality of our situation is not lost on me, however, and I recognize sovereignty must be balanced against security. Perhaps it is better to keep one's affairs to oneself, no?"

The offer of the Secret Staff Office has been generously accepted by the Yakutians. Speaking of which:

Paris, France

In a highly-publicized ceremony today at the Place de la Bastille, birthplace of the French Revolution, Orel Rachinsky has formally accepted the invitation of the Yakutian rebels and proclaimed the formation of the Free State of Santa Lucija. Whereas before his government-in-exile was mainly a pressure group, it will now be a fully-functioning state with a defined territory. Ambassadors have been sent to the capitals of every nation recognizing the Free State, and a legislature will be soon be formed from emergency delegates. Perhaps most significantly, Rachinsky has formed a war cabinet to organize the defense of his Yakutian foothold, and has announced that he will begin securing funding and supplies for a Free Lucijian Army made up of ex-soldiers, political dissidents, and international volunteers. Rachinsky will remain in Paris until he can successfully organize and train his army, before linking up with the rebel forces and creating a united front in the far east.

Chernyshevsky's smile faded a watt or two and her voice became cold but still polite.
"Sir, with the utmost respect, your insistence on the use of force and force alone is why you are experiencing this rebellion. The heavyhanded responses to protests only fuel the flames of dissent and unless quelled through public relations and attempts at winning over the hearts and minds of the populace, will burn until they become an open rebellion...like this one. I understand you have your own way of doing things, but I also wish to point out that if there is another rebellion in a few years inspired by the brutal suppression of this one, you will have only yourself to blame. Please at least take the ideas into consideration. It does not have to be anything major; something as simple as your men sharing rations, upgrading generators, engineers providing a bit of mechanical work when they are less busy, etc, can go a long way in shaping opinions of the civilian population who believe life will be better without the Empire. If your soldiers, representatives of Imperial authority, help them improve their lives, or contribute positively in some way, they are less likely to support the rebels. The rebel's conventional units will quickly eliminated, I suspect, and they will be forced to resort to guerilla tactics, and. that means that civilian support, or lack thereof, will help make or break them."
She addressed the second concern after a moment.
"I am unsure why we intervened; such concerns are for my commanding officers. If I had to guess, the Emperor is sympathetic to the House of Romanov, being a fellow monarch, and would be....quite displeased if a rebellion extinguished such a fine noble family. Beyond that, I have no answer beyond guesswork. I am pleased to hear we can count on your discretion. I meant no disrespect earlier, I was simply trying to make my case."

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