And Justice For All: The Doomani-Sarzonian War (CLOSED RP)
[OOC: This thread is going to be where the war between Sarzonia and Doomingsland takes place. It's a Closed RP so no one else is allowed to take part in combat or combat support operations on the thread such as providing intel to either combatant. However, specific players are invited to provide news accounts from their perspectives on the war. These players were selected by the players behind both Sarzonia and Doomingsland for their writing ability and in two cases, their alignment with either combatant.
If you're not either Sarzonia or Doomingsland, or if you're not any of the other players specifically listed as being allowed to "cover" the war, do not post to this thread. Do not tag it. If you do, I'll ask the moderators to delete those posts.]
The drumbeats to war between the Woodstock Pact and the Coalition Against Democracy (CAD) seemed to catch a number of nations in both groups unprepared. Seemingly one minute after delegates landed in Czarna to negotiate an end to the war between several CAD nations and Czardas with Czardas surrendering, hostilities broke out.
However, the timing of the war couldn't have been worse for the Incorporated Sarzonian Government. With a nation that was deep into an economic depression, the idea of committing hundreds of thousands of its sons and daughters into a war while tens of thousands of people nationwide were still struggling without jobs was not sitting well with Parliament or the people who elected them into office.
President Mike Sarzo came back from negotiations in New Copenhagen to find his nation had gone to war without the usual machinations that heavily involved him. Granted, he probably would have approved a declaration of war after sending Deputy Senior Vice President and External Affairs Officer Grant Haffner to Czarna, specifically because he wasn't much of a diplomat. However, there was a whole process Sarzonia had to go through before it declared war and that process was rushed.
"What's the latest appropriation figure for this war?"
"We're talking in the neighbourhood of $1.5 billion," Lieutenant President Nicole Lewis said.
"That's not enough to run a war for even a week."
"I'm going to ask to pull our combat personnel from the war against the CAD," Sarzo said.
"You can't, Mike!"
"We can't fight a war on an unfundated mandate to fight. Besides, until we can reduce those unemployment rolls and get our economy back to where it needs to be, we're only trying to move a Bonham with its engine uninstalled. We're going to get our chance at CAD sometime, I have that feeling. But right now isn't that time."
The order went out, surprising many of the admirals and generals who expected to fight to suppress the powers of CAD for the first time. However, when Parliament couldn't afford to continue a war effort beyond a few weeks, they all eventually realised their time in this war would be limited.
As for Doomingsland, one of the main nations involved in the fighting when the war first broke out, Sarzonia would have found a way to battle their sworn enemies if somehow the war would have allowed a separate one-on-one struggle between the alliance founders. However, that wasn't looking imminent, so Sarzonia began its pullout from the war, watching as the Woodstock Pact itself began to turn the tide in the war against CAD nations.
War between Sarzonia and Doomingsland was going to happen eventually. The only question would be when and how.
Outskirts of Necropolis, Damnatium, Imperium Doomanum
12:27 PM, Two Months Later
The shrieking of the inbound artillery seemed never to end as torrent upon torrent of blood-red sand shot skyward from the impact of Sarzonian shells. Tracers glanced up and down the battle lines as the crying wounded of both sides baked in the searing Crematorian sun. Chaos reigned supreme amidst this battleground, a sight that seemed fit for the darkest corners of hell.
Maximus paced back and forth along the line of trenches dug by his own hand and that of his brothers in arms. He seemed unusually calm given the situation, although those that knew him would tell you that this calmness was far from unusual.
The man had spent the better part of his life at war. This was just another day on the job.
It was only the third day of the siege of Necropolis, the City of the Dead, the Gates of Damnatium, and already the lines seemed to be on the brink of crumbling beneath the weight of the continuous enemy assaults. The situation for the Doomingslanders would have appeared bleak from the Sarzonian point of view.
For the men of Doomingsland, it was only more incentive to resist the heathen invaders. These infidels had defiled their beloved homeland, coming in a grand barbarian horde. They had killed many a time. Virtually all of the men defending the city had lost family members to the invaders.
Now the souls of the fallen cried out for blood. Sarzonian blood. And their brothers whom still drew breath intended to quench their unholy thirst.
Just how they went about this rested on the shoulders of Imperator Maximus Alexius Doomanus, Son of the Emperor, Commander in Chief of the Imperial Military.
This was a general of the old style: a commander who led from the front, as evidenced by previous combats against the invading Sarzonians and others. As rounds cut the air inches above his head, Maximus wiped the sweat from his brow. He hadn’t shaved in weeks, as evidenced by the beard he now sported. Not that he cared. Crematoria was far too hot for lice to possibly exist.
”They’re moving in!” yelled some Imperial Guardsman manning the line.
Here we go again with this shit…
“Hold fast, brothers!” he yelled to his men.
He shouldered his DR-78-III, staring down the iron sights across the barren, rocky field stretched out before him. He furrowed his brow as he watched the first Sarzonians exit their foxholes and start out. Calmly breathing, he sighted in an enemy officer, drawing a bead on his head.
He squeezed the trigger and the rifle violently recoiled against his shoulder as it spat out a 7.8x63mm round, which promptly buried itself in the Sarzonian’s skull, exploding out the back of his head. The dirt in front of Maximus’ position shot up from a machinegun burst. Someone wasn’t too happy with his doing.
Another minute, another kill. There would be plenty more, and he knew it. He need only look at the mass of enemy infantry cautiously moving across the field from cover to cover, attempting to suppress the defenders to know that, from the cries of the wounded and dying, from the yells of the men locked in battle. Sounds of war, all of them; a symphony of destruction. These infidels would all be dead within ten minutes, fallen by his own hand and that of his brothers in arms.
As he lined up another shot, relying purely on muscle memory, he began to reflect. Just how did this mess come to be? How did it come to an invasion? As he squeezed off another round and snuffed out the life of another pagan fool, he reminisced…
9:00 AM, Present Day
Sipping his coffee, Quintus Herius relaxed in his seat. The usual morning rush hour traffic had given him a little time to rest. Sitting next to him was his coworker, Gnaeus Valerius. These men were Doomingslandian immigrants, although if anyone asked, they were Praetonian. Doomingslanders weren’t exactly the most popular of people in these parts, and for good reason.
The two had sat in silence for the past hour, reflecting on the task they were to accomplish on that day. It was a glorious mission commissioned by God Himself, and so they had no second thoughts. They had already seen to it that their families were secreted away to a safe place. There would certainly be reprisals, but they wouldn’t be alive to see any of it.
Perhaps that was for the better.
In the trunk of the Honda they drove was a containing the tool required for this mission. Both men were packing heat, as well. Illegally acquired DAC-91K submachine guns, concealed in shoulder holsters. These two men were not the only individuals involved in the plan.
Manus Dei was an organization that had literally hundreds of millions of members, although most weren’t exactly ‘active’ members. Herius and Valerius were both members of the Woodstock Cell, as it would come to be known afterwards, which consisted of roughly one hundred people in strategically placed jobs throughout the city. Most were of Doomingslandian ethnicity, although some were local Catholic extremists that had been gradually introduced to the organization.
Most of the members would die gloriously this day, as they had sworn to, although it was more than likely that more than a few would manage to escape the city before the shit hit the fan.
The device was already armed, and for good reason. If the operation were to hit a snag, they would have to detonate almost immediately. Of course, with Sarzonia’s open culture, those odds were rather low. The attack was to officially commence at 11:00 AM. And the minutes were ticking away…
Alexei Ivanovic set the empty coffee cup down heavily on the small cafe table. Removing the pen from behind his ear, he lowered it to a position a half inch above the yellow notepad resting on the edge of the table. His teeth were clenched, absent-mindedly underbitten as his brow furrowed. A laminated identification card hung on the breast of his tattered leather jacket, the letters GINN in bold red at the top. His press clearance. It was a must for a Generian travelling in the heart of the Woodstock pact these days. Now more than ever the international resentment for his nation's allegiances was visible. Just last week he'd written an article on the rise in beating deaths of young Sarzonians with Generian blood. Generian immigrants were uncommon, but there were still enough of them to ruffle feathers in this supposed land of freedom and equality. The article had been scrapped by his superiors.
Alexei was not a man of prejudice, but it never failed to boil his blood when he considered Generia's reputation. To him, as to many others of his citizenship, it seemed undeserved. A nation labelled by an alliance. Generia was a moderate. Nationalism. Militarism. Absolutism. Tradition. The same qualities shared by her fellow CAD states, and yet somehow she was different. An Empire, to be sure, but an intelligent, tactful, diplomatic Empire. One who could flew her muscles, but who never hesitated to speak when a punch was unnecessary. To Alexei, it seemed the reputation of the Empire had been dragged through the mud by extremism. Bornerifreudia continued to hold out against it, but her neighbors had succumbed. The Warmaster, the CAD's ugly stepchild, and Doomingsland, the alliance father who every time chose God, glory, and warfare over tactful negotiation.
At the moment, this rang out more clearly in his mind, as his assignment was to cover how the breakdown in Czardan negotiations had affected the Sarzonian state, and the possibility of their entrance into full scale war with the CAD alliance states. However, this would soon be the least of his interests.
Ralph “Stewie” Stewart had been working for the employers who ran the David Crosby Convention Centre in Woodstock for many, many years, even before the nation itself was independent of the United States. Stewart had spent many a year as the first to arrive at the building to inspect the work of the cleaning crew from the night before and make sure all the people who got the big bucks had their divaesque quirks catered to before they arrived. Today was just like any other day: Up before the crack of dawn, shower, shave, dress in uniform, drive down Interstate 40 to Woodstock, then report to work at 4:30 in the morning.
He’d been doing his job for nearly 50 years, starting when he was still in secondary school, all through A Levels and a failed stint at university. He was not very interested in academia, but his work kept him happy. Even when he had opportunities to move into a higher-paying job, he wanted to stay where he was. A change in nations, from the United States of America to the Incorporated States of Sarzonia, was more than enough in his life. He was waiting for his 50th anniversary with the company so he could finally retire from full-time work and take up a hobby he had no time for all these years.
Such was on his mind as he parked the car in the garage and walked toward the rear doors of the building. The economy and Sarzonia’s efforts to pull itself out of an economic depression or the latest rumblings of wars or severed diplomatic ties held no interest for Stewart. He just wanted to get his eight hours in doing his job day in and day out. It wasn’t just his profession putting food on his table. The Cros was his life. Little did he know, it would soon be his death.
President Mike Sarzo needed a mental health day. A day when he could just spend lounging around the Gray House with no more responsibility than to figure out what to listen to on the speaker system installed in his private office. The office of the President was a 24-7, 365¼ day per year job and he seemingly never took time off. Flights from Woodstock to Novacom to New Copenhagen back home and Cabinet meetings that sometimes ran into the early morning hours were no way to rest from a breakneck pace.
Sarzonia’s entry into and withdrawal from war against CAD nations due to financial difficulties of funding a war that seemed to crop up out of nowhere even took the now-jaded Sarzo by surprise. It was seemingly only yesterday that Sarzo sent Deputy Senior Vice President and External Affairs Officer Grant Haffner to Czarna to represent Sarzonia diplomatically at the conference to end the war between Czardas and several CAD enemies. Sarzo knew it was a big risk to send Haffner; knowing him as well as he did, Sarzo realised Haff was no diplomat. At least not in the eyes of the arrogant Pacitalians who were now at his nation’s throats.
Sarzo stood up after five fitful hours of sleep, fumbling for a suit to wear so he could look presentable for yet another Cabinet session. He wasn’t even sure what was on the agenda today, he just wanted to get the meetings over with so he could take one day off to recharge his batteries and tackle his job with more gusto. He had no way of knowing that he would have to continue to wait for that elusive day off.
The Citadel, Urbus Doomanus (Doom City), Doomanum Major
Two Weeks Earlier
With the informal withdrawal of Imperial troops from Czardas, it seemed as if the Woodstock Pact had caused the Doomies to turn tail and run at the first sign of trouble. Military analysts world wide scratched their heads and pondered this unusual turn of events: There was little reason for the Empire to withdraw. The economy was secure, the war had the support of the people, and it appeared that Imperial forces had found a secure position within that country.
All was not as it appeared. The decision to withdraw Imperial troops was not limited to only Czardas. The Imperial garrison at ViZion also made a quiet retreat back to their homeland, being replaced by more Pwnage troops. If the intellegence services of Woodstock Pact nations where paying attention, they would know something odd was going on.
It was this situation that Emperor Helldawg Doomanus V was being briefed on within the war room of the mighty Citadel within which he resided.
The meeting was arranged in the typical manner: The Emperor sat upon a throne at the head of a long table with his two most senior advisors sitting on either side, those of lesser seniority seated further and further away from mighty Caesar.
It had been going on for twenty minutes, already. Grand Inquisitor Marius had been speaking of the usual: heresies world wide that needed to be quelled, reports of heathen attrocities. However, today would have a slightly different agenda. The next item on the list for the head of the Inquisition was of more unusual characteristics: a report on the Senatus.
The Senatus, the Imperial Senate, was in essense a council of the richest men in the Empire, CEOs and Presidents of mighty corporations such as Doomingsland Defense Industries and Imperial Aerospace. There within those fabled chambers they passed laws to further their own wealth and continue to stimulate the economy of the Imperium Dei, as the Empire was often refered to in the newspaper. The Empire of God.
Grand Inquisitor Haerus Marcellus Marius. This was a man of whom all held respect for. As the eldest member of Caesar's council, he was the man of greatest authority other than Caesar Himself. His monotone voice made for long, boring ramblings on the Empire's intellegence information. However, when one confronted him personaly, one found him to be a man of utmost wisdom and intellegence. This man hadn't lost his marbles yet, as the Sarzonians would say.
While he was a man of wisdom, he was also a man of faith. Some would call him a fanatic. Well, pretty much any non-Doomingslander would call him a fanatic, for that is what he was. It was one of the prequisites of being an Inquisitor. Unflinching loyalty to Christ Almighty and the Empire. And so for most of his time on God's Earth, Marius had tortured and killed in the name of Christ Jesus and had never had any second thoughts. This was what God had meant for him to do. To find those who would persecute His children and purify them.
Tediously, he began, his deep brown eyes scanning the room, burning deep into every man there. It was unnerving, even to the proudest of warriors.
"Now, my brothers, we have all had our suspicions of the Senati for quite some time, but now I bring you concrete evidence," he emphasized those two words, motioning with his hands as he spoke, "Now, it is the opinion of the Inquisition that these men be penalized in no way, for they are being righteous in their deeds and contributions..."
Caesar was not a man for excuses before he even knew what was being excused. He cut Marius off with the wave of his calused hand,
"Of what do you speak, old man?" he said rather harshly.
Caesar often joked with his closer associates that Marius was, in fact, half-senile.
Marius seemed somewhat surprised at this sudden outburst, recoiling slightly back in his cusioned seat, yet made no retaliation towards his Emperor. To do so, even for him, could mean severe repercussions.
"Three-hundred sixty one Senati are contributors or members of Manus Dei, m'lord."
This aroused sudden hushed chatter throughout the expansive marble chamber amongst the esteemed men seated at the table. Caesar once again raised his hand, silencing all.
"They knew of the plot, didn't they, Marius?" he querried calmly.
"I am afraid so, your excellency," replied an appologetic Marius.
"And yet they neglected to inform me," he spat on the floor in disgust. After all of the financial contributions he had made to both the Senatus and Manus Dei, they had chosen to keep him in the dark.
To him, it was borderline treasonous.
The plot of which he spoke was a rumored Manus Dei operation that was supposed to take place in a mere two weeks, involving multiple cells armed with tactical nuclear weapons. Their targets: the cities of Woodstock and Portland, both within Sarzonia.
It was in preparation for this that Imperial forces worldwide had been pulled back home. In preparation for what seemed the inevitable. Caesar had long ago decided that he would have no part in the betrayal of a brother Doomani. It was this decision that would become the catalyst to what would be the bloodiest war in the history of the Imperium Doomanum and the Incorporated States of Sarzonia.
That was all Caesar had really needed to hear, and he need no longer sit through this meeting. Yet he remained, for he knew in the coming weeks and months, he would need all of the knowledge of his hated foe he could aquire. War was coming. He knew the very day it would start.
"Do we have to go through with this?"
"Mike, c'mon! It'll be over before you know it!"
Major General Mike Quinn looked into the mirror at the dress uniform he was wearing. He briefly scanned up and down, from the glitter of two golden stars adorning the epaulettes on each shoulder down to the forest green that was the colour of choice for the Incorporated Sarzonian Army's dress uniforms.
Most other armies in the civilised world wear black, Quinn thought. Why does ours pick green? Then he remembered. Sarzo. The President's favourite colour was green. But then again, the Russian army also wore green back in the late 1700s and early 1800s. That was the tradition the Sarzonian army was evoking, and Quinn realised it. Figures, he had thought once when he heard that. The ISN recalls the history of the Royal Navy and the USN, while we get the Russian army.
He gave one more furtive glance at the two stars on each epaulette before he straightened himself and walked toward the complex at the Military Command Centre. As he walked toward the stage, he noticed Vice President for Defence John Newman, President Sarzo, and First Partner Jay Tyler sitting in seats on the stage. He said nothing and took his seat as the assembled officers and media waited. Finally, Sarzo stood up and walked to the podium.
"Ladies and gentlemen, we are gathered here today to honour one of our most distinguised military officers from the last two wars," Sarzo said. "The man we are feting has distinguised himself during the Gholgoth Wars as a man of tremendous honour and distinction. He has been instrumental in the reforms undertaken by our ground combat forces. He has also been one of the few shining lights during the Inkanan war. Ladies and gentlemen, it gives me great pleasure to ask Major General Michael Charles Quinn to take the stage."
Quinn mumbled as he heard his full name. He hated Charles. He wanted to drop it, but whilst his father was alive, he was going to live up to his promise not to have his name legally changed. He stood up and slowly lifted his right foot, deliberately advancing it toward Sarzo. Then the process continued with the left. Then the right. He wanted to make sure that on this day of all days, he didn't trip over his own feet.
"Michael Charles Quinn, I would like to announce to the world that, upon the advice and consent of the House of Delegates and the Senate, I hereby promote you to the rank of lieutenant general with all priviledges and responsibilities appertaining thereto. Mr. Newman?"
Newman stepped forward with a box that looked for all the world like it could have had someone's wedding necklace in it. He slowly opened the box and two silver stars sat on the plush fabric that cushioned the inside of the box. He then lifted one star from its holding place and pinned it onto Quinn's right epaulette, then did the same for the left.
"Congratulations Lieutenant General Quinn," Newman whispered with a wide smile. I'm just glad this is over, Quinn thought.
Not so fast. As soon as the ceremonial pinning was done, he heard someone, probably his irreverent nephew, shouting "speech! Speech!" Before he knew it, he was ushered toward the podium to begin speaking. He knew it wasn't a job he enjoyed doing all that much, but he could think of worse things. Namely, facing a section of Doomies without having so much as a pocket knife to bring to bear against them.
David Crosby Convention Centre, Woodstock, the Incorporated States of Sarzonia
10:30. The plan was perfectly on schedual. God surely had blessed the Crusaders in this instance. Quintus gently pulled the car into the David Crosby Convention Centre's parking structure, pulling up in front of the guardhouse and taking his ticket.
He wouldn't have to pay for his spot today. This was a one way ticket.
As the gate in front of him slid open, he resumed his mental preparation. What he was about to do would change the course of history, for better or for worse. Whichever, it was, God willed it. It was his divine duty to see that God's will be carried forth.
It was a weekday, and so naturally the convention centre was packed with thousands of workers. This attack would be a glorious one.
Five minutes and four floors later, Quintus found a parking spot. This was it. Showtime. The two extremists sitting within the vehicle looked at one another before opening the doors of the sedan and climbing out. Quintus popped the trunk and yanked the breifcase contaning the device out.
It looked like an ordinary briefcase, but if you picked it up you would realize otherwise. It was abnormally heavy, as should any device capable of totally leveling several city blocks.
The two men had on black suits and looked like normal buisinessmen. Of course, normal buisinessmen didn't carry sub machineguns under their jackets or silenced pistols in leg holsters.
The two strolled down towards the elevator. Their comrades were already waiting. Three more men and a woman. They all knew each other, so they didn't bother going into formalities.
All were dressed similarly, and the other four all had breifcases. Needless to say, there weren't papers or office supplies in them. Stepping onto the elevator, the atmosphere was tense. Here were six people who knew they were all going to die in fifteen minutes.
They were unusualy at ease.
When the elevator reached their floor and the bridge from the parking structure, Quintus let out a sigh.
"God be with us."
They stepped off of the elevator, strolling down the marble corridor to the glass bridge, moving as one unit past the others, not acknowledging any other presense. They moved with an unnerving singlemindedness that just screamed "get out of my way".
Entering the lobby, they approached a checkpoint with metal detectors and an X-ray machine. A friendly guard approached,
"Can you please empty your pockets of any metal objects, loose change, car keys, that sort of thi-"
Quintus had his hand in his jacket and had withdrawn his DAC-91, quickly shattering the calm silence that usualy characterized this room with an ear-splitting series of supersonic cracks. The guard didn't stand a chance even with the armored vest he'd had on beneath his shirt; he was literally cut in half by the hail of lead.
"DEUS VOLT!" he roared, an expression of pure rage on his face.
The others had immediately set to work with their own weapons: their breifcases had been broken open and from within they withdrew their own weapons, DAC-97s, and had begun to spray into the nearest group of people, who had by now begun to totally panic and run for dear life.
The group of six split off into teams of two, carefully herding the terrified groups of people into managable groups and massacreing them, dozens at a time. None were spared: men, women, and children alike were gunned down, and the lobby ran red with their blood.
Mangled corpses and broken glass lie strewn about the spacious, well-decorated room, expressions of terror forever frozen on their faces. Skulls had been shattered, limbs torn. It was a scene from a nightmare. The group proceeded forward with little resistance from the guards, who were more or less totally outgunned.
Quintus himself took a .40 caliber slug to the chest and was knocked off of his feet. He stood back up and plugged the guard in the head with a burst from his DAC, totally destroying his skull and spraying blood, bone, and grey matter everywhere, and casualy brushed himself off. Too bad he only had five more minutes to kill heathens before God's fury truely shown as bright as a thousand suns.
Within those five remaining minutes, the lobby was totally cleared out, and sirens could be heard in the distance. Good, the police were responding already.
Now they could join in the fun.
Suddenly, a series of loud 'THUMP' noises were heard, and the Manus Dei operatives immediately knew what to do. Tear gas. So typical of the Woodstock PD. It didn't matter. Thirty seconds left. Quintus' vision went blurred and his eyes began to burn, yet he began to laugh. In the distance he saw the outline of a Woodstock SWAT trooper against the light, and suddenly Quintus felt a sharp burning sensation in his legs and he was on the ground.
He looked towards his legs, a big smile on his face, to find that they were no longer there. Unaffected, he tried to get up and (obviously) failed in that. He began to spray wildly into the air with his DAC-91 before the clock struck eleven.
It was in that moment that hell appeared to be unleashed into the lobby. Into Woodstock. Into the world...