Peace Through Infamy [Solaren Theatre]

Discussion in 'The World Stage' started by Allegian Republic, Mar 25, 2011.

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  1. Madurja

    Madurja Well-Known Member

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    Bargia, Solaren

    General de Castille sat quietly at the head of the long table. He had been quietly handed overall command of all EDF forces; taking over from the Eiffelland. He knew the war was going poorly but it wasn't until he actually took command that he realized the extent of the setbacks. de Castille rubbed his temples gently. Insurgency was exploding throughout the Northern Solaren. The communists had out maneuvered the EDF to quench their imperialistic thirsts. Nicosia was pouring billions Nicosian Lire into food and aid for Solaris citizens. Something had to be done. One final push. One final hurrah.


    Apelona, Southern Solaren

    Rodrigo Jose Cortez, Cardinal of the Solaris Catholic Church took a long sip of wine from his glass of wine and set it back down on the barrel which served as a table. The farmhouse smelled of hay and the sweet dew that covered the field around it. The morning was obscenely cold for Southern Solaren, especially in March. One visiting the small farm would never guess a war was raging. One would never guess that inside sat 14 Cardinals of the Solaris church. Cortez and Vivar sat in two simple pine chairs that had been placed next to one another and the other cardinals stood or sat on whatever they could find. Their aides and staff sat outside with the cars and talked with one another. The gathered clergy were some of the most influential within the church but politically held few cards. One Cardinal was a ceremonial mayor and the other had served at the head of Solaren's nursing board. Outside of those two, none held any significant political position. Some were old and some were young but all knew Cortez. However, few of the younger knew who Vivar was. Before he was exiled, he had been a quiet Cardinal who was relegated to administrative duties. In truth, he was invested as a Cardinal mostly by mistake. Now, he sat as one of the most powerful men in the country. Unlike the government, the Church still had some structure and the Cardinals were at the top of the pyramid. Urban now sat in a dank and dirty cell in Nicosia.

    Vivar stood and began handing out sheets of paper as Cortez spoke. "You have all been gathered here to discuss the future of Holy Mother Church. The list in front of you should be the goals of our church. Holy Father is not here. It is up to us to keep this church alive. We can only do this together. The reason it is you 12 that are here is because you do not have dirty hands in the eyes of the EDF. In the eyes of the communists we are all dirty" said Cortez. The invited Cardinals looked at each other, slightly confused. Cortez did not miss this. "The political Cardinals will be questioned, tried, or disgraced. Those who have put their hands on the wheel of government will not be able to take the reigns again. Our church will become a church again, not a government oligarchy" said Cortez calmly. A murmur spread throughout the room before a few yells filled the room, including that of Cardinal Ortega who cried "HERETIC". Cortez raised his hand and the room fell silent. "I am not the Holy Father. I am merely trying to protect Mother Church. She is in peril. We must stand together or the walls of our church will collapse inwards upon us. This is the way to salvation of our church. Salvation or damnation. You can choose your own road. However, I urge you to hear me out"
     
  2. Eiffelland

    Eiffelland Well-Known Member

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    Testono

    The harbour was ready for receiving the Carentanian supplies to conquer Torrence. Roads had also been prepared so that the goods could be transported into Mainland Solaren. The Carentanian armed forces had been informed about this. As long as nothing was heard back from the Carentanians, the harbour was used to ship in supplies for the Testonoers in the refugee camp. Construction materials were also shipped in, so that the rebuilding of Testono could start soon.
    Life in a refugee camp was never normal, but the Eiffellandians did everything they could to make it bearable. Food, beverages and medical supplies were sent in. Testonoer physicians and nurses were recruited to handle the field hospitals. Materials were shipped in so that schools could be started up. Testonoer teachers were recruited to teach at those schools. People grounded theaters to play dramas, or built primitive music instruments out of things they found. These cultural expressions were stimulated by the Eiffellandians.

    Matthias Weiß had already notified Marco and his family and friends that he was alive. He had also got quite a lot of letters back, and quite a lot of pictures. Today he had got a letter from Marco. He opened it and started to read.
    The first sentences Marco had written was about how happy he was that he had got a sign of life from Matthias, and how much he missed him. He also wrote about life in the hospital he was working in. Because he was officially still a Prisoner of War, he was not allowed to leave the hospital. But he was allowed to receive guests. His parents had visited him. They told a lot about life in Senigallia. The war had disrupted the holiday season, because of which they had lost a lot of money. They had to fire half the personnel and permanently lock half the rooms. The upper two floors were not used any more. Marco had not told his parents about his ambitions. He already presumed that his parents expected him to take over the hotel, now that his older brother had died, although they had not talked about that.
    Matthias immediately wrote a letter back.
     
  3. Madurja

    Madurja Well-Known Member

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    Across Northern Solaren


    The fury and might of the raids surprised few. Only the speed and efficiency took some aback. In the occupied zones of the North, special forces from Nicosia and Lorraine had begun to hunt the hunters. The insurgency would likely never be beaten, never put down like the rabid dog it is. It couldn't be broken in spirit, only in its physical strength. Within only a few hours of the early morning, at least 50 battles had erupted in urban streets, little villages, and open pastures. Despite the success, Operation Cold Hand would be perhaps only a footnote in a history book. Only the repercussions would matter.

    Apelona, Southern Solaren

    "Free Solaren? Free Solaren?" asked Rodrigo Jose Cortez, Cardinal of the Solaris Catholic Church in almost in disbelief. "No. The South is not free Solaren. The North is not Occupied Solaren. Your city is NOT This is Solaren. That is Solaren" concluded the Cardinal, speaking to the Mayor of Solaren's capital city. Cardinal Vivar watched him carefully. It seemed to him that Cortez knew everything happening in the country by only reading a few letters each morning and making a handful of phone calls. Vivar shook his head. He would never understand how Cortez could so quickly orient a situation. He never understood how Cortez, knowing the situation, could hold judgement or decisions until the very last moment. Vivar shrugged and sat back in the cheaply made upholstered chair. The unoccupied territories were in chaos. Food was dangerously unavailable to some and access to clean water was starting to become a challenge. Money was almost worthless. Making things worse, there was no longer a centralized governments. Ministers were either too afraid to act, powerless to act, or were dead.

    Vivar had become almost a sidekick, almost an assistant. Almost. Vivar held as many cards as did Cortez. However, only Cortez could play the hand. Self preservation was high on Cortez's list; at the very top. For that reason and that alone, Vivar hated the man. Cortez knew Vivar disliked him but had missed the utter contempt aimed at his very soul. Soon, the cards would be laid on the table.
     
  4. Madurja

    Madurja Well-Known Member

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    Apelona, Southern Solaren


    The family had long since been paid off with a healthy sum. The unassuming farm house had become Cardinal Cortez's home. His fine paintings and tapestries had been moved into the cellar and his desk brought by special truck. Now it sat in the middle of what had been the living room. In front of the desk sat three men: a priest, a shopkeeper, and a middle class farmer. Cardinal Vivar sat far away in the corner, munching on olives. Vivar stared at the fire in the fireplace which bathed the room in a flickering orange light. In the recent weeks, electricity had become quite foreign. Even the Cardinals were rationing candles, lamp oil, and batteries. Behind the desk sat Cardinal Cortez, bathed in the robes of a monk. He merely glanced at the three men sitting in front of him, instead focusing on his correspondence. Cortez used a letter opener slowly and methodically to show his mood of what was almost contempt. The room was full of what was only papers shuffling and he crackle of the fire.

    Cortez dropped the letter opener onto the table with a clatter and threw aside what turned out to be correspondence of minimal importance. He sat back and folded his arms. "The attack in Nicosia. Who....." asked Cortez, arching an eyebrow. The three looked at each other. "We did" said the shopkeeper. "We are the heart of the resistance" finished the priest whom, unlike Cortez, made no effort to veil any sign of his contempt. "Unlike some in this country, we defend Holy Mother Church" finished the farmer. Cortez sat forward, uncrossing his arms and arching his fingers. It was the shopkeeper that emerged the leader of these three. "They raid us, we bomb them. They kill us, we slaughter them". The three looked pleased. "Did I not express the wishes of Holy Mother Church" asked Cortez, making an effort to look into the eyes of each. "Holy father would have approved and thus, Deus Vult!" said the Priest smiling. "Deus Vult...Deus Vult" said Cortez, face full of scorn. It was the battle cry of Urban. Without warning and with the speed of a man half of his age, Cortez was up and on the other side of the desk, the letter opener in his hand. It found its way into the shopkeeper's chest. "Deus Vult" said Cortez quietly, still pushing down on the letter opener and turning staring at the priest. Finally, the shopkeeper stopped moving and the only sound was of Vivar vomiting liberally in the back of the room. Cortez stood back and the two others were now standing yelling at Cortez. A moment later a guard burst in the door but Cortez brought is hand up stopping him. "This is Deus Vult...not that..." said Cortez, pointing down at the shopkeeper.
     
  5. Eiffelland

    Eiffelland Well-Known Member

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    Southeastern Solaren

    During the days of the Urban-regime, Andrea Badoglio was a public prosecutor in Mazara. In that position, he often cooperated with Aldo Siciliano. Officially for the prosecution of homosexuals, unofficially for facilitating Siciliano’s smuggling practices. Badoglio had put a lot of Siciliano’s competitors in the smuggling business behind bars, or better said sent them to Ustica. On the other hand, he had also steered public inquiries against people working for Siciliano away from their goal, either by manipulation or psychologic pressure, or by means of a one-way-ticket to Ustica because of blasphemy.
    Badoglio knew about Siciliano’s sexual preferences. He also knew how Siciliano obtained his sex partners. Sometimes Siciliano asked him to dismiss the charge against a suspected homosexual. Badoglio knew why Siciliano asked him to do so. Although straight himself, he didn’t mind — Siciliano was a permanent source of lots of money.
    Badoglio realised soon enough that Solaren wouldn’t able to stand against the EDF and Carentania. He also realised that the old regime would be replaced with a new regime. And the representants of the old regime would fanaticly chased. Both Siciliano and Badoglio realised that very well. So when the Carentanians attacked Mazara, both men went into hiding. Siciliano became a member of a partisan group and used that group to secure his last harvest of cocaine and heroin, and Badoglio searched for a barrister of about his age who lived in Mazara, had a wife of about the age of Badoglio’s age, and children of about the same age as Badoglio’s children. The barrister and his family were killed, and the Badoglio family took up the identities of the murdered family. Their new names were Mario, Gabriela, Vittorio and Anna Salerno. Under those names, they fled Mazara into Southeastern Solaren. Because the real Mario Salerno was a barrister, it was easy for Badoglio to settle himself as a barrister under that name.
    Later on, it was easy for Badoglio to find out that Siciliano had been arrested by the Eiffellandians. He sent a letter under his new name to Siciliano and used the code with which Siciliano would know that it was him. Soon afterwards, he was appointed Siciliano’s barrister.

    Today Badoglio visited Siciliano for the first time in his new role. He was shocked to see him in a wheelchair.
    “What happened?” Badoglio asked.
    “I was bashed up by a couple of fellow-prisoners,” Siciliano said. “The Eiffellandians already know quite a lot about me. They seized all my assets in EDF-countries and emptied all my number accounts in Danzig. They wanted me to cooperate with them, but when I refused, they told some stories about me to the prisoners, and they kicked me everywhere they could. Now I have some bone fractures that heal very slowly, so I can’t walk. It will take years before I can walk again, if I will ever be able to walk again.”
    “The Eiffellandians did so?” Badoglio asked baffled.
    “Yes, the Eiffellandians did so. Apparently they are only officially a constitutional state,” Siciliano said.
    “Poor you. In any case, they violated their own rules here. I’ll see if I can prove this, so that I can get you out,” Badoglio said. “By the way, I can provide some juicy revenge. I know some radicals who would love to teach the Eiffellandians a nice lesson on their own soil. Do you have any contacts that could help them?”
    “No, unfortunately not. I don’t have any contacts with arms dealers. We got our weapons through contacts in the Solaris army. Only God knows where they are now. But do you remember those terrorist attacks in Eiffelland last year? Those attacks were committed by a group of extremist rightwingers. Although they cooperated with the existing Eiffellandian extremist rightwing organisations, the Volksunion and the Gotisch Eiffelländische Liga, they were no members of those organisations, and the involvement of the Volksunion and the Gotisch Eiffelländische Liga could not be proven. An extremely wealthy business man provided the money and lead the terrorists, but the whole operation was lead by a shadowy person whose identity was never unveiled. He had the contacts with the arms industry and provided the explosives. Contact him,” Siciliano said.
    “But how do I know who he is?” Badoglio asked.
    “Try to contact Günther Ziesche from the Volksunion, or Roland Meißner from the Gotisch Eiffelländische Liga. They will know how to contact the man. I’ll give you a warrant to free 1 million Danziger Thaler from my bank account in Danzig. That should be enough to finance the operation,” Siciliano said. “Something else. Could you find out what happened to Marco Gambini, born 12 February 1993 in Senigallia?”
    “Why do you want to know?” Badoglio asked.
    “That guy was in the partisan group I was a member of. He discovered all my activities in pre‑war Solaren and betrayed the partisan group. Because of him, my attempt to get my last harvest out of the country failed,” Siciliano said.
    “Is that the only reason why you want him?” Badoglio smirked. “Meanwhile I know you. You probably have slept with that guy.”
    “Well ... Yes ... That’s the second reason why I want him,” Siciliano said.
    “I’ll do my best,” Badoglio said.


    Testono

    The harbour was ready to receive the materials and the soldiers from Carentania to attack the last bulwark of the old regime: Torrence. But for an unknown reason, no Carentanian ship had arrived. Meanwhile, people began to doubt whether the Carentanians would ever start the attack. Therefore, the Eiffellandian army began to ship in materials themselves, with the aim to surround Torrence.
     
  6. Madurja

    Madurja Well-Known Member

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    Testono

    General de Castille entered a room of hushed conversation and filled with a tension that he had never felt. The room quieted as those in attendance slowly became aware of his presence. The converted town hall was now abuzz with EDF officers from every nation involved. The building's sea green linoleum floor was full of chips and cracks and the cinder block walls had even more cracks. However, the building was functional. Functional. The word did not describe the communist efforts. Their actions seemed to have suspended without warning. de Castille removed his hat and approached the small podium. About 25 officers from various entities sat, large binders before them.

    Without introduction, de Castille got directly to the point. "Ladies. Gentlemen. If you'll open your packets to page 3. Torrence. As you can see, it is now up to us to take it. I have laid out a step-by-step plan to take the city with minimum casualties for us. We will begin with a massive air campaign. The enemy has 70,000 troops poised in and around Torrence. About 15,000 of them are militia forces. We expect as many as 20 thousand others to join the fight if we do not move quickly to neutralize any possible cohesion. We will begin with airstrikes against SAMs and the targets listed in figure 2-7. We will then transition to attacking ground positions with artillery and airstrikes. Looking on page 6, we will then begin our advance from positions we will get to at point 3 and point 5. These advanced staging areas will allow us to attack the city at one key location. Looking back at figure 2-7 we can see that the opening will be made where the yellow x is. Expect changes to this plan as time progresses. The goal is to hit them at their hardest point and break them quickly. We will lead with forces from Nicosia. We are transferring 2 divisions south. These 2 divisions will be tasked with capturing the airfield and university. The other important targets are on figure 5.2: number 11 power plant, number 14 the foreign ministry, number 27 the papal palace, and number 28 the iron works. To capture these, we must encircle the city. These must be taken in quick succession on the city's outskirts. This will allow us to strangle the city. Questions?"
     
  7. Eiffelland

    Eiffelland Well-Known Member

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    Testono

    “No questions from our side, General,” the Eiffellandian general Modersohn said. “The Eiffellandian air force is prepared to do what is needed. It can come into action as soon as you want it. However, it would be good to take Generalleutnant Westfeld’s report on the battle for Testono into account. What his men awaited here, could wait for the men fighting for Torrence to a much higher extent. Those men will be much more fanatic than what we met here. This city was completely boobytrapped, soldiers were dressed like civilians, women, even children in bomb suits ran to our men and blew themselves up when they were close enough. We expect this to be worse in Torrence. Therefore, we advice to take additional measures to tackle that. Meanwhile, we have the materials to surround Torrence so that those 20,000 people you expect to run into the city will be held outside.”

    It would always be a mystery why the Carentanians did not come into action for the final push. Initially they had even been keen on taking Testono and after that Torrence, but now they stayed away. They stayed at Capraria and in Southwestern Solaren but didn’t move. What were they doing? Modersohn was quite irritated about this situation, but he could not change it. In any case, it was good that there was finally some action on Torrence. And he knew that the capture of Testono was a child game compared with what was needed for Torrence.
     
  8. Madurja

    Madurja Well-Known Member

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    Testono

    de Castille nodded at Modersohn's comments. "I will be taking Westfeld’s report into consideration. I have not reviewed it yet as I have just shifted my command here. It will be read in the next 48 hours by myself and the rest of the senior staff. We simply must focus on breaking the defensive ring first. I feel our options toward a mass insurgency are limited. However, we will make what preparations we can. We must move swiftly into position and break their defensive rings at the aforementioned positions. I do not want to rush into position. We must have a large amount of supplies and reserves. The idea is to jab them with our airstrikes and smash the defensive ring. If we take the majority of the targets outside the city and push the enemy forces into the city. Siege is not an option. We cannot risk that amount of collateral damage. This will be a tough fight I fear"
     
  9. Madurja

    Madurja Well-Known Member

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    Testono

    General de Castille walked briskly up the cracked sidewalk. EDF headquarters had shifted to a disused school and was bustling with officers of all manner. As he approached the main entrance, a junior officer from Wiese gave a stiff salute. de Castille returned the salute, recognizing the young officer as one of Wiese's observers. The young man was bright de Castille remembered but was better suited to the war room than the battlefield. He passed two guards who came to attention and entered the small hallway. He was casually waived past a security post and passed what had been the music room. Now if was jammed with electronics and some of the brightest minds in the building. de Castille, being a soldier of the old, hardly pretended to understand what half of the computers and systems did. He let out a sigh at the thought of becoming a slight dinosaur. Turning, de Castille entered the outer office of what had been the headmaster. He waived the staff down as they were trying to come to attention.

    Captain Zerafi, de Castille's aide, didn't even move except for a small nod. de Castille returned the nod, closing the door behind him. He plopped down in his chair and leaned back. "Zerafi. What do you think of the coming storm?" asked the General. The Captain put down the Nicosian newspaper and just stared. He did not know the details of Operation Comfort Post nor of the migraine forming in the General's head. The Nicosians, in comparison, had taken quite the beating at the start of the war. In fact, they were down to 3 heavy tanks and a handful of light tanks. Even the number of jeeps were dwindling. He rubbed his temples and brought his feet to the ground. He poured over the strength tables and briefings on his desk. The coming operation was anything but comfort.
     
  10. Eiffelland

    Eiffelland Well-Known Member

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    Torrence

    To prevent those additional 20,000 soldiers from entering Torrence, the Eiffellandian army had surrounded the city. One of the lower‑ranking officers commented on the action that “the entrance to the city is narrower than a mouse ass”. General-Major Ranitz didn’t use those words to report that the city had been surrounded. Based on the experiences from Testono, the grounds around the city were continuously checked on the presence of tunnels. Furthermore, the sewers were checked as well. Refugees from the city were checked while taking into account that they could carry bomb belts. A refugee camp was built in the vicinity. The camp was equipped for two million people, but it didn’t contain that many people yet. There were not so many refugees from the city. The Eiffellandians assumed that this was caused by the fact that the more fundamentalist and radical persons in the Solaris hierarchy had gathered together in Torrence, and that they did everything to keep the common people inside. A certain reason was to use them for the defence of the city. A probable reason was that the city would be impossible to take without making victims under the civilians, something that could be used for propaganda against the EDF later on.
    The area between the Eiffellandian lines and the outskirts of the city were checked both from the air and from the ground. Air operations were carried out with drones. Air reconnaissance missions were also carried out to find the additional troops that planned to join the forces in Torrence. Would they be discovered, additional land troops were ready to hold them and the air force would be ready to bomb them.


    Southeastern Solaren

    “Will you have to fight in Torrence as well?” Marco Gambini asked Matthias Weiß, who had visited him during a short holiday. Now they were walking through the woods directly surrounding the field hospital, which had been declared part of the field hospital as well.
    “No, don’t worry. I even have good news. I will be relocated to Southeastern Solaren in a couple of months,” Matthias said.
    “Really?” Marco asked elatedly.
    “Yes. I volunteered for one more year in Solaren, so I am allowed to choose where I will be located. And I chose for Southeastern Solaren,” Matthias said.
    “Fantastic,” Marco said enthousiasticly.
    “I don’t know yet where precisely, but I want to try to be placed where you will live. I can choose for here, but your ‘imprisonment’ will probably end soon as well. So maybe I could even choose for Senigallia,” Matthias said.
    “Well, I got a letter from my parents. They indeed want me to go to them as soon as I am released. They need me in the hotel. They won’t let me study,” Marco said.
    “What? That’s terrible,” Matthias said. “But why?”
    “Because of several reasons. First, since my brother’s death, I am their only child. They want me to take over the hotel in the future. I really don’t want to, but I don’t know how to explain that to my parents. But apart from that, my parents don’t have the money to let me study,” Marco said.
    “But aren’t there any stipendia?” Matthias asked.
    “At this moment no. I already informed myself about that, but there are no stipendia at the moment. I could have got a stipendium if the war would not have broken out, but not now,” Marco said. “The financial support from the EDF is not enough for that. I will have to wait a couple of years, if my parents want to let me go.”
    “Terrible,” Matthias said.
    “On the other hand, if the war would not have broken out, maybe I would not have been alive any more,” Marco said.
    “What do you mean?” Matthias asked.
    “Well, I told you about the Giardino San Vicence in Senigallia. I would have been arrested as well, would the war not have started,” Marco said.
    “Indeed, you’re right,” Matthias said. “But what now?”
    “I will go back to Senigallia. I don’t have a choice. Maybe I will be able to convince my parents in a couple of years, but not now,” Marco said. “I also informed myself about studying abroad, but then I would have to be a political refugee. Furthermore, if I go against the will of my parents, I might cut all my ties to my family and my friends in Senigallia. Then I’m pretty lonely. I don’t know if I want to do that.”

    After a short while, Marco and Matthias seated themselves in the grass. When Marco laid his head against Matthias’s shoulder, Matthias wrapped his arm around Marco.

    “So now everything’s arranged,” Totò Andolina said to his mates. “We will travel to Eiffelland in groups. There we meet Roland Meißner from the Gotisch Eiffelländische Liga, and he will tell us how to contact that strange other fellow. Paolo, Andrea and Sandro will travel to Trier with me tomorrow, so that we can arrange some things there. Rent some houses, get ourselves some cars and so on. The disguises have been arranged. We are all engineers who are in Eiffelland for a couple of months to learn a new technique to poor melted steel.”
    The group was ready. During the coming weeks, 20 radical Solaris would travel to Eiffelland to teach the enemy of the Solaris faith a lesson.

    Badoglio was happy to announce that news to Siciliano. Unfortunately, he hadn’t managed to find the proof that the Eiffellandian guards had set on the other prisoners against Siciliano, but he had some other good news.
    “I have found Marco Gambini,” he said to Siciliano.
    “OK. Good,” Siciliano said. “Where did you find him?”
    “Strangely enough, not in a refugee camp or a PoW camp. Officially he is a PoW, but he works in a hospital, more or less as the assistant to one of the ward doctors. The ward doctor in question is somebody who is enormously famous in Eiffelland: Prof. Alexander Sauerbruch. Although retired, he decided to act as a ward doctor so that somebody with a family to care for would not have to go into a war zone. Pretty courageous according to me, given the fact that the man is 81 years old. I have seen the man. He is 2 meters tall and looks like 60. Meanwhile, he has become famous here as well. He helped grounding and furnishing a hospital specially dedicated to cancer patients, and did the same for a hospital dedicated to infectious diseases. Also thanks to him, several public health campaigns have started here. Among others a safer sex campaign, bu also an anti‑smoking campaign.”
    “So he’s quite a hot-shot,” Siciliano said.
    “Indeed. What I heard is, that Sauerbruch took Marco under his wing and is teaching him some things about medicine,” Badoglio said.
    “Do you also know which hospital?” Siciliano aked.
    “Not yet. But that is a matter of time,” Badoglio said.
     
  11. Madurja

    Madurja Well-Known Member

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    Polytechnic University of Torrence

    Sgt. Bataglia of the 3rd Mechanized Infantry Regiment shook his head and wiped the dirt from his face. The force of the blast had knocked him back and left him dazed for a moment. The Nicosians had not been able to catch their opponents unaware. The large university sat at the intersect of 3 major roads leading into the heart of the city. Sitting just outside city limits, the campus had become maze of rubble and harsh fighting. Aircraft streamed overhead as the massive air assault on the city began. SAM positions and communications centers were getting hit with some of the latest developed munitions. However, to Bataglia, this was of no consequence. Nicosian and Eiffellandian troops could not move into the city until the university had been taken.

    Bataglia struggled back to his feet and stooped again behind the low stone wall. The Nicosians were simply being outgunned. Their 5.56 EDF chambered machine guns simply were not penetrating the walls of the 15 story tall dormitory. Bataglia had spent the last five minutes, between putting rounds down range, assuring his men that support was coming. Finally it came, in the form of 2 H37 Helicopters. The Nicosians cheered as the two airships began emptying their mini-guns into the building. Then they fell silent as the building became a cornucopia of fire as the airships began emptying their rocket pods. Some men froze and stared and others crouched, exhaling hard. Then the building began to collapse but did not fall. Bataglia swallowed hard hoping it was not an omen.
     
  12. Madurja

    Madurja Well-Known Member

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    Redondo
    Nick:
    Fleur
    Torrence

    The university had been turned to rubble. The Nicosians had fought hard to achieve their objectives but the casualties weighed heavy on General de Castille's mind. He had hardly slept in the past several days as the Battle for Torrence raged. The war had dragged on without apparent reason for months. Between communist meddling, logistical issues, and general resistance; the Solaren Campaign would be recorded by many historians as being a fiasco.

    de Castille grimaced as he was handed his daily casualty report. The Nicosians were slugging it out with the last of the elite Solaris forces. Armored units, hidden artillery, and fortified buildings were all being run into by Nicosian forces. de Castille shook his head without saying a word. It may very well have been the most difficult thing de Castille had ever done. The Nicosians would not capture their objectives. He needed the Eiffellandians more than ever.
     
  13. Madurja

    Madurja Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2006
    Messages:
    7,262
    Location:
    Midwest 'Merica
    Capital:
    Redondo
    Nick:
    Fleur
    Torrence

    Cortez and Vivar looked silently from the rear windows of the small sedan. The small convoy wound its way through the quiet and dark streets of inner-city Torrence. Vivar looked in awe. He had not been to Torrence in some time. The scenes of chaos shocked him. Looking at Cardinal Cortez, Vivar saw no reaction from the man. Rubble was in the streets and fire trucks rushed through intersections ahead of the convoy. The city had broken down under the intensive air campaign being waged against them. Solaren's jewel; the only city in the country that had been worthy of foreign visitors. Only a third of it was slums and compared to the rest of the country they were luxurious slums. It was being blasted down slowly to be on par with the rest of the country. Vivar and Cortez seemed to share the same thought as they shook their heads in unison without a word.

    Vivar rolled the window down and took the smell of the city in his nostrils. To him it smelled of impending...something. He shook the sensation from his mind and closed the window. "There is much to be done" said Cortez quietly. "By whom?" asked Vivar slowly. There was a good silence lasting 15 seconds. "All of us" said Cortez coldly. A bump in the road jolted the two cardinals. "The time is near" said Cortez simply as the small convoy approached the Papal Palace.

    Who was in charge of Solaren was still unclear to almost all Solaris citizens and forces. Only a handful knew that a council was running the country, or at least the last pockets of resistance. The Papal Palace had been mostly untouched by the recent bombardment but what was left of the government had relocated just down the street to the Torrence Office of Education. The convoy ignored all calls to stop and thanks to the heavily armed jeep in front of the convoy, nobody challenged them too harshly. "Let us be about the work of the divine" said Vivar, exiting the car. Cortez chuckled and pretended not to notice Vivar crossing himself.
     
  14. Eiffelland

    Eiffelland Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2006
    Messages:
    10,114
    Location:
    Rotterdam, Netherlands
    Capital:
    Trier
    Tegeata

    Moto Guzzi was a famous motorcycle brand in Solaren. Cycles of that brand could be found everywhere in the country. They were undestructable, but old‑fashioned and highly underpowered in the eyes of people from developed countries like Eiffelland, Franken or Breotonia. Nevertheless, the board of directors of the Rieger Gruppe (the holding company of the Eiffellandian car industry) saw possibilities. Currently, the motorcycle market was divided between the Franconian FMW, some Oikawan companies, some companies from Talemantros and Potenza and some niche players. There was room for an additional brand on global scale. Then why not under the wings of the Eiffellandian car industry?
    Franz Maaß spoke Italian. Because of that, he had been sent to Solaren to negotiate with the owner of Moto Guzzi, Davide Guzzi. Now he was entering the office building of the only factory of Moto Guzzi, where also the company headquarters were. He went directly to the counter and introduced himself.
    Buon giorno, signora,” Maaß said.
    Buon giorno,” the lady behind the desk said.
    Ho un appuntamento con signor Davide Guzzi. Mi chiamo Maaß. Franz Maaß,” Maaß said.
    Un momento per favore,” the lady said. Then she took the telephone (the internal telephone exchange worked again) and called Guzzi’s secretary. After she had hung up the phone, she said to Maaß: “La segretaria di Signor Guzzi verrà da Le prendere a signor Guzzi.
    Grazie,” Maaß said.

    After a few minutes, he entered the office of Davide Guzzi. They shook hands and then seated themselves.
    Allora, Signor Maaß, che cosa posso fare per Lei?” Guzzi asked.
    “I want to make you an offer,” Maaß asked. “Do you know the motorcycles built by Franconian, Oikawan, Potenzan and Talemantine companies?”
    “What do you think I am, Sir? Stupid? Of course I know them. I’ve been outside Solaren several times. You didn’t expect that from a Solaris, did you?” Guzzi said. “You Eiffellandians turn out to be better masters than our own, something I didn’t expect, given the fact that our faith is forbidden in your country. But the fact that this is an underdeveloped country doesn’t mean that we Solaris are stupid, OK?”

    Indeed, Guzzi knew the other motorcycle brands. He also knew that those were far more advanced than the ones he produced. And that made him nervous. He knew that the EDF would invest into Solaren, so that the economy would look much better than it did before the war.And as soon as people started to earn more money, they would look for more modern motorcycles, or even cars.

    “I already know that, Sir. The people here are generally well-educated. The only problem this country had, and you currently also have, is lack of access to new techniques. This because only very few Solaris were allowed to travel outside Solaren, but also because you don’t have the money to develop new techniques. I am here to help,” Maaß said.
    “How would you be able to help me?” Guzzi said. “You manufacture cars.”
    “But we can offer you a lot of technical possibilities. Which can easily be implemented in motorcycles,” Maaß said. “Believe me, I’m here to help.”
    “You’re not only here to help. You offer me new techniques, but what do you want in return?” Guzzi asked.
    “A share in the profits,” Maaß said. “And a share in the company, for which we pay in shares of our company.” Then he paused for a moment.
    Guzzi remained silent as well. After a while, Maaß continued: “We also want to sell our cars via your organisation here in Solaren. It is also our intention to let you build the cars to be sold in Solaren. Indeed, this is profitable to us, but in this way we create jobs here as well. But that is a perspective for later, when the Solaris economy starts to work again. First we will concentrate on the motorcycles and will see that they become successful worldwide. That in itself is already a boost for the economy here.”
    “It sounds interesting Mr. Maaß. But I want to think this over,” Guzzi said.
    “Of course, Mr. Guzzi. I don’t expect you to decide here on the spot. I will stay in Tegeata for two weeks,” Maaß said.


    Torrence

    Many of the bombing activities had been carried out by the Eiffellandians. Both with artillery and with attack helicopters and with the air force. Meanwhile, the Eiffellandian land forces fought in the city as well. Tanks and armoured vehicles drove through the city. The water, natural gas and electricity supply installations had been captured. The natural gas supply of the city had been shut down to prevent gas explosions, but the water and electricity supply was kept up.
    Meanwhile, the Eiffellandian forces approached the harbour while fighting with the Solaris elite forces.
    Overall, the battles were harsh. Very harsh. The last Solaris forces fought themselves to death. And took many Eiffellandian soldiers with them. There were also many wounded soldiers. Luckily, this was all foreseen. The Eiffellandians had built an enormous lot of field hospitals around the city. Also the refugee camp near Torrence took up more and more refugees from the city.


    Trier

    Sind Sie Roland Meißner?” Totò Andolina asked with a severe Italian accent.
    Nein, bin ich nicht,” the man said. “Meißner wird dauernd vom Staatsschutz beschattet. Es wäre gefährlich für Sie gewesen, wenn er selbst gekommen wäre. Deswegen bin ich hier.
    “But how sure can you be that you are not spied on?” Andolina asked.
    “The Staatsschutz cannot spy on every person visiting Meißner. Furthermore, I took my measures to let the Staatsschutz loose track on me. The chances are small that they will find us here. Anyway, Meißner told me this. He contacted the man. A meeting has been arranged. Go to this adress in Kaprun. There we will prepare you for your further travel.”


    Southeastern Solaren

    Hey, billiard ball,” Maurizio di Perugia shouted through the hall of the hospital. He had seen the guy that had become his friend during his treatment. Both guys had been treated for a testis carcinoma, and the treatment had been successful. Both guys would get their last treatment today. And both guys had lost all their body hair during the treatment, also the hair on their heads.
    Duke Stefano di Perugia thanked God every day. Dr. Camici and that old Eiffellandian man, Dr. Simiak, had saved his son’s life. Maurizio was still extremely thin, but he was alive. Half a year ago, the guy was close to his death, and now he was alive. Normally people lost their sons because of a war, but the Duke was probably one of the first people in history that could say that a war saved his son. Meanwhile, he had setup a foundation for cancer research. He was so thankful to Dr. Camici and Dr. Simiak that he had called it the “Fondazione Camici‑Simiak”, with approval of the two doctors. Fund‑raising would be a bit difficult in Solaren at the moment, so he had freed 20 million Danziger Thalers from his own capital to fill it with. To be precise: Half his assets in Danzig and a quarter of the family capital.


    Tegeata

    “Be seated Mr. Maaß,” Guzzi said.
    “Thank you Mr. Guzzi. And also thank you to invite me,” Maaß said. He took a seat.
    “Mr. Maaß, I have taken a decision,” Guzzi said. After a pause, he continued: “Your proposal sounds nice. I see possibilities for cooperating with the Rieger Gruppe. But we will have to discuss the details.”
    “Of course. That is always possible. I can send you more details if you want to. Maybe you also want to ask for some advice. And I can come back to you whenever you want,” Maaß said.
    “Of course I will collect some advisors around me. Among others my family. My brothers, sons and nephews. This company is not solely mine; it is family property. We inherited it from our ancestors. This company is the soul of our family. We don’t sell it away just like that,” Guzzi said.
    “Of course. I fully understand. We have many family companies in Eiffelland as well, so I know what you are talking about,” Maaß said.
    “I already know that your country has many family companies. Even that big company you work for is still in the hands of the family. Indeed, the shares are sold at the stock exchange in Trier, but the Rieger family kept 55% of the shares. Just like the Rathenaus with their conglomerate, the Fuggers with the Trierer Bank, the Backen family in Medtronic and the Eppendorf family in Eppendorf. And I also understood that the Merck and Boehringer families are still important factors in Novartis,” Guzzi said. “You see, I know something about the world outside Solaren. That is the advantage of having a priviledged position in a country like this. Indeed, many Solaris don’t know anything of what happens outside the country, but only because of the system, not because they are stupid.”
    Guzzi took his water glass and drank. Then he continued. “There is another condition. I don’t want to further negotiate with you. It’s not that I don’t like you, but you’re a lackey. You’re nothing more than a messenger. I want to talk to your bosses. I want to talk on equal level. I am the head of the family, so I want to talk to the head of the family. I want to talk to Ferdinand Rieger.”


    OOC: Translations:

    Ho un appuntamento con signor Davide Guzzi. Mi chiamo Maaß = I have an appointment with Mr. Davide Guzzi. My name is Maaß.
    Un momento per favore = One moment please.
    La segretaria di Signor Guzzi verrà da Le prendere a signor Guzzi = Mr. Guzzi’s secretary will come to take you to Mr. Guzzi.
    Allora, Signor Maaß, che cosa posso fare per Lei = Well, Mr. Maaß, what can I do for you.

    Sind Sie Roland Meißner = Are your Roland Meißner.
    Nein, bin ich nicht = No, I’m not.
    Meißner wird dauernd vom Staatsschutz beschattet. Es wäre gefährlich für Sie gewesen, wenn er selbst gekommen wäre. Deswegen bin ich hier = Meißner is continuously spied on by the Staatsschutz. It would have been dangerous for you if he would have come himself. That’s why I’m here.
     
  15. Madurja

    Madurja Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2006
    Messages:
    7,262
    Location:
    Midwest 'Merica
    Capital:
    Redondo
    Nick:
    Fleur
    Torrence

    There was as much tension as there was sweat in the room. The stifling heat of the summer combined with the intermittent power outages turned Room 45 of the Torrence Office of Education into a sauna. The defense of Torrence had actually done a good job. Nicosian casualties were high and Eiffelland's casualties were moderate. General de Castille ordered a suspension of the advance into Torrence and instead called for an intensive air campaign against military targets and a blockade of the city. Only after 2 weeks did the advance into the city begin again. Now, EDF forces had smashed their way through demoralized units and were within blocks of most of Solaren's ministries.

    Now, a collection of staff from Nicosia and Eiffelland sat with two Cardinals and an array of assistants. All in all, there were 12 people in the room. The room's stucco walls had holes and the once pristine granite tiled floor was full of chips and cracks. It was in this room at a long teak wood table that the war was about to end.

    Only General de Castille and Cardinal Cortez sat at the table. Each man sitting across from one another. Each man stared at the other's sweat ridden face. After a moment, de Castille began to drum his fingers. Cardinal Cortez had sent Cardinal Vivar with the offer of a ceasefire to de Castille. Now, Vivar stood directly behind Cortez who was seated at the table. "So, you are requesting a ceasefire. For how long and why?" asked de Castille coldly. Cortez turned and taking the cue, a bodyguard opened a door and disappeared. de Castille tried hard not to show it, but this was uncanny. He, and the rest of the delegation, almost immediately wondered if they had walked into a trap. But instead, the door opened again and the bodyguard wheeled in a cart which squeaked horribly as it moved. "General, that is the information you need to stop the insurgents. If you have not noticed, there has been a decline in attacks already. What happened in Trier was beyond my control. The group responsible is somewhere in the area controlled by the communists..." said Cortez who paused because a priest in his delegation spat on the ground at the word 'communists'. All watched silently as he was rather harshly escorted from the room. "As I was saying General, those documents will lead you to war criminals, extremists, and people you would deem undesirable. Of course, it is only about 40% of them. With the right tools, I can stop another 25% of them. The ones in communist occupied territory are beyond my control. I have no official role other than as a servant of Holy Mother Church. I merely have influence. I can give you peace at a price" said Cortez confidently.

    de Castille was silent and he began to drum his fingers again. "What price?" asked de Castille as it was the only response that anybody could give such a statement.

    "Not a price rather, but an arrangement" said Cortez, clarifying himself. "I hand you Urban's captains and what is the word? Accomplices? I give you all those files" said Cortez, gesturing to the cart, "and you get the surrender of the Holy Solaris Army. That is the initial agreement. I need promises that these people will be protected" said Cortez as he slid a sheet across the table. "27 people. I can attest they have no criminal or political role. Their are merely members of the church. I will be made initial liaison between occupation forces and the Solaris people until insurgency has slowed further. Finally, I want a promise that no occupying force will attempt to dismantle the church; only remove it from political power. I suggest a 12 hour ceasefire until you have discussed this with your superiors". de Castille merely nodded at the suggestion. Cortez stood slowly. "And General, the terms regarding my helping put an end to insurgents and giving you information is to remain secret". Cortez walked over to the cart and tossed a random folder on the table; its contents spilling out. "Merely a taste General. May G-d bless you" said Cortez as he himself wheeled the cart from the room.
     

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