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Sylvania

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The cameraman focused the television news camera on to a young black haired woman who looked to be in her late 20's, still youthful and clear skinned, just as all women on TV should be according to the execs. The wind was blowing her hair as she stood on top of an observation deck of a tall building that overlooked the Northern Passage Canal.

"Ted, is there anything we can do about this wind?" The Black haired woman said with a ditzy sounding accent.

"Are you fucking kidding me? I run the camera not the wind. Tie your hair back." The cameraman answered with with angry sarcasm. It was a bright sunny, yet windy day and down below them the canal had been cleared of commercial traffic, low in the water six submarines sailed two by two in wide canal and behind them five frigates and three destroyers. In the distance the flattop could be seen.

Down below a band struck up a nautical military tune, beyond the railing a crowd could be seen gathered to view an event that had not happened yet in the history of the canal, the passage of a carrier battle group through the canal. Ted signaled to the woman thirty seconds until the switch over occurred and they would be live. The woman quickly put her hair up as best as she could, hearing the words of the reporters back in the studio from the earpiece she wore.

“And now we go live, on location with Annalee Nishimura, to the Northwest Passage Canal in Arnegaard where the Yellowjacket is passing through the canal with her battle group.”

“Ann?”

“Good morning, Jerry, I’m standing here on the observation deck of the NP Canal Authority building looking out over the canal and you can see the battle group of ships now passing through the canal. It’s become a bit of a spectacle for residents here who have come to see the ships on their journey over to the silk sea where they will be joining the aircraft carrier Hornet in securing our and our alliance’s interests in an area that has seen increasing tensions. The navy has put on a bit of a show for residents in the area as you can see with the Continental Navy’s ‘President’s Own.’ Many of the people here are family members of the service men and women on these ships along with citizens from the area who have come to see perhaps a once in a lifetime event.”

A voice came into her ear again: “Now Annalee, we understand that the canal authority has closed the canal to civilian traffic while the military conducts it’s movements. Is that correct?”

“That’s correct Jerry, the authority has temporarily closed the canal to shipping traffic to facilitate the military’s movements, but they stress that the closure will only be until thirteen hundred hours. Once the ships are clear of the canal, civilian traffic will be able to move freely as it had before.”

The camera panned away from the reporter and zoomed onto the approaching aircraft carrier.

“Wow what a sight.” The studio reporter heard said in her ear.

“Indeed Jerry, what it will mean for the future is anybodies guess. So far the government has not made official statement on it's shift to a Silk sea focus, keeping their explanations to generalities about DDI alliance commitments made prior to the start of 2020.” The camera panned back to the reporter. “I am Annalee Nishimura reporting for WPKI Channel Eleven News.”
 

Kurkhazia

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Operation Monk Seal
Seneca, WSA

The consolidation of the Western Fleet would take another week, her pale green ships coasting in from north and south to form a rough chevron facing out towards the great Implarian Ocean. Their accompanying Marines intended to stay ashore until the absolute last hours before deployment, tending to an extensive checklist of vaccines, preparation of wills, life insurance documents, and indeed perhaps their final bumps with loved ones or evening acquaintances before an entirely uncertain voyage ahead.

Operation Monk Seal had been drafted in honor of the Kingdom of Elben's well-known submarine fleet in-waiting somewhere in the vast Implarian. By ornately strung lei or swiftly cast harpoon the Ambrosians intended to advance where west met east through the Augustine Islands' corridors.

At the tip of that harpoon walked Admiral Timothy Harris, of the W.S. Alderman, who strolled along the deck with the captains of other vessels as they attempted to stay in a respectable formation behind him. "Our orders on this pleasure cruise are to sail safely, bear a message of peace to the Elbener's in Augustine, and instill hope in the Justosian."

"Hope?" Captain Macon of the W.S. Sire, a frigate, asked in shock.

"They know fear already under their own heavy hand of leadership." Harris replied, "Our orders are to bring hope for the hopeless, beyond the Augustines."

"And if the Augustines should try to intercept that message?" Captain Macon asked, raising the concern of all who stood in anticipation.

"Then the Augustines shall be forced to hope for the existence of their own Empire, though we intend them not to know fear from us or the Justosian if it is not entirely necessary."

Captain Macon nodded in sequence with the Admiral's own. A long hour or more now daunted them that would include lengthy orations concerning their philosophies of leadership, what each ship and crew had to offer, and the humble bragging of accomplishments they or their crew had made in recent drills and exercises. It would be a nauseating affair fit only for the nostrils of Ambrosian naval officers fully ensconced in their own particular maritime traditions.
 
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Kurkhazia

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Operation Monk Seal - II
Seneca, WSA

Both the accompanying marines and the Western Fleet's naval crews from were afforded their final on-shore day pass so that they might observe Easter Sunday gatherings, services, or merriment. This put at odds the significant minority of Vivislav-Ambrosians, of the Orthodox persuasion concerning the Christian calendar, who would be forced to witness yet another holiday at sea after their Tiburan Catholic and Protestant comrades.

Oblivious to any of their celebrations Staff Sergeant Hakeem Foster scratched at his beard and peered down at an impossibly long list of Marines that had to be brought in by 0600 Monday. "Mister Melnikov - can you please run to the MP's and find out who will be fetching Marines this evening?"

Corporal Melnikov, who by way of orthodoxy had not been offered the weekend, took off at a casual jog towards Camp Killian's military police office to find out who was in charge. As he got nearer to their office and the camp's main gate he began to hear the chant of the Ambrosian Marine' Hymn.

"Corporal Melnikov reporting on behalf of Staff Sergeant Foster, 3rd Brigade Recon overnight, who is running the overnight MP crew?" he wondered aloud with an eye to the exterior.

"Son, we've been occupied by B.L. Suthers" another Dawamali-Ambrosian boasted behind crossed arms. "Da bitch dun-said anyone who ain't here by midnight ought to drill until their 'Christ or sun rises, which ever comes first.'" He was a Corporal guarding the gates of Camp Killian with a sub-machine gun jabbed out lazily from his hip.

"What a cunt." Corporal Melnikov barked instinctively.

"Hell, if it gets an Ambrosian white boy, and I don't mean you OrthPops, to gets to do a damn thing around here why not? It's about damn time these gallopale-monkeys were asked to get outta bed and prove themselves." the guard corporal complained.

"We just want to know if we need to go fishing city-side for Marines tonight?" Melnikov interjected before the other Corporal's entire background of disenfranchisement spilled over to a sob story.

"No-suh, no. Bitch-Suthers dun called the police to roust the bars to send'em home!" the MP Corporal explained, stumbling up to his feet as a series of blacked out civilian vehicles approached the gate. "Y'all look proper now!"

In rolled eight sedans, the first of which pulled up with its rear passenger window rolling down to show none other than FSB Director Bobbi-Lynn Suthers herself: "I've got my ID . ." she explained, "and I've got about 30 other IDs, but .. you know?"

"Oh I know, one at a time Missus . . right, let me look at that card" the MP Corporal bellowed, tapping the shoulder of Melnikov to join him in inspecting the vehicle. "It's uncomfortable I know," Suthers exclaimed from within the sedan, "but we need to start holding our security to a higher standard, one interaction at a time!"
 
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Sylvania

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Breckenridge took a look at the list of ships and a map of the Silk Sea. "Alright, lets have a rundown of what we have committed to the Silk Sea Fleet."

Admiral McIlhenny went ahead and gave a rundown for the sake of the tired president before him. "We have currently in the Silk, two Wasp class carriers, fourteen Hazard class frigates, twelve Marathon class destroyers, ten Thresher class submarines, two Sylvania class LHA's and four Meteor class LHD's. This is not including the troop transports and supply vessels."

"There are two carrier battle groups, Wasp Group and Hornet Group. In Wasp Group, five frigates, two destroyers, two submarines, one LHA and the accompanying supply vessels. Same goes for Hornet Group as the groups are identical in composition. Additionally we have task force 116 out operating with ships of our friends in Johnston Island, four frigates and two destroyers. We have two destroyers escorting the LHD's and troop ships to our rally area at our dock space in the southern Touzenese Islands in the Asakaze Sea. The rest of our destroyer and submarine force is acting as an advanced screen for our carrier groups, our subs have been split into teams of two for three teams total, they are to monitor Justosian movements and stalk Justosian ships. At Asakaze we are constructing a runway and barracks space for our marines that will be stationed there."

Breckenridge pinched the bridge of his nose, it had been a long day and he was ready to sleep. "So our cover story for the marines in Asakaze?"

The Admiral nodded and read off his notes. "It's a pretty simple cover story. They are going out that way for joint training with Touzenese and Pohjanmaan forces. Of course we have questions being asked and the paranoid Justosians, who have every right to be paranoid at this point, probably won't believe it. However there is nothing they can do about it."

President Breckenridge nodded. "Alright then."

The Admiral continued. "Our fleet is mostly assembled. They will conduct routine operations in the Silk sea as ordered. Task Force 116 will be rerouted to Asakaze in the morning when they are done with operations near Vanguardia with Johnston Island. However long we need to keep up the charade, it won't be an issue. Once our runways are constructed, any marines that need rotated out will be done by air until the order is given or a war declaration comes up. Our operations will continue to move deeper into the Silk as the weeks go on to clench tighter around Justosia."

"Alright then," Breckenridge said again and dryly. "let's go over what the Pohjanmaans are bringing to the table...."
 
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Petits-Pays

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It was a warm terrible place. On some Touzenese island setting up camp. A woodworker had put up a good sign that read Camp Kalevala in large print to welcome all the troops and their support. They’d been brought over as part of the DDI’s urge that Pohjanmaa start lifting some heavier weights in the alliance and the Lepomäki Administration was happy to oblige.

Several destroyer tender ships had already made it to the region and the crew on those ships were helping set up the harbor on this island designed to help future DDI naval forces in the region.

There were supposed to be plenty of destroyers and a couple of cruisers arriving in the region as well soon. Meanwhile the Free Marines were now building cabins in the Pohjanmaan style. They also made several tipi tents that were now all the rage in Pohjanmaa. A quick and effective way to make warm lodging or a even a sauna!

It was at this point that several helicopters landed in a nearby grassy field. With several commanders looking important waddling out to their own command tipis. Kookos Harbour was coming along well for having just been started the week before, but it would still be some time before the harbor was serviceable.
 

Kurkhazia

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Operation Monk Seal - III

Sighs of relief rang out among the sizeable contingent of Tiburan Catholic marines and seamen of Ambrosia's Implarian Fleet as the news of safe portage from the Augustine Islands was shared with the masses. These sighs led to cheers and those cheers led to the singing of Gunnish and Elben drinking songs over the airwaves as the once distant and daunting Hedwig Harbor drew nearer.

Ambrosia was committing its second of as many existing carrier strike groups to the expedition with marine freighters in tow. One Wasp-class carrier knockoff carried the center with five destroyers and five missile cruisers distributed at their flanks.

Marines on board the Expeditionary Transport Group numbered at 10,000 - a third of the full force aiming east and preparing shiploads of equipment to be ferried forward later. Untold billions of government and private money would soon be flowing into the Augustine Islands from the small wallets of seamen, marines, perhaps one day soldiers or airmen, and the deeper pocket of the Westernesse States of Ambrosia who would be funneling cash into the Augustine Islands for priority fueling and accommodation.

Ambrosia's movement and composition was communicated with her Sylvanian partners, and given the size disparity the Ambrosians had yielded command toward the Sylvanians who had not made any specific requests as of yet. Admiral Harris had not slept well in a fortnight, and continued to fret internally despite the good news in consideration of Elben's submarine wolf packs that remained somewhere in the periphery.
 

Kurkhazia

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Operation Selfie Spoilage - I
Seneca, WSA

Federal Security Bureau Chief B.L. Suthers was assuming the role of commander and chief from the aging and ailing president with careful poise. She appeared before military brass at Camp Killian in a blue skirt and coat with golden buttons double lining the center. Fastening an embroidered scarf tighter around her neck, Suthers as encouraged the men and women assembled before her to sit down.

"So, I think what we are trying to figure out here" she began through her scratchy voice, "is how we bring out and bring down Justosia. Is anyone feeling creative?"

Around thirty officials were present, mostly military, but some FSB creatures tasked with the Justosian, Azraq, and Elben files in particular. An army lieutenant general by the name of Twining was first to offer: "It's not our role to go around picking fights, is it?"

"No, you're right sir, but perhaps it's prudent to take the initiative and end a fight before it becomes one we can't win?" Suthers replied.

"Someone has to sink!" a Naval Rear Admiral by the name of Collins blurted out, "an Ambrosian or Sylvanian ship, I'm sorry, but it's the only way."

"Why not an aircraft?" Suthers wondered aloud, "couldn't that same result be reached with one plane?"

Air Force personnel began to scoff, shaking their heads at the idea of sacrificing one of their own. Naval officers did the same, glaring at Collins and questioning his presence at all.

"We're not looking at this dynamically enough," Bobbi-Lynn Suthers scolded, "and I'm not blaming any one organization or individual here this morning, but we are staring down a quagmire and no one is communicating . . I know," Suthers said with a smile, "the FSB is listening to all of you, and none of you have a multi-faceted plan. You're all thinking about leveraging next year's congressional cash."

B.L. shook her head through the poorly exclaimed excuses, "No, that's alright, I've heard it all already thank you."

"Ma'am," a lieutenant from the Coast Guard piped up, "we ought to check the Nedernesian private interest in Justosia's oil game. Detached from any state they might be reached or rattled unlike any other."

"Now that's interesting!" Suthers responded behind a short clap.
 

Vrijpoort

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Staatolie B.V. Research Division, Camp Zeeveld
Block 454/Y89
Approx. 75km northeast off the coast of Gironia, Vanguardia, Justosia


Jimmie Palmer his job immensely. At 33, most of his friends from school were toiling away in skyscrapers back in Vrijpoort, donning Retallian and Ertrurian suits while slaving away behind trading desks or excel spreadsheets. They returned home to their tiny flats and popped in a microwave meal from the snelshop 24-hour convenience store and did the same thing over again every morning after a lengthy commute on the underground. Jimmie, on the other hand, was paid the same, if not more, to travel the world and coordinate massive oil and gas exploration missions for Staatolie, the state-owned oil and gas company of Nedernesia.

Vanguardia was one of the more exotic places he had been assigned to. The climate sure beat offshore platforms in the Gothic Sea. After successfully bidding for a massive tract of offshore blocks earlier this year, Staatolie had sent Jimmie on this expedition with a team of engineers and assistants. The offshore fields were totally virgin. Seismic tests followed by a series of ship-based drilling to test for oil and gas were so promising that the Nedernesians and Tyskonians quickly snapped up as much as they could from the Justosian leasing scheme.

Cam Zeeveld wasn't exactly a posh Vrijpoort business hotel. It was on a wild coast of northern Vanguardia accessible only by a single small road connecting it to the city of Gironia some hours away. This is where the company kept its helicopters based and an exploration ship stayed moored offshore when not out sampling the seabed.

Today Jimmie and his team were onboard the HMS Pristine to conduct further test drilling in Block 454/Y89, one of the more promising blocks where they were expecting easily accessible oil. If today's test was successful an offshore rig would be ordered to deploy here in a few months. While the engineers prepared the drill, Jimmie enjoyed the sea breeze and the afternoon sun beating down onto the forward deck.

This should be like any other assignment, but messages from head office in Vrijpoort had been coming in daily.

Mercenaries to accompany all offshore missions...Ensure Nedernesian flag is flying at all times...maintain active radio communication with all nearby ships and aircraft...etc.

Jimmie read the papers. He knew what was going on in the area and he understood that danger pay wasn't just a typical bonus. He tried not to worry about it, but he knew that despite the splendid beauty of the surrounding waters and islands, something nasty was brewing across the horizon.
 

Kurkhazia

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Operation Selfie Spoilage - II
Western Coast of the Augustian Islands


Unanticipated and unappreciated, that was how the crew of the were ordered away from Hedwig Harbor where pensioner tourists from Ambrosia and Sylvania hoped to rest their calloused feet in virgin sands. The order had not come from the local natives, no not even the Elben Authorities, but rather the Ambrosian Navy bearing down on Hedwig Harbor. Like the largest pup Ambrosia's Navy suckled at the sight of fueling points, her Marines dropping off ropes towards the bars belonging lazy tourists with no more than a week of blue balls at their pouch.

But what about the Oasis? Indeed, she drifts deeper into the ocean blue where none. She has energy to run the on-board casino, night club, and buffet for three more days. Some joke on-board they have been diverted because of the Engellpox, but that was last year's farce obviously the crew remind them. Uneasiness does not welcome these passengers as their vacation has been extended only a few days in paradise.

___

Operation Monk Seal - IV

Captain Andreakov heeded orders to advance his submarine ahead of the main Ambrosian group and indeed beyond the SS Quantum Oasis, which he and his crew treated as an irrelevant vessel - aiming to probe Justosian and Elbener subs monitoring the rest in this forsaken corner of the world.
 

Sylvania

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Operation Moving Day
Five hundred miles north west of Asakaze Island


The fleet that Sylvania had built up to confront Justosia had been the largest in recent history, only eclipsed by a war now only in the memories of old Sylvanian men and women, despite this it was just a drop in the bucket of the expansive Silk Sea. However the fleet was not much in the mind of the pilots of the close to one hundred F-101C Agile Wyverns and thirty Strike Wyverns that had to make their way across the sea over the course of the next few days. The route would require a few aerial refueling operations and no stops along the way.

The first ten of the Agile Wyverns were nearing the quickly expanding joint base at Camp Maxwell/Kalevala, the other air force units had already made the trip over, the fighters were the last of the planes to arrive. The first ten had been the striped agile wyverns of the air force's demonstration team, despite their elite status as pilots in air shows, they were not exempt from service in battle and were the best pilots of all those rated to fly the type. All of the movements of Sylvanian assets had been under the cover story of a training exercise in Touzen, the location undisclosed of course, but despite the cover story, everyone knew what was possibly going to happen in the Silk Sea and many of the men and women who had come over where itching for action. They knew the Justosians would be tenacious and fanatical in their defense of their so called sphere of influence, but the military of Sylvania was here to disabuse them of that notion. Would they take the hint and cease their bombastic ways? Many had doubted it was possible without the use of violent force.

The thoughts of Justosia's next moves didn't even register in the mind of Commander David Frasier, all he could think of was his checklists interspersed with a frequent, "Sweet Jesus, I need to piss."


Sailing with CSS Crux

Captain Bird was relieved to be sailing away from Vanguardia, but his relief was somewhat tempered when his XO told them they would not be going back to naval base at McKay's Rocks, hell he even would have settled for Rennerdale, but instead they would be linking up with Carrier Strike Group Alpha and support the CRSS Wasp. Bird thanked the Rear Admiral for the opportunity to train with the Johnstonian navy and accepted the offer to sale with them east deeper into the silk sea. Strike Group Alpha was already on its way to take station one hundred and fifty miles northeast of Vanguardia. A collective groan could be felt through all of Task Force 116's sailors when they were informed of the new orders, their orders had changed so much and the scope of their mission changed several times. This was no longer some freedom of navigation operation, two Sylvanian carriers within a few hundred miles proximity to each other should have convinced even the dullest mind within the Task Force 116 of that.

@Johnston Isle
 

Kurkhazia

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Operation Selfie Spoilage III

Drifting towards Justosia from Hedwig Harbor: Strike Group West regained its attack submarine away from the Quantum Oasis, which gladly took the opportunity to refuel for a rapid return to Westernesse. Captain Andreakov’s submarine, the WS Cottonmouth, was once again ordered ahead of the main element as a lure to show movement among the Justosians.

Strike Group West sought to come within range of a patrolling Justosian fleet, no matter the size, to establish a presence in the region with a carefully ranged flex. The Ambrosians would not advance so far as to make it impossible to return to Hedwig Harbor, where already their welcome was nearing it end, but the Ambrosians believed that it was in the nature of Justosia to meet Ambrosia at sea head on to prevent further incursion.

This was a theory, not a certainty that the Justosians would seek to match and potentially overcompensate against the Ambrosian probe with homegrown presence patrols. If this theory was realized - the Ambrosians planned to start sending out aerial missions within the Justosian area of operations immediately in order to test and make the point over what spurred this face off: the issue of freedom of navigation and diplomatic conduct.
 

Kurkhazia

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Seneca,WSA

Having wrapped shooting for the evening in a cramped soundstage studio befitted with bright lights and green screens, “adult film” director Karen Webb was shocked when an e-mail popped on her screen to immediately transmit files from the unfinished work to the anonymous buyer. He, at least Karen assumes it was a he, had asked for Aurarian actors to act out a bizarre “Urodoah Sex Romp” complete with scimitars and turbans.

The dialogue did not matter the buyer as long as they spoke some form of Aurarian throughout the flick, and that the “protagonist prince takes as much action as he dishes out”. Webb had planned another desert scene, this time on horses instead of those pesky camels, but now the buyer demanded their unfinished 23 minute picture with only two sex scenes in Himyari tents and a handful of playful interactions in front of a green screen that still needed to be painted out as desert.

Suburban Saint Theosburg, WSA

The buyers were Federal Security Bureau signals personnel, the same pornography collectors who had anonymously released a faux Empress of Justosia film two months earlier. That project had been rather simple and boring all agreed, and had not made much of a demoralizing splash within tightly controlled Justosian internet space.

This film wasn’t meant for Justosian screens, instead for the Muslim world: specifically @Azraq and @Kaziristan where an edited version of the film, called “The True Muhammad” would be re-dubbed in local national Arabic language and released with credits tying the film to Avalon, Justosia. It was a crude piece of work, and potentially would never leave the web, but these peculiar federal agents hoped that this porno would create a small firestorm in the Muslim world.
 

Sylvania

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550 MILES EAST NORTH EAST OF GIRONIA
CARRIER STRIKE GROUP ALPHA
C.R.S.S. WASP


"Gundog Zero One, you are cleared for launch." The rush of steam catapult and the afterburner could be felt in the cockpit as the F-21A Super Longsword launched off the aircraft carrier followed by the other three fighters in the Gundog element. The strike group had been alerted of two Justosian fighters approaching the fleet by AWACS and carrier born RADAR, the news of the downing of Ambrosian Lieutenant Erin Spalding had hit back home the news only a few hours back, but within the fleet the news had been known for a while now after having been informed of the attack by the Ambrosian navy. The Ambrosians where their friends and the Continental Navy would not allow the same thing to happen to their pilots. The four F-21A Super Longswords would go out and meet the Justosian fighters with bared teeth.

Perhaps the Justosians were testing them, two fighters was not much of an attack, but the Continental Navy would not tolerate such tests, not now after blood had been spilled. The four fighters formed up on each other with Gundog Zero One in the lead. "You are cleared to engage hostiles. Weapons free." The WSO confirmed lock on the Justosian fighters "Fox three!" came out over the radio followed by another. Both Gundog Zero One and Zero Two fired AMRAAM's at their respective targets.

AWACS confirmed the lead Justosian fighter broke too late and was destroyed by the missile, the other missile had missed as the other Justosian fighter broke to avoid being hit. "Gundog flight, the other Justosian fighter is turning tail." AWACS came over the radio to inform them. "Permission to pursue?" Gundog Zero One asked. "Negative Gundog, orbit your current position in case more fighters show up or the other tries to make another run at us. The F-21A's did battle damage checks and began to orbit the area. Now Justosian blood had been spilled.
 

Kurkhazia

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Silk Sea

Lieutenant Spaulding had not been the first nor the last Ambrosian pilot to be dangled in front of the Justosians as bait. In the 24 hours preceding her disappearance the Ambrosian Navy had sent one aircraft at a time every hour on the hour to fly far too closely near Justosian patrols, buzz the Justosian aircraft carrier by flying closely over its deck, and to persist in this loud and dangerous annoyance overnight.

The crews of Ambrosia’s Strike Group West were incensed as rumors of one of their own being struck down percolated the meddling fleet. None but the fly-boys and compensating ladies knew what their jets had actually been doing the previous evening, and none among their cared to admit that if Justosia had indeed shot first it may have been justified.

The Ambrosians offered their Justosian counterparts a 12 hour cessation of observation operations, contingent that they be allowed to search for the downed jet closer to the Justosian fleet and island homeland.
 

Sylvania

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Though should war come, Vanguardia was a top priority for capture, the Naval district of Porton that Justosia had built up on its closest northerly island was of great interest to allied forces in this area. Currently submarine group three consisting of the subs Hydra and Razor's Edge were monitoring the port for increases in naval activity, they were supported by a Pohjanmaan submarine group not far from their position. Patrols from the carrier group bravo of EA-6B Ramblers escorted by F-21A Longswords were flying missions ever closer to the airspace of the naval district gathering crucial signals intelligence in the area. So far no Justosian fighters had harassed them after the shoot down of the fighters that approached strike group alpha near Vanguardia.

In addition to the military's interest in the Porton naval district was the location of Justosia's ballistic missile nuclear submarines, aircraft and destroyers from both strike groups were constantly searching the area for submarine movements. Eventually these submarines would need to make resupply with a depot ship or come back into port and the Sylvanian navy intended on making sure they didn't lose track of them once they were found. A squadron of the navy's P-8 Neptunes had arrived at Camp Maxwell on Asakaze Island and would soon start missions mapping the littoral regions of Vanguardia as well as hunting Justosian subs. The discovery of the Justosian submarines was a top priority and should conflict occur it was crucial that they all be quickly destroyed or disabled in the ensuing naval battle that would no doubt decide whether further operations in the area could be taken on.

While the Ambrosians might offer a cessation of their observation missions, the Sylvanians would not and they had already demonstrated that they were ready to shoot down Justosian planes that might meet them with hostile intent out in unclaimed airspace.
 

Sylvania

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RevolverZeek
The situation room had a tense atmosphere after the revelations of the Justosian move into a defensive posture, the military had recommended a lightning strike on Justosia the moment it was feasible, the civilian advisors opted for caution, Justosia was no pushover. The Justosian military was formidable in its own right and their capabilities to repel an attack or even strike back in a severely damaging manner had given some, including President Breckenridge pause. There was also the problem that no formal declaration had yet been made and opposition in the continental congress was starting to grow.

Breckenridge having fought in war himself knew the merits of a quick and brutal strike on key areas, however even with the large amount of Sylvanian assets in the area as well as their Ambrosian and Pohjanmaan allies, they would not be able to deal the kind of crippling blow that was needed to give them an upper hand come the counter attack.

Admiral McIlhenny had agreed with the president that a lightning strike would not be sufficient enough to keep the fleets out of danger, however the generals in the air force and marines had other ideas about that. The bickering and shouting would last for a moment before calm prevailed.

"There is nothing that can be done then, we have lost whatever advantage we may have had, I am committed to the peace process, if I were a younger man I may agree with the air force and marines on how this should be handled, but I am not a younger man."

Admiral McIlhenny spoke up before more arguing could commence. "Sir, there is another way."

"Let us hear it." the president answered.

"There is a possibility that we may be able to gain a victory without even stepping foot on Justosian soil. Their military is formidable yes, but the situation at home for the Justosians would be untenable in the long run were we to start applying pressure in a few key areas." The admiral replied.

The admiral's aides walked into the room and presented a display board to the room. "We call it Operation Stranglehold."

"Operation Stranglehold will cut off Justosia from all civilian shipping by creating an exclusion zone around their territory with our surface ships and aircraft encouraging international shipping to Justosia away from the country while our submarine force conduct unrestricted warfare against all Justosian flagged civilian shipping. By doing so we can choke out the Justosians from food shipments and other shipping that their already strained economy relies upon. Should the peace process fail this will be what we must be prepared to do to end Justosia. We cannot afford to fight their navy while under the threat of Justosian air cover, we can coax their fleets out into more equitable waters by threatening their shipping or at least exact a high price for every ship they may be able to get through the zone."

The President nodded, "Alright then let's hear more...."
 

Kurkhazia

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Nilshanks
Brigadier General Gary Revak and his likewise Air Force staff stood together inside Air Force Base Harrison, each loaded with large rucksacks on their backs like camouflaged turtles and assault packs over their stomachs. Captain Gracie, Revak’s primary attaché, even had two additional bags in either hand as a chartered civilian bus rolled up to their stationary queue.

A gentleman driver from Sylvania descended the high bus steps without a waive or acknowledgment and immediately opened two cargo doors on the side of the bus for the Ambrosians to start loading in.

“Beautiful morning sir!” Gracie bubbled, extending her two side bags for him to help with. “Well, it sure is early enough!” the driver grumbled as he accepted the duty of helping her. Fog still reigned here as the sun rallied from the west and crickets laid to rest.

General Revak counted his officers as they climbed the steps one by one totaling 13 before taking his seat behind the driver. “Five hours, one stop, you’ll have 15 minutes. Any questions?” the salty bus driver growled.

“What do you think of that Charleroi Minutemen trade to Saint Theosburg?” Revak pandered. Ian, whose name was given away by a nameplate, grinned and put the bus back into drive. “Why yes! I’m glad you asked!” Ian boomed before spending nearly the rest of the first leg of their trip boasting the hockey team’s glory and bemoaning their foibles.

Their one and only stop was at a Sylvanian McBonafocius, which all 13 of his staff lined up in for a breakfast sandwich and coffee. As the driver’s dash clock hit the fifteen minute window Revak distracted the man by moving the discussion, which soon became a debate, about last year’s baseball World Series which was riddled with accusations that the Ambrosian Umpire had cheated a Sylvanian slugger at bat in the final inning. This made for enough time for Captain Gracie, last as always, to stroll back with specially made lattes for the three of them.

“I’ve never tried one these!” Ian smugly declared, “But uhh, yeah . . Not bad!”

“I knew you’d like it!” Gracie beamed, “Now hit it old man!” she screeched abruptly. “Don’t have to tell me twice.” Ian said with a jolted smile, gassing out of the fast food parking lot like a giant bullet. In a few short hours they would download on to a Sylvanian military base to begin coordinating with them and their DDI counterparts personally for the first time.
 

Tarusa

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Jun 18, 2019
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Ogallala
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JJ
The Implarian fleet tasked with pestering the Justosians had largely returned home minus the CSS Barracuda which had slipped itself into the naval yards on Triswell Island. The submarine would spend a full week on the Island, the crew itself was still oblivious to the mission they had just accomplished they were just going to enjoy their time back on land and in the sun. The true reason was for a debriefing of the special guests that had been onboard obliviously to most of the crew, a re-fitting, and re-fueling before being shipped back to sea. As the crew began to head their separate ways for the first evening of galavanting around the town to terrorize the local women and bars, the two intelligence officers were met in the yard by a gentleman standing next to this small quite dated car that was several years older than these gentleman could possibly be. He was bringing them to the commanders house for Joint Base Triswell. Awaiting there was officials from the intelligence directorate which had been responsible for the authorization of their mission.

The vehicle, or clunker, junker, and so many other things these two men began calling it over their short trip arrived at the commanders residence, only one light was on. "We're here, now move along they are awaiting your arrival inside." as the driver was quickly trying to push for them to get out of his vehicle. The two gentleman must have made the man feel insignificant or insulted they thought, must have been his personal vehicle. They arrived at the door only for it to open before they could make their presence known by a housekeeper. "Down the hall, fourth door to your left gentleman. Keep walking and you'll see where your supposed to go."

The meeting itself was uneventful, they debriefed their superior that had flown out aboard one of the few assets that had been temporarily located to the air base on the Island. They were given new orders, they would be returning back to the seas again with another top secret mission to brief only the senior crew aboard the submarine.
 
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