A Desolation Called Peace

[pre]“They make a desolation and call it peace.”[/pre]

[pre]— Gaius Cornelius Tacitus,[/pre][pre] Cornelii Taciti De Germania[/pre]

[OOC: This is an open thread, so anyone may post in this thread, as long as it is on-topic.]

[pre]An Tionól Náisiúnta, Dunbronach . . .
October 9th 2020, 7:09 AM, UTC-6 . . . [/pre]
An Príomhaire Paula Tole paced behind the podium at the head of the National Assembly’s voting hall, waiting as the tired legislators finished the roll call. When the last one was accounted for, Paula stepped up to the podium. “Before you all vote, I know our country prides itself on its neutrality and peaceful ways, but this is a serious threat. If the Aivintian Empire reaches our shores, I’m not sure if our defenses can hold. If we meet their navy before it arrives, it will decimate ours. The only way we can have a chance at keeping our independence is if you pass this Declaration of War and authorize hostile action against Aivintis. This war plan can work. But only if you pass this Declaration of War.” She stepped down, and the Cainteoir shot her a worried expression before beginning the process.

“The matter of the Oileanian Declaration of War Against the Aivintian Empire is hereby called to a vote. Legislators must clearly state their vote.” He paused. “Seanadóir Niall MacNuadha of Roslee.”

The Seanadóir stood. “Nay.”

“Seanadóir Lann Ní Duibh of Loughbriggan.”

The Seanadóir stood. “Aye.”

And so it continued. Nay after nay, aye after aye, abstain after abstain, until the entire National Assembly had voted.

“Voting on the matter of the Oileanian Declaration of War Against the Aivintian Empire is hereby closed. The results are as follows . . .” The Cainteoir read off the votes one after another for every district, for every Seanadóir. Nay after nay, aye after aye, abstain after abstain, until he had reviewed the entire National Assembly’s vote. He continued, “The vote has concluded with 11 eligible voters abstaining, 86 nays, and 143 ayes. The 2/3 majority is not reached. The bill has been defeated.”

The An Príomhaire swore and stormed out of the voting hall, entering a nondescript black sedan. She took out her phone and dialed a number. It barely rung before a familiar voice greeted her. “An Príomhaire.” Good. Someone still respected her.

“The vote didn’t pass, Leifteanant-ghinearál. Call up the reserves to set up fortified positions in the south shore and prepare the logistics of defending the nation from a full-scale invasion. Contact the Leas-aimiréal and deliver the exact orders I relayed to you. I also want you to get your people on potential evacuation plans for our citizens. Recruitment drives have been up, correct?”

“Yes, An Príomhaire, but we haven’t gotten many new recruits.”

“Keep them up anyway. Prepare material for when the Aivintian Empire attacks. We need more numbers if we’re to deal with them, their military is 25 times bigger than ours.”

“Yes, An Príomhaire. Is that all?”

“Yes, but await further orders. The second the Aivintians fire the first shot, I want martial law in place.”

“And the Politicians?”

“Make sure our party members are evacuated. The rest mean nothing to me.”

“Yes, An Príomhaire.” There was no hint of disloyalty in the Leifteanant-ghinearál’s voice.

“Good day.” She hung up.
[pre]ARS Talos, At Sea . . .
October 9th 2020, 8:09 AM, UTC-5 . . . [/pre]
Grand Admiral Douglas Maynard listened to the intelligence report with boredom, committing the information to memory as he waited for the report to just be over already. Finally, it was. “You’re dismissed, Lieutenant.”

The Junior Officer in question bowed and left the bridge, likely heading to get a drink. Maynard didn’t care. Instead, he called the ship’s Commander by name. “How is she running?”

“Still good, sir. The aircraft are secure and there’s been no problems.”

“Good. Keep it that way.” He stood up.

“Yes sir. Might I ask where you’re going, sir?”

“No,” he replied, turning around and leaving the bridge. Combat was growing ever closer and Grand Admiral Maynard, despite his outward confidence, was anxious about the battle to come. He walked around the deck of the aircraft carrier, getting salutes and bows from the crew and officers, still wondering why the Emperor had chosen him.

Admiral Richmond was a much better choice, he told himself again. Does the Emperor think this operation is doomed to fail?

As he wandered aimlessly, Grand Admiral Maynard’s thoughts wandered too. Playing out the war plans, replaying the memory of his appointment, constructing scenarios in which he conquered Oilean and returned home a hero, and scenarios in which the navy was crushed by foreign powers, and he was executed by the enemy.

Maynard leaned over the railing of the ship, looking at the Aivintian First Fleet. 15 corvettes, 24 destroyers, 7 attack submarines, 10 amphibious assault ships, and the new aircraft carrier, named after the mythological Titan that defeated King Lerasi in single combat and was awarded the Kingdom of Oilean. The irony was not lost on anyone on board.

Grand Admiral Maynard never tired of watching these beautiful human creations, so well-crafted and so destructive, glide gracefully along the seas. They were even more awe-inspiring in battle, which would be a lesson the Oileanian fleet would soon learn.

Not completely, however. ‘Capture, not sink,’ the Emperor had ordered. He wanted Oilean to be his, not nobody’s. The Grand Admiral was sure he had big plans for southern Gondwana. The expansion of the military, strong regimentation of the government, and the creation of two new counties - Duchies, he corrected himself - in the West Weald were sure signs of it.

Any plans the Emperor has will be revealed soon, the Grand Admiral told himself. ‘Unless this is a death trap’ lurked in the back of his mind, though.