Ad Astra Per Aspera

OOC: Obligatory info dump. The Four Days War, which was in late December of 2016, ended up devastating space, due to the Fire Pact’s Eternal Wrath Space Station and Tretrid’s use of anti-satellite weaponry. To make a long, long story short, the Four Days War lead to Kessler Syndrome, which completely filled up space with debris. The great powers were understandably pissed about not having satellite TV and GPS anymore, so peace conferences were swiftly held, culminating in the Treaty of Aura in late January of 2017.

It’s also a great opportunity to play your nation in the past! Have fun!
Culoria, Oscrelia
February 5, 2017
(OOC: This references Changing Winds a bit, so go read the first post there if you haven’t already.)
Chancellor Harvey was basically a constant in Oscrelian politics. He usually had a reputation for calmness. But not today.

He was steaming over the 2016 Oscrelian elections.

Damn Ryder.

The chancellor pushed his angry thoughts about the SDO out of his mind. After all, there were much more pressing news.

Like that goddamn war in goddamn Gondwana.

Normally, a conflict in Gondwana wouldn’t concern Harvey. Not even if it involved major powers, including the Morstaybishlian Empire. However, in that war, Tretrid decided it was a good idea to fire ASATs around, and the Fire Pact thought it was a good idea to shoot down Myriad Station. Now space is completely useless.

At least Tretrid and Celannica were forced to pay extra war reparations in that Treaty of Aura that was ratified the previous week, though that was little comfort. After all, infrastructure in space were now virtually nonexistent, so satellite TV and GPS were completely offline, at least for the next few years.

Harvey took a deep breath. A conference was going to be held right here in Culoria, in two days. He would need to get his feelings in check.
Cynebury, Tretrid
February 5, 2017

Eoforwine sometimes felt that it was a dream. Or perhaps a nightmare.

After all, Prime Minister Æthelred had just resigned due to that motion of no confidence, and now Eoforwine was Prime Minister. In any other circumstances, Eoforwine would have been fine with taking the helm of the country.

But not this time.

This time, Æthelred had just steered Tretrid through a disasterous war, and now Tretrid had a bunch of war reparations and help in the cleanup, according to the Treaty of Aura.

He sighed. He had been given the reins of the kingdom while it was becoming disliked by the international community due to its conduct during the war, and he didn’t see any easy way out.

The Tretridian ambassador to the South-East Pacific Coalition got lectured by several emissaries from the other SEPC member states. “#BlameTret” had also been trending on social media. Tretrid was fast becoming the world’s scapegoat.

Eoforwine took a long gulp of his coffee. In a couple days, there would be an international conference in Oscrelia. Oscrelia was a neutral and relatively unimportant nation, but that was exactly why it would be held there.

Naturally, Tretrid was expected to attend, as one of the parties directly culpable for the whole mess.

Eoforwine desperately tried to look on the bright side of the situation. At least something like this will probably not happen again. And at least Tretrid still had friends in the form of the SEPC, even if they were irritated by Tretrid’s use of ASAT weapons. The SEPC really couldn’t do too much against the nation without looking like hypocrites, after all.

Hayagrad, Durakia
February 6, 2017

Two men meet outside the station, with the plans to be in Eteric by noon and in the skies by the evening. Neither was too pleased to be there.

One of the men, a grey haired official in the classic dark grey uniform accented by the copper orange of Durakia, spoke:

“I do not see why I must come to this meeting, Mr Alov. A waste of time from how I see it.” Otto said gruffly to his fellow Council Member. He had not wanted to pause his inspection of the eastern border, especially not for a meeting.

Sergei Alov sighed. In truth, he didn’t want Otto to go either. He would’ve preferred to go alone, rather than with the Secretary of Defence reluctantly coming along. He checked his watch. “The train will be coming shortly, Commander Mistov. This is an important meeting and a way to show ourselves on the world stage. I wouldn’t have come from Seric to meet with you if it wasn’t vital.”

Otto looked at the Secretary of Diplomacy, dressed in a suit and without the imposing figure that he possessed. They both knew this was not a decision made by Sergei, but by Adley. Sergei wouldn’t have asked for Otto to come along, Adley would. He considered saying this, but knew it was not worth either man’s time. “Let us just get this over with, comrade.”

Sent from my SM-A600FN using Tapatalk

Acronian Space Agency Headquarters
New East Harbor, Acronis
January 31st, 2017
01:14 AM East Acronis Standard Time

“Get the Prime Minister. Alert level one.” Director Adar Evrash Telandrai’s words were curt, and he did not even look at the person to whom he spoke. His eyes were locked on the main screen in the command center. Once, not too long ago, this room would have been filled with engineers and scientists tracking the location of weather satellites, or running simulations of planned olunar probes. Not anymore. The Acronian Space Agency no longer plotted the course of objects leaving the Urth, but space junk - some of it enormous - crashing back into it. And today, some of it was headed straight for Acronis.

“How big is it and where is it headed?” An aide had placed the phone to the Director’s ear before he even noticed it. The Prime Minister’s voice was just as curt as his had been.

“The biggest is 4 meters wide, but we’ve identified over two hundred individual pieces larger than a centimeter, and they’re all on a trajectory to land somewhere in the south. About a 30% chance of impact in Zinia province. We believe it’s what’s left of one of the space telescopes.”

“4 meters,” the Prime Minister repeated. “Is that… bad?”

“It’s bigger than most, far bigger.”

“What happens when it hits? How big will the… the ash cloud be?”

Adar stopped for a moment and had to remind himself that not everyone was as knowledgeable as he. “This wouldn’t be large enough to cause anything on that scale,” the Director explained. “The risk is if it impacts a building, or some piece of infrastructure like a train track, or a dam. Or a residential neighborhood.”

“30% chance, you said? What’s the chance it falls in the ocean?”

“About 25, by our estimates. The other percentages are other land areas.”

“I don’t like those odds, Director.”

“Me either.”

Air Acronis Flight 704
10,600m above Zinia Province, Acronis
02:57 AM East Acronis Standard Time

“It’s been a quiet flight.” Nevar was rummaging through his backpack as he spoke.

“Yeah, the weather’s been great.” His co-pilot, Alenda, had her eyes fixed on the horizon. She was tired, she could feel it in her eyelids. She was getting too old to fly planes this late at night. Or rather, this early in the morning.

“Well yeah, but I meant, the radio’s been quiet, haven’t heard any chatter from any other flights.” Nevar found what he was looking for and pulled it out of the bag: it was a necklace. A golden chain with what appeared to be a figure of the Goddess Akrona as a pendant.

“Oh, I suppose,” said Alenda. She hadn’t noticed. “What’s your necklace?”

“It’s my lucky necklace!” Nevar was young, fresh-faced. Alenda envied his energy, his naivete. “I never fly without it, but I forgot to put it on when we left. Oh well, better late than-” Nevar stopped dead in his tracks. “Captain?”

“Yes?” Alenda felt her heartbeat quicken. She didn’t like the tone of his voice.

“Captain, the radio receiver is… broken?” Nevar pointed to the light on the instrument panel that would normally be green to indicate that the radio receiver was on. Instead, it was red, which indicated an error state. Never in her 24 year career had Alenda seen a red radio receiver light. If it had gotten turned off somehow, the light would have just gone dark.

Alenda flipped the switch, just to see if it would change. No luck. She did it again, and then once more. Nothing. “Well,” she said, her stomach dropping into her feet. “This high up, all we’re missing are the check-ins when we cross border zones, and the automated transponder can do that as well, so-” She stopped. That indicator light was off, too. In fact, there were several red lights that shouldn’t have been red.

There was a knock at the cockpit door, and then the ring of a phone. One of the crew was calling into the cockpit. “Yes?” Alenda grabbed the phone with white knuckles.

“A passenger told us the in-flight Wi-Fi has stopped working. We’ve reset the router but it’s still down,” the flight attendant said. She sounded casual, almost annoyed, as if she didn’t want to deal with a complaining passenger. After all, it was almost three in the morning, everyone ought to be asleep.

“Yeah, uh, we’re… looking into some… minor communications problems,” said Alenda, scanning her eyes over the panel. “Let me know if it comes back up.” She hung up the phone. All the most crucial equipment was still in the green, altitude was stable, the engines were fine. Control had responded when they crossed into the Zinia Province Air Control Zone, and that hadn’t been more than… half an hour ago? She wasn’t sure. All she had been thinking about was how tired she was. The only things that weren’t responding were radio equipment. “What, did somebody shoot the antenna off?”

It was at that moment when the Royal Acronian Air Force 7X-2 fighter jets appeared on either side of the plane.

“Akrona’s tits!” Nevar, the young, fresh-faced boy swore at the top of his lungs. “What’s going on? What’s going on?”

“Shut up,” she barked. “They’re sending a message.” The pilot of one of the jets had a flashlight and was blinking in Morst Code. She had to concentrate and think in Staynish.


“Descend,” she said aloud. “Nevar, take us down.”

“Down? Down where?”

“JUST DO IT!” Alenda shouted. There were a hundred and seventy seven souls on her aircraft and all of a sudden she was terrified for every single one of them.

The plane jerked downward - Nevar was a little panicked - and the fighter jets followed. “Follow the jets, Nevran. Just follow them. We’ll be fine.” While still staring at the signaling pilot, her hand found the intercom and she messaged the cabin. “Attention passengers, this is the captain speaking. At this time we are making an emergency descent on order of the Royal Acronian Air Force. Flight crew, please prepare for-”

At that moment, a chunk of space debris roughly the size of a grapefruit slammed into the plane’s starboard wing. The entire aircraft jolted and violently listed as both engines went up in flames. A fuel line had been punctured.

“What the fuck is happening? Did they shoot us?” Nevar desperately tried to gain control of the plane, but it was only barely responding.

“Son of a bitch, it’s space junk!” Alenda cursed herself for not paying attention in the emergency presentation on the space debris problem last month. The trainers had said it was almost an infinitesimally small risk. It must have been a piece of debris that had taken out the antenna earlier, and there was apparently still more coming. That was why the jets had come to-

The jets broke off course. They shot away at what had to be supersonic speeds. And that could only mean one thing.

Captain Alenda realized her finger was still on the intercom button.

“Ladies and gentlemen,” she said, her voice somehow eerily calm. “I want you all to know that flying with you all today has been an honor and a privilege. Please know from the bottom of my heart that…” She stopped. She had no idea what to say in a situation like this. “That you are loved. Each and every one of you is loved, is a treasure, is a gift from the Goddess, and for what small, brief time our lives intertwined, I feel… grateful for having been able to share with you. My name is Alenda Tovai Ashtrovat, I’ve been a pilot for 24 years. Your co-captain is Nevar Ikrit Nalavar, he’s been with Air Acronis for two years. I’m sorry I didn’t get the chance to know all of your names, but I want you all to know that… that we will be remembered. And we will be loved. Forever.”

She thought about lifting her finger from the intercom button, but then she saw out of the corner of her eye the golden glint of Nevar’s lucky necklace. “Nevar,” she said. “Would you like to… to lead us in a prayer?” The plane was almost spinning now, violently listing, but she could still see the light of the moon through the window. It wasn’t quite full, normally one didn’t do formal prayers until a full moon, but Akrona would be sure to forgive them.

Nevar took a deep breath and decided on his favorite prayer: the Canticle of the Benefactor. One recited the Canticle if they couldn’t make it to formal monthly services for some reason, like if they were disabled, or traveling. Or wouldn’t live to see the next full moon.

"O Goddess, O Goddess, thy blessings are many, thy wisdom and grace know no bounds,

O Goddess, O Goddess, with my heart I beseech thee, through You let our hearts be found,

Joyous and praising, and love overflowing, and gifted and honest and true,

Let all those among us, and all those outside, know peace and know kindness through You.

I praise You, Life-Keeper, my great Benefactor,  and lift my voice for all to hear,

Though distance may keep me from Your holy temple, I know that You always are near."

Prime Minister’s Residence
Zaram, Acronis
February 6th, 2017
6:14 AM, East Acronis Standard Time

“Prime Minister?” The intern’s voice was soft.

“Yes, Toran?” The Prime Minister purposefully spoke clearly and loudly, in an attempt to impress upon the intern that he was fine. He wasn’t, but he wanted the intern to think so.

“The plane is ready, sir. RAAF says they would like to take off by 6:45.”

“Very good. I’m just getting dressed, I’ll be out soon.”

The intern stepped away from the door, which had only been opened a crack. In truth, the Prime Minister had already gotten dressed, as he had been awake since at least 4 AM. He hadn’t slept a full night in a week, and he wasn’t sure he ever would again.

He sat at the foot of his bed, fully dressed in his suit and tie, holding in his hand a golden necklace. It had been among the wreckage of Flight 704, and unlike almost everything else from the plane that had been burnt to cinders, the necklace had been almost unblemished. It was a simple necklace, a gold chain with a pendant of the Goddess. One might find a hundred of its likeness at any Temple in Acronis, but this one… this one was special.

With a deep breath, Rotaž Ikrit Nalavar stood up and placed the necklace around his neck. Normally he wouldn’t wear his religion on his proverbial sleeve, but he intended to make a point today. Today, just days after the funeral of his son - Air Acronis Co-Captain Nevar Ikrit Nalavar - he would face the people who, as far as he was concerned, the people who murdered him: the imperialists, the so-called “Great Powers,” who had turned the atmosphere into a minefield and brought down the space junk that had crashed into the surface, not unlike a missile itself, and killed not only the 177 people onboard Flight 704, but the 97 people who had been sleeping in the houses along the residential street the plane had crashed into. And there would be bound to be others. The junk would be raining down on the planet for years, perhaps a generation, not only threatening lives but blocking scientific progress as life on Urth had to flee from space in fear.

Never again. As the Goddess as his witness, space would be a place of war never again.

(OOC: Yay, exposition)
Where did things start going downhill? Eoforwine decided that it was on that day, when that war started.

He felt the memories of those days wash over him.
December 11, 2016
Cynebury, Tretrid

The day started innocently enough. Eoforwine started to his usual morning routine.

The elections showed that the Conservatives were still somewhat popular, though their majority was significantly eroded. As the leader of the Social Democrats, Eoforwine knew that the Conservatives were quite entrenched, and that it would take a lot of effort to try to topple them.

Thoughts about the Social Democrats’ plans for the future was what he was thinking about, or at least until he turned on the news.

Oh no.

The already deteriorating relationship between the SEPC and the FPA were reaching boiling point. According to the news, the South-East Pacific Coalition had authorized its member states to blockade Celannica, one of the founding members of the Fire Pact.

A blockade is an act of war.

A distinct feeling of dread enveloped the man, and would stay with him for the rest of that day.

Eoforwine arrived at the chambers of the Witenagemot by 8 AM. He knew it was a bit early, since the Witan wouldn’t hold its usual deliberations until 9 o’clock, but he had some rather pressing matters on his mind.

He found his way to the Prime Minister’s office. Æthelred, the Prime Minister, was sitting there, reading documents. His desk was almost completely covered with papers, and the cup of coffee on his table was almost empty.

Eoforwine couldn’t help noticing that something seemed… off with Æthelred. He seemed ill at ease.

Of course, Eoforwine had a pretty good idea why. War seemed imminent, and an SEPC-FPA conflict almost seemed inevitable.

Æthelred finally seemed to notice Eoforwine’s presence. He looked up and smiled, though Eoforwine seemed to perceive that it was forced. “How can I help you?”

Eoforwine opened his mouth, as if to speak, but paused. He finally got himself to speak his conscience. “Why? Why did you get Tretrid in the SEPC?” (Tretrid had joined the SEPC just after tensions with the FPA started to ramp up in early December.) Eoforwine paused again, and asked another question. “Are you trying to get Tretrid in a war?”

There was a long pause. Æthelred’s eyes slowly turned back towards his desk, then looked back at Eoforwine. “Have you seen those recent allegations against Celannica? Those human rights abuses? We can’t just sit back and let countries like Celannica do that.”

Eoforwine then asked, “Wouldn’t a war with the Fire Pact mean a war with Asendavia?”

Æthelred simply nodded.

Deliberations in the Witan that day were pretty normal. Or at least they were until news came in that Celannican ships had started firing on the SEPC blockade ships. It seemed like the Tretridian ships involved were not hit, but a Strataric cruiser and Emberite ship were hit. Already, FPA nations and SEPC nations were starting to declare war on each other.

Prime Minister Æthelred wasted no time proposing a declaration of war, and it passed by a fair margin, despite Eoforwine’s and several other people’s objections. After all, Foreign Minister Æthelwine did resign his post in protest of the war.

But these actions were the exception, and most people were in support of the war.

So began the long national nightmare.
The next two days seemed to rush by. The Asendavian and Tretridian fleets clashed in the Bay of Atlantia, without decisive results. However, the war was relatively uneventful. Except for that… interesting report from the Tretridian ships in Gondwana, which said that the Celannicans had tried to drop cute dogs onto the SEPC ships, which were promptly shot down by anti-aircraft weapons. Casualty estimates placed the amount of dogs killed around 500.

Eoforwine recalled that he had some distinctly… odd dreams. In one of them, he was in a great city on the coast, but it was very cold. It felt like he was up north in a place like Arkia or Mexregiona instead of a place like Tretrid. And yet he was convinced that he was in Tretrid. Even if the flags were weird, since instead of the familiar blue, white, and green of the Tretridian flag, the flag was a red one with a yellow and green stripe, with some sort of weird seal in the center. He decided the flags were kind of ugly.

There was a shaking, and he felt like he was being lifted. The next thing he knew, the coast of the great city sat on cliffs.

He asked a random passerby where the cliffs came from, to which he got a strange look. “Don’t you know Draeset was always on cliffs?”

Eoforwine then woke up, and thought about how silly a name like Draeset would be for a city.

But overall, the next few days days were mostly ordinary.

And then came the fourth day.
December 14, 2016

The day started innocently enough, at least much as it could be in the middle of a war. Eoforwine wasn’t really in the mood to look at the news, and decided that he would check it when he got to work.

The Witan didn’t have any laws to actively debate at the time, so the representatives were in their offices.

Such was is that Eoforwine was about to do what he would normally do—including reading letters from concerned constituents—when he got the news that Tretrid had fired an anti-satellite weapon at the FPA’s orbital weapons platform, the Eternal Wrath. However, reports confirmed that the weapon failed to destroy the space station.

In shock, he dropped his cup of coffee on himself, spilling the hot drink on himself.

He knew that retaliation from the Fire Pact was almost assured.

It came later that day.

Eoforwine was anxiously watching the news when a report came up, stating that the Eternal Wrath had fired upon the SEPC’s space station, Myriad Station.

Thankfully, the crew had managed to evacuate the station shortly before Myriad’s destruction, but now the large amount of debris produced by the destruction of the space station was starting to hit satellites, damaging or destroying them. Experts were concerned that an ablation cascade was starting.

So of course, Tretrid fired another ASAT at the Eternal Wrath, this time succeeding at destroying the space station. And of course, creating more debris, making it completely certain that the dreaded Kessler Syndrome would occur.

And so several powers previously uninvolved in the war threatened sanctions on both the FPA and the SEPC, which caused the start of the ceasefire.

The Treaty of Aura would be signed on the end of Janurary.

After that day in the middle of December, Eoforwine would go outside on clear nights, looking at the stars. He knew that for half a century humanity strove to explore space, to float among the stars.

But he knew that those stars were closed to him, and to everybody.

Eoforwine had stopped looking at social media a long time ago. Especially with posts like these:

“My GPS no longer works! #BlameTret

“I can’t get a signal from my favorite radio station anymore! #BlameTret

“Our weather forecasts have been a LOT less accurate recently… #BlameTret

Most politicians in Tretrid didn’t look at social media nearly as much these days, especially as they would see the #BlameTret hashtag everywhere.

Eteric, Durakia
February 6, 2017

The train approached the city, slightly earlier than expected, with 11:20 being the new time of arrival. As Otto and Sergei spoke, the topic of the Four Days War was bound to come up.

“Does the military regret it’s actions in supporting Tretrid?” Alov asked.

“Not at all comrade, Asendavian ships in Novaris are nothing to ignore.” Otti replied, slightly annoyed at the desicion being questioned. Of course they didn’t regret it. Durakia assisting the MBE and its allies against Asendavia was nothing to regret, even with what Tretrid had done after.

Alov paused for a second to gather his thoughts, then spoke. “Nothing has changed, has it? Same old war plan, just without the Reds in charge.”

Otto nodded. “The only difference is now they extend those plans to the meeting table, not just the war room.” He took a drink from his flask, “At least, I assume that’s why Adley sent me along”

Wesnov, Durakia
Febuary 4, 2017

Two days earlier, Head of the Council of Trade Unions Tarov Hyla and the Leader of the Durakan Government Horis Adley met in Adley’s office to discuss this conference.

“I still don’t see why you sent Otto.” Hyla took a sip of his coffee as he spoke with the Leader.

“I thought it was pretty obvious, Mr Hyla.” replied Horis, “He’ll get the job done, even if he’ll be as enthusiastic about it as you are.”

Tarov sighed. “This new policy better work or the DCP’ll have a field day.”

Horis smiled. “I sure hope it will, I’ll need it if I want 15 years.”

Tarov paused and took a long sip. 15 years was unheard of, but if anyone could do it, it was Adley. They both knew they’d be running against the other in 3 years.

January 2017
Sani Bursil, Great Morstaybishlia

Times were rough for Walter Johannes, within less than a month his public opinion had dropped big time for involving Great Morstaybishlia in the Four Days War and it forced three cabinet resignations to align with his new foreign policy. His political ally, the former Prime Minister of Justelvard Arran Samsey and his party condemned his actions. Not only that, the opposition government led by Dominique Rudiger had called for a vote of no confidence straight after the war ended which the house denied by a vote of 898 to 896. That sort of marginal was insane and it hurt Johannes on a personal level; it was a certain that he would have to work very hard to regain his public opinion if he had any chance of going forward into the next decade as prime minister. It wasn’t on his mind until this term, but if he was elected a third time he would be the longest serving prime minister in history and surpass the popular Ian Crowcasa.

Space was now off limits and it forced the Olune 2020 Project to be pushed back until after the space debris from Myriad Station was cleared up. This greatly upset the Morstaybishlian population as it was one of those few things that they looked forward to. It was very unclear what the future of space exploration was for Urth.

Walter Johannes had a big question toying on his mind. What would happen going forward and would people work together for the sake of Urthkind?

14 December 2016,
Rivendale, the Matriarchy of Ethalria

Amalda Harimann went from calm to physically violent instantaneously in an outburst in front of her deputy, who had just told Amalda of the Myriad disaster. Amalda threw her copy of The Vekaiyun on the floor and cleared her desk in the fit of rage. She was consumed with new found anger- she was leading the Matriarchy into a new age of space exploration outside of the economic blockade of the “northern bastards” as she always put it. She was furious with the SEPC and for no apparent legitimate reason in this specific instance the government of Great Morstaybishlia. She viewed Morstaybishlia as oppressive and destructive to the Ethalrian peoples and cultures and now this…

Great Morstaybishlia had gotten involved with the SEPC and the SEPC destroyed the Matriarchy’s future in space. The SEPC was an enemy of Ethalria. She viewed Walter as partly responsible for this mess that she had to clear up.

In fact, this would brew in her mind for a few months. She’d already issued plans to break out of the Matriarchy’s forty two year landlocked problem and this sudden shock and realisation just did it for her. After taking a break from her duties for a few hours, she would return to her office, which had been all tidied up in her absence, and began drawing ideas as to what to do next. She printed a picture of two people; Lambertus VII and Walter Johannes and put them on her desk. She began toying with them in her mind. What could she do…

Wolferheim Space Centre, East Cerdani
December 2016

A group of engineers, scientists and technicians sat stonefaced in the main control and tracking room, eyeing off their monitors as the large screens at the end of the room switched between the orbital paths of various satellites both East Cerdan and international, along with the huge clouds of debris that were released from the recent destruction of the Myriad and Wrath stations.

Most East Cerdan satellites had been spared the worst, their unique orbits meaning they were well out of the debris cloud now orbiting the Urth but a lot of their older, decommissioned or disabled satellites were stuck in orbits at risk of debris collisions and a number of active telecommunications, weather and science satellites were also at risk. Since news came in of the destruction of Myriad the Space Agency had been working overtime to move these satellites into safe, or safer, orbits to avoid Kessler syndrome.

The most concerning matter however, was the small manned orbital laboratory “Red Star 4” which they had lost contact with. Ground images of the spacecraft showed the large antenna boom was missing, but the station appeared to be undamaged and stable with the “Sternenkreuzer” reentry module still attached. Backup communication channels were down, thanks to the communication satellite having to be moved out of the way of debris so the crew were effectively stranded in space.

Needless to say the Space Agency wasn’t impressed, and when news reached the central government of their stranded astronauts and the fact they may not even be able to launch a rescue mission or any future spacecraft quickly led to a series of high level meetings between the State Council and the Space Agency Leadership, the military holding their own talks about the impact on their satellites and space endeavors.

Although the conflict had been an issue the East Cerdan leadership largely chose to ignore it was now apparent that despite their desire to stay out of this they were now being forced into a conflict that had at least transferred to the international diplomatic sphere,  something the East Cerdan government hoped to seize to at least get some kind of justice for them and their effectively dead kosmonauts.

December 17, 2017

Major Gratz O’Ratigan fired his rifle at the Theist Dog charging at him. The war had changed in the time since he had first joined the Meagharite Army as a wee lad of 13 , without even a rash of Acne to his name. Since then the officer had become a disciplined and ideal citizen, able to hit a priest from 1000 meters. As had become the norm those battles that the Meagharites fought against the Milofite “Holy Warriors” the experienced Meagharite Troops slowly winning against the theists, though the going was slow as the superstitious zeal of the Milofites made the fighting slow, the common belief among the Comrade-Soldiers was that if things kept going as they were the war would be over in about 5 years, less if they managed to get ahold of better guns than the other side. Thing were a bit tense in the Meagharite camp, the skies had looked off for three days, like something was slowly coming down from the sky. Their sneaking around the Milofite camp told them that the theists seemed to think that it was some kind of omen that “Milof Was With Them” and a few of the stupider and less philosophically pure soldiers didnt find the idea utterly ridiculous. Gratz had of course thoroughly disciplined them. The battle as usual was going well but then a screeching sound came from the sky. Burning metal fallng right into the center of the battle field causing chaos in the Meagharite lines, For the first time since he was young the theists were  beginning to advance rather than slowly being pushed back, as the random burning metal falling split up the disciplined Meagharite units, the Major called up his men to follow him as they moved back when one of the metal meteors crashed into him, he felt the bones in his leg bend and snap along with his rifle, in excruciating pain he fully expected to die. Little did he know how wrong he would be.

December 18, 2017

Since time immemorial, people looked up at the night sky with wonder, trying to ascribe meaning to the stars. After all, you could also see comets, meteor showers, and planets as well as stars.

But the night skies had been different since that day, December 14. The intact satellites, knocked offline by the Kessler Syndrome, were no longer able to re-adjust their orbit, so their orbital decay went unchecked. They were also unable to control where they would undergo re-entry, so reports of satellites falling over cities have been increasingly common.

One such satellite was falling into the atmosphere today.

Over the cities of Tretrid, if one looked up, they could see the fireball of the satellite of re-entry, as the air around the falling object heated the air to a glow.

The fireball became much brighter, then faded away, completely, leaving only many fiery streaks left in the air. For the satellite was unable to handle the tumultuous conditions, and broke up.

Such sights were becoming increasingly common around the world, and social media buzzed with pictures of falling satellites or space debris that had hit the ground.

December 21, 2017

Major Gratz O’Ratigan was feeling better but he was still in pain. He had been in the field hospital for 4 days since the sky metal had crushed his leg. The shattered thing had been amputated soon after that unfortunate incident which O’Ratigan was thinkfully not awake for. He had asked how the lost battle had turned out and while it caused some major damage in the small area that the event happened the overall campaign wasn’t effected. though the morale of the Theist “soldiers” had irrationally increased.  In the time that O’Ratigan was recovering the battlefield of the Battle of Falling Skies was retaken by Meagharite forces. O’Ratigan immediately wanted to revisit the spot where his leg had been destroyed.

The Major limped along through the now occupied stretch of forest where the Meagharite army had already started investigating the items. O’Ratigan held his crutch tightly with one of his lieutenants helping him.  A big tent had been erected around the artifact. The rest of the clearing was littered with other smaller metallic debris.

“Sir, I really think you should be resting…” said Lt. O’Malley helping the Major when he momentarily stumbled. “You only just got back enough energy to even get this far.”

“Lad, what kind of officer would if just sat on my buttocks for a week?” With that O’Ratigan began inspecting the massive chunk of metal. It was clearly only a part of some bigger construction if the twisted metal was to be believed. Then the officer noticed a piece of metal that was just barely connected to the sky metal, it seemed to be emblazoned with a flag of blue, green, and white. This confirmed that the battles interruption wasn’t some divine intervention but instead a coincidence involving a man made contraption. O’Ratigan recognized the flag as that of some ships that he had seen trading in the harbors of Sherman when he was very very young. He had even managed to meet one of the merchants who said that he was from “Trehtred” or something like that. He pocketed the small chunk of metal, he wasnt sure why but he felt like it would be important.

After that Gratz O’Ratigan began inspecting the metal itself, his father had been a metal worker, making items for the theists before he joined Burnside in the Sherman Revolt. With that second hand knowledge the Major was able to see that the metal was both strong and lightweight, something that would be very useful for say, a false leg. O’Ratigan circled the Tretridian metal until he found a section that was relatively unburned and undamaged.

“O’Malley get a couple of the men some some pliers and get a blacksmith, i think i’ve found a nice replacement for this crutch…”

Kalriva, Vakarastan
December 14, 2016

Two men stared at the monitor in the small office in the Department of Intellegence.  Neither were hapoy with what they were seeing. One kept a stoic expression, while the other was struggling to keep his composure in this dire situation.

They both continued to stare at the screen, looking at the news of other sattelites falling to the ground. They had lost connection to Vakarstan’s Echo-4, the spy sattelite that had put a big dent in the nation’s frankly awful economy on it’s creation

“The Secret Police are going to kill us if this thing falls, right?” The younger man turned to his supeeior, the constant feeling of being watched that he often felt in this building making his nerves even worse.

The stoic man replied, without a hint of emotion in his voice. “They will if you keep talking. They could be listening in right now. We’ve just got to get the connection back.” He knew the younger man was right, he already knew what happened after that failures of the other Echo Sattelites, information he could be killed for if they knew he had.

The younger man nodded, trying everything he could to get a signal. His nerves weren’t helping, but he knew he needed to get the job done if he wanted to go home and see his family. It was his only hope.

Eteric, Durakia
February 6, 2017

Otto and Sergei had left the station and began walking through the city. And there was no doubt that this was a Durakan City. The bustle and culture of the city had only come after the Civil War. There weren’t many tourists this season, with Durakia best enjoyed when it’s warm.

“So, how was the Eastern Border?” asked Sergei, “Is it still as militarised?”

“With the nation on the other side, we have to keep a good presence to stop them doing anything they might regret.” Otto replied. He knew, from what he’d seen of Vakarastan, that a peaceful border was not an option.

Alov sighed. “They aren’t exactly open to diplomacy. Not theat I’d feel comfortable establishing positive relations with a nation like theirs.”

Otto nodded. “Of course, comrade. My issue is the consequences of a war would have on their people. They’d just be throwing their ever suffering people as conscripts.”

Sergei sighed. “I feel bad for the people, maybe one day they’ll be free.”

Kalriva, Vakarastan
December 15, 2016

A tall imposing man wearing the uniform of the Department of Order entered the office.

“Praise Martov!” He spoke firmly, expecting a response from the two who were tasked in overseeing Echo-4’s findings.

“Praise Martov.” replied the stoic DoI official. He hated saying the state-mandated greeting, but knew too well of what would happen if he did not comply.

“P-praise Martov…” The younger DoI scientist followed his superior. He was still terrified.

“Have you two seen the Department of Truth report?” the DoO officer continued.

The DoI official shook his head. “No officer, we have been working on connection issues in Echo-4. We believe it to be caused by the ongoing war between the SEPC and the Fire Pact.”

“E-Echo 4 should be back online soon…” added the scientist.

“Very well, you two do understand that the Department of Order shall find you responsible should Echo-4 not come back online, correct? I would suggest you fix this “connection issue” in time for your next report.”

The two DoI members nodded, they knew what would happen should they fail, only getting life’s forced labour would be a miracle.

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Prime Minister Arngrímur Sigurdarson of Lokania had his administrator reply to the invitation to the space conference. He was sure to be going alongside his Morstaybishlian ally Walter Johannes, who made his reply to the conference invitation public some twelve hours before.

Cynebury, Tretrid
Feburary 6, 2017

Eoforwine was standing before the plane that was to take the Prime Minister to Aurora. It was a good plane, and had reliably flown around Prime Ministers and other high officials for years.

He felt kind of reluctant to step inside, however, since he knew he wouldn’t be able to turn back once he boarded.

Well, there was the option to suddenly decide that Tretrid was not going to attend, but that would almost certainly lead to a bunch of nations sanctioning the country, even despite Tretrid’s SEPC membership. Heck, the SEPC might even decide to do something like kick Tretrid out.

So really, there wasn’t any other choice. The Prime Minister took a deep breath, and stepped on the plane.

He looked out the window as the plane taxied to the runway, and as it took off. He saw the deep blue of the Bay of Atlantia. The plane turned and started flying over Tretrid, as it started to take its journey across the Pacific.