Brewing Disaster

October 17, 2020
12:13 am
Pangbayabas Joint Operations Base
[justify]Private Carl Tengco gripped his gun. The base had been on high alert after Sokala declared war on Balistria. It was after all the launching point of many of the troops that were sent to Alksearia’s support. Despite being far away from Balistria, Tengco can’t help but feel anxious and tense. Iphelklori, the so-called ‘enemy’ of Sokala, was only a couple of hours away and to him, it was Iphelklori’s chance to invade and retake the small islands. The fear of the Ipelklorians invading was not unfounded. Fishermen had reported Iphelklorian ships bobbing near Yadylikan waters, a sight most had never seen before. Tengco didn’t want to think about Iphelklori anymore so he shook his head and surveyed his surroundings. He looked down from his tower, being sure to shine his rifle-mounted flashlight on every coconut tree, rock and hole he could see. [/justify]
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[justify]A twig suddenly snaps, startling Tengco, causing him to snap his rifle on the direction of the sound. He immediately aims his rifle and shouts “Halt! This is the Grand Sokalan Army! State your identity!”. Nothing. Complete silence. He shouts again, this time sweat building up on his palms and forehead. Still nothing. He propped his rifle on the tower’s many rifle mounts and grabs his radio. With hand still on the trigger, he presses the radio’s button. “Homebase, this is Tower 1A I have contact.” Tengco says “Unknown entity approximately 10 feet-.“ Before he was finished, something quickly moved towards the tower and before he knew it he pressed the rifle’s trigger.[/justify]
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[justify]BANG. BANG. BANG.[/justify]
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[justify]Tengco was horrified at what he saw after his vision cleared. A small teenager lay on the gravel below him. “Tower 1A, SITREP, over”. Hand trembling, his voice was able to crack the following words. “Homebase, we have a problem.”[/justify]

October 17, 2020
9:00 am
Gonzales’ Family Farm
Bae, Pangbayabas
[justify]Arturo Gonzales was tired. His son, Arjay Gonzales, had been missing since the night before and none of his friends or teachers had any news about him. At first, he thought that his son was out with his friends hiking again, but after 12 midnight passed, he begun to worry. After notifying the police, Arturo was restless as every hour passed by. “Mahal, you need to rest” Maria Gonzales, Arturo’s wife, says as she tries to comfort her husband “I’m sure our anak is fine. You know naman na he’s active and adventurous. He’s just like you, you know?”[/justify]
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[justify]Arturo turns around and hold both of Maria’s hands. “I know my son, Maria. He is not the type to stay out, not without telling me anything.” “But mahal, there’s a first time for everything!” Maria says after she kisses Arturo’s forehead “He’s a growing boy, he might just be drunk somewhere in the bayan.” Before Arturo could reply, sirens filled the area. Arturo peeked out of his wooden hut’s window and saw three police vehicles coming his way. “See?” Maria says as she hugs Arturo “Arjay’s already back.”[/justify]
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[justify]Arturo and Maria opened their house’s doors and stepped outside as the police stopped in front of their house. It took one look at the officers’ faces for Arturo to realize the devastating news[/justify]

A 16-year-old teenager has been shot dead by Sokalan soldiers after a trespassing incident in the Pangbayabas Joint Operations Base. The base, which was the primary jump off point for most Yadylikans and Sokalans sent to fight for Alksearia, was in high alert when the incident happened. According to sources, the teenager ignored commands from Sokalan soldiers and apparently ‘charged’ one of the base’s towers before being shot. The teenager was one of Bae’s state sponsored valedictorians and was the son of Arturo and Maria Gonzales, prominent coconut farmers in Bae.

October 18, 2020
3:42 pm

Pasikot City Square
Pasikot City Square was the center of Pasikot trade. Farmers and fishermen gather to the square to sell whatever crops or seafood they had. But today, it was not filled by bustling shopkeepers and weary customers. Today it was filled with thousands of angry Yadylikans. “Hustisya para kay Arjay! (Justice for Arjay!)” The protesters shouted “Kalayaan para sa Yadylika! (Freedom for Yadylika!)”. The crowd occupied most of the square while police officers in riot gear lined up, blocking a part of the square that leads up to the Presidential Palace. A man steps up into a makeshift stage, in his hand a megaphone. “We have had enough!” the man said,” My name is George and I am tired of these Sokalans telling us what to do, telling us what we are. The imperialists must go!”. The protesters cheered and chanted. The protesters pushed up to the police officers, trying to push them aside. After several minutes of pushing and shoving, pops can be heard behind the police officers, and suddenly tear gas was launched into the crowd.

Protesters scrambled as tear gas clouds began engulfing the crowd. The majority of the crowd backed up but some of the more extreme protesters stepped up, armed with gas masks and improvised armor, and started advancing towards the police line. “Take them down!” A shout can be heard behind the police line. The remaining protesters in the front huddled together and sticking their makeshift shields together. Flashbangs and more tear gas came flying from the police but nothing makes the huddled protesters leave. The crowd held their breath as they watched a dozen police officers with rifles advance from the back lines and take aim at the protesters at the front. POP POP POP. Rubber bullets hit the wooden shields, splintering and cracking but the protesters stay huddle. The crowd cheers and surges forward.  In response, the police charged the extremists. All hell broke loose, both sides charged at each other. Batons and clubs banged against head and helmet. Rocks, rubber bullets, tear gas, and even flash bangs flew over their heads.

Suddenly, three vehicles came behind the police line. It was the military. As soon as they stopped, gunshots were heard again. But this time, it wasn’t wooden splinters hitting the floor. The police stand in horror as they watched as one by one the protesters in front of them get mowed down by machine gunfire. Screams filled the square as dozens of protesters fall to the floor, bloody bullet holes protruding from their bodies. After a few minutes, the square had been cleared out by the crowd. Dozens of bodies filled the square floor. The police officers quickly shed their riot gear and rushed to rescue and revive anyone they could. It was going to be a long night.

October 20, 2020
10:24 am
Nachal’nik Kommandante Building
Boris Romanov was not amused. The news of the chaos was beneficial, that is true, but he knew that some of the High Priests would demand that Iphelklori take action and try to retake Yadylika. Despite having the urge to scream in frustration, he knew he still had to put up his act. Those geezers would be gone soon, Boris said to himself Just a few more years Boris, just a few more years. He stood up from his black Ursine leather chair, a gift from the late High Priest Giorno Govanov, and tried to calm himself down. The chair was old, coming from an era of pure racism amongst Iphelklorians. The joints of the chair were already creaking while some parts of the seat have worn out due to repeated use. According to the High Priest, the chair was built by the legendary negumanoid hunter, Alexei Gorbeshky himself during the Great Negumanoid Wars. Although the hunting of non-humanoids was made illegal in Iphelklori, it isn’t uncommon to find Ursine leather or Vulpine fur in black markets around Iphelklori.
The leader of Iphelklori pressed the red intercom button below his desk. “Sasha, get me Petrivinski.” Romanov says, speaking into the mic on top of his table. “And for the love of Ademar, remember to shut off your mic you old hag!” A couple of seconds later, the raspy voice of an old woman perks up from the speakers behind Romanov. “Da, Supreme Chancellor” Sasha replies “Shall I also call Alexis?”. “Did I say that you should call Alexis?” Romanov replies, his anger rising “I remember only saying to call Petro, and only him!”. Before Sasha could reply, he disabled the speakers behind with the same button he used to turn it on. “Damn hag.” He says to himself while taking out his cigar-case from his black coat “If only I could replace her.” Opening up the cigar, he took out a thick, brown cigar. The cigar was special, having been modified by Iphelklorian innovators to produce a coffee-like taste when lit. He scratched the front end of the cigar quickly on the sole of his shoe, quickly lighting the cigar. He took a few puffs, savoring the taste of the Kylev roast coffee. This type of cigar reminded him of his home, Kylev. His great grandfather made the first Kylev roast coffee, launching the Romanov name to glory. They were made a household name with many Iphelklorian adults drinking the Romanov Kylev roast as their morning coffee of choice.
Before he could finish his cigar, a knock on the white regal door was heard. “His Supreme Chancellor, it is I, Petrivinski.” the man knocking said “You called for me sir?”. “Come in Petro” Romanov says, putting out his cigar and returning to his desk. Dressed in his army uniform, General Pavlov Petrivinski entered the room. [description here] Petro sat down on the single chair in front of the Supreme Chancellor’s desk. “Petro I assume you’ve heard of the situation in Yadylika?” Romanov asks as he laid back on his chair. “Yes sir.” Petro replies “Yadylika’s currently in its most unstable state. More unstable than the Yadylika we conquered during the First Crusade.”
“What’s your assessment?” Romanov asks, pulling out a bottle of whiskey and two shot glasses “Is it possible to take the islands back?” Petrivinski knew this was coming. Yadylika being in a state of chaos would only bring back the Church’s ambitions to retake the islands. He brushed his beard, thinking about whether or not to say the truth. “Yadylika’s situation is favorable,” Petrivinski says “but it is not favorable enough for an invasion.”. He takes out his phone from his coat, switching on a map of Yadylika. “Sokalan bases here and here,” He says as he points their locations on the map “still have troops ranging from 5000 to 10000 each. To make the situation more favorable for us, we must direct and increase Yadylikan hatred towards the Sokalans. Making them leave voluntarily is the best-case scenario for our operation.” Romanov unscrews the whiskey’s cap, pouring a shot of whiskey on each glass. “Take the Podrazdeleniye Spetsial’nykh Operatsiy and make sure that we direct those peasants’ energy correctly” Romanov says as he gives the other shot to Petrivinski “Let the Sokalans feel what we felt back then”. He raises his glass, being promptly joined by Petrivinski “For the Glory of Iphelklori!” He says “Slava Ademaru!”

October 23, 2020
Seibhu Presidential Building
Bondoc City
A visibly tired Catrina Mangumbatan walked fast, eyes briefly glancing at the various paintings and displays that lined the hallway. Oil paintings of Sokala’s kings and prime ministers hung from the walls. A portrait of Andrew Matagumpay which he painted himself hung between two windows. Mangumatan walked past these paintings, approaching a marble white wooden door. The two men in suits flanking the door motioned for her to stop and one of them pulled out a small metal detector to scan her. Annoying as it was, the procedure was standard for everyone entering the Executive Office. People ranging from security officers to staffers of all kinds walked past her, paying the Minister no attention as they mind their own business. After a minute, the security detail rapped on the door before briefly opening it.
Mangumbatan enters the door, pausing to bow to the President, and stood right across Domingo Rolex. “Good afternoon, your Excellency” Mangumbatan says as she places a brown folder on top of Rolex’s desk “Inside is the profile on the soldier who started all of this and the victim.” Rolex pulls out his glasses, a black metal framed Spears reading glasses, and puts it on. He reaches for the file and opens it. “The Joint Staff is recommending that we should reduce our troops in Yadylika” Mangumbatan says as Rolex reads the file “Apparently, the locals think they’re better off without our protection. Don’t they remember the 30’s?”. Rolex lowers his glasses, pausing his reading to look at Mangumbatan. “We do not want the people of Yadylika to look at us with anger” Rolex says, continuing to read as he puts reclines backward on his chair “But know that their anger, the anger of the Yadylikan people, will translate to harm of our soldiers and I do not want to try to explain to a family how their 18-year-old son died in Yadylika, one of the world’s most miniscule and comparably weak countries.”
“Sir, Iphelklori will undeniably attempt to take over if we are to leave” Mangumbatan says “Are you sure you’d want that happening?”
“Unless we have a better plan that doesn’t involve Yadylika’s collapse” Rolex says leaning towards Mangumbatan “I’m all ears.”

October 30, 2020
Yadylikan Congressional Building
Pasikot City, Yadylika
Congressional security officers barricade the building’s many entrances and exits, blocking them with furniture. Cabinets, dressers, desks, and all kinds of furniture were dragged from the many offices and stacked behind doors. Windows, although boarded up, lay broken with glass shards scattered in the hallways along with rocks, bottles filled with concrete, and many other projectiles thrown by protesters. Security officers perch up in the many hallways with guns aimed at exits and entrances, ready to shoot anyone that manages to break through their barricades. In various offices of the building, congressmen, congresswomen, and their staff huddle inside. Injured staffers lay on top of desks while being treated by medics. Congressmen call their families while staffers and officers move out furniture that is to be used as barricades. Amongst them was Congressman Nikolas Mabaog, representative of Apatibon District 3. He had finished calling his family, instructing them to relocate to the nearest police department, and was now helping move out the wooden chairs.
“God, I wish I spent more years on the fishing vessels,” Mabaog says as he lifts one of the chairs “Now I’m too fat and old to lift these old narras without heaving and puffing”
“At least you’re trying to do something Congressman” Arnold Maahon, Mabaog’s chief of staff, says as he lifts a chair as well “Laguador didn’t even get up from the sofa since coming here.”
“Now now” Mabaog chuckles as he heads outside the room “Laguador’s 70 and diabetic. He had served us enough.”
He and Arnold walked outside the office, handing the chairs over to a janitor who was breaking them apart. “Congressman, you need not do this!” the janitor said “We got this, sir.”
“Bahhhh, I’d rather not get killed,” Mabaog says, heading back “and if getting cramps will prevent me from getting killed then so be it.”
Before the janitor could reply, the boarded-up window beside them suddenly broke. Splinters and glass hit the congressman. The congressman, along with Arnold and the janitor, was flung to the wall. Mabaog was sprawled on the ground. He groaned, feeling pain in his already weak back. “Arnold?” Mabaog called out upon seeing Arnold’s slumped body beside him “Oy Arnold wake up!”. No response came from Arnold. Fearing the worse, Mabaog scrambled to his aide. Before he was able to check for Arnold’s vitals, a metal canister bounced inside. The canister exploded, blinding Mabaog and everyone else in the hallway.

November 1, 2020
7:32 am
Yadylikan National Hospital
Pasikot City
Arnold Maahon opened his eyes to find himself in hospital bed, bandages covering him from head to toe. He can’t move, not even wiggle his toes. He looked around to the best of his ability. He was in the emergency room, surrounded by medical staff moving around faster than his drowsy mind can comprehend. On his left was another injured man. He was half naked with bandages covering his whole upper body. Spots of blood can be seen on both of the man’s chest. Lucky guy Arnold said to himself Two shots to the chest and he’s still alive? Man’s got the angels behind him. He moved his eyes to his right. A woman in a bloodied, white bodycon dress was being worked on by medical staff lead by a bearded doctor. He recognized her. Congresswoman Kathy Legarda! Arnold exclaimed in his thoughts How is she here? Isn’t the Speaker of the House supposed to have better security? He watched as doctor after doctor came. Then he heard the sound. The sound that would make grown men cry. The sound of a flatline. The bearded doctor wasted no time and immediately grabbed a pair of scissors on top of a desk. He cut the speaker’s dress and brassiere. He reached for the defibrillator, placing one paddle on the speaker’s upper left chest and the other on her lower right chest. Arnold watched as the doctor shouted “CLEAR”. An electric buzzing sound can be heard as the speaker’s chest rose. The doctor, still hearing the flatline, prepared again for another shock. Another clear was heard, and so was the buzz. But this time a new sound was heard, the sound of beeping from the HRM. “Get me an operating table NOW!” The bearded doctor shouted, pushing the speaker’s hospital bed out of the emergency room.
Right after the speaker was wheeled out, a blonde female doctor approached Arnold. “Mister Maahon,” the doctor says with a curt smile as she reaches Arnold’s bedside “you’ve finally awoke. You’ve been out for a while.” She had her hair in a bun, held together with ballpoint pen. Her white medical coat had the name “P. Renaul” stitched into the left breast pocket.  She wore white long sleeves and black pants paired with black heels. “Where’s Congressman Mabaog?” Arnold asked Dr. Renaul “Did he get out?”. Dr. Renaul’s smile vanished in an instant. Her eyes screamed with pity and sadness. “He….did not survive,” Dr. Renaul said “He died before he even reached the hospital.” Arnold’s vision blurred, tears flow. Arnold had worked for Congressman Mabaog for 20 years, serving first as Mabaog’s speechwriter in 2001 when he ran for mayor of Apatibon. Since then, he not only became Mabaog’s most trusted staffer but also his most trusted friend. “Doctor, what happened to him?” Arnold asked through his tears “One moment, we were trying to barricade the hallway then…….” He succumbed to his sorrow, letting his emotions overflow. He was not the only one to cry that day.

November 1, 2020
10:21 pm
Nachal’nik Kommandante Building, Iphelstad
Romanov was smiling from cheek to cheek. Their operation was a success. Romanov’s plan to destabilize Yadylika was working. Just by reading reports of SNA, Banks, businesses and other institutions had begun pulling out. Applications for Visas and passports skyrocketed. Congress was in tatters and the President was nowhere to be found. Two knocks rocked the room’s white regal door.  Moy Verkhovnyy Kantsler the voice outside says It is I, Obshchiy Petrivinski. Romanov says “Come in Petro! We have to celebrate!”. The door opened, revealing Petrivinski with a grim look on his face.
A few seconds later
“You WHAT!?,” Romanov angrily shouted, throwing his glass nameplate off the desk “How could you make a simple mistake like that Colonel! Do you not follow the code of No man left behind? Now they’ll find out about our involvement!” He sat down on his vulpine leather chair, some of its fur strands falling off. “The unit was falling back when the YNP stormed the building,” Petrivinski says “They were caught off guard. They tried to get the bodies but every attempt was pushed back.” Romanov glared at Petrivinski, eyes look as if to stab Petrivinski right there at his spot.  “That’s not an excuse!” Romanov says “I clearly said that no evidence must be left behind! No IDs, no guns, and for fucks sake, no man shall be left behind! Our men have their marks! They’ll know it’s us!” Petrivinski hung his head, knowing his fate. He had seen Romanov shoot officers on the same spot he was in. “Forgive me Moy Verkhovnyy Kantsler,” he says, face filled with fear “It’ll never happen again.” A gun cock can be heard, forcing Petrivinski to raise his head. The gun, found in the hand of Romanov, was directly aimed at Petrivinski’s head “You know Petro,” Romanov says “you’ve served me longer than I can remember. You’ve served my father and his father before me.” Romanov kept his gun aimed at Petrivinski as he kneeled in defeat. Sweat dripped from Petrivinski’s forehead, hitting his eyes in the process. He prays to Ademar, hoping that Romanov spares his life. “Alas, you’ve failed me for the last time Petro,” Romanov says with subtle sadness in his voice “But Bogvmire and Ademar will surely bless you with your contributions.” Romanov walked up to Petrivinski just as he was finishing his prayer. “Do svidaniya Boris,” Petrivinski says in a weak voice “Till rebirth”
“Do svidaniya Petro”
Romanov pressed the trigger.

November 13, 2020
Nachal’nik Kommandante Building
Iphelstad, Iphelklori
“Has he answered yet?” Romanov asks Sasha “I knew socialist countries had poor infrastructure but I didn’t know it was this bad.”

Romanov laid back on his chair, awaiting the call to connect. He was calling the Yadylikan president. Despite the failure of his agents, the Yadylikans had failed to convince the IF on doing anything against Iphelklori. Even so, he knew he had to take control of the situation.

“He’s on the line, Supreme Chancellor” Sasha says. Romanov grabbed the phone from his desk.

The moment he put the phone to his ear, he hears Mangumbatan already speaking “This call should be you admitting to sending the agents”  he says “or else I’m ending this call right now.”

Romanov smiled. Despite being on the backfoot, Mangumbatan still tried to be strong. He was already unpopular even before the riots. The riots and killings were just the final straw.

“Cede control or Yadylika will be ashes.” Romanov says “Have a good day Mangumbatan.”

He ends the call just before Mangumbatan can reply.

November 15, 2020
Yadylikan Congressional Building
Pasikot City, Yadylika
“They’ve left us no choice Kodie” Mangumbatan says “Rolex already said that he’d help if the IF did, the Karishians only sent their letters, and the Esperainos hasn’t said a word. They clearly said that if I don’t do this, Yadylika will just be a pile of dust.” Mangumbatan was in the halls going to the House chambers. Around him, signs of repairs were clear. Newly cemented walls, wood planks stacked on top of each other, and wet paint signs all over the place.
“Sir, I would like to say that this idea is absurd” Kodie Kalisag, Yadylika’s ambassador to the IF says “We should contact our allies. They might actually hear us out on this.”
“Look, I don’t like this one bit,” Mangumbatan says just outside the House Chambers doors “but it’s going to save lives Kodie. The second I go to Sokala is the second I will see my homeland be turned to ashes. There is no other way.” Kodie tried to stop him from going inside but Mangumbatan pushes through and walks to the podium.
“Good day, ladies and gentlemen of the chamber…”


November 15, 2020
4:21 PM
Seibhu Presidential Building
Bondoc, Sokala
Two trucks of Sokalan soldiers arrive at the entrance of the Seibhu Presidential Building. The soldiers disembarked one by one. They each wore a black Kevlar helmet with a black visor, a similarly colored jacket with six pockets and a Kevlar vest under it paired with khaki leggings and combat boots. They carry a large bag in their backs containing food, ammo, and other items. Around their body, different kinds of tech can be seen. From night vision goggles to hybrid drones, these soldiers are equipped with the latest technology that could give them even the slightest of advantage in the field. They were soldiers of the Special Protection Division, a secret branch in the AFS tasked with protecting not only Sokalan officials but also Sokalan interests. They were mostly women picked from the most elite of the elite, soldiers of great skill and talent that even the soldiers of the Grand Matriarchies of Nuesperanza and Alyunthia would be impressed. They operate in absolute secrecy, relying in their own skill and not hoping to get support from the other branches of the AFS. They have no name, face or even identity. Record of their life prior to being chosen for the SPD are scrubbed from records and treated as national secrets.
They entered the SPB in columns of two, entering the two double doors that were wide open. They pass by two men in suits, security personnel of the building. In the lobby of the SPB, a bald man wearing a similar suit greets the SPD unit. He wore a gold wrist watch and a gun belt which clearly didn’t fit the suit. He greets them in his heavy Diyuhan accent.
“Welcome to the SPB” he says “I am Lieutenant Colonel Kenny Zheng, commander of the SPB security agency. President Domingo Rolex requests to speak with Captain Alexandera Recks.”
 In the front of one of the columns, an elven woman stepped forward.
“Captain Recks,” she says, saluting Zheng “Reporting for duty, sir”.
Zheng salutes Recks back, before walking off with her to meet Rolex. The rest of the SPD unit fanned out and headed to their pre-planned stations. Zheng and Recks walked between the decorated halls of the SPB. They swerve past staffers balancing coffees and files in their hands and stopping to salute generals they pass.  They pass an open office, entrance flanked by two SPB security officers, and inside Prime Minister Arturo Matagumpay is talking to seven staffers. Arms on the table, he leans in and peers to a map of Bondoc. He points to the pinned areas, his face not hiding any feelings of being troubled. Several areas were marked with a pin. The Balikpang Commercial Compound, Tangxiang-Sontoc Economic Development Area, and even the SPB itself was one of the areas pinned. On the top, the words “Critical areas” were written.
They finally arrive at the only room with a pristine white door. They approach the two men in suits flanking the door. Zheng opens the door, revealing to Recks the President.
“Time for a debriefing Captain” Rolex says as he extended his hand to Recks