Operation Canal

June 12th, 2020
The Royal Palace
Eldras’ Study, 4am

Eldras couldn’t sleep.  He keeps reviewing and looking over the maps.  The whole plan seems insane and crazy, but at the same time, what else are they going to do?  He already called for his Minister of the Army, but he still needs to look over everything.  Eldras crosses the room and opens up a book The History of War trying to better understand everything, when he hears a knock at the door.

“Enter” Eldras ommands at the door.

As the door opens, he sees the familiar uniform of the Order of Xaethos.  The man stands at attention.  Eldras salutes him back allowing him to be at ease, “I heard your call my lord.  You wanted to review the plans again?”

“Yes Ottus.  I cannot in good faith send these soldiers out without going over it one more time.  Today is the day we execute Operation Canal, but I have some reservations.  Are you sure we need to send 20,000 soldiers to take all of this territory over?” Eldras asks.  Ottus looks down at the maps for a couple of minutes before looking up at Eldras.

“Sir, permission to speak frankly?” Ottus asks.  Eldras nods his head, “Sir, I believe that we don’t even have enough forces for all of this.  We are sending roughly 20,000 soldiers into a territory that is dangerous.  We don’t have enough Intel to tell us how armed or how dangerous the enemies we are facing.  Plus the moment they leave our borders, they are out there on their own until we can get the proper infrastructure in there to support them.  The only other thing that we need to settle is how are we dealing with Isle of Bandits?  Rumor has it they were the ones responsible for sinking the Ballistrian ship.”

Eldras took a moment to consider.  This was going to be a challenging decision for him to make, “Capture their leaders so that we may bring them to Ballistria for trial.  Other than that, take all the cities, settlements, whatever they have on that island.  I want to use that island as a joint army/navy base where we can host our allies for joint training.  Make sure you limit all civilian casualties.  I want to make sure no funny business goes on over there.  This operation begins at 6am.  That is my final seal of approval.  Just make sure I’m kept in the loop”

Ottus salutes and says, “Yes, sir.  Most of the soldiers should be waking up now, so it should be a rapid deployment.”  Ottus exits the room with quickly, almost eager to begin the plans.  Eldras sits down in his chair, still unable to sleep.  He goes back to working on ballots for the referendum, and working out other logistics.

June 12th, 2020
The Eastern Border of Alksearia, 6:15am

The first wave of soldiers was deployed.  2,000 soldiers marched bravely into these lands on the opposite side of the Strait.  Col. Jacques patiently waits for the orders to be handed down to move his group into the same territory.  As he is waiting, Lt. Pierre of the XXth Squad approaches him.

“Fine day to be at war, eh?” Pierre jokes with him.  Jacques looks over at him.  The stare in his eyes tells Pierre that now is not the time.  Pierre tries again and says, “Ya know, if I were…”

Jacques cuts him off, “Lt, if you wish to still hold that rank, I suggest you hold your tongue.  You have a group of 200 men to keep an eye on AND keep moving, and you are here joking with me?”  Pierre’s attitude became more serious before Jacques says, “Haha, look at you.  You know I’m not that serious.  I know your men are well trained.  I just gotta”

As Jacques was saying this, his radio goes off, “Base to Beta, Base to Beta.  You are clear to commence.  I repeat you have the green light to proceed.”

Col. Jacques turns around to address the soldiers, “Alright!  We have the green light!  Roll out!  For the King!”

“FOR THE KING!” the soldiers shout back in response.  To Jacques, this is the day he has dreamed of: being able to fully command a full squadron out into the frontlines, but he has a lot of nervous about the whole operation.  Who knows what he is going to encounter out there in the jungles.  For now, he marches with his fellow soldier and is prepared to command them as needed.

10 miles from the border

Jacques has arrived at a local town with 10 of his men.  Jacques signals for his troops to move in, and as he does he announces, “I am Col. Jacques of the Alksearian military!  I want you to bring me to your leader!”  As his men fanned out, a man steps into the town center.  His clothing is not anything he is used to.  He wears an all black outfit, but it doesn’t fit him at all.  He laughs a little and looks around at everyone around him

“so yer da armah comin’ fer us.  I knew ya 'ould be here.  Light her up!” The man says while snapping his fingers.  Out of no where, a hail of bullets fly all around them.  Jacques curses them, and starts firing in return.  As he ducks for cover, he sees one of his own men go down, and some bloc going after his downed man.  Jacques doesn’t realize who it was until he fires.  Almsot as if time slowed down, he watched his bullet make contact with a child.  Immeadiately, Jacques could feel his own heart being ripped out of his chest, but he couldn’t stop currently…he needed to fight for his own life.

After a 15 minute fire fight, Jacques went to check on his men.  5 of his men were lightly wounded and bandaged up, but one man is pretty down for the count.  Jacques looks next to his soldier’s body to see the child, laying there motionless.  Jacques could feel his heart drop in his body.  He did this and he was going to be in massive trouble.  He pulled out his radio, “This is Beta-1, This is Beta-1 to Base.  Do you copy? Over.”  Silence followed.  He could feel the impending anger at him.  He knew that it was all going to fail

Then a voice on the other end says, “This is Base.  What is your report Beta-1?”

Jacques looks at his radio and says, “Beta-1 has a civilian fatality.  The kill came from Col. Jacques.  Awaiting further instructions, over.”

“Beta-1, continue on your mission.  King Eldras will not know of this, and to our knowledge, there are no civilians.”  Jacques stood shocked at the order that he was handed.  Does this mean what he thinks it does?  To him, it didn’t matter until he returned from war and spoke to Eldras himself.  Other than that, he went around and counted the dead.  289 dead pirates, and not a single one was their leader.  Anger swelled in Jacques as he looked around.  One of his mencame up to him and said, “Sir!  Sgt. Pierre is pretty injured.  He need to call for a medic unit for him.”

“Alright, here is the radio.  Call for a medic, but we need to keep moving.  We haven’t gotten to our objective yet.  We will leave once he has a medic”

“Yes, sir.”

June 13th, 2020
Sergia-Nova Naval Base
1 hr till Invasion

Sir Ottus walks along the docks.  He watches as the patrol boats and a two corvettes are getting loaded up and prepared.  Ottus sees two of the Commanders that will be leading this invasion and greets them.The Commanders salute him as he approaches, “At ease.  It seems things are going pretty well here.  Any hiccups in our plan?”

“No sir.  Everything is under lock and key.  I will man a fleet of 20, and Joe will command the other 20.  The night before the land invasion, we will shell the island multiple times before sending the patrol boats in, where they will work to kill off anyone still left on the island.  We will declare that only hostiles are on that island, and that there were no civilians.” the one commander said.  The second commander looks around and grunts in agreement.  Ottus looks at both of them pleased.  He smirks at them and nods his head.

“Good, good.  The King cannot find out about this.  If he does, I’ll make sure your heads are on the block first.  And make sure none of your crew knows anything about this.  You know what will happen if they do.”  Both commanders nod.  They all go their seperate ways, and Ottus laughs.  He knows that this plan will work amazingly.  Now, he has to make sure the King doesn’t know or even hear about such an incident.  It wouldn’t make him look good at all.

3 hours later…

The admirals arrive at the Isle of Despair without too many issues.  Joe sailed around to the north of the island, while Mark stayed to the south.  For the most part, the two of them had stayed radio silent while the whole operation went on, but as they got into position, Joe spoke over the radio first.

“Alpha to Bravo, over.  Bravo is in position.  Plan Fire is a go on our side.  Alpha copy.”

Mark responded quickly, “Bravo to Alpha, we are set and ready.  Plan Hell is a go.  Commence firing at 22:03”

Silence rang through the air as these orders were given.  In just a couple minutes, the sky would be lit up…not from the full moon, but rather the fire they were about to hail onto the island.  They thought no one would see them fire, or if they did, they would assume it was the pirates they were going against.  As the appointed hour approached, the crews of both ships aimed at the island.  The silence suffocated the surrounding area.

Col. Jacques sat on the beach.  After a long day of moving through the jungle, he enjoyed relaxing away from the squad.  It’s been hard for him and his squad…especially after the civilian incident.  He keeps thinking about what Central had told him.  There are no civilians…  These words haunted Jacques.  He started to record every encounter they had, and recorded all non-combatants and spared them.  He recorded their names and took a photo of each of them.  He made sure they would not be harmed.  He heard about the outposts and the “capital” on the Isle of Despair, and he had hoped to get there and reach some sort of an agreement.  He sat waiting and watching the moon and taking in the peace…


The first boom bellowed through the air.  Jacques grabbed his binoculars to see what was going on, when he saw it.  The corvettes started firing shell after shell after shell onto the island.  Jacques watched has the Isle of Despair just lit up in fire.He picked up the radio.

“You idiots!!  Stop firing!!  There are civilians on that island!”

“I told you Col. Jacques, there are no civilians!  They are all our enemy and they will be exterminated with all force of the military.  Now, if you cannot accept it, you can be court marshaled for insubordination or you can resign right now.  I will not tolerate this in my military, especially when I can use this to strike a deal with Alfred.” the voice on the other end had said.

June 16th, 2020
Isle of Despair

Jacques finally got his squad onto the island.  Most of the land was burned and desolate, but he was determined to find any surviving life.  His squad wandered through the island, trying to find the capital.  After a long hike up the hills, they found the rubble of a shack city they assumed to be the capital. The smell of burnt flesh and burned rubber stings in the air. So much of the city had been reduced to rubble. It was almost a guarantee that no one made it out alive. That was until Jacques heard a sound from the background.

“Oi! Who they fuck are you guys?” the man said holding a gun pointing at them.

“My name is Colonel Jacques of the Alksearian Military. Who are you?” Jacques said.

His squad pointed their guns at the man too. He was hoping no one would start firing. The man looked at all of them and started to lower his gun.

“My name is Orlandio. I run this city here, or used to. It’s reduced to rubble now. Most of everyone is dead. I’m willing to surrendor the region. No use in fighting.” Orlandio said.

Jaques nodded his head. He picked up his radio and started to broadcast back to base.

“This is Task force Beta to Base, Task Force Beto to Base. We have the leader of the region. He’s willing to negotiate terms of surrender.” Jacques said. For a couple minutes, the radio was silent.

Those were the two longest minutes of his life. Standing there waiting for a response to come through. He thought that the broadcast didn’t reach base. As he went to radio again, a response came through.

“I don’t care that their leader is captured. I want them dead. They haven’t served us well at all” Ottus said over the radio.

Jacques stood puzzled for a second and sent a broadcast not only back to base, but to the other army regiments.

“This is Task Force Beta, under the command of Col. Jacques. I am here to announce that we have the leader of the region under control. Any additional casualties are against the Alksearian Rules of War. The leader is willing to talk terms of surrender. I reiterate this point: The leader is surrendering.”

For a moment, there was silence. Jacques knew this was a court marshalling offense. If this backfired, he was done. If it worked, he successfully would be able to end this operation. He stood silent for a moment.

Eldras’ Study

Sir Ottus sat outside of Eldras’s study. He was going to tell him how the operation was going and then would go on and finish the blasted operation. Eldras took the cautious path and it was too time consuming for him. They should’ve just blown them all to smithereens. It was at the time when a broadcast came through the radio.

“This is Task force Beta to Base, Task Force Beto to Base. We have the leader of the region. He’s willing to negotiate terms of surrender.”

Ottus sighed. He couldn’t understand why Jacques couldn’t just follow orders. He sighed, and picked up the radio. He took a couple minutes to make sure no one was listening when he responded through the radio.

“I don’t care that their leader is captured. I want them dead. They haven’t served us well at all”

As he put away the radio, he turned around and saw Eldras holding open the doors to his study.

“What was that about, Ottus? Was that news about the war?” Eldras asked him.

Ottus saluted, “Your majesty, it wasn’t any news on the operation, in fact…”

It was at the moment when the radio went off again. The sound pierced through the room.

“This is Task Force Beta, under the command of Col. Jacques. I am here to announce that we have the leader of the region under control. Any additional casualties are against the Alksearian Rules of War. The leader is willing to talk terms of surrender. I reiterate this point: The leader is surrendering.”

Ottus could feel the dread fall over his body. He lied to the King and that was a punishable offense in and of itself. For a moment, Eldras started at him. The face that had greeted him had turned into a face of anger.

“You dare tell me that it wasn’t about the operation, but now I hear the radio broadcast. What other secrets are you holding from me Ottus? I thought you swore an oath of loyalty and honesty to the Crown when you became the Grandmaster. Tell me what is going on now” Eldras demanded.

“Well you see Sir….” Ottus started.

“Drop the decorum. I am asking you as your Commander-in-Chief!” Eldras yelled.

Ottus sighed, “I was protecting you, sir. We heard of the barbaric treatment that gave our troops. They went to rip through our troops. Our intellegience was…faulty to say the least. I can’t imagine…” Ottus started.

Another broadcast came through the radio.

Isle of Despair

Jacques stood there and couldn’t wait much longer for another broadcast. He decided that he needed to do something.

“Base, be aware the Task Force Delta will be withdrawing from the region with the leader. Our job will be to return to King Eldras so that a peace treaty can be negotiated. As the Operating Officer of this operation, this operation is over. All troops are mandated to return home. Any troops in difiant of this order is subject to court marshalling.”

June 17th, 2020
Eldras’s Study

Col. Jacques sat watching the doors to the study. It was the first time he has ever been anywhere near the King, and it was the first time he knew he was going to get thrown out of the military. Out of all of his insane stunts, ording all troops to stop fighting and return home would be the craziest one he has ever done. Jacques didn’t know the fate of Orlandio. All he knew is that Eldras whisked him away the night before, and Jacques was put under military arrest by Grandmaster Ottus. It was the first time that he felt embarrassed and ashamed of his decisions.

Jacques looked up and saw Grandmaster Ottus walk into the lobby area and speak with the receptionist. The two seemed to get along well. Of course, the day wouldn’t be over without getting embarrassed by Ottus. He watched the Grandmaster turn around and walk towards him.

“Ah, I’m glad you could make this appointment. The King and I had a small disagreement, but Eldras should see my way now” Ottus said, “It’s hard when information…”

“You know what? Shut up. All I’ve ever heard is you speak and speak. Maybe if you actually listened…” Jacques started.

Ottus walked up to Jacques and looked down at him. Jacques could see the green of Ottus’s eyes staring down at him. Jacques stood to be roughly equal height.

“I see you still have a fighting bone in your body. That will be taken care of soon enough. The King will have you stripped of all titles, and more than likely exile you.” Ottus taunted.

“The King won’t do that, and last time I checked, I wasn’t the one who ordered for civilians…” Jacques started.

“There. Are. NO. Civilians! How many times do I have to tell you?” Ottus scolded.

“There are! They weren’t combatants, and you fired…” Jacques said

“Tell me one more time. I dare you.” Ottus ordered.

The words stung through the air. Jacques took a deep breath and looked directly into Ottus’s eyes. The green of his eyes now seemed more fiery. Without fear, Jacques proudly spoke in defiance.

“There were civilians…”

The next thing he saw was Ottus’s hand come out of the corner of his vision and strike him across his face. The force knocked him down and caused an immense pain to shoot through his face. Jacques put a hand up to his face and checked the site where he was hit. When he pulled his hand away from his face, he saw blood on his hand. Jacques grew increasingly angry with Ottus.

“So this is your plan? To strike me down and to hurt me only because I speak the truth? Is this how you run the army? On lies?” Jacques said, “When I was promoted to Colonel, I took an oath of loyalty and truthfulness. I am a high ranking member of the Army, and I have served faithfully. I will not abandon my oath or my office just because you think that the people we invaded didn’t deserve basic rights”

Ottus laughed at Jacques, “You really think that you are going to…”

“SILENCE!” a familiar voice boomed.

Jacques looked over from where the voice was coming from and saw the King standing there in his suit. Jacques stood to his feet quickly to salute the King. He could see Ottus didn’t stand at attention, which bothered Jacques quite a bit.

“I see that you have decided to show your face again, Ottus.” Eldras said, “and you. You must be Colonel Jacques. Glad you both could make it. I hope that you both are willing to come into my office, and discuss the terms of surrender…and tender some promotions.”

Col. Jacques took a seat opposite Grandmaster Ottus. Eldras sat down at his desk and looked at both of them not approvingly.

“I am very curious as to why the hell I am currently sitting here listening to a case of” Eldras looks down and checks the case notes, “Sedition, treason, and breaking rank. Do either of you care to explain what this is about?”

Ottus stood from his chair, “Sir, I am sure you are aware of an order that Jacques gave on the 16th of June telling all troops to leave the area of Le confédération pirate after capturing their leader, Orlandio. It was not in the place of Jacques…”

Eldras waved his hand signaling to Ottus to stop talking, “You are to refer to Col. Jacques as his title. He has not been stripped of rank, and you have to tread carefully. In addition, I want you to sit. I want the Colonel to speak.”

Jacques stood up nervously. He had never spoken to the King before, and never for going to defend himself from being dis-ranked. He could feel his heart beating in his chest. He started speaking softly, but started again so that Eldras could hear him.

“Your majesty, I was tasked with taking over of Le confédération pirate. When we invade nations, it is our job to find the leader, and to get them to negotiate. I was charged and tasked with the invasion, and it was under my directive. I was not aware that there was supposed to be an attack on Isle of Despair, and I had kept being told to kill any and all civilians as there ‘no civilians.’” Jacques had explained.

Eldras looked blankly at Jacques, “Wait, he said there are no civilians??” Eldras looked over at Ottus with a look that could kill, “I thought you explained to me that he was lying! Please, PLEASE explain to me how I should take this information.”

Ottus stood, “ I would like you to know that there are no such records of me giving…’

Jacques interrupted, “Your majesty, there is a person who records all transmissions to the troops, and I obtained a record of it…but lost it after I was arrested by the MPs. it was last seen in my office…”

Eldras waved his hand. He stood up and turned towards one the window next to his desk. Jacques could hear Eldras take a really deep breath. The silence that filled the office was intense. Jaques wondered if this would be the end of his career in the military, and potentially his death.

Eldras turned around after another 10 seconds of dead silence, “So let me get these facts straight Ottus. You claim there is no record of the commands you gave, even though there is someone who does record all reports. You claim that Jacques attacked your soldiers in his office, but in the report Col. Jacques doesn’t resist his arrest and you destroy his office. You claim that there are no civilians, but yet you would do everything to protect the lives of Alkaris? Ottus, you are a hypocrite of the highest degree. I do not want to hear another word out of you…no, I don’t want to see you wear that uniform. You are hereby disranked, and to be held under arrest for war crimes and for treason against the crown. You even told me the Orlandio would try to kill me, and yet, this poor man is sitting under my care because you wanted him dead! What do you gain from this?? WHAT DO YOU GAIN FROM THIS??”

Ottus looked down, “What I gained was glory and honor. Grand Duke Alfred sits ready to take over the kingdom. I was following an order I was given by…”

Eldras interrupted, “I do not give a flying fuck about what you have to say next. I am the King, and no one else is. I m the one who gives the military orders! I give the final say in any operation. You are a nobody. I hope you rot in prison! GUARDS!”

The men standing outside of the office walk in and place handcuffs on Ottus. As they escort him out, Ottus turns around and says, “Through the Shadows, We Persevered! HAIL ALFRED!!”

After Ottus was escorted out, Jacques sank down into his chair. He hasn’t stopped panicking for a while. Eldras looked over at him and said, “Grandmaster, are you ready to negotiate peace?”

Eldras’s Study

For the last 6 hours, Jacques had been sitting there as Eldras and Orlandio go back and forth on discussing the peace terms. Jacques sat there and silently re-read the agreement. The only issue was establishing how the land would be split up.

“I understand your governance system, but I don’t wan’ me people being left with nothin. I wanna give my people the titles fairly.” Orlando said.

“I understand your point, but I have to keep a modicum of decorum. I have a promise to keep to my people. I have districts and governing provinces to draw. I can’t just let you have all the land.” Eldras retorted.

Jacques just sat there listening to these men going back and forth bickering about who gets what and how the partitions fell. Honestly, Jacques had gotten enough when he looked over at them and spoke.

“Look, you both want to have a piece of it, so why not split it in half?” Jacques said out of desperation. For him, this was dragging out too long. A solution had to be that close at hand right??? Right??

Orlando looked over at Eldras, “a 50/50 split? Not a bad deal wouldn’ ewe say Eldras?”

Eldras thought for a moment. Jacques couldn’t understand what was going through his head, but the fact that he was thinking of it must be a good sign. The silence kept going though. Now Jacques was concerned. The amount of thought could only mean two things: rejection or complete concession. Jacques finally spoke up breaking the silence.

“Eldras, can we talk on the side for a moment? This is a serious proposal and I want to make sure you fully understand what I mean.” Jacques said.

“I would enjoy that very much. I hope you understand Orlando. I promise we will be quick.” Eldras stated.

Jacques moved over to Eldras. A map was scrolled out in front of them. This was the first time Jazques saw the treaty map, and to Jacques, all of the plans were complete and utter shit. He was glad he decided to get involved now and not like a couple minutes later. Jacques shook his head slightly before talking to Eldras.

“Isolated federal territory followed by territory controlled by local communities? This isn’t going to work the way you want it to work. The center island needs to be federal crown territory, especially if we have UCA goals there. Then, we need to decide what needs to be federal land and what would be given to the locals.” Jacques pointed out to Eldras. Eldras scratched his chin for a moment considering the proposal on the table.

“We want to make sure that Orlando and his crew get land they can split up, right? What if we guaranteed them a certain amount of titles for statehood or lordships while we granted our our lordships as an equal rate?” Eldras added.

“But if we plan to have elections soon, all of these new states would throw our elections into disarray. We could simply set Orlando’s territory as an autonomous zone for the first election and then add their statehood into the next election.” Jacques said.

“But, how would we be able to do that? We can’t allow for that large of a region to have no representatives. How would we correct that?” Eldras rebutted.

“Simple. We give them 20 elected officials who would represent the autonomous zone, but then when they get split into statehoods, we would award those states a certain amount of representatives as afforded by law.” Jazques said.

“We can ask Orlando and see what he thinks of this proposal.” Eldras said.

Eldras and Jacques stood up and looked over at Orlando. Orlando seemed to be intrigued by what the two of them had hatched up, but Jacques could tell he was wary of them.

“Orlando, we have a proposal for you that I think would be for the best.” Eldras stated, “Quite simply, Jacques informed me that the way we were creating states within the Kingdom and soon-to-happen elected officials would quite simply not work. He came up with a counter solution.” Eldras nodded at Jacques to explain.

“Yes. As Eldras had said, I think we can split the territory more evenly than how you two planned. Simply, the Isle of Despair, which would be renamed to something less dismal, would be under federal crown land. That means the Monarch controls it directly as a lordship. The remaining land would be split into two autonomous zones: a federal zone which the Monarch and his advisors would split into lordships and states and a local one for you and your citizens to split into states how you see fit. This way everyone gets an equal amount.” Jacques explained.

Orlando sat for a moment looking at the proposal. His face was stern and almost disgusted at the proposal until he looked it over more. There was a clean division between the two territories. Jacques continued to explain other ways to make it more fair for Orlando while also affording the Crown control over newly acquired territory.

“Both zones would unly ha’ 10 elected officials ‘til we spli’ tem up into states?” Orlando responded

“Yes, and whatever number of states you come up with, we would have to either match or be lower than. That way this is equal and true for all members signing.” Jacques affirmed.

“Well, sume o’ th’ chiefs ain’t gonna like da proposal, but tem the terms.” Orlando said hold his hand out for Eldras to shake.

Eldras shook Orlando’s hand first and then Jacques. A formal agreement had been reached, and the only thing to do now was to sign the treaty making it law. Eldras signed it first as a sign of respect for Orlando and to show the commitment to keeping the treaty. Orlando signed it shortly after with a couple scriples. The only thing left was to let Orlando go home and tell the chiefs that they got to convene and make more maps. As Jacques went to leave, Eldras pulled him aside.

“You did great work today, and I want you there with Orlando and the Chief Council to map out the states so that we have an accurate number here. Again, make sure that you explain that the Isle will not be a counted state as it will be a territory controlled directly by the Monarch and Crown. Otherwise, it’s all up to them.” Eldras said.

“I promise you sir, I will make the most accurate maps I can.” Jacques replied.  Jacques left Eldras’ Study having a sense of accomplishment. The first major peace treaty has been signed, but the work isn’t done yet. He still has states to map for both the Orlando Territory and the Federal Territory. On the other hand, they left with a treaty in hand meaning that no matter what, Balistria couldn’t just move in and attack without facing repercussions. A new era was on the horizon.