Cyber Nations Forum Rules 07/03/2016Cyber Nations Forum Rules
In the process of registering on this forum, all players--including you--agreed to accept these terms and conditions and the terms and conditions of Invision Power Board. In doing so you essentially signed an electronic contract pledging to have read the rules and TOS and agreeing to follow the rules and TOS as written. It is your continued responsibility to read, follow, and keep up-to-date with the CN rules.
The following are basic guidelines for use of the Cyber Nations community forum. Anyone caught disobeying these guidelines will be issued a warning. The forum staff works on a five warn limit policy unless the situation calls for more appropriate action ranging from a verbal warning to a double warn and suspension to an immediate ban, etc. Just because something is not listed specifically here as illegal does not mean it's allowed. All players are expected to use common sense and are personally responsible for reading the pinned threads found in the Moderation forum. Questions regarding appropriateness or other concerns can be sent via PM to an appropriate moderator. A permanent ban on the forums results in a game ban, and vice versa. Please note that the in-game warn system works on a "three strikes you're out" policy and that in-game actions (including warnings and deletions) may not be appealed. For more information regarding in-game rules please read the Cyber Nations Game Rules. 1.) First Warning
2.) Second Warning
3.) Third Warning (48 hour suspension at the forum)
4.) Fourth Warning (120 hour suspension at the forum)
5.) Permanent Ban Game Bans and Forum Bans
If you receive a 100% warn level on the forums, you will be subject to removal from the forums AND have your nation deleted and banned from the game at moderator(s) discretion. If you are banned in the game, then you will be banned from the forums. Process of Appeals
Players may not appeal any in-game actions. This includes cheat flags, canceled trades, content removals, warn level increases, nation deletion, and bans from the game. Players may appeal individual forum warnings. You may only appeal a warning if you can show with evidence that it was unwarranted or unduly harsh. If a reasonable amount of time has passed (no less than one month and preferably longer) in which you have demonstrated reformed behavior than you may request a warning level reduction. Wasting staff time with inappropriately filed reports and/or unfounded appeals will result in a warn level raise. Repeat incidences will result in a ban from the forum. Bans are permanent. Banned players may appeal to the Senior Staff if they believe grounds exist (very, very rare) in which they state their case with evidence and why explain why they believe they deserve to be allowed back into Cyber Nations. This process is not quick and the investigation into cases may last three minutes or three weeks or more depending on the individual situation. The only place where discussion of moderator action is acceptable is in the appropriate Moderation forum. Posting commentary on or disagreement with moderator action elsewhere will result in a warn level raise. Posting
All posts must be in English. Common phrases in other languages will be allowed so long as they are translated upon request. Foreign languages are permitted in signatures and avatars, however. Certain areas of the forum require you to have a nation in either standard CN or CN:TE. If you have... A SE and a TE nation: You get one forum account. Your forum account name must match your SE nation or ruler name. You are allowed to post in either SE or TE areas of the forum. You must have your CN:TE nation name listed in your profile to post in the CN:TE section of the forum.
Just an SE nation: You get one forum account. Your forum account name must match your SE nation or ruler name. You are not allowed to post in any TE areas of the forum.
Just a TE nation: You get one forum account. Your forum account name must match your TE nation name or ruler name. Your must have your CN:TE nation name listed correctly in your profile. You are not allowed to post in any of the SE areas. You are allowed to post in the water cooler, question center and the moderation forums. Other than that, all your posts need to stay in the TE area. Flame/Flamebait/Trolling
Flaming is expressing anger or lobbing insults at a person/player rather than a character, post, idea, etc. Flamebait are posts that are made with the aim of targeting/harassing/provoking another user into rule-breaking. Trolling is submitting posts with the aim of targeting/harassing/provoking a specific group into rule-breaking. Forum users should not be participating in any of these, and doing so will result in a warning. Topic Hijacking
Hijacking is forcing the current thread discussion off of the original topic and usually results in spam or flame from either side. Forum users found hijacking threads will be given a warning. Repeat Topics
One topic is enough. Repeat topics will be locked, removed, and the author given a warning. Users found creating repeat topics after others were locked by staff will receive a warn raise. Joke Topics
Topics created as a joke are prohibited. Joke topics will be locked and the author warned. This includes topics in which the author is making an announcement “for” another in-game alliance. Humorous threads are permitted; it is up to the discretion of the moderation staff to determine what is merely satire and what is actually a joke topic. Spam
Spam is defined as creating posts or topics containing only contentless material of any kind. Users found spamming will receive a warning. Examples include (but are in no way limited to) posts containing nothing but smilies, "+1", "QFT", "this" any other one/few-word contentless combination, joke threads, or posts containing quotes and anything that counts as spam by itself. Adding words to a post with the express intent of avoiding a spam warn will result in a warning. These posts and other similar contributions have no substance and hence are considered spam. Posts of "Ave", "Hail" or any other one word congratulatory type are acceptable as one word posts. Emoticon type posts such as "o/" without accompanying text is still not allowed. Posts containing only images are considered spam, unless the image is being used in the Alliance Politics sub-forum and then the actual text of the image be placed into spoiler tags. Posting in All Caps
Posting large amounts of text in capital letters is not permitted. Use discretion when using your caps lock key. No Discussion Forums
There are forums that are not for discussion and are used strictly for game and forum staff to address certain issues, bugs, etc. The following forums are not open to discussion: Report Game Abuse, Report Forum Abuse, and Warn/Ban Appeals. Only moderators and the original poster may post in a thread, period, with absolutely no exceptions. Users found disobeying this guideline will receive an automatic warning for each offense. Moderation Forums
All Moderation forums also maintain pinned threads clearly marked as required reading before posting. Failure to read and follow required reading and procedure in a Moderation forum will result in a warning. Examples include posting requests in the wrong forum, failure to include all required information in posts, etc. The standard of conduct and enforcement of rules in Moderation forums is strictly enforced and the repercussions for disregarding rules or disrespecting staff are harsh. Read the pinned threads before posting and you will be fine. Namecalling
Excessive or unqualified namecalling is not allowed in IC forums; namecalling should also never make up the bulk of a post. Namecalling is prohibited entirely in all OOC forums. Filtered Words
Any attempts to evade the word filter will result in a warning. The terms we have filtered are filtered for a reason and no excuse for evasion will be accepted. Filter evasion includes censoring or deliberately misspelling part of a filtered word. If you link to a website, image, video, etc., containing profanity, please post a disclaimer before the link. The moderation staff may still remove links if the content is deemed too obscene. Harassment
Forum users should not be stalking/harassing others on the forums. Anyone found stalking players from topic to topic, etc., will be subject to a warning. Gravedigging
Gravedigging is not allowed anywhere on the forums. Gravedigging is "bumping" old topics which haven't been active for quite some time (four to seven days is standard depending on the nature of the thread and how many pages back it had been pushed before bump). Your warn level will be raised if you are caught doing this. The Suggestion Box and Black Market forums are partial exceptions to this rule. Suggestions/ideas in that forum may be posted in regardless of age PROVIDING that the reviving post contains constructive, on-topic input to the original topic or discussion. Black Market threads may be bumped by the author if there is new information about the offered exchange (i.e open aid slots). In the Player Created Alliances forum it will not be considered gravedigging to bump a topic up to a year old, so long as the alliance in question still exists and it is not a duplicate thread. Signatures
Those who fail to read and abide by these rules will have their signatures removed and receive a warning. You may have only one image per signature which may not exceed the maximum size of 450 pixels wide by 150 pixels tall. You may have no more than 8 lines of text and text size cannot exceed size 4. Each quote-tag, image and empty line count as a line. Inappropriate Images and Other Disallowed Images
Images that are sexual in nature or have sexual overtones are prohibited. It is up to the discretion of the moderation staff to determine what constitutes sexual overtones. Depictions of kissing are permissible provided there are no sexual implications. Images depicting female nipples are prohibited outright. Making “ASCII art” is prohibited regardless of the image depicted. Using photos or likenesses of another Cyber Nations player is also prohibited. Drug References
Images and posts promoting illegal drug use are prohibited. References to drugs are acceptable only if the moderation staff deems that it is not promoting the use thereof. Obscene Content and/or "Account Suicide"
Anyone caught posting vulgar material (including but in no way limited to pornography, "gross," "tubgirl," "lemonparty," photos depicting RL illegal acts such as violence towards humans or animals, child pornography, death photos, and any other obscene or offensive material in either text form or picture form) will have their account(s) permanently banned, and their ISP contacted along with any other applicable internet and RL authorities. OOC Threats / Revealing Personal Information
An OOC threat of any nature will equate to an automatic ban from the game and forums. Likewise, the publishing of personal information of any other player without their explicit permission is grounds for warning and/or a ban from the game depending on the severity of the offense. Death Threats / Death Wishes
A death threat or a death wish of any nature (including but not limited to telling another player to commit suicide) will result in at very least a 40% warn level increase and 2 day suspension from the forums, with harsher punishments, including a complete ban from the forums and game, up to the discretion of the moderation staff. Quoting Rulebreaking Posts
Do not quote any post with obscene content or any other content that has to be removed by the moderation staff. Doing so makes it more difficult for the moderation staff to find and remove all such content and will result in a warn level increase. Putting rulebreaking posts of any kind in your signature is prohibited. Forum Names
With the exception of moderator accounts, all forum accounts must match up exactly with the ruler name or nation name of your in-game country. Those found not matching up will be warned and banned immediately. Forum account names may not be profane or offensive. Multiple Forum Accounts
With the exception of moderators, if you are caught with multiple forum accounts, the multiple account(s) will be banned, warn level raised, and your identity will be announced by a moderator to the CN community so rule-abiding players can take IC action against you. Multiple forum account offenders will receive a varying percentage warn level raise and/or a permanent ban on a case-by-case basis. Posting For Other Players
Posting for banned or suspended players is prohibited, as is posting for any person without a nation. This includes making warn and ban appeals on their behalf. Imitation &. Impersonation
Imitation in terms of this forum is mimicking the posting, avatar, or signature styles of another user in an attempt to be satirical or generally humorous. Impersonation in terms of this forum is copying the posting, avatar, or signature styles of another user in order to present the illusion that the person is in fact that user. Imitation is fine and can be quite funny. Impersonation is disruptive and is warnable. Please pay attention to the subtle difference between these two concepts. A player may not impersonate another player by emulating the characteristics of someone else's past or present account in an attempt to harass, stalk, or flamebait. Creating a new forum account in an attempt to impersonate a standing account will result in deletion and banning without notice. Any attempt at imitation and/or impersonation of moderators and game staff is strictly prohibited and will be met with harsh repercussions. Avatars
Size for avatars is limited by the forum mechanics, therefore there is no size issue for a user to worry about. Avatars must be in good taste, and any avatar containing a picture that is too violent, disgusting, sexually explicit, insulting to another player or staff member, etc. will be removed. Avatars that are potentially seizure inducing will not be permitted. Players may not "borrow" the avatars of any moderator past or present without permission. Swastikas and Nazi Imagery
The swastika may not be used in signatures or avatars. Pictures of swastika's are acceptable for use in the In Character (IC) sections of the roleplay forums, so long as its context is In Character, and not Out Of Character. Pictures of Hitler, mentioning of the Holocaust, etc... have no place in the roleplay forums, since these people and events existed in real life, and have no bearing or place in the Cyberverse. Other Nazi or SS imagery is forbidden in all forums. Moderation Staff
The revealing of the private identities of any Cyber Nations staffers past or present is strictly prohibited, and thus no speculation/accusation of identity is allowed. Doing so is grounds for moderator action against your account appropriate to the offense, including a full forum/game ban. Claims of moderator bias should be directed to the highest level of authority--the Head Game & Forum Mod/Admin, Keelah. Claims of moderator bias without supporting evidence is grounds for a warning. Blatant disrespect of the moderator staff is strictly prohibited. This includes but is not limited to spoofing moderator accounts in any way, sig/avatar references, baiting, flaming, rude demands, mocking, attitude, and unsubstantiated claims of bias. They are volunteers hired to enforce the rules. If you have a problem with the way a moderator is enforcing the rules or the rules themselves please contact Keelah. Attempting to use the moderation staff as a weapon by abusing the report system in an attempt to get another player warned or banned is strictly prohibited. Do not ask about becoming or campaign to become a moderator. The moderators are drawn from CN membership but moderation positions are by invitation only. Asking to become one will substantially decrease your chances of ever being asked. Aiding Rule Violators
Any user found to know of a serious rule violation without reporting it to a game moderator (eg. knowledge of a user with multiple nations) will be given a warning or, in more serious cases, have their nation deleted. Aiding Banned Players
Any user found to be harboring, aiding or otherwise knowingly helping a banned user will be deleted. This includes knowing of their existence within the game without reporting it to the game-moderation staff. Questionable Actions and Content
The forum rules are not designed to cover every scenario. Any action that is seen to be counter-productive or harmful to the forum community may be met with moderator action against your account. The Cyber Nations Moderation Staff reserves the right to take action against your account without warning for any reason at any time. Private Transactions
Nation selling and other private transactions via such auction sites like eBay is against the Cyber Nations terms and conditions. While our moderators cannot control what people do outside of the game you are not allowed to promote such private exchanges on our forums without expressed permission from admin only. Anyone found to be engaging in such activity without permission will be banned from the game. Advertising
Advertising other browser games and forums is prohibited. Soliciting donations towards commercial causes is also prohibited. If you wish to ask for donations towards a charitable cause, please contact a moderator before doing so. Extorting Donations
Donations are excluded from any kind of IC payment. Anyone found extorting others for OOC payments will be warned in-game and/or banned. Third Party Software
Third party software is not allowed to be advertised on these forums by any means (post, signature, PM, etc). These programs can easily be used to put malware on the user's computer, and as such can cause huge security issues. Anybody who is caught spreading links to these will at the very least have their warning level increased. Other Forum Terms & Rules Please take a moment to review these rules detailed below. If you agree with them and wish to proceed with the registration, simply click the "Register" button below. To cancel this registration, simply hit the 'back' button on your browser. Please remember that we are not responsible for any messages posted. We do not vouch for or warrant the accuracy, completeness or usefulness of any message, and are not responsible for the contents of any message. USE THE WEB SITE AT YOUR OWN RISK. We will not be liable for any damages for any reason. THIS WEB SITE IS PROVIDED TO YOU "AS IS," WITHOUT WARRANTY OF ANY KIND, EITHER EXPRESSED OR IMPLIED. The messages express the views of the author of the message, not necessarily the views of this bulletin board. Any user who feels that a posted message is objectionable is encouraged to contact us immediately by email. We have the ability to remove objectionable messages and we will make every effort to do so, within a reasonable time frame, if we determine that removal is necessary. You agree, through your use of this service, that you will not use this bulletin board to post any material which is knowingly false and/or defamatory, inaccurate, abusive, vulgar, hateful, harassing, obscene, profane, sexually oriented, threatening, invasive of a person's privacy, or otherwise violative of any law. You agree not to post any copyrighted material unless the copyright is owned by you or by this bulletin board.
KaiserMelech Mikhail replied to KaiserMelech Mikhail's topic in Fantasy RP (IC)REPORT TO THE RUSSIAN HIGH COMMAND Order 162118-75 has been concluded in a timely fashion. All generals, colonels, and majors of Marscurian ethnicity have been forcibly retired and replaced by ethnic Russians from the west. In the navy, all commanding officers have been forcibly retired, as have all squadron leaders and commanders of air wings in the air force. The complete removal of Marscurians from the officer corps greatly reduces the possibility and success of any nationalist movements, such as that seen in Ukraine. Slava Rossii -Oleg Salyukov, Army General, Pasirung Military District
MarscurishNeis.ru REGIONAL Meteorologists are predicting an unusually long shipping season on the Teich River for 2015. Usually closed by October 31 due to freezing temperatures and dangerous ice accumulation, the river is expected to remain largely ice-free well into November for this year. Most shipping companies do not plan to utilize the extra time to increase river traffic, but recreational boating and fishermen will likely take advantage of the increased river usage. One group not happy about the ice-free river are the Vernewi barbarians of the south, who often rely on ice roads to supply their communities and trade during the winter. Would you like to know more? FEDERAL The Russian Federal Space Agency participated in a rare double launch this Wednesday in anticipation for an extensive research project about to be undertaken aboard the space station Progress. The first launch from the Baikonur Cosmodrome consisted of a Soyuz-FG rocket and three new cosmonauts to man the station, Sergei Volkov of Tambov, Aden Ambetov of the Buryat Republic, and Alexandr Morgenstern of the Marscurian Republic. The second launch from the Plesetsk Cosmodrome consisted of a Soyuz-2 rocket loaded with with both food and water for the crew, along with materials needed for the upcoming mission. The mission, a two year endeavor known as the Experimental Space Agriculture Study, is the largest attempt at studying growth and reproduction of food sources in zero gravity. Several plant species including turnips, carrots, radishes, lettuce, soybeans, pole beans, wheat, barley, and buckwheat are to be grown in special growth medium, and unlike previous studies, are not only expected to complete a full life cycle in space, but will also have generations of offspring planted in space. Sweet corn was suggested for they study, but space was deemed to be an issue, and the large amounts of pollen produced were viewed to be too dangerous to the station. Data will be collected on the success of the recent double launch to plan for a second double launch later this year, projected to deliver the final component to the station, along with animals for the second part of the ESA study. Would you like to know more? TOP NEWS LaG Aviation is expected to unveil a new short-haul airliner, expected to take over most flights within Pasirung. Based heavily on the out-of-production Antonov-26, the airliner, designated simply the MDA or Marscurian Domestic Airliner, is a turboprop aircraft featuring the latest avionics, engines, safety systems, and cabin comfort accessories. The airliner is specially designed to be used on flights between 800 and 1200 kilometers, and touts increased fuel economy and decreased maintenance costs compared to comparable turbojets. Although in the same family, three different versions of the aircraft are offered for sale, vastly differing in size. The MDA-4 holds 40 passengers, the MDA-6 holds 60 passengers, and the MDA-8 holds 84 passengers, all in 2-class floor plans. One of the newest MDA-4 airliners in Marscurian Airlines livery Would you like to know more? WAR In the face of mounting casualties, the assault on the rebel enclave around the Odessa Oblast has ground to a halt. A wide network of trenches around major transport hubs has lead to brutal fighting, with reports of combat breaking down to the use of clubs and bayonets. Rebel positions in and around the city of Odessa are under constant assault from the air, and large amounts of troops from western Russia are being ferried into the region to overwhelm the traitors by sheer numbers. What was originally thought to be a merely violent protests turned into a vicious domestic insurgency reaching the one-year anniversary of the start of hostilities on Thursday. Progress in combat operations has been slow due to the Russian Army's policy of avoiding civilian casualties, preventing armed forces from using all methods possible to put down the fascist uprising. Would you like to know more? WEATHER Temperatures remain unseasonably warm, with daytime highs remaining in the single digits above 0. The 10-day forecast shows that most of the region will remain sunny and warm, with scattered precipitation in the central parts of Marscury and snow at high elevations. Would you like to know more?
MarscurishNeis.ru REGIONAL The government of the Marscurian Republic has authorized the Fourth Scouting Expedition, with the goals of further surveying the Pasirungian continent. Consisting of thousands of cartographers, geographers, geologists, biologists, zoologists, botanists, anthropologists, and soldiers, the purpose of this expedition is to gain the most extensive view of the landscape to date. Scientists will be focusing on cataloging the continent's unique flora and fauna, as well as charting the distribution of significant deposits of natural resources, and learning more about the barbarian cultures that inhabit the southern and western parts of the continent. The survey is expected to take months to reach completion. Would you like to know more? FEDERAL Governmental leaders Vladimir Putin and Dmitri Medvedev have released an exercise video targeted at the eastern part of Russia, where health standards have plummeted. In the video, where the two men are seen lifting weights, doing pull ups, grilling steaks, and drinking tea, the Siberian and Far Eastern regions of the country were ordered to adopt a healthier, manlier lifestyle. "It's important," Minister Medvedev stated, "you get abs, you get pecs, you get pipes, you get girls." Minister Putin, on the other hand, took a more negative route, calling out many regions specifically for criticism. The Chukchi Autonomous Okrug was called out for "skipping leg day," the Amur Oblast was lambasted for "having the upper arm strength of a 12 year-old krokodil addict," and the Marscurian Republic was characterized as a "land of tubbos and disappointments." Many citizens in the east have posted response videos of themselves exercising and living up to the government's new plan. A screen shot of Putin and Medvedev's exercise video Would you like to know more? TOP NEWS The Marscurian government has announced an ambitious plan to rapidly build and modernize the region's infrastructure, primarily roads, railways, and electricity production. The project has been given the slogan Advancing The Motherland. An improvement in transportation infrastructure is expected to help improve the economy by easing the movement of goods, people, and tourists. Due to the amount of work that needs to be completed, the program is expected to last years. The logo of the program Would you like to know more? WAR The Russian campaign in the west has crushed most independence movements. Rebels in Finland and the Baltics have surrendered to government forces, but fascist nationalists in the Ukraine are holding the line in the region around their stronghold of Odessa. More and more troops and heavy weaponry have flooded the region, and sheer numbers are expected to bring a swift victory in the final battle for the city. Would you like to know more? WEATHER A late-Summer heat wave is bringing unusually high temperatures and humidity to the majority of the region. Temperatures could reach the mid-30s by the middle of the week, well above the normal temperatures for this point in the year. Would you like to know more?
MarscurishNeis.ru REGIONAL Police are on the hunt for a dangerous domestic terrorist. Anastasia Stein, better known by her nom de guerre "Mama," has been evading arrest throughout the region. Anyone with any information about the location of this terrorist or her gang are to contact the local police immediately. Would you like to know more? FEDERAL A Russian man was forcibly bound and gagged on a Hong Kong-Vladivostok flight after he became agitated and unruly. The man, allegedly drunk at the time, began arguing with a female passenger, and was supposedly using threatening language with her. Before the situation grew out of control, the man was tackled by fellow passengers, and was bound using heavy tape and seat belt extensions. The plan landed safely in Vladivostok, and the aggressive traveler was arrested for endangering the aircraft. The abusive passenger, upon arrival in Vladivostok. Would you like to know more? TOP NEWS The annual Marscurian Festival was held last Tuesday in Marscury. The festival, which celebrates Marscurian culture and history, featured outdoor concerts, educational displays, and large fairs. The festival had an over-arching theme about the Marscurian contribution to Russia, and the inseparability of Marscurians from the motherland. The festival was a remarkable success, going off without any major setbacks or crime issues. Would you like to know more? WAR The final major surface ships, the Khagan-class aircraft carriers, have left their shipyards in Ukraine and have joined the Pacific Fleet. This marks the return of the Pacific Fleet to full strength after the nuclear terrorist attacks in Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky, and Russia's place as the world's ultimate naval power. Would you like to know more? WEATHER High temperatures and humidity are set to give rise to lines of powerful storms that will move across the region in the coming days. In addition to powerful winds and damaging hail, flash flooding is a major concern, especially in low-lying areas and in river valleys. All but the most essential travel is advised against, and residents are expected to have an evacuation route planned in case their situations become increasingly perilous. Would you like to know more?
In front of the swinging bodies, I began humming, then singing the song that we developed when the hangings first began. When I had finished, I turned around to see people on the street staring at me. At first I was concerned with the situation. Were there soldiers watching me? Was I causing trouble? I got ready to run home, just to get off the streets. The people began walking towards me, one at a time, and then in larger and larger groups. Before I knew what was happening, everyone was singing. The old, the young, men, women, and children. After a short while, a military patrol entered the city and saw us all singing. At that point, it was too late for anyone to know that it was me who had started it all. The soldiers started yelling at us to return to our homes, and when we didn't comply, they started firing into the air. Needless to say, that shut us up quickly. We all decided to head home, rather than risk any further crackdowns. A song just wasn't worth it. Things were quiet for a while after that. I think the people just needed to get a small act of defiance out of their systems. The army put extra patrols through the town to keep eyes on us, but since we had been keeping our heads down, an easy peace existed between our sides. However, things in the rest of the country grew worse. On the Dneiper River, the rebels had hijacked a barge and filled it with explosives. In an apparent suicide attack, they crashed it into the Kakhovka Dam, causing it to burst. Flooding downstream was minimal, but both the port and shipyards in Kherson were completely underwater, and thousands had to be evacuated, stealing military resources away from the battle. The destruction of the dam also led to rolling brownouts around the region, since it provided over 350 megawatts of electricity to Southern Ukraine. We received notices that we would have no power between 12 and 5 in the afternoon. Buildings lost air conditioning and running water when it was the hottest part of the day. I couldn't help but think that it was a small punishment for the way we acted a few weeks ago. The war had been tough on all of us, and the prices of everything from food to electricity had skyrocketed, forcing my mother to begin working longer hours to support me and my sister. It was 5:30 when the lights flickered back on, and I made my way to the kitchen to begin preparing dinner. I tried to have it almost completely done by the time my mother came back from work and my sister came back from school. They always had tough days, and I wanted to be of as much help as I could. I had begun washing vegetables when I heard a knock on my door. I assumed it was a neighbor, checking to see if the power had come back. Our building was old, and we all got our electricity back at different times. We were on the ground floor, and had power and water before everyone else by at least a few minutes. I opened the door, expected to find the face of my elderly neighbor, only to be greeted with my own. I filled the screen of a smart phone, singing the song all alone. Somebody must have recorded me while I wasn't looking before everyone else joined in, then uploaded the video onto their VK profile. As the video ended, my gaze moved to the person holding the phone. I moved from his hand, down his camouflaged arm, and up to his face. I had a sick feeling as I noticed who it was. It was the person who had shushed me when they had taken Hrihory away. "Hello, Ms. Vardenko," he said to me, flashing a wide grin. He had three soldiers with him, who were there to drag me away from my home. Terrified, I took a step backwards away from the doorway, only to be met by the man's boot to my stomach. The kick was strong enough to slam me against the wall, and send me crumpling to the ground in excruciating pain and gasping for breath. Grabbing me by the wrist, he pulled me away from the wall, leaving me lying flat on my back, looking straight up at the ceiling. "Let's get her up," one of the soldiers said to another one, "we need to get her back to the base." "Wait," the man said, as soon as the two soldiers had grabbed my hands, "you will not do anything unless I order you to." "Comrade Major," another soldier said, "you know the reports, militants have been seen in the area. We need to get back to the camp as soon as possible." "YOU WILL NOT DO ANYTHING I HAVE NOT ORDERED," the man yelled back. He was obviously in charge, and he sure wanted the soldiers he was with to know it. "Comrade Major," I heard the first soldier yell out, "what are you doing?!" I lifted up my head slightly to see the man fiddling with something. He turned to the side, and I saw that he was unfastening his belt. Oh god! Was he really going to do what I thought he was?! "Our orders were to bring her back to the camp, nothing else," the second soldier yelled out. "This is not how we are supposed to act," the first soldier said, "We are soldiers, not criminals!" "I make the orders here," the man said, "and my orders are for you to either get in line or get out of my way." "What are you guys so worked up about," the third soldier said, "she's just a Uke, and a pretty one at that." "Zapadin, you pig," the second soldier said, shoving the third one with his gun. "You know this is wrong," the first one yelled. "Yefretor Shtayn, Yefretor Mizrekhsky, I'll have you both shot for insubordination," the man yelled, buckling his belt back up. However, before he could do anything else, a large explosion shook the building. Largely blinded by the dust, and deafened by the last, I looked around the room in a daze. Light was pouring in through a hole in the wall, which soon had a half dozen men with rifles run into the apartment. I looked to my right and saw the four soldiers slumped against the wall, thrown clear across the room by the blast. One of the men turned to me and took off his balaclava. He was saying something to me, but with my hearing still out, I just saw his lips moving. After a few seconds, the ringing in my ears intensified, and soon my hearing came rushing back. "Katya Vardenko! Are you Katya Vardenko," the man yelled at me. I simply nodded my head at him. "You may be injured," he continued yelling, unaware that I could hear him at a more normal volume, "we're going to get you out of here on a stretcher." As I was loaded onto the stretcher, the gunmen were checking the pulses of the soldiers. "This one's dead," one of the gunmen said, referring to the second soldier, lying against the wall with his head crooked and his eyes fixed open. "This one's a goner," another of the gunmen said, looking at the third soldier, who had several large pieces of wood embedded in his stomach and chest. I looked over at the first man, lying on his stomach in the corner. "This one's still got a pulse," the gunman checking him said. "Shoot him," I said weakly, surprising the people carrying me and the man who found me, "shoot that monster. Kill him." "Are you crazy," the gunman said, "this is a major. Who knows what we can get out of him. We're taking him with us." "I can shoot this one for you," the man checking the first soldier said, "he's out cold, but he's still alive." "Get rid of the moskal," the head gunman said casually. I don't know why, but the thought of killing him actually tugged on my heartstrings. He was a moskal, an occupier, a murderer of our people. He was here for me. He was going to drag me kicking and screaming out of my apartment, torture me, and string me up on the tree. I should have been happy that he was going to get a bullet in the head. He also stood up for me, and tried to stop those horrible men from forcing themselves on me. Maybe I just wanted a chance to talk with him before they did away with him. "Wait," I said a bit more forcefully, "take him with us." "Why," the head gunman asked, "he's a nobody. He's not an officer, not even a non-commissioned one." "I don't know," I said quickly, trying to grab some ideas off the top of my head, "you can torture him for information, you can trade him for prisoners, something." The gunmen looked at each other, then at me, then at the unconscious soldier. They smiled and began making lewd gestures. Oh geez, they thought we were having sex. I mean, it did make sense to the outside observer. Why else would I stand up for him like this? "And if you don't get anything from or for him, then you can shoot him," I quickly added in, trying to quash any rumors. "Alright, alright," the lead gunman said, smiling but trying to restore a bit of order, "Primashenko, pick up the second moskal. He comes with us."
It was Thomas Fuller that said that night was always darkest just before the dawn. Well, let me tell you, things had been getting pretty dark here. In an effort to end the violence in Odessa, the Russians had committed three whole armies, 300,000 men, to our western regions to keep the peace. Most of the deployments were to the big cities with prominent Ukrainian populations, but my hometown of Novofedorivka had a detachment of soldiers stationed there due to our position on the main road between Odessa and Mykolaiv. For a while, things actually weren't so bad. The soldiers stayed in their camp by the road, and we stayed inside our town. We didn't see much of each other, and never interacted. For the most part, it wasn't any different than usual. Unfortunately, it didn't last forever. One of the soldiers was found dead one day, and naturally, they all suspected that someone in the town had done it. The first person they took away was a local boy, Taras. He was a logical first victim, being fairly outspoken in support of the people in Odessa. A day later, they took his girlfriend on suspicions of the two of them "collaborating." After about a week, we had largely forgotten about the two of them, but they soon came rushing back into the front of our lives. Everyday I walked down one of the main roads in the town, nice and cool from the shade of the large oak trees that lined both sides. However, one day, a small crowd was gathered around the largest of the trees on the street. Walking over, I saw why. Hanging on the lowest branch were the bodies of Taras and his girlfriend. Around both their necks was a warning to all of us, a small placard featuring a tryzub smothered by the double headed eagle. The message was clear, Russia would defeat any attempts at Ukrainian identity. Soon, the dynamics between the two of us had changed completely. We no longer went near the army camp, and the soldiers no longer went near the town. They posted extra guards near the roads, and in town, talk quickly shifted to the Moskali. Every once in a while, someone complained a little too loudly about the conditions, and new bodies replaced old ones on the hanging tree. We soon realized that the Russians had placed spies in the village, and nobody talked to anyone they weren't long-time acquaintances with. People learned to keep their mouths shut, some went to go live with family in other parts of the country, but after a while, the hangings stopped. As far as I know, we had a month go by where nobody else disappeared, and a fragile peace was maintained between us and the soldiers just outside of town. As the days ticked on, I watched on the TV as the situation in Odessa grew worse. Attacks and counterattacks were claiming hundreds of lives, and nobody was budging in the region. Leaders in Odessa openly announced that if the siege of the city wasn't lifted, they would send people to bomb targets in cities like Kherson and Mykolaiv. Everyone believed it was an empty threat until a car bomb exploded near the military shipyards in Mykolaiv, killing 17 workers. I remember that retribution for that attack was swift. Curfews were established, roadblocks were set up, and the soldiers flooded our towns to keep careful watch for any suspicious behavior. It was the final straw, and my mother decided to move us out of Novofedorivka. However, the night before we were set to leave, we had a knock on our door. My cousin, orphaned by the conflict and staying with us, went to answer it, only to be met by a group of six soldiers with their guns drawn. "What do you veselki want," he asked, using the slang term we developed for the occupying soldiers. "Are you Grigoriy Vardenko," one of the soldiers asked, holding up a sheet of paper with a black and white photo on it. "Yeah, I'm Hrihoriy" my cousin snarked back. "Grab him," the solder said. Three of the soldiers grabbed his arms, dragging him out of our doorway and down the hall. As they closed the door behind us, one of the soldiers looked me in the eye, placed a finger over his lips, and shushed me. The small act was strangely terrifying. It seemed so innocent, something you would do to a mischievous child, but now, in this context, it was almost sadistic. The worst part was, it kind of worked. I wanted to scream out, but all I could do was just stand there. Needless to say, this pushed back our departure plans. We waited in dread to see what would become of my cousin. Would he return to us, and if so, in what state? We soon got our response. There, on the tree with three others, was his body, swinging in the wind. These bodies were different from the others, covered in bruises and cuts. These were clear signs of torture by their captors, obviously meant to get the response they needed for a hanging. I guess the Russians thought that they needed to keep the body count up to keep us pacified. Well, it didn't work.
MarscurishNeis.ru REGIONAL Under order of the Ministry of the Interior, the Marscurian Republican Guard has been disbanded. All soldiers and most officers below the rank of major have been reorganized into the Russian Border Service - Regional Border Directorate for The Pasirung Federal District. The new service will have the same duties and responsibilities as the old one, protecting the western frontier against barbarian raids, patrolling against smugglers, and basic search and rescue services. The force has been bolstered with nine river patrol vessels to patrol the Teich River and the immediate off-shore regions for smugglers, illegal fishermen, and to perform search and rescue operations. Like the old Republican Guard, the service is voluntary, and is a legal alternative to conscription in the regular army. However, it is to be noted that service in the border guards will now carry double the service period compared to the regular army, with contract periods now lasting three years. Would you like to know more? FEDERAL Mighty Russia's borders extend in all directions! In the south, rebels and terrorists in the Caucuses were utterly destroyed as thousands of Russian soldiers marched triumphantly into Gruzia and Erivan, taking all major cities without a struggle. In addition to the Russian lands that have been retaken in the mountains, naval infantry have secured the Straits of Gibraltar, the Dardanelles, and the Suez Canal to make sure that Russian maritime traffic is not hampered by the new anarchy in Europe. The future for the proud Russian people is bright, as our influence is remaining and expanding. Would you like to know more? TOP NEWS The world of Marscurian business was shook as Marscurian Military Works, one of the oldest industries in the region, was absorbed in a hostile takeover by Obluchye Heavy Engineering. Years of slow business due to slumping exports and domestic weaponry changes to more established arms firms have driven the stock price down dramatically. Spending under 10 billion rubles to completely acquire the company, Obluchye Heavy Engineering has firmly established itself as the largest industrial company on Pasirung. In light of its growing operations and diversification, Obluchye Heavy Engineering has changed its name to MarscurskyMashiniZavod (MSX Symbol: MMZ). The new company has vowed to bring the weapons division back to profitability through the abandonment of unprofitable ventures, a streamlining of the manufacturing process, and by promoting products for a wider export market. Would you like to know more? WAR The insurrection in the Ukraine is entering its final chapter. In a bid to end the treasonous actions once and for all, three field armies from the Pasirung Military District, totaling 300,000 soldiers, have been send to Southwestern Ukraine to maintain the peace in cities like Mykolaiv and Kherson, and to recapture Odessa. Due to the extreme numerical superiority over the fascists, the war is expected to be over in mere weeks. Under new leadership, the new forces have already recorded small successes in rooting out terrorist cells in several small villages and apprehending dozens of militants. Would you like to know more? WEATHER Extreme weather events are occurring all over Pasirung. Heat waves have driven temperatures into the mid-30s for extended periods of time, while the mountainous regions are several degrees below average. Summer rains in the plains have swelled rivers and streams and led to flash floods. No reports have been made of injuries, but property damage costs are slowly rising from the water. Would you like to know more?