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Of Excellence and Exodus


J Andres

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[center][size=5]Chapter 2:[/size]
[size=7]Of Excellence and Exodus[/size][/center]

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[center][size=3][i]Who made thee a prince and a judge over us?[/i] -Exodus 2:14 [/size][/center]

[b]PREVIOUS CHAPTERS[/b]
Chapter 1: [url="http://forums.cybernations.net/index.php?showtopic=112749"]Deja Vu[/url]

[b]SUMMARY[/b]
[i]President Evan McDowell has survived the J Andres Elections, but the challenges don't stop there. Now he must face the challenges of the office that he fought for, including the dissent in the West and growing international pressure on the J Andres borders, all while attempting to restore J Andres to an economic powerhouse quickly.[/i]

[b]Dramatis Personae[/b]

[url="http://cybernations.wikia.com/wiki/Evan_McDowell"]Evan McDowell[/url], President
[url="http://cybernations.wikia.com/wiki/Stephanie_Mercton"]Queen Stephanie[/url]
[url="http://cybernations.wikia.com/wiki/Katherine_Al_Kaled"]Princess Katherine[/url], Daughter of Stephanie
[url="http://cybernations.wikia.com/wiki/Jacob_Cross"]Jacob Cross[/url], General of Military
[url="http://cybernations.wikia.com/wiki/Anton_Rasmussen"]Anton Rasmussen[/url], Minister of War & Defense
[url="http://cybernations.wikia.com/wiki/Patrick_Aurora"]Patrick Aurora[/url], Minister of Foreign Affairs



[right][size=5][i]January 2, 2053[/i][/size][/right]

[b][url="http://cybernations.wikia.com/wiki/Endor_Cuidad"]ENDOR CUIDAD[/url][/b]


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Evan McDowell walked with his wife Ivy among the various politicians that occupied the grand ballroom in the Adrik Annan Governmental Center. McDowell had just been inaugurated and was now at an inaugural reception. He wasn't particularly used to this new game of politics and the politics of the inaugural reception were moving quite fast for his liking. First, a Senator from Providence informed him of how terrific the city was looking now that the reconstruction projects were underway. Then a Senator from Hartford told McDowell that he hated him and he would do everything within his power to free the west. Senators and other people of importance were all hobnobbing with McDowell and the newly appointed ministers, trying to make power plays to set themselves up for future positions.

Although he had already given a grand speech on the front steps, as part of the inauguration ceremony, the room began to quiet in anticipation for a toast from the new President. McDowell quickly realized that the eyes of all the politicians were beginning to focus on him. "Hello," he said nervously, the suddenness surprising him. "After a heated election in which every candidate had ideas and valid arguments for them, I congratulate you, the victors, for having the trust of the people in your ideas. This room may be full of conflicting ideas, but the people will not expect us to continue our campaign rhetoric throughout the next four years, rather, now begins an era of compromise, in which we must learn to work together. I look forward to working with all of you in the coming weeks and months to give J Andres the jumpstart it needs to turn into a continental power once again. Cheers!"


**********

Meanwhile, in

[b]DANBURY, WESTERN J ANDRES[/b]

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Simon Eos had done his part, he voted in the elections. In fact, his sister was even the head of the [url="http://cybernations.wikia.com/wiki/National_Liberation_Army_of_J_Andres"]National Liberation Party[/url] in the Commune, but he knew that it wasn't enough. J Andres was a monster, a "Republic" with a queen, a government with a tendency to fail.

The Eos family had long been friends with the Aragi family, the founders of the National Liberation Army. Even in 1985 they could identify that J Andres was a menace that needed to be stopped. The Army had reasonable success in the early years with the assassinations of various government officials, but the failed uprising in Miami gave the organization a death blow.

Now was the time to rise. Simon inched over the hill to get a better view of the newly constructed barracks that J Andres had constructed. The construction crews had left a week earlier and the army only had a small station of soldiers guarding it from an unknown enemy. Looking to his left a man wearing a camouflage jacket and a ski mask held up four fingers with his right hand. [i]Only four men[/i], he thought.

He turned to the small force he had assembled behind him. They were a motley bunch, most wearing jeans and dark-colored jackets. Many had only sledgehammers or were holding Molotov cocktails, but some had firearms.

"How many of you men voted?" Simon asked. Nearly everyone in the group shouted out.

"Did Endor Cuidad hear your voice then?" he shouted to the group.

"NO!" the crowd roared.

"Then make them hear it tonight!" he yelled, raising his fist into the air as he finished.

The crowd rushed forwards. Simon watched from the ridge as the group of shadows approached the base. He heard the screams followed by a small burst of gun shots, and then silence. Gun shots could only be good news, after all, the J Andres military still didn't have weapons.

"Brother, ---- you there," asked a crackling voice on the two-way radio clipped to his belt.

"Yes, Nathan, are you finished?" he replied to his brother.

"Yes, I had to solder one of the wires again because it had come loose, but it is finished now."

Simon Eos smiled, "Meet you at the entrance," he said as he descended down the hill towards the base. His brother was an electrical engineer, and had become quite proficient at programming microcontrollers. This knowledge was an indispensible tool for the National Liberation Army. Before Nathan, members often lost their lives or limbs due to early detonations, whereas Nathan always had controlled demolition. Of course, tonight's explosion wouldn't require anything too special, like his usual explosive-ridden toys and other devices, but Nathan insisted that all of his work be accomplished flawlessly, and as such, this explosion, was sure to be quite the display.

Simon saw his brother emerge from the shadows, holding a small box with wires coming out it. Two men behind him each held explosives which longer wire leads in both hands. Nathan motioned to the men who quickly ran through the building, placing the explosives, returning holding only the wire leads. Nathan worked quickly, clipping the wires to their designated places on the box that he held, then removed another item from his backpack and attached that to the box as well.

"What's that?" Simon asked.

"The grand finale!" Nathan exclaimed.


******

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[right][size=5][i]January 3, 2053[/i][/size][/right]


[b]Danbury Armory Destroyed[/b]

[b]DANBURY[/b] -- The freshly constructed Danbury Armory was destroyed late last night in an attack that military officials are calling, "devastating and gruesome." The armory will be a total loss to the government after spending in excess of 60 million anchors to construct it. Four unarmed J Andres soldiers were killed in the attack.

An unnamed Fort Farnum source has said that the attackers were well trained with explosives, leading to the total structural destruction of the base. Locals in the area reported seeing a brief fireworks display of red and green shortly after the explosion. Although the military is not officially commenting on the attack, many believe it to be the work of the National Liberation Army. The National Liberation Party in the Commune has continued to announce that they have no connections to the militant NLA and they are not responsible for the attack, or any NLA actions.

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[right][size="5"][i]January 21, 2053[/i][/size][/right]

[b]International Trade Center Planned[/b]

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[b]ENDOR CUIDAD[/b] -- In keeping with one of his campaign promises, President Evan McDowell released plans for the J Andres International Trade Center, which will be constructed in Providence. The building, situated on the Woonasquatucket River will host the offices of numerous J Andres business leaders and serve as a central hub for organizing international trade. The building is being constructed at a cost of 125 million anchors and is expected to be complete before the end of 2053.

In other news, all of the construction projects authorized by Princess Katherine [url=http://forums.cybernations.net/index.php?showtopic=112749&view=findpost&p=3023871]here[/url] have now been completed. The Mercton Port House was opened yesterday to great fanfare as the ships in Boston Harbor began to fill up and get ready for their first departures.



[size="4"][b]CLASSIFIED[/b][/size]
The Department of War and Defense has released the following internal memo about J Andres Troop Strength. A base improvement plan has also been released at an estimated cost of 1.8 billion anchors. (Descriptions are based on future improvements to be complete by the end of 2053)
Total Soldiers: 30,000

[b]Fort Farnum[/b] (Endor Cuidad)
J Andres main military installation. Home to the Richards Building, the central location for the military elite. This site has a barracks capable of handling 25,000 soldiers. There is also a vast underground network of tunnels and bunkers that will allow for the military officials to retreat beneath the Richards Building while maintaining radio contact with the surface. Fort Farnum has been designated a "Fort of Importance" and is also fortified by walls in addition to the barbed wire fencing.
5,000 Troops

[b]Fort Cianci[/b] (Providence)
Capacity for 15,000 soldiers. Wall fortifications.
4,000 Troops

[b]Fort Royal[/b] (Newport)
Capacity for 15,000 soldiers. Wall fortifications.
2,500 Troops

[b]Fort Benjamin Richards[/b] (Boston)
Capacity for 25,000 soldiers. Wall fortifications.
4,000 Troops

[b]Fort Adrik Annan[/b] (Rossingol (Groton, CT))
Capacity for 25,000 soldiers. Wall Fortifications.
5,000 Troops

[b]Salty Brine Outpost[/b] (Narragansett)
Capacity for 15,000 soldiers. Barbed wire perimeter.
1,000 Troops

[b]Roger Ahmadinejad Outpost[/b] (Hartford)
Capacity for 15,000 soldiers. Barbed wire perimeter.
1,000 Troops

[b]Jack Bosco Outpost[/b] (Danbury) [Recently Destroyed by Rebels. Reconstruction will not be complete until March 2054]
Capacity for 15,000 soldiers. Barbed wire perimeter.
2,500 Troops

[b]Alex Miller Outpost[/b] (Waterbury)
Capacity for 15,000 soldiers. Barbed wire perimeter.
1,000 Troops

[b]Julio Duclos Outpost[/b] (New Haven)
Capacity for 15,000 soldiers. Barbed wire perimeter.
1,000 Troops

[b]Richard Mercton Outpost[/b] (Springfield)
Capacity for 15,000 soldiers. Barbed wire perimeter.
1,000 Troops

[b]Jack Bauer Outpost[/b] (Lowell)
Capacity for 15,000 soldiers. Barbed wire perimeter.
1,000 Troops

[b]Joel Brunel Outpost[/b] (Mercton Cuidad (Worcester, MA))
Capacity for 15,000 soldiers. Barbed wire perimeter.
1,000 Troops

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The Commune of the Maritime Republic has recently passed the [b]Separation of Powers Act[/b] to firmly define the new branches of the J Andres Government.

[b]President[/b]
The President of J Andres is the chief executive of the government. The President will be elected every four years with no maximum term limits. The President shall be charged with the execution of the legislation passed by the Commune. The President shall not vote in the Commune, but is granted the right to propose legislation for the Commune to discuss and vote upon.
The President has the power to create governmental departments to assist in the execution of his duties, and serves as the Commander-in-chief of the J Andres Military.
The Commune may grant emergency powers to the President by a two-thirds vote. If the President is granted Emergency Powers they will have the title "President General" and will hold such powers until the President General returns power to the Commune, or the Commune votes with a 75% majority to retake the powers.

[b]Monarch[/b]
The Monarch of J Andres shall carry the title of King, or Queen depending on their gender. The Monarch shall serve for life or until they abdicate the throne. Descendants of King Josef I are eligible for succession to the throne, although holders of the bestowed hereditary peerages shall also be eligible for succession in the event of the extinction of the House of Mercton. The right to the crown shall fall to the oldest child of the reigning monarch, with no preference to gender.
The Monarch has the right to bestow peerage upon commoners in either a hereditary or non-hereditary fashion.
The Monarch shall serve as the head of the Principal Court of J Andres. The Monarch will select four Magistrates to serve as the other justices of the Principal Court. All Magistrates will be subject to a simple majority approval by the Commune. The Principal Court shall serve as the highest court in the nation. All Magistrates shall serve life-terms or until they are removed from office by the reigning Monarch, or by a two-thirds vote of the Commune.
The Monarch shall receive no votes in the Commune, but may introduce legislation for Commune discussion and voting. In the event of a voting tie in the Commune, the Monarch shall deliver the deciding vote.

[b]Commune[/b]
The Commune is the legislative body of J Andres. Every Senator is elected to a four year term in the Commune. The Commune is charged with the authority of passing legislation, budgets, and declaring wars. The Commune may remove any elected or appointed official from office, with the exception of the Monarch, with a two-thirds vote.
The Commune shall elect a "Premier" to serve as it's leader. The Premier of the Commune is charged with leading the Commune proceedings and carries the responsibilities equal to that of "Speaker of the House" in other governments.
The Commune may grant it's powers on a temporary basis to the President by a two-thirds vote by granting the President the title of "President General." Once the President General has been given the powers, in order to terminate them, the Commune must vote with a 75% majority to remove them, or the President General must surrender them.
In the event of the death of the President, the Commune shall elect a President to serve for the remainder of the term.

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[right][size="5"][i]March 12, 2053[/i][/size][/right]

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[b]DANBURY[/b]
Simon Eos surveyed the damage from afar. Himself and some of his other operatives had successfully lit the site of a fuel processing facility on fire. He was surprised that the J Andres government was not responding to their weekly attacks on center of business. Maybe it was true that Endor Cuidad truly didn't care about the west. Of course, he had also expected to have grown his own numbers more by now. But people were not rallying towards his cause. "Don't you want to be free?!?" he shouted at passing cars. The National Liberation Army pretty much controlled Danbury now and were working on spreading their reach outwards. The J Andres military hadn't been a presence in the region for about a month.

Simon admired the blazing landscape and once again admired his work. A van passed in front of him, momentarily obscuring his view; his smile faded, but quickly returned when he could watch the blazing inferno again. Then another vehicle, this time a truck, overloaded with passengers. He whistled loudly and tow of his men formed a road block just ahead of the truck. Simon jogged to catch up with them. "Is there a problem Simon?" asked both the man driving the car, and one of his men.

Simon glared at his man. [i]How dare he question me in public![/i] he thought. Simon turned to the man in the truck, "Where you guys headed?" he asked. He looked over the truck and realized it was full of luggage as well.

"We're getting the &$!# out of town," the man said, very matter-of-factly. "Headed west, hoping to hit Vinsalia before nightfall. Got some old family who used to live in upstate New York."

Simon's mouth nearly hung open. He couldn't fathom that people would want to leave the place he was creating. Simon and the NLA were making an oasis free of J Andres, and this man wanted to leave? "J Andres doesn't have power here, there's no reason to leave town," Simon replied coolly.

"It's only a matter of time before you run out of things to burn Simon. J Andres may be the devil, but this land is still hell, regardless of which God is controlling the thermostat. Keep fighting the good fight, but we'll be safely on the other side of the line," the man slowly eased his foot on the gas pedal and the NLA soldiers stepped out the way of the car, permitting it to continue westward, towards its eventual destination.

*******

[b]ENDOR CUIDAD[/b]
"Where in hell is Cross?" President Evan McDowell asked. He looked around the room, none of the Fort Farnum officials could explain what was taking their top general so long to return from his visit to Marscurian Siberia.

One of the younger men in the back of the conference room spoke first, "I've heard that the prostitutes in Marscurian Siberia carry many diseases. Perhaps...."

Evan cut him off, "We must have had some contact from him. He's been over there for over three months!"

Minister Rasmussen replied, "He did say that he purchased small arms, he was just looking into some heavier artillery last time I spoke with him."

The President's face turned red as the steam began to pour out his ears. "So you mean to tell me that we've been in the possession of guns for a while now, yet our security forces can't hold our own cities in the west of damn NLA insurgents? Where the hell are these guns?"

"Should have arrived in Boston this morning. We had to send for them by boat, took some travel time," the Minister answered.

*****

[b]ROSSINGOL[/b]
[url=http://cybernations.wikia.com/wiki/Maria_Kensington]Lady Maria Kensington[/url] CEO of [url=http://cybernations.wikia.com/wiki/Annan_Enterprises]Annan Enterprises[/url] (AE) couldn't believe the news report. She read it out loud to Lord Michael Annan, her relative and CEO of Annan Arms, an AE subsidy. "Department of War and Defense Authorizes nearly 50 million Anchors in military contracts for Marscurian Military Works. Why is our contract money going overseas? Our assembly lines have been sitting at a standstill waiting for the Commune to confirm the Defense Contract. Meanwhile this President spend money on foreign guns when we are just waiting to produce?"

She stared at Lord Michael, waiting for him to speak. Truth be told, he attempted to speak numerous times during Lady Maria's rant, but each time he was interrupted. Now that she had finished speaking, he opened his mouth and hesitated, when she didn't interrupt him, he assumed it was safe to begin. "This is outrageous," he said. "These military contracts should be ours. How does McDowell expect to lower the unemployment rate if we can't get our workers on the floor?"

"You should go to Endor Cuidad and see if you can get your influence to do something in there. This is ridiculous."

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[right][size="5"][i]March 23, 2053[/i][/size][/right]

[b][size="4"]Troops Deployed[/size][/b]

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[b]FORT FARNUM[/b] -- The military of J Andres can now officially be considered the [i]armed[/i] forces after receiving shipments of weapons in from Marscurian Siberia earlier this week. With the arrival of weapons comes the departure of soldiers, who had been waiting to be deployed. The soldiers were given arms late last night and driven to their new home bases. The buses have already returned twice to Fort Farnum before the publication of this article, and all troops are expected to be in place by the end of the day today.


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"I am very pleased that our brave men and women can finally feel the weight of a gun in their hands," Minister of War & Defense, Anton Rasmussen said in a speech at Fort Farnum. "Simply having weapons is not being prepared. Our soldiers will be conducting intensive training at their respective forts to truly train them for the defense of this nation. It is the hope of every peaceful government to wish for a time when the military is not needed. However, J Andres cannot fall into this trap. Twenty years ago, it was a rogue submarine group that decided Providence would be a good target for a nuclear warhead. We hadn't done anything to provoke the world, barely having completed our own elections, and we were completely unprepared when the bomb fell and destroyed our city."

"I pray, that J Andres will never know war, but I am to make sure we are ready in case we do."

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[right][size="5"][i]April 2, 2053[/i][/size][/right]

[b]DANBURY[/b] -- General Jacob Cross had returned to J Andres from Marscurian Siberia overnight. He had been out of the country from months and was eager to see the situation in Danbury, having heard all about it while overseas. He was driving an antique military jeep that had been rusting in a Fort Farnum garage for years. A large plume of smoke loomed in this distance, welcoming him to Danbury.

When he arrived at the remnants of the military base, he surveyed the group of about 2500. Some of the officers had set up a practice range to allow the new recruits to train with their weapons. Further inspection of the facility revealed that the hastily constructed canopies and tarps could clearly not accommodate as many men as they had here. Once he recaptured the city from the insurgents, they would need to expedite the reconstruction of the facility.

General Cross briskly walked over to a small shelter that seemed to be the congregation point for the officers. The officers all saluted as he approached.
Cross nodded in the direction of the firing range, "How are they? Can we start sending out hunting parties for the NLA leaders yet?"

"Some of them picked it up quickly, but many of them aren't very quick on the trigger yet. And look at them, half of them aren't fit enough to walk to the outhouse, never mind around the city," one of the officers replied.

Cross turned back to face the soldiers to observe. [i]It's true[/i], he thought to himself. One group of 200 soldiers was jogging by the officer's location. Judging by the sweat on the faces of the men, they were overexerting their bodies, which was quite sad considering the pace they were moving. He turned back to the officers. "One week, then we are retaking the city. The attacks have slowed down now that we have a presence here, but they will pick up if they think we will just sit in here and not patrol the city. Get these guys in shape."

And with that, Cross turned back and walked to his Jeep.

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[right][size="5"][i]April 4, 2053[/i][/size][/right]

[b][size="4"]Funding for Colleges and Universities[/size][/b]

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[i]Premier of the Commune, Rupert Garfield, addressing his fellow senators in advance on a vote on continuing education[/i][/center]

[b]ENDOR CUIDAD[/b] -- The Commune has authorized an astounding 800 million anchor investment in three colleges and universities to prepare them for the upcoming school year. The Commune also set aside funds that would be used for student assistance to attend the schools.

The three schools that have been selected to receive the investment are:

[b]Brown University[/b], Located in Providence, will receive 350 million anchors for various improvements to the campus including the development of a new medical center to prepare students for the medical profession.
[b]Salve Regina University[/b], Located in Newport, will receive 200 million anchors for the improvement of campus buildings. This University will be the premier location to study foreign languages, business, and history.
[b]Mercton Institute of Technology[/b] Located in Cambridge, just outside of Boston, MIT will receive 250 million anchors for the improvement and modernization of their science and engineering buildings.

Rupert Garfield, Premier of the Commune also announced a new tuition assistance program. "Although we believe that continuing education is vital to our nation's growth, the financial burden can be extremely large not only for the families of students, but for the government supporting the education as well. Each spring, the Commune will release a Jobs Outlook, expressing predicted needs in each occupational field. The Commune will fully fund students in fields that show a predicted need. The number of available scholarships will also match the predicted outlook, and students will be ranked according to academic performance. Once students have been selected to receive tuition assistance, they will not be denied assistance if the jobs outlook changes on a year to year basis, but the student will be responsible for all government funds paid if the student switches their field of study to a non-approved major before completing their original coursework."

Voting Record (Approve - Disapprove - Abstain)
Anchor Party (90 - 7 - 1)
Communist Party (2 - 68 - 0)
Nationalist Party (5 - 11 - 0)
National Liberation Party (0 - 11 - 1)
Christian Democratic Party (4 - 0 - 0)

Totals:
101 Approve
97 Disapprove
2 Abstain

Communist Party Leader in the Commune, Lord Pablo Kensington said that he was very disappointed that there were no schools being supported in the western regions of the country. "Time and time again, Endor Cuidad has shown that there is no love for the west. And we wonder why the citizens of Danbury are setting everything on fire. My home of Rossingol could benefit from a technical school to support all of our manufacturing jobs. Even the nationalists where not heavy supporters of this bill. I'm not going to deny saying that this bill will do a lot of good for a lot of people. It's just our constituents in the west pay taxes too, and they deserve to have good colleges near them as well."

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[right][size="5"][i]April 14, 2053[/i][/size][/right]

[b][size="4"]Egorov Committee Produces Compassion Centers[/size][/b]

[b]ENDOR CUIDAD[/b] -- The Commune today passed measures that will completely revise the welfare system within J Andres. A bipartisan group dubbed "The Egorov Committee" presented the bill to the Commune today where it received heavy support from the Communist and Anchor Parties. The Committee takes its name from Former Presidential Candidate and 2nd Premier of the Commune [url=http://cybernations.wikia.com/wiki/Dimitri_Egorov]Dimitri Egorov[/url].

"We are extremely excited about this bill," said Communist Party Commune Leader Lord Pablo. "Working with the Anchor Party has lead us to an efficient way to take care of those who are less fortunate in our nation."

The Welfare Service Consolidation Act identifies numerous failings of the current welfare system and seeks to consolidate many of the expenses that families on public assistance face. "Remember when we were technologically advanced enough to have cellular phones?" Lord Pablo asked, "This Act is similar to that. If you had five consumers each with their own phone plans, it would be expensive for each of them. However, if they grouped together for a family plan, the price that each would pay would be less. The concept for our welfare system is the same."

[center][img] http://www.greendiary.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/07/comcast-center-3_znCeC_11446.jpg[/img]
[i]Concept art for a Proposed Compassion Center in Providence that would feature upscale restaurants and a small shopping center on its lower levels, with residential housing on the upper levels[/i][/center]

The J Andres government will pay to develop Compassion Centers which will serve as housing for those seeking public assistance. These compassion centers will be large enough to accomodate at least 10,000 individuals. For those who live in the centers, they will receive rooming according to their family situation and current openings. Meals will be served daily in a central cafeteria which will have a variety of healthy options. Each compassion center will have a staffed medical clinic to serve the needs of the residents. Residents will not be expected to pay any rent, but will be expected to find work through the Compassion Center Employment Office. The employment office will tender contracts from outside businesses to hire residents. Residents will not receive their paycheck directly, instead the paycheck will be divided, with a large percentage (around 75%) going to the compassion center, and the remainder going to the individual. The compassion center will also have numerous employment opportunities itself for its residents, ranging from food service workers to janitorial positions. Each compassion center will also be seeking private business sponsors to build locations directly into the bottom floors of the compassion center to service the residents and other citizens alike. These business locations should employ primarily compassion center residents.

The Compassion Centers should be self-sustaining after the initial costs of construction. In the event that the Compassion Centers are underfunded, the income tax on residents will increase. In the event that they are overfunded, additional programs may be added to high performing centers, or the residents may receive cash bonuses. Due to the self-sustaining nature of the compassion centers, all residents between the ages of 19-72 will be expected to work a minimum number of hours each week. As such, only a limited number of children and elderly residents can be accepted to each compassion center, never to exceed more than 20% of the population.

"My party believes this is a step in the right direction. These Compassion Centers are something that Adrik Annan would have loved to see to fruition. The Social Traditionalist Party is dead, and with it is the idea of a perfect communistic society; however, these compassion centers serve the immediate needs of the poor in J Andres," Lord Pablo Gomes said at a Press Conference later in the day.

Premier Rupert Garfield also explained the Anchor Party support for the bill, "We are happy to see these compassion centers constructed in a sustainable way. For years we have sought a way to increase the effectiveness of our welfare spending. We are not above charity; we simply want our charitable anchors to go further. We are happy to support the Communist Party in this endevour."

Voting on the bill went as follows:
Voting Record (Approve - Disapprove - Abstain)
Anchor Party (78 - 18 - 2)
Communist Party (69 - 1 - 0)
Nationalist Party (0 - 14 - 2)
National Liberation Party (0 - 12 - 0)
Christian Democratic Party (4 - 0 - 0)

Totals:
151 Approve
45 Disapprove
4 Abstain

The Commune has authorized 2.5 billion anchors for the speedy construction of these seven compassion centers. Three are to be constructed in Endor Cuidad, two in Boston, and one each in Providence and Rossingol. Applications are currently being accepted at all locations. It is anticipated that the Commune will continue to fund the traditional welfare system until the end of the year, at which point only the Compassion Centers will be funded if necessary.

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[right][size="5"][i]May 14, 2053[/i][/size][/right]

[b]DANBURY[/b] -- General Jacob Cross moved quickly behind the six soldiers he had hand selected for the mission. Most military commanders would watch this sort of mission play out on television screens from the safety of the fort. General cross was not like most military commanders.

The General was barely an adult when Providence was attacked 20 years ago. Eve since that day, you would be hard pressed to find someone as devoted to J Andres as Jacob Cross. Perhaps Ben Richards felt the same, but he belonged to a different era.

Intelligence had come into their hands that Simon Eos, the supposed head of the NLA would be meeting in room 304 at the Henneburger Hotel. General Cross intended to end this insurgency tonight. The six men grouped up at the top of the south stairwell. Cross reminded them of their mission objective, "Kill Eos on sight. All other hostiles are to be eliminated." He was done screwing around with this little rebellion.
The men nodded in agreement as they edged their way out of the stairwell and into the hallway. General Cross took up the rear. He peered down the hallway. Some of the flourescent lights flickered in the hallway, but other than that, there was nothing to note; it was empty. The trained soldiers moved forward as a unit and approached the room, quickly dividing to each side of the door. Cross approached and looked at the red-painted door with the metallic numbers of '304' hanging from it. The soldier in front placed his ear on near the door. When he removed it, he looked at the group and held up two fingers. Four of them lined the doorway, with two crouching and the other two standing. A fifth man gave the door a solid kick and sounds of gunfire echoed out of the room and into the hallway.

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Cross readied his pistol at through the empty doorway, looking to spot movement, but he saw no one. The firefight lasted no more than 15 seconds before the Andrean troops were advancing. Cross followed closely behind. The room was clear and there were three fallen rebels on the floor. Their blood was pooling on the off-white rug, giving it deep red accents. Cross glanced around the room and noticed the shattered glasses. Clearly his men had surprised these rebels, but Eos was nowhere to be seen.

The sound of gunshots announced the arrival of five additional rebel combatants from the direction of the bathroom. Three J Andres soldiers fell to the ground quickly as General Cross quickly lowered himself to one knee and snapped into position. His gun fluidly snapped to aim at rebels, working in unison with his trigger finger to fire a single round into three of teh five attackers, hitting them all directly in the forehead. Cross had only a quick moment to acknowledge his own accomplishments while aiming at the fourth target before he felt something hard hit him in the left shoulder. He was wearing a Kevlar vest, but the bullet still hit him hard and caused him to recoil.

As he lay on the ground, shielded by the couch he noticed that only one of his soldiers was still standing. He pushed himself lengthwise on the floor and fired three more rounds at another target, hitting him twice and sending the rebel to the ground clutching his side. Four more shots were fired and Cross heard a loud thud in the direction of the bathroom, signifying the death of the last rebel.

Cross stoop up just in time to see three apples roll out from the bathroom. The last Andrean soldier quickly moved over to the bathroom to investigate their origin while Cross took a closer look at the apples. Upon further inspection he observed a blue glowing LED and a small amount of wires leading to what looked like a small circuit board all attached to the apple.

Cross looked up to offer his comrade a warning, but it was too late. Another assailant had already slit his throat and was running towards the door. The mysterious assailant looked vaguely like Simon Eos and Cross fired two more shots at him, missing each time. His mind quickly returned to the glowing blue apples and Cross sprinted at full speed towards the large window, hitting it first with his shoulder, shattering it only seconds before he felt the heat of the explosion behind him.

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[right][size="5"][i]May 15, 2053[/i][/size][/right]

[b]DANBURY[/b] -- General Cross opened his eyes slowly. [i]Where the hell am I?[/i] he thought to himself, as his eyes scanned his surroundings. He remembered jumping through the window of the hotel and that was about it. As more of the room came into view it was clear he was in a medical tent, and most likely at the Jack Bosco Outpost in Danbury. A soldier holding a clipboard came into the tent. A quick glance confirmed that the man was a medic.

"How are you feeling General?" the man asked.

"I've been better. How--" he began.

"Just overnight, its around noon now. Another team of our guys picked up the Eos brother. We didn't get Simon, but we got Nathan. Apparently he's the bomb maker in the group. Not saying anything though."

Cross shifted his weight to get out of the bed, but the medic put his hands out to stop him, "Just rest for the remainder of the day Sir. You landed remarkably well, but your body needs the rest."

The young General resigned to the medic's advice and returned to his resting position.

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[right][size="5"][i]June 6, 2053[/i][/size][/right]

[b][size="4"]Unemployment Virtually Nonexistent[/size][/b]

[b]ENDOR CUIDAD[/b] -- President Evan McDowell released the most recent job reports showing that unemployment has dropped below 4%. He has attributed this to vast spending on infrastructure. The Compassion Centers have been completed earlier than expected, and the space inside is beginning to fill, primarily with the elderly and those in low wage jobs. Rossingol has become increasingly industrial with the continual construction of manufacturing facilities, many of which are owned by Annan Enterprises.

In other news, the Queen has announced that J Andres will be inviting the leaders of the world to an festival to celebrate the 72nd Anniversary of the formation of J Andres. As is the custom in J Andres, most major holidays are celebrated only on every 12th year. "The festival, will be a festival to remember," she said from the balcony at Castle Real. The royal family has not released any details about the festival at the moment, and further details are expected as September 23rd draws closer.

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[b]CLASSIFIED[/b]

J Andres Military Status Report
Prepared by Anton Rasmussen, Minister of War & Defense

Total Soldiers: 130,000
Tanks: 500 (MAX: 1200)
Aircraft: 20 (MAX: 60)
Naval Vessels: none

Soldiers Armed with a Mix of weapons purchased from Marscurian Military Works and Annan Arms
Tanks: M18 Tank Destroyers (Marscurian Military Works)
Troop Transport Vehicles: M2 Trucks (150) (Marscurian Military Works)
Helicopters: UH-1 iroquois (Hershey Defense Systems)
Other Artilery: M198 Howitzer (125) (Hershey Defense Systems)


[b]TROOP ASSIGNMENTS (Current/Capacity)[/b]

[b]Fort Farnum[/b], Endor Cuidad (20,000/25,000)
[b]Fort Cianci[/b], Providence (15,000/15,000)
[b]Fort Royal[/b], Newport (10,000/15,000)
[b]Fort Benjamin Richards[/b], Boston (15,000/25,000)
[b]Fort Adrik Annan[/b], Rossingol (15,000/25,000)
[b]Salty Brine Outpost[/b], Narragansett (5,000/15,000)
[b]Roger Ahmadinejad Outpost[/b], Hartford (5,000/15000)
[b]Jack Bosco Outpost[/b], Danbury (20,000/15,000) OVER CAPACITY
[b]Alex Miller Outpost[/b], Waterbury (5,000/15,000)
[b]Julio Duclos Outpost[/b], New Haven (5,000/15,000)
[b]Richard Mercton Outpost[/b] Springfield (5,000/15,000)
[b]Jack Bauer Outpost[/b], Lowell (5,000/15,000)
[b]Joel Brunel Outpost[/b], Mercton Cuidad (5,000/15,000)
[b]Woodrow Kissinger Air Force Base[/b], Quonset (20/60 Aircraft)

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: Rebels in Danbury continue to cause trouble although progress has been made in slowing the violence. Recent foreign contracts have allowed for purchasing of needed munitions, however, closer work needs to be done with Annan Enterprises to prepare for the next generation of J Andres warfare, including naval ship design for the ten year outlook.

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[right][size="5"][i]August 17, 2053[/i][/size][/right]

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[b][size="4"]Museum of History Completed, Opening on 72nd Anniversary[/size][/b]

[b]ENDOR CUIDAD[/b] -- The National Museum of History has been completed in downtown Endor Cuidad. Details about the exhibits have been very secretive as construction wrapped up this week. The Queen has announced that there will be a large celebration on the 72nd anniversary of the formation of J Andres on September 23 (ooc: actual date is also September 23). The celebration will include a parade that will terminate at the museum for its grand opening.

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[size="5"][b]72nd Anniversary of Independence Day Parade![/b][/size]
[i][size="5"][right]September 23, 2053[/right][/size][/i]


[b]LIVE FROM ENDOR CUIDAD[/b]

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Good Morning Citizens! We are broadcasting live from downtown Endor Cuidad covering today's Independence Day Parade, celebrating the 72nd anniversary of Josef Mercton's founding of our nation from the remnants of the Maritime Colony of Rhode Island. The parade today will feature historic elements covering the full J Andres history as well as regional groups to celebrate their cities and regions.

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It looks like [url=http://cybernations.wikia.com/wiki/Anton_Rasmussen]Minister Rasmussen[/url] will lead off the parade with members of the J Andres Armed Forces. This Minister of War and Defense has done a terrific job setting up extensive training programs for the new members of the armed forces. Many of the new army recruits don't even remember the collapse of the Fourth Maritime Republic as it happened shortly after they were born. This is a generation of kids who have not been brought up with a strong military background, but Rasmussen and his Generals have begun to turn the group into an effective fighting force, showing some of their strength while dealing with the western rebellions.

Now it appears that we have a float featuring a bust of former [url=http://cybernations.wikia.com/wiki/Josef_Mercton]President General Josef Mercton[/url], who would later become King Josef I. This man is rightfully identified as the father of J Andres and it is a deserving title. It looks like members of the East Street Dance Company will be performing an interpretive dance to celebrate Mercton's life and his founding of the nation.

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We now have the Boston City High School Band marching along the street. These are 300 of Boston's finest young musicians and it appears that they are leading the Boston delegation for a float that will honor Ben Richards. Yes, the float is coming around the corner, highlighting details of the Boston Skyline, including the new Mercton Port House.
[url=http://cybernations.wikia.com/wiki/Ben_Richards]Ben Richards[/url] is on the float! The Duke himself! This truly is a rare treat! As he would say, he is 96 years young and still in remarkable shape, especially considering what that man has been through. He's the only man to hold nearly every governmental position the J Andres could offer. The was the 3rd President, was called back into service as the 5th Minister of War and Defense, and most recently served as the 1st Premier of the Commune, all while simulatenously reigning as the Duke of Boston. The Most Honorable Ben Richards has had a public service career between the military and politics that began with the formation of the nation.
You can just see the warmth in the crowds as the citizens observe their hero. After the passing of Josef I, the only great hero of the golden era was Ben Richards and he is surely being treated as a hero today. The standing ovation for Duke Benjamin is still ongoing even after his float has passed our view and is going around the corner. It is so great to see him up and about.

Next it appears that we have the delegation from Rossingol. This delegation is going to be lead by a tank of unique design. I'm hearing reports now that this is a prototype tank designed and constructed entirely here in J Andres by Annan Enterprises. Standing atop the tank is the lovely [url=http://cybernations.wikia.com/wiki/Maria_Kensington]Lady Maria Kensington[/url] CEO of Annan Enterprises, and one could therefore argue, the most powerful member of the Annan clan despite being impossibly far away from ascending to the head of the Duchy of Rossingol.
Behind Lady Maria marches the rest of the Annan family, including Duke Gafar, son of [url=http://cybernations.wikia.com/wiki/Adrik_Annan]former President Adrik Annan[/url]. Adrik Annan's passing in 2016 brought national mourning and his name will forever grace the Adrik Annan Governmental Center. Often credited as the man who brought the Communist Party to the mainstream, Adrik Annan served as the long term Foreign Affairs Minister and is responsible for the original SPEED declaration and many of J Andres diplomatic successes.


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Of course, the only blemish on Annan's career was the land cessions between 2007 and 2010 authorized by Annan. And that appears to be this next portion of the parade. Members of the Trinity Repertory Company in Providence are marching in the street, wearing bright yellow costumes. The music is really picking up as the performers slowly unzip the costumes, revealing a black uniform. Shortly after they strip down to the black, each performer falls over, symbolizing the death of the territory.
The performers are falling more and more quickly now, and only a few remain. The three members wearing yellow huddle close together. One of them begins to cough and removes the yellow jumpsuit. The other two also begin to cough, and fall over into the heap of bodies.
The golden age of J Andres truly is over.
The performers quietly remove themselves from the street and march onwards to continue the act further along.

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As we move into what will likely be the era of reformations, it appears that we are greeted by a float designed by the Providence Chamber of Commerce. The large centerpiece is surely the J Andres International Trade Center completed not long ago in the city. It appears that that [url=http://cybernations.wikia.com/wiki/Richard_Mercton]Richard Mercton[/url], the sixth President and current Earl of Providence is riding on the float with his family. Richard is the son of Josef Mercton and has surely ridden the roller coaster of J Andres politics. At one point, he was first in line to the throne and was also elected President. He tried to consolidate the titles and make himself President General like his father before him, but this Second Maritime Republic collapsed before he could complete his quest. Since then, his sister has ascended to the throne and he was fallen from grace, losing his princely title and becoming the Earl of Providence.

This next float has a large portrait of former New England President John F. Kennedy. New England had granted the Second Maritime Republic independence but shortly after the fall of the Maritime Republic, New England collapsed as well, uniting as the Third Maritime Republic of J Andres. Especially in the regions around Boston, John F. Kennedy is still a well respected historical figure even nearly forty years after New England's collapse.

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The ringing bells are announcing the arrival of the next float and the castle walls surely indicate this float will be celebrating Newport and the royal family. At the very top of the castle sits Her Majesty, [url=http://cybernations.wikia.com/wiki/Stephanie_Mercton]Stephanie[/url], The Queen. Stephanie is the daughter and first child of Josef Mercton and is now in the 21st year of her reign. It was under her direction that the Fourth Maritime Republic was formed in 2032, cut short by the nuclear disaster in Providence only a year later.

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Also on the float is [url=http://cybernations.wikia.com/wiki/Katherine_Al_Kaled]Katherine[/url], Princess of Puerto Pacis, with her husband Sir Gilbert and their two children Gabrielle and Alfred. Unfortunately absent from the float is the Queen's eldest child, Prince Larry, who was assassinated last year as he worked to bring J Andres into existence for the fifth -- and hopefully final time.

It looks like the parade is going to reach its end with the march of current governmental officials. The Senators of the Commune are marching first, waving to the crowd and getting some cheers, especially from the Endor Cuidad delegation. Rupert Garfield, Premier of the Commune takes up the rear of the Senators, followed closely behind by Minister of Foreign Affairs Patrick Aurora.

The cheers increase as the crowd catches a glimpse of the Presidential motorcade coming into view. [url=http://cybernations.wikia.com/wiki/Evan_McDowell]President McDowell[/url] is standing in the back of the convertible, smiling and waving and the crowd is exploding with energy. Although McDowell won by a minor margin, he was quickly gained favor with many in the country as J Andres has quickly found economic success less than a year after his election.

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[right][size="5"][i]November 18, 2053[/i][/size][/right]

[b]CLASSIFIED[/b]

J Andres Military Status Report
Prepared by Anton Rasmussen, Minister of War & Defense

Total Soldiers: 175,000
Tanks: 500 (MAX: 1000)
Aircraft: 20 (MAX: 60)
Naval Vessels: none

Soldiers Armed with a Mix of weapons purchased from Marscurian Military Works and Annan Arms
Tanks: M18 Tank Destroyers (Marscurian Military Works)
Troop Transport Vehicles: M2 Trucks (150) (Marscurian Military Works)
Helicopters: UH-1 iroquois (Hershey Defense Systems)
Other Artilery: M198 Howitzer (125) (Hershey Defense Systems)


[b]TROOP ASSIGNMENTS (Current/Capacity)[/b]

[b]Fort Farnum[/b], Endor Cuidad (25,000/25,000)
[b]Fort Cianci[/b], Providence (15,000/15,000)
[b]Fort Royal[/b], Newport (15,000/15,000)
[b]Fort Benjamin Richards[/b], Boston (15,000/25,000)
[b]Fort Adrik Annan[/b], Rossingol (15,000/25,000)
[b]Salty Brine Outpost[/b], Narragansett (5,000/15,000)
[b]Roger Ahmadinejad Outpost[/b], Hartford (15,000/15000)
[b]Jack Bosco Outpost[/b], Danbury (25,000/15,000) OVER CAPACITY
[b]Alex Miller Outpost[/b], Waterbury (20,000/15,000) OVER CAPACITY
[b]Julio Duclos Outpost[/b], New Haven (5,000/15,000)
[b]Richard Mercton Outpost[/b] Springfield (5,000/15,000)
[b]Jack Bauer Outpost[/b], Lowell (5,000/15,000)
[b]Joel Brunel Outpost[/b], Mercton Cuidad (10,000/15,000)
[b]Woodrow Kissinger Air Force Base[/b], Quonset (20/60 Aircraft)

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: General Jacob Cross has insisted on stationing more troops in the western regions, especially in Danbury and Waterbury. The west has become more stable since stationing our troops in the region. However, the military has still been unsuccessful in grabbing Simon Eos, the supposed leader of the National Liberation Army. Currently in negotiations with Annan Enterprises to develop new plans for fighter aircraft to fully staff the Woodrow Kissinger Air Force Base. Future deployments to the west are not advised. Jack Bosco Outpost is already over capacity and further deployments to the J Andres-Vinsalia Border may be interpreted as incorrectly.

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  • 2 weeks later...

[right][size=5][i]March 22, 2054[/i][/size][/right]

[b]ADRIK ANNAN GOVERNMENTAL CENTER, ENDOR CUIDAD[/b] -- [url="http://cybernations.wikia.com/wiki/Jacob_Cross"]General Jacob Cross[/url] didn't like leaving Danbury in the condition that it was in, but he felt it was necessary. Rumors of military movements in Vinsalia had him worried, and just as the western civilians had proved before, it was hard to shout loud enough to be heard in the capital.

So, General Cross had traveled across the nation to the capital of Endor Cuidad for a private conference with [url="http://cybernations.wikia.com/wiki/Anton_Rasmussen"]Minister Rasmussen[/url] and [url=http://cybernations.wikia.com/wiki/Evan_McDowell]President McDowell[/url] on the Vinsalian matter.

The three men where seated in the executive suite of the Governmental Center, each on surprisingly comfortable chairs. The General was wearing his full military uniform, hoping to make an impression, "Vinsalia has been moving their troops even closer to the border. We haven't seen any from our side yet, but their news agencies are gloating about their military exercises. I think we need to approach this as a serious threat."

President McDowell scowled, "Vinsalia recently expanded into the regions north of us, there is no reason to suspect anything is fowl. I am sure they are eager to secure their own borders as well."

The Minister of War & Defense seemed lost in thought, "To be fair, our military presence is extremely high on the borders as well. Isn't the Jack Bosco Outpost in Danbury over capacity?"

"Yes, by about 10,000 men," the General replied, "And I've been asking for the funding to get that outpost upgraded for at least six months now."

"General Cross, with all due respect," The President began, "Things are awfully harmonious in J Andres right now, I'm not sure we have the public support to begin waging wars with our neighbors. The nation is strong and growing, but we are still fragile. Without overwhelming public support, the riots could spring up and set this whole country ablaze just as it has numerous times before."

General Cross replied quickly, "And what of our most recent collapse. I remember Providence, and I hope it is not a lesson that you would forget. We barely had a standing military and we had a city decimated. I will not let this happen again. Vinsalia recently expanded to our north shortly after our own little reformation. I'm sure if we had been a little slower about it, we would find a Vinsalian flag outside right now. I'm not asking for a declaration right now, what I am asking for is preparedness. War will be coming to J Andres, whether we like it or not." General Cross stood up to exit the room.

The first-term President looked up at the General, "Are you sure this is really happening, General?"

General Cross never turned back to face the President, but began to quote the ancient proverb, "Just like the phoenix rising from its ashes, or the cyclical nature of the tides...."

There was no need for the General to finish the proverb, the President knew how it ended: [i]Just like the phoenix rising from its ashes, or the cyclical nature of the tides, the governments of J Andres have, and always will, rise and fall[/i].


After the General had exited the room, the Minister Rasmussen reassured the President, "General Cross is a man of war. He has been preparing for this day ever since the bombs fell in Providence. I would take his suggestions with a grain of salt.

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[right][size=5][i]June 12, 2054[/i][/size][/right]

[b]DANBURY, J ANDRES-VINSALIA BORDER[/b] -- It was raining. George didn't like the rain, especially not on nights that he had to work. He turned behind him to see the four families he was leading across the border. One of the families had young kids, and kids always slowed down the groups.

George once was a carpenter; however, despite all of the money the J Andres government was spending, very little of it was in the western region, and work was still scarce to come by. It was a blessing in disguise as working as a migrant guide paid handsomely, especially due to the heightened border security. George would take home nearly 500 Anchors a head tonight, making what once took three months in a single night.

Getting across the border used to be easy. Vinsalia was granting citizenship to nearly everyone, but eventually J Andres citizens were turned away unless they had relatives in Vinsalia. As J Andres emigrants couldn't get citizenship they started turning to less legal ways to make money, some of which were criminal. Needless to say, J Andres emigrants were living underground in the figurative sense. It didn't sound like a good way to live to George, but then again, he couldn't care less what happened to them once they got across.

George had been successful in all of his previous attempts, never even attracting suspicions of the Vinsalian border guards who were omnipresent in the region. The four mile trek through some of J Andres's less developed regions would take about three hours, and always under the cover of darkness. Tonight, they had both the blessing and curse of a full moon.

******

The trek went smoothly, and George delivered the emigrants across the border and to their final destination, a small motel about half a mile across the border. George had given the motel owner his share of the transport money and was about to leave when he saw a truck bearing the markings of Vinsalia in the parking lot. "#%@!" he exclaimed. He turned back towards the counter and his eyes quickly spread the news to the motel owner. The owner nodded and quickly ushered the refugees into a room at the end of the hall. George sprinted to the closet at the other end of the hall and retrieved a small suitcase he had stashed there earlier. Clutching it tightly in his right hand, he headed towards the front door.

The door opened and he quickly observed his surroundings. His goal, the bus stop was about 200 yards away. He knew a bus would be arriving within about 10 minutes that would take him anywhere but here, and he could try to get out of the country in the morning. The only issue was the soldiers at the end of the driveway, and in the middle of his path to the bus stop. [i]It's okay,[/i] he told himself, [i]Not doing anything out of the ordinary, just catching a bus[/i].

George walked briskly over to the bus stop, not pausing for the soldiers. Eventually one called out to him, "Excuse me, sir!"

George stopped cold, "Yes?" he replied.

"There's been some criminal activity in the area, likely some Andrean immigrants, have you seen anyone in the area tonight?" the soldier questioned.

"I've been in my room all night. I'll tell you awful place, kept getting bit by bed bugs, had to check out early. I'll probably get better sleep on the bus," George laughed.

"Ok," the soldier said, "Where are you headed?"

"Further south, visiting my mother," George replied.

"South?" the soldier asked. George instantly regretted not naming a specific town. None had come to his head. "Can I see some identification?"

"Sure," George smiled. "Just do me a favor and hold the suitcase, the left wheel is busted and will fall over if no one is holding it," George handed over the suitcase and sprinted into the woods. He knew that the soldiers would be in hot pursuit, but he didn't dare look back.

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[right][size=5][i]August 24, 2054[/i][/size][/right]

[b]NEAR DANBURY, J ANDRES-VINSALIA BORDER[/b] -- Paul was a relatively new recruit in the J Andres military. On this last August evening, he found himself patrolling the Vinsalian border. There had been reports of J Andres citizens trying to escape into Vinsalia and being captured, or worse, and General Cross had ordered patrols of troops to defend the border from exiting emigrants. Cross was convinced it was only a matter of time before the influx of immigrants to Vinsalia might set something off, and to preserve the fragile balance, he felt that keeping our own citizens in was the best that we could do.

This was Paul's third night on the border patrol, and it looked like it was going to be as uneventful as the previous two nights--eight hours of wandering, not a single emigrant in sight. There were probably about 200 feet between Paul and the border, a loosely defined row of rocks in the woods, and Paul had his back to it. Looking into the wooded landscape of western J Andres, trying to spot any movement.

He found a tree that looked relatively comfortable and sat down with his back to it, hoping to take a quick nap.


*****


Paul awoke to the sound of rustling.

Moving as slowly as possible he rose up to a crouched position and looked into the distance. There looked to be a family of four moving to his left. He retreated quickly towards the border to get in front of them and then reached into his backpack and removed a powerful flashlight, "Halt citizens, this is an unauthorized border access point. Turn around and return to your homes." Paul knew that the flashlight would attract the other troops patrolling in the area and in about 15 seconds there would be another five or six men.

The family looked like deer caught in the headlights, but the shock only lasted a couple of seconds before each parent picked up a child and sprinted in separate directions, leaving their belongings behind. Paul took off after the father, "Hey, stop that. Come back here!"

The father of the family was not in the same shape that Paul was in, but he was running sideways, trying to keep distance between them. Paul pulled out his handgun and fired a warning shot in the air, hoping it would startle the man and convince him to stop. It did not.

The father stumbled over a couple of rocks as he was running, but he had enough of a lead that he managed to get back up and take a few steps before Paul caught up and tackled the two of them to the ground. Paul hoped that the rest of his group caught up with the mother. He began to hear rustling in the trees, "Smith, is that you? I caught the father!" he shouted. The rustling got louder and the dots were slowly connected in Paul's head.

The row of rocks the father tripped on. The rustling in the trees [i]in front[/i] of him. Paul had crossed over the line, and was now 40 feet into Vinsalian territory, and the rustling ahead of him were likely soldiers, they weren't going to be from J Andres.

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It had been two and half weeks since Officer Jack Karsland restationed to checkpoint 02A5 commonly referred to as the "hotspot" by the border grunts; for the amount of activity and traffic from immigrants fleeing from J Andres. From day one they had watched the number of families passing through it with interest. Every night, the familiar buzzing of their heat profile detection equipment. And with that buzzing he would order the dispatch of his checkpoint security agents to intercept the souls crossing into Vinsalia. Most would be taken to the station to receive first aid for malnutrition, sores, and dehydration associated with crossing through the rough countryland.

But this night was different... it was 11:34 PM when the HPD's began to ring off.

[i]BLAARH BLAAR BLARGH[/i]
Henry Rawlin sprung from his bunk after only 2 hrs of sleep from the last shift."Goddamnit man... do they have to be so !@#$@#$ obnoxious?"
Mike Jackson laughed from his station chair."Who know's bro... maybe brass thinks the only way to get our attention is to drive us into a rage. Lord knows if they didn't blast through the night that we wouldn't bother checking on half those sites."
Jack would cut through the chatter. "You guys know the drill... drinks on me if it turns out to be another fox."
Henry's eyes blood shot seemed to twinkle at the suggestion. "I'll hold you to it. Mike, let's move out."

---

11:40
Jack sat in his station chair following the ID signature of the alerts..."I'm picking up multiple signatures on grid? Whats your status?"
"We're about 1 mins away from destination. How many?"
"I'm picking up five of but they seem to be moving really quick."
"Rodger, on destination now...will respond in a bit."

11:41
"Code 12. Code 12"
The words flowing from his received stunned the man... Jack had never responded to a code 12 before; gunshots reported...backup requested.
"Rodger. Be careful out there... relying distress call to main center group."

11:44
[i]Silence[/i]

11:46
"Ruddleberg, ruddleberg, ruddleberg! [i]*Gunfire*[/i]
[i]"Get down goddamnit."[/i]
[i]"JAndres atta-- grrrrrgrrll"[/i]
"Henry Mike, report."
"Henry Mike, report.'
[i]Radio silence[/i]

Jack would rush a priority message to central group command...
"Received a rushed report of J Andres forces breaking through C-O2A5... I've lost contact with my agents on the scene. I fear they've been attacked sir. Requesting immediate assistance on scene. I say again, shots fired; agents presumed KIA."

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[b]DANBURY, WESTERN J ANDRES[/b] -- "What the hell is going on?" [url=http://cybernations.wikia.com/wiki/Jacob_Cross]General Cross[/url] asked as the radios in the area begun to crackle to life simultaneously.

The other officers in the command headquarters had no explanation for the sudden burst of radio activity. Instead they all circled silently around the table, listening intently, hoping to figure out what exactly was happening.


[b]JUST OVER THE VINSALIA BORDER[/b] -- The first J Andres soldiers would hesitate at the J Andres border. Paul was only forty feet in front of them, but he seem frozen in place and was intently staring at someplace in the distance. Suddenly there was movement in the trees and Paul raised his gun. The soldiers at the border heard gunshots and Paul fell to the ground. It wasn't clear if Paul pulled the trigger or not, but the men on the border held their position.

"What do we do?" one of the soldiers asked. "Do we cross and continue or we assume this is over and stay here?"
"They killed Paul!" shouted another.
"He shouldn't have crossed the border," another reasoned.
One shook his head, "But he did, I feel that there is no good resolution for this."
One of the soldiers, silent until this moment, lifted his right leg up and firmly planted it on the Vinsalian side of the border. He then moved quicker into a run, shouting and screaming while firing numerous rounds blindly into the woods.

The four more of the men charged forward, while two remained on the border. One of them pulled out his radio, "Vinsalian contact in sector 32. One man down. Requesting Orders."

The words echoed throughout the room in the command headquarters.

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Albany, New York

"Are you telling me that armed servicemen from J Andres have not only crossed our borders, but opened up a firefight against our border patrol unit?" the line from checkpoint 02A5 replied with haste. "Yes sir, I've lost contact with them as well... I'd presume whatever has happened, it isn't favorable." General Burns would respond. "Thank you Officer, I'll handle it from here."

Suddenly, a flurry of activity began as the united command structure roared into activity. "This is General Burns, we need our quick response force on scene immediately sent to checkpoint 02A5." a voice responded over radio "Roger, I've got a unit on route."

----

Vinsalian Border

It had only been minutes since the men of station 02A5 had arrived to handle the newly arrived immigrants. What they had expected was a few malnurished individuals seeking shelter and a warm bath; what they'd received was an armed soldier from J Andres who'd crossed into their territory and raised his weapon at the men... the Vinsalian forces took no chances and quickly shot a single 5.56 mm round into the mans skull killing him instantly.

"You guys saw it... he !@#$@#$ pointed his rifle at us."
"This is bad man."
Suddenly the sound of many feet could be heard as the sounds of screaming men came from the direction of J Andres.
"Get down and shut up."

With ice in his vains Sgt. Rawlins stood up and shouted into the direction of the men. "This is Sgt. Rawlins of the Vinsalian border guard, this is an unauthorized breach of Vinsalian soverignty. Turn back now!" There was no response... only the sounds and sight of multiple rifles blazing through the night.

"Ruddleburg ruddleburg ruddleburg" Sgt. Rawlins shouted the code word signaling to his men to shoot to kill...

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[b]J ANDRES-VINSALIA BORDER[/b] -- The two soldiers who remained on the J Andres side of the border retreated ten feet to take cover behind a stone wall. "Command, do you copy? We have Vinsalian Contact! Requesting Orders"

The radio crackled to life, "This is General Cross, what's the situation?"

The soldier explained, "We were following orders, pursuing some migrants when one of our men lost track of the border and crossed. Everything happened fast, but our soldier who crossed was killed. More of our men went in after him. Got no idea of the size of the Vinsalian force, it's too dark to see anything."

The radio was silent. After a few seconds, the general replied, "Hold your position. We've got other troops in the area. We will send reinforcements to hold the border. Crossing the border is unauthorized, is that understood?"

"Copy that."


[b]DANBURY, J ANDRES[/b] -- General Cross quickly commanded the other officers in the center. "Get all troops in the area to head directly to the border. Hold our position at a safe distance. Make sure our officers announce themselves and offer a ceasefire if the Vinsalians stay on their side of the line." He turned around quickly to the communications officer, "Get me a line to EC. We're going to give McDowell a wake up call."

[b]ENDOR CUIDAD[/b] -- It was just before midnight and the President of J Andres had just fallen asleep. One of his senior aides burst into the room turning on all of the lights, startling the President awake. "Mr. President, we have a situation."
The President stared at the aide through tired eyes as the situation has explained. He woke up quickly once understanding the gravity of the situation, and was quickly threw on some presentable clothes and headed down the hall.

A single black rotary phone was placed on a small table. Vinsalia-J Andres relations had been nonexistent since the nation's formation. He glanced as his wrist to check the time; Patrick Aurora, the Foreign Affairs Minister was likely still on his return flight home from Bhutan with the Princess. He would be all alone for this phone call, which could very well be the most important phone call he would ever make. Walking to the corner of the room he retrieved a small book of phone numbers, and scanned for a phone number for the government in Albany. He dialed the numbers, and then he waited.

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The Blue House
Albany, New York

It was a cold and cloudless November night in Albany, the wind seemingly at a standstill and the calmness of the night tempered by the overlay of a fresh coat of white snow. Any family driving by the Presidential Office; or as it was known commonly The Blue House would think it could be no more peaceful or serene... but looks are deceiving.

"Mr. President... I'm sorry to interrupt. But we've got an urgent call from General Burns from the J-Andres border."
Francisco had been eating dinner in his office prior to going over the latest intelligence dossiers over the collapse of Greenland and the chess pieces of conflict in the wars of South America... "Thank you Harold, please patch it through immediately."

Francisco would pick up the line and begin speaking.
"General Burns, what troubles you tonight? I've got those weapons orders fufilled... surely that is enough?"
"Sorry sir, but every gun in the world isn't enough. Now I'll be short and to the point... some of my men have been killed by J Andres soldiers who crossed over in Vinsalia. I'm not sure the exact number right now but estimates are ranging from a lone gunmen or a number of them."
Francisco's face would drop *Sigh* "Don't do anything stupid Frank..."
"Sir, with all due respect we can't let this slide... they crossed into our territory and killed our men."
"Yes, I assure you that justice will be held; leave it to me."

*Beep Beep Beep* The Presidential phone was ringing on a line reserved for foreign nations. "Hmm... General I must let you go. It would appear the leader of J Andres wishes to speak to me."

Francisco would pause for a moment and take a sip of his whisky and one last bite from his dinner... a freshly caught lobster dinner wasted. Alas, it was once more time for diplomacy it would seem.

"Hello, this is President Francisco Bourbon speaking... it would appear we've got a situation on the border. What are your people doing do there?" In the back of Francisco's mind he could not help but feel that the first diplomatic contact with a neighbor being one on the pretenses of war; a scenario Francisco had lived before when the USA enclave in New York was on the verge of warring Vinsalia.

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[b]ENDOR CUIDAD, J ANDRES[/b] -- The phone rang for nearly an eternity before [url=http://cybernations.wikia.com/wiki/Evan_McDowell]President McDowell[/url] heard the voice of the Vinsalian President on the line, "Greeting Mr. President, this is President Evan McDowell, and I deeply regret that this is the first time the two of us have had a chance to talk."

McDowell picked up the phone from the table and began pacing the room near the window. "I don't exactly know what happened along our border President Bourbon, but I want you to know that I am committed to ending the violence between our nations. I know that we are a relatively neighbor to Vinsalia and I hope that our nations can still share a prosperous future."

"I hope that you will reciprocate the ceasefire that we have ordered for our own troops, and perhaps in a day or two, we can get together and discuss this face to face. I've been President of J Andres for two years now and I am embarrassed that this our first discussion. Perhaps you can select the location for our summit, some third-party nation?"

"Our motto is 'Pacis' and the events that perspired tonight do not reflect that. Let's each agree to take a step back, and come back together with cooler heads so we can work together for a common purpose."

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[right][size=5][i]February 2, 2055[/i][/size][/right]
[b]CLASSIFIED[/b]

J Andres Military Status Report
Prepared by Anton Rasmussen, Minister of War & Defense

[i](ooc: Let it be noted that in regards to the current conflict on the Vinsalian border, [url="http://forums.cybernations.net/index.php?showtopic=112970&#entry3035376"]these[/url] prior military numbers will be used.)[/i]

Total Soldiers: 325,000 (250,000 Active, 75,000 Reserves)
Tanks: 500 (MAX: 2000)
Aircraft: 20 (MAX: 60)
Naval Vessels: none

Soldiers Armed with a Mix of weapons purchased from Marscurian Military Works and Annan Arms
Tanks: M18 Tank Destroyers (Marscurian Military Works)
Troop Transport Vehicles: M2 Trucks (150) (Marscurian Military Works)
Helicopters: UH-1 iroquois (Hershey Defense Systems)
Other Artilery: M198 Howitzer (125) (Hershey Defense Systems)


[b]TROOP ASSIGNMENTS (Current/Capacity)[/b]

[b]Fort Farnum[/b], Endor Cuidad (30,000/25,000) OVER CAPACITY
[b]Fort Cianci[/b], Providence (15,000/15,000)
[b]Fort Royal[/b], Newport (15,000/15,000)
[b]Fort Benjamin Richards[/b], Boston (25,000/25,000)
[b]Fort Adrik Annan[/b], Rossingol (25,000/25,000)
[b]Salty Brine Outpost[/b], Narragansett (15,000/15,000)
[b]Roger Ahmadinejad Outpost[/b], Hartford (20,000/15000) OVER CAPACITY
[b]Jack Bosco Outpost[/b], Danbury (25,000/15,000) OVER CAPACITY
[b]Alex Miller Outpost[/b], Waterbury (20,000/15,000) OVER CAPACITY
[b]Julio Duclos Outpost[/b], New Haven (15,000/15,000)
[b]Richard Mercton Outpost[/b] Springfield (15,000/15,000)
[b]Jack Bauer Outpost[/b], Lowell (15,000/15,000)
[b]Joel Brunel Outpost[/b], Mercton Cuidad (15,000/15,000)
[b]Woodrow Kissinger Air Force Base[/b], Quonset (20/60 Aircraft)

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: With increased tensions on the Vinsalian Border, and recent growth in the general population, the military population has increased dramatically. Unfortunately, J Andres doesn't have the supporting military infrastructure to support the larger numbers of active duty troops. Four Bases are currently over troop capacity and 75,000 troops have been placed in the army reserves to keep costs down. Calling the reserves to active duty will likely take 48 hours.

It is recommended that a major overhaul of the J Andres military installations take place, including the construction of new outposts and the upgrade of some existing outposts to forts.

The number of troops in the western region can not be increased in the event of a war with Vinsalia while maintaining the permanent outposts currently established. Further troop surges would require the construction of temporary installations or larger permanent installations.

Department of War and Defense is currently in discussion with Annan Arms about expanding the Air Force.

edit:wrong year 2054-->2055

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