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The Powder Keg; J Andres Saga; Chapter 6


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Chapter 6:
The Powder Keg

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"It is the destiny of the weak to be devoured by the strong" --Otto von Bismarck



PREVIOUS CHAPTERS
Chapter 1: Deja Vu
Chapter 2: Excellence and Exodus
Chapter 3: Vengeance and Vendetta
Chapter 4: The Peace Dividend

Chapter 5: Crisis and Crusades

THE SOL-3 UNIVERSE
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Map of Europe

I am no longer on the CNRP map. This is NOT CNRP. (or CNRP2/CNRPA)
This is considered to take place in the Sol-3 Universe. Sol-3 is not accepting other players. This thread should be considered CLOSED* to all other players besides myself.
*Spectators may feel free to post announcements, news reports, etc. Actions that could be considered as interfering with the actions unfolding may or may not be recognized.

SUMMARY
The skirmishes with Vinsalia are long in the past. J Andres new threat is not its immediate neighbors, but the nations on the west coast. The Navajo Union fell and the SSR has taken its place, uniting with California, Mexico, and the North American Commonwealth. The four nations are now forcing economic ruin onto the Caribou Federation. As the nations of North America fall one by one to the western threat, can J Andres survive? Can war be avoided, or will the fate of the continent be decided on the battlefield?

Dramatis Personae
Charlotte Laurent, President
Katherine, Queen of J Andres and its Empire
More to be added as they become relevant

 

 

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March 17, 2080

PRICE OF OIL CONTINUES TO DROP; CARIBOU FEDERATION IN UNREST

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VANCOUVER -- Today marks five years since the Quadruple Alliance of California, Mexico, NAC, SSR began selling oil below the established prices, sending gas prices plummeting. The falling gas and oil prices were initially praised by citizens in J Andres, but here in Vancouver, a different story was being told. The economy of the Federation is heavily dependent on oil, and as prices plummeted so did the Federation's economy. Soon it was evident the government of the Federation had held their purse strings loose, assuming the good fortunes would continue to flow with the oil.

 

For the first year, the people of the Federation managed, but with the economy stagnant, taxes were raised to maintain revenues. Irving Oil, a subsidiary of the Irving Corporation closed up all their locations in the Federation, returning to New Quebec. Irving was simply the first domino to fall. As the other large companies terminated their business in the region, the people raised an unlikely champion from the south. Ernesto Espada, the socialist leader of the SSR, began speaking in colleges in the southern regions of the Federation shortly after he overthrew the Navajo government. As the economic situation here in the Federation grows bleaker, the people are looking to Espada as an example. The Navajo Union was riddled with inequality, and now its people are flourishing.

 

If the Caribou Federation falls under the control of the Quadruple Alliance, either through force, the creation of a new Socialist Republic, or otherwise, nearly three-quarters of the continent will be under their control. What does this mean for New Quebec, Vinsalia, and J Andres? The three countries have had difficulties in the past, but soon they may be all that stands between the Quadruple Alliance and an American hegemony.

 

 

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April 2, 2080

CARIBOU PRESIDENT ARRIVES IN NEW QUEBEC

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MONTREAL, NEW QUEBEC -- Gordon Somerset, President of the Caribou Federation arrived in New Quebec today for the beginning of diplomatic talks. There are conflicting reports as to the likely result of the summit. Some sources have hinted that a mutual defense pact is the goal, although the official stance is that the talks are purely economic in nature. This news has incited the riots already in progress in Vancouver. Many of the rioters support the principles of the Espadas Rojas and hope to form a new socialist republic.

 

"The troubles of the Caribou Federation are not an isolated incident." Prime Minister Cabot said today prior to entering the summit. "This economic aggression will continue. We have a shared history with the Federation and we will stand by them to support them."

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April 17, 2080

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PUERTO PACIS, J ANDRES

 

Thomas Malvern stood on the observation deck at the former Block Island Naval Institute. Off the coast, the J Andres navy was practicing maneuvers with the British and Roman navies. The minister sighed at the farce. The J Andres navy was outgunned and inexperienced. The officers were surely learning tactics from the Europeans, but the real action was not taking place on the shore, but in a small room many floors below him. "It's baloney I'm not down there," he said towards the ocean. With sunken shoulders like a deflated balloon, he turned around. His wife, the Duchess of Rossingol, was accompanying him on the deck.

 

"We all have our roles to play." She smiled as she approached him, "and yours is here observing this naval ballet with me."

 

A submarine, British by the looks of it, surfaced near the bow of one of the Andrean cruisers. Malvern wiggled his foot as if he was squashing an ant, "I just don't think Alfred is qualified to be in that meeting."

 

***In the Basement***

 

The British and Roman ministers seemed to speak in unison, "We will support J Andres if war results in the west."

 

Prince Alfred smiled, "I expected nothing less."

 

"However, our assistance doesn't come free," Prince Nicholas said.

 

"I'm sorry," Alfred stuttered. Nicholas was his brother-in-law. He had expected no difficulties with the discussion. "What exactly did you expect us to provide?"

 

"If I may interject, Nicholas," Frederick, the British Minister said. "Becoming entangled in the affairs of the Americas is not in the natural best interest of either of our countries. We are a world apart."

 

"Naturally, my father has an interest in protecting your wife and family, but that could more easily be accomplished by taking you back to Rome."

 

Incredulous, Alfred stood up from his chair, "There is nothing for us to give!"

 

The two other ministers stood as well. Frederick spoke first, "We need to ensure that if we are coming into North America, we are going to taste the spoils of war, and we felt it prudent to discuss this with you before the s*** hit the fan, so to speak."

 

Nicholas followed suit, "J Andres shall make no territorial gains in western North America. The Brits and ourselves will carve the west coast into a new era of European colonialism."

 

Alfred adjusted his suit. Without the help of the Europeans, J Andres would likely fall if war did break out. But Alfred didn't like being forced into a corner. J Andres once spanned the eastern seaboard, but since 2011, had been stuck within the New England states. Surely, if the borders were going to be redrawn, J Andres would want a piece of the pie. The two European minister were nodding at him. "Sure, no territorial gains in the west," he said.

 

Nicholas smiled coyly, "Terrific!"

Edited by J Andres
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  • 3 weeks later...

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October 13, 2080

LAURENT WINS SECOND TERM, ANCHOR PARTY RETAINS COMMUNE

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ENDOR CUIDAD -- Charlotte Laurent has easily won a second term in office, winning 51% of the vote, leaving Diego Salamanca and Lauren Barlow to fight over the remainder. Similarly, in the Commune, the Anchor party won 51% of seats, while the Nationalist and Communist parties took 26% and 23% respectively. Although the election results were largely expected, Lauren Barlow became the clear loser in the election, faring much worse then other Nationalist party candidates nationwide. Barlow, daughter of former president Emily Gibbons, likely faced retaliation against her mother's policies.

 

This election serves as a clear affirmation from the populace, that the methods taken by Laurent in the west are effective, even as the influence of the Triad has grown. Laurent is expected to retain all of her ministers from her previous administration: Minister of Foreign Affairs: Prince Alfred; Minister of War and Defense: Thomas Malvern; Minister of Domestic Affairs: John Walker.

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November 27, 2080

TIKAL CITY, TIKAL

 

The plane landed in South Mexico and Charlotte looked out the window. The lines were drawn in the sand: the Triad and the Socialist Republics were on one side, and the rest of North America was on the other. J Andres was expected to be at this conference, but once she stepped off the plane, J Andres support for Tikal would be public and overt. It would only be a matter of time before J Andres found itself the subject of economic sanctions from the Triad. Prince Alfred has secured the assistance of the Europeans earlier in the year, now it was her time to determine J Andres role in the North American Coalition.

 

She stepped off the plane to little fanfare. This was to be expected. Although she was President, that didn't carry the same weight as royalty, and most of the people of Tikal couldn't locate diminutive J Andres on a map, never mind recognize its elected leader. A diplomatic team met her on the tarmac, lead her to her vehicle, and drove her to the summit location.

 

*****

 

"This is preposterous! How much longer are we expected to wait! Why must we allow them to have the first move?" Gordon Somerset, President of the Caribou Federation exclaimed. "Our capital city was taken by those socialists. Our most valuable territory seized. The Espadas Rojas are a plague."

 

"Mr. President," Fidel, High Prince of Tikal said, "With all due respect, they have already taken all they want from you. It is now my people who are looking down the barrel of their gun. North Mexico has had a score to settle with us since our independence 22 years ago."

 

"And this is something we cannot permit," said Robert Cabot, Prime Minister of New Quebec. Of all the heads of state in the room, Charlotte respected Cabot the most, but she also had dealt with him the most. "Our strategy must be containment at this point. The Triad is only strong when it is united. In this room we have the ability to attack from the North, South, and East."

 

King Gabriel spoke next, "This strategy of yours is predicated on the Triad's inability to fight on multiple fronts, yet they are much larger than we are. How do we know we can fight on so many fronts?"

 

Charlotte leaned forward, "We have the assistance of Europe on our side." The room briefly fell silent as the men in the room exchanged glances. She then continued, "Both Rome and Britain intend to stand by us to fight this threat."

 

"Do we even want Europe involved?" The High Prince asked, "What if they look to spread their empire in our continent? Removing the Triad only removes conflict if we don't replace them with more imperialists!"

 

"There has not been war in Europe for decades," Cabot said, coming to her defense. "Ever since the truce between Rome and Britain, their economies have grown and the wars have ended. Granting them access to North America is harmless.

 

"I don't think we should be subjugating ourselves to European Imperialism. Colonial rule is over!" The High Prince shouted.

 

"Surely, we can get past these differences," King Gabriel said. "We must consider the possibility that Europe does not come to our aid. After all if Rome sends their navy to America, they will be open to attack from the Ottomans. What we do need, is a way to engage California, for if the Prime Minister's plan is successful, California will not be under attack and will easily be able to fortify the others. Until that question is resolved, a first strike is not on the table."

 

The heads of state nodded in agreement.

 

The King continued, "And I think the key people to answer that question are not at this summit."

 

The heads of stated nodded again.

 

The King stood up, "Then I believe this summit has reached its conclusion. I shall engage some of our friends across the Pacific."

 

Charlotte stood as the King did. She disliked King Gabriel and was disappointed he had somehow appeared the strongest from the summit. The Vinsalian Conflict may have been over for 13 years, but relations were still sour. Any victory for Vinsalia was hard to feel as anything other than a loss for the Maritime Republic...

 

 

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December 8, 2080

ESPADAS ROJAS ARRIVE IN J ANDRES; DIVISION IN COMMUNIST PARTY

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DANBURY -- The political landscape of J Andres has been altered once again as a new political party has formed. The Labor party, loosely affiliated with the Espadas Rojas of the SSR and NSR, has set up camp in Danbury to much fanfare. The Danbury and Lanier provinces have always leaned heavily towards the Communist candidates, and have often pushed the Communist party increasingly to the left. Based on the platform announced on the Labor party's website, it appears the Labor party will be further to the left than the Communist party, filling the voids once held by the Social Traditionalist and Union parties.

 

The Chairman of the party, Luis Bosco is a descendant of J Andres second president, Jack Bosco. Jack Bosco served for about a year and a half following the 1986 Red Revolt, and served the shortest amount of time in office of any elected president. Luis is his great-grandson, and has high hopes for the party. "We have our eyes set on the gubernatorial elections in 2082 and then the Commune in 2084."

 

Will the arrival of a new political party greatly affect the division of power in the Commune? Paul Fleming, political science professor at Brown University doesn't think so. "I think there will be a shift in power from the Communist party to the Labor party in some of the western regions, but I think it is unlikely for the eastern districts that typically lean Nationalist or Anchor to switch their allegiances. Additionally, this new left party is forming at a time when the electorate is not favoring the far left. J Andres citizens have seen the revolutions in the SSR and NSR and do not want them here. Time will tell if the Labor party adapts the same revolutionary attitude of the Espadas Rojas, and if they do, I do not expect this party to be a major player."

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December 12, 2080

PRINCE JOINS LABOR PARTY; SOCIALIST FEARS GROW

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PROVIDENCE -- As the Labor Party movement continues to grow, most citizens in the eastern cities remained unconcerned. After all, the west has always been predominantly communist. While walking through Providence, looking for the opinions of ordinary citizens, I ran into Pedro Flores, a retired janitor. He told me, "You can put lipstick on a pig, but its still a pig."
 
However, the newest member of the Labor party has begun to cause concern among the citizens of Providence and Endor Cuidad. Prince Phillippe a student a Brown University and the first born son of the heir apparent, has joined the Labor party and has formed a new student group to encourage other students to do the same. "I've listened to Espada speak, and his words resonate with me. Next year will mark the centennial of J Andres founding, and what do we have to show for those 100 years? I think it's time for some changes."

Some factions within the government are not pleased about the new socialist surge. Albert Hahn, Nationalist party leader in the Commune has sought to pass legislation that would outlaw the new political party. His proposals have not been popular and have not gained traction outside of his own party.
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December 25, 2080

ANNOUNCEMENT FROM THE PRESIDENT OF THE NORTH AMERICAN COMMONWEALTH
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In the years since our founding, the North American Commonwealth has become a symbol of American prosperity. My brother, David, had the distinction of serving as our President for much of our expansion. Our expansion was always peaceful, not as a result of wars. When the Republic of Texas fell, we stood by its citizens and now the Texans are proud Americans. Although our western neighbors, the Navajo Union collapsed twelve years ago, we supported their decision for self governance, and now the SSR is a strong ally of the Commonwealth.

 

It is my duty to inform you that our island neighbors in Las Islas Bellas have overthrown their government. The people of the islands have savored the democracy in which our citizens often take for granted. Las Islas Bellas have been ruled by an absolute monarchy for decades. The King died earlier this week without heirs leaving the country in turmoil. Naturally, we stepped in to provide stability to our neighbors. When our troops landed on the shores they were greeted with open arms. After discussing the situation with some chosen representatives on the island, in accordance with their wishes, we have decided to annex Las Islas Bellas.

 

All citizens of Las Islas Bellas will become citizens of the Commonwealth effective the first of the new year. With this new territory comes the need to defend our new citizens. That is why, effective the first of the new year, all ships that will are not destined for the Commonwealth or North Mexico, or leaving the Commonwealth or North Mexico, will not be permitted passage between Florida and Puerto Rico. All other international passage will be required to go around Puerto Rico to their destination.

 

Our Navy has been mobilized and will soon be in place to enforce the borders of our new territorial waters. Let us hope that the story of Las Islas Bellas shedding the shackles of an unelected monarch will inspire those in our North American neighbors to do the same. South Mexico, Vinsalia, and J Andres all have Kings and Queens and High Princes. Democracies have no need for these shadows of ancient eras.

 

May God Bless the Commonwealth.

 

President Sean Bronson

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December 30, 2080

ATLANTIC FREIGHT LAYS OFF 800 WORKERS

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BOSTON -- The impacts of the Christmas announcement from the North American Commonwealth are already being felt within J Andres. Last week, President Bronson of the NAC announced Las Islas Bellas would be annexed by the Commonwealth, and a new maritime border would be enforced. All international vessels headed to South Mexico will now be routed around Puerto Rico, a very expensive detour.
 
Minister of Domestic Affairs, John Walker held a press conference at Mercton Port House in Boston today to discuss the impacts. Walker is also the primary shareholder of Atlantic Freight, a shipping company responsible for most outgoing ships in Boston. Although he is no longer involved in the day-to-day affairs of the company, his announcement concerned the reduction of staff for the company. "Unfortunately, these new maritime borders drawn by President Bronson have greatly increased shipping prices and driven down the demand for our goods in Tikal. Obviously we are looking for a way to expand our markets in Europe to compensate for our American losses, but this growth will be slow."

The national unemployment rate is still a respectable 4.8%, but Walker fears this is only the tip of the iceberg. "The political situation in North America is complicated, and complications increase the cost of doing business. Myself and the rest of the Department of Domestic Affairs will continue to find ways to grow our economy domestically and find a way to employ these displaced workers."



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Minister Walker was not alone at the press conference. Duchess Shannon was also on hand to announce a new project to beautify the city, funded entirely by the Richards family estate. The Duchess announced the construction of at least three new parks, a museum, and a world-class soccer stadium within the city limits. "It is times like these, that we should invest in our infrastructure," she told reporters. "My family has never constructed a palace or castle like some of the other royal families in our nation. My grandfather would want to see our wealth put towards the city he loved." Edited by J Andres
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January 2, 2081

CRUISE SHIP HELD IN HISPANOLA

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SANTO DOMINGO, NAC -- Yesterday, the citizens of Santo Domingo celebrated in the streets as they officially became citizens of the North American Commonwealth. Among them were roughly 3,000 tourists from J Andres and New Quebec who boarded the Seabreeze Cruise Ship Magnificent eight days ago in Puerto Pacis and excepted a two week cruise of the Caribbean. Yesterday, they were here in Santo Domingo and observed the celebrations. Today they expected to be in Cozumel, South Mexico. The cruiser soon learned they were political pawns stuck in the middle of a chess game.

"The Magnificent is permitted to travel to Cozumel; however they must travel past Puerto Rico in accordance with our maritime borders," said NAC President Bronson. "Our naval officers spoke with the captain of the vessel and informed them of the detour. The captain and cruise line determined the itinerary would need to be changed. The ship will spend another day in Santo Domingo, travel to San Juan and then return to J Andres."

The new maritime borders have cost the cruisers significantly. Many have complained that money they pre-paid on Cozumel excursions was non-refundable. "We just want to enjoy our vacation. None of us cares who owns which island as long as I can make use of my beverage plan!" cheered one particular cruiser. Seabreeze cruises has rescheduled all future cruises to venture only to North American Commonwealth owned territories to best comply with the new maritime regulations.

In South Mexico, the armed forces have been sent towards the northern border "for maneuvers," but likely to ready themselves for an eventual attack. North Mexico has increased their border troops as well steadily over the last month.
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January 7, 2081

H1N1 PANDEMIC PARANOIA IN TIKAL

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TIKAL CITY, TIKAL -- The Principality of Tikal has declared a state of emergency to combat the H1N1 threat. H1N1, a strain of flu responsible for the Spanish Influenza over 150 years ago, has spread through Tikal quickly. Although most strains of flu strike the young, old, and the weak, H1N1 appears to be the most debilitating to young, normally healthy individuals. Vaccines for H1N1 are common, although recent sanctions against Tikal have restricted their import from the North American Commonwealth.

"In years past, we have relied upon pharmaceutical companies based in the North American Commonwealth to supply us with flu vaccines," Prime Minister Lindo said at a press conference in Tikal City. "This year, faced with an embargo, a native vaccine was created to combat H7N9 and H5N1, the strains we thought to be the most prevalent. We are in negotiations with Pfizer Quigley, to purchase H1N1 vaccines, although it will likely be many months before a sufficient supply is available."

Based on reporting from local hospitals, nearly half a million Tikal citizens have been infected with the H1N1 influenza strain, and at least 3,000 have died. The Republic of Mexico has responded by closing their border with Tikal. Commercial flights from Tikal are still running to J Andres, although all incoming passengers are being screened for signs of illness.
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January 16, 2081

DECLARATION FROM THE PRINCIPALITY OF TIKAL
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For years, the Tikal people have been subjugated by the Republic of Mexico. In 2058, we declared our independence. Instead of recognizing our right to self-govern, the Republic fought us on the battlefield for three bloody years. At the conclusion of those long three years, we stood victorious over our homeland and our independence was recognized.

Relations with our northern neighbors has never been pleasant, but they were never hostile either. The recent economic sanctions enacted on us by the Republic of Mexico and respected by the North American Commonwealth, California, NSR, and SSR are unfounded and are an attack on our sovereignty. Tikal asserted her independence two decades ago, and we shall do it again. In the name of His Highness, Fidel, High Prince of Tikal, the Parliament of Tikal does hereby declare a state of war exists between the Principality of Tikal and the Republic of Mexico. The Parliament hereby authorizes the Prime Minister to use all available resources to bring this conflict to a successful conclusion.

May God have mercy on our adversaries, for we shall have none.

Ramon Lindo, Prime Minister
 

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January 16, 2081

JOINT DECLARATION FROM THE COALITION FOR A BETTER AMERICA
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North America is a beautiful place, and we can imagine a time when there will be peace on our continent and we are the golden example for the rest of the world.
 
That time is not now.

The Principality of Tikal has declared war on a North American neighbor.

This is not harmony.

This is not peace.
 
We may be dreamers, but we don't think we are the only ones.

We are the Coalition for a Better America (CBA), and we strive to improve our continent until our vision becomes a reality.
 
This coalition declares war upon the Principality of Tikal. This coalition also recognizes that future attacks upon any member will be treated as an attack against all.

For the Republic of Mexico
Ernesto Bolivar, President
Javier Rubio, Prime Minister 
 
For the North American Commonwealth
Sean Bronson, President 
 
For the Republic of California
Aaron Slater, Prime Minister 
 
For the Southwest Socialist Republic
Ernesto Espada, Secretary of the Espadas Rojas 
 
For the Northwest Socialist Republic
Manuel Espada, Secretary of the Espadas Rojas

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January 16, 2081

ADRIK ANNAN GOVERNMENTAL CENTRE, ENDOR CUIDAD, J ANDRES


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"Today is the day we prepared for, yet it is still the day we wished would not come," Charlotte Laurent began, as she addressed the 888 senators of the Commune. "Tikal has declared war against North Mexico, a North Mexico and her allies have retaliated. This 'Coalition for a Better America' will not create a better America, but rather a continent suitable to them. We watched as the Navajo Union fell. We watched as the Caribou Federation was sliced in half. Las Islas Bellas have been absorbed by the NAC, and if we do nothing, the CBA will certainly eliminate Tikal from the map."

"When will J Andres fall?" She asked rhetorically. "If this new coalition has their way, it is only a matter of time. We must not permit this power to go unchecked. We must stand up for ourselves and stand by the few allies we have left."

The group of elected officials stood an applauded.

"I thank Premier Young for allowing me to address this body prior to your votes. Know that we do not go into this endeavor alone. Vinsalia and New Quebec have also voted to go to war against the Coalition, and the Caribou Federation will vote by the end of the hour. It is not easy to send our people into battle to defend another, but this Coalition threatens us all. We must do what is right!"

After another round of applause Laurent left the podium, and Premier Daniel Young took his usual place. "Is there need for further debate on this issue?" he asked. The sound of murmurs escalated in the Communist section of the building, but we silenced by a stern look from party leader Nicholas Egorov.

COMMUNE VOTING RECORD: 2081-018, DECLARATION OF STATE OF WAR
RESULT: RESOLUTION PASSES (752 FOR, 136 AGAINST)
VOTING BY PARTY
ANCHOR: (430 FOR, 20 AGAINST)
NATIONALIST: (198 FOR, 32 AGAINST)
COMMUNIST: (124 FOR, 84 AGAINST)

 

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January 16, 2081

MARITIME REPUBLIC MARCHES TO WAR AGAINST COALITION


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ENDOR CUIDAD -- The nations of North America marched to war today. What began this morning as a war between North and South Mexico has now enveloped every country on the continent. President Laurent spoke before the Commune prior to the declaration of war, which passed easily. One hundred thousand troops have been mobilized and were being transported to Vinsalia for forward deployment, likely in the North American Commonwealth. Similarly, large portions of the J Andres Navy left Puerto Pacis headed south to rendezvous with Vinsalian and Quebecois ships.

On the Mexican front, the Tikal forces have not advanced beyond the border. However, the geography favors Tikal. The capital of North Mexico, Mexico City, lies very close to the border, especially when compared to the Tikal capital on the Yucatan peninsula. Unfortunately, Mexico City is one of the most heavily defended cities on the continent, and although the distance is short, it will be tough to advance.
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January 23, 2081

DISMAL PERFORMANCE ON NORTHERN FRONT


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JUNEAU, CARIBOU FEDERATION -- The Caribou Federation was the largest nation in North America only two years ago; however, the secession of the NSR left the country significantly smaller. The NSR also took away most of the primary population centers in the south. This left the Caribou Federation with a small population, left to defend a very large region. The harsh winters of the north were expected to aid in their defense, but most of the eastern portion of the Federation has fallen as troops from the NSR quickly advanced and captured huge swaths of territory.

NSR troops are expected here in Juneau by the end of the month where they will outnumber the Federation Defense Force by a margin of four to one. Satellite imagery has shown a large Californian fleet moving up the Pacific coast. The allies did hope that maintaining a war on three fronts would be too much for the Coalition, although it appears the opposite has occurred. The Coalition is focusing its might on the weakest of its opponents, to focus greater strength on the remainder after the Caribou Federation's eventual collapse.

Collapse is likely. Many businesses in Juneau have closed and many citizens have plans to evacuate. The question of where do evacuate seems to be the real challenge. Evacuation to Fairbanks or Anchorage will likely require another evacuation if those cities fall, but evacuation south of the border means leaving behind a life. All flights to Asia from Anchorage are booked for the next three weeks, leaving many to turn to caravans, hoping to make it to the Bering Strait and seek passage by boat. The government is still in power in Anchorage, but it is obvious its power and influence is slipping as the war progresses.

Tikal has made small gains within Mexico on the southern front, and in the east, the Commonwealth has captured parts of western Vinsalia. President Laurent has authorized the deployment of an additional 50,000 troops to Vinsalia. Additionally, Rossingol Motors parent company, JTech, announced it would immediately cease production on all 2082 model year automobiles, and ramp up production of the M1 Tank.
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February 2, 2081


Off the Coast of ANCHORAGE, Caribou Federation

It was another quiet night. Quiet and cold. The Kodiak left port three days ago in anticipation of the arrival of the Californian fleet. For three days, Andrew Wilson, sat in a chair on the Kodiak and monitored radio communications. For three days, the discussions had been mundane. The three of the four Caribou Federation naval vessels were all in the area, prepared to defend Anchorage. Wilson knew it would be a fruitless effort. Juneau had fallen before they left port and it would only be a matter of time before the government in Anchorage threw in the towel. Although they didn't know much about the incoming fleet, they knew there was at least one aircraft carrier which could carry enough planes to bomb Anchorage to the ground.

Tonight was different.
"Incoming, birds in the sky," said a voice on the radio. He flipped a toggle switch, sending the incoming radio transmissions to the speakers in the room rather than his headset. "Counting twelve bogeys, two groups of six."
An alarm sounded on the ship, within a minute all hands would be at their watch stations.

"They've passed by us, headed your way now Kodiak," the radio cackled.
The captain barked orders as men headed up to the guns in an attempt to take out some of the planes as they flew overhead. Wilson stood up to peer out the window. The Californian planes were barely visible in the distance as they darted through the dark night.

A bright flash interrupted the darkness. As Wilson trained his eyes in the direction he saw a secondary explosion followed by a billow of flames.
The radio returned to life as he returned to his station, "That was Denali, just before the explosion we tracked an incoming torpedo. They must have a submarine out there."

"Three marks, incoming," shouted the radar operator. "Too quick to be planes," he said resigned.

"Are the CIWS active?" the Captain asked. Someone replied in the affirmative. "Anyone got eyes on them?" he asked.

Wilson watched the radar man shift uncomfortably in his seat as the three incoming missiles closed their distance. No one in the room could respond to the immediate threat, but the radar man was the only one who was aware of the danger in real-time.

"The missiles aren't coming in from the sky, they're hugging the surface," someone shouted from the aft end. Wilson deflated. Their CIWS was antique and couldn't target incoming projectiles that would be that low. He saw the radar man shut his eyes, as if bracing for the end. He saw his captain, head hung low with defeat. Through a starboard window he could see the dim lights of Anchorage. Turning back to the window near him he could only see darkness. That darkness was interrupted by another bright flash, followed by an intense pain, before the darkness returned. Although, this darkness was different; it was peaceful, calm, and eternal.
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February 6, 2081


Basement of the Federal Offices in ANCHORAGE, Caribou Federation

The building shook as another bomb found its target. Gordon Somerset, President of the Caribou Federation, and the rest of the federal Caribou government were three stories beneath the ground under the Federal Office Building. A year ago, this building was the headquarters of the Alaska Credit Union. After the unrest that resulted in the formation of the Northwest Socialist Republic, the Federation was required to move its capital city from Vancouver to Anchorage. And a tumultuous year it has been.

"They are more reports of deserters, Mr. President," the Secretary of Defense said. "It's looking pretty grim up there. The General is requesting you authorize our surrender."

"What?" the President asked. "There is no safety or security in surrender."

"Why not?" the head of the legislature questioned. "Vinsalia was supposed to engage the empires of Asia to assist us. Without help, this was a lost cause from the beginning. We should not have entered into this folly."

The President's complexion shifted to a new shade of red. "Should we have allowed ourselves to have been gobbled by the NSR?" he bellowed.

Another legislator stood up, "The NSR may have revolted, but they did so with little bloodshed. How many of our soldiers are dead? How many of our citizens killed by these bombing runs?"

The head of the legislature motioned to one of his aides, "Please gather the other members. Inform them there is a motion calling for the impeachment and immediate removal of President Somerset."

Somerset's crimson face quickly returned to a ghostly white. "Very well. I have only tried to defend this nation."

"Defend it from what?" someone asked.

"The inevitable!" another shouted.

The President reached into his pocket for an asprin and walked to the water cooler at the far end of the room to fill his glass. He swallowed the pill. A thought and spontaneous plan formed in his mind, and he decided to act on it. He moved quickly to the nearest staircase and climbed until he reached the street.

Many of the buildings were destroyed, with crumbling concrete and exposed rebar. Footprints in a light blanket of snow showed there were troop movements on the street recently. The Anchorage airport was only a quarter mile away, and Somerset once was a pilot in the Pravus Inguro air force.


******


Off the coast of ANCHORAGE, CARIBOU FEDERATION

The mood in the control room the San Diego, one of two Californian aircraft carriers in the region, was festive, but reserved. The campaign against the Caribou Federation was going spectacularly. The bombing runs would continue until a surrender was received, at which time the Coalition could focus on the other two fronts in this war. Defeating the Caribou Federation would not be a great military victory that would inspire songs and movies. Rather it was like a major league team steamrolling a bunch of little leaguers, but it was necessary before focusing on the true threats.

"Admiral, a single plane has launched from the airport."

Admiral Tarklin asked, "Is it military?"

"We are waiting on visual, but its unlikely. Their military aircraft are housed further north. To our knowledge it is only a civilian airport."

"We've confirmed it's identity as a civilian craft, but it's headed east."

"We are also receiving a transmission from the government offices." The radioman paused as he listened. "Turns out the President has gone missing and legislature and the general are offering us a surrender."

"The plane was headed east you said?" the admiral asked. The crew nodded. The admiral took a sip of water, "Shoot it down, and invite the General on board to discuss the terms."


******


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February 7, 2081

AND THEN THERE WERE FOUR


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ANCHORAGE -- Anchorage has fallen, and with it, the Caribou Federation. President Gordon Somerset is missing, but is believed to be killed when he attempted to flee the city via plane. The small aircraft was in violation of the no-fly zone instituted by the Californian navy and was shot down.

Admiral Arthur Tarklin announced the surrender from his command ship, CNS San Diego. Tarklin accepted the surrender from General Greg Stone, commander of the Federation forces. California will gain most of the Alaskan territory, while the remainder of the former Caribou Federation will become integrated into the NSR at the end of the month. Although members of the press were not permitted on board San Diego during any portion of the proceedings, Admiral Tarklin did speak over the Californian troop broadcast radio. "I congratulate the men and women of the Federation armed forces, many of whom fought valiantly to defend their homeland," he said in a prerecorded speech. "Today a new sun rises over the tundra, and the Federation is no more. Many Federation soldiers perished in the skirmishes over the past few weeks, and although their deaths may have been noble, their cause was not. The leaders of the Federation brought this war upon themselves. The Coalition did not attack the Federation until it declared war on the NSR. Although we regret the deaths of so many, we hope this surrender serves as an example to those in Vinsalia, New Quebec, J Andres, and Tikal. This war will end when you lay your weapons down. We did not start this war, but we shall finish it, and peace shall reign over North America."
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February 8, 2081

TIKAL LAUNCHES INVASION OF PUERTO VALLARTA

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PUERTO VALLARTA, MEXICO -- Tikal has launched an early morning offensive against Mexico in Puerto Vallarta. Just over 400 landing craft departed a construction facility in Ixtapa this morning. The craft were constructed and stored in warehouses to avoid detection from satellites. Plans for the invasion were kept from the other allied forces to prevent detection from the Coalition. The voyage took five hours in resulted in the deployment of 30,000 Tikal troops behind enemy lines under the command of General Armando Ortega.

The invasion did not catch the Mexican troops totally by surprise. The landing craft were spotted as they passed the Selva El Tuito and entered the Bahia de Banderas, and Mexican troops from Guadalajara were dispatched to the area. Tikal troops have captured the Gustavo Diaz Ordaz airport, but heavy fighting is still on going in the Las Juntas area.

This invasion was made possible by the deployment of the Californian fleet to Anchorage. Mexico's Pacific fleet is much smaller than its Atlantic fleet and it home ported further north. With the absence of the Californian fleet, a large transport fleet could be launched with minimal armament. Casualty numbers are based on preliminary reports, but Tikal losses are approximately 600 with Mexican losses near 800. The posturing for position will have huge impacts on the future viability of the Mexican campaign. As always, The Anchor Times is your source for breaking news.
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February 12, 2081

NEW YORK CITY ATTACKED


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NEW YORK CITY, VINSALIA -- The North Atlantic Commonwealth launched a large offensive against New York City this afternoon. The Commonwealth had already found success in its Vinsalian campaign, capturing Buffalo earlier in the week. New York City is particularly significant as a launching point into J Andres. Additionally, Vinsalia, J Andres, and New Quebec have all amassed a naval fleet in the area surrounding New York City, setting up for a massive naval showdown.

On land, the Commonwealth troops have captured Staten Island. Retreating Allied troops escaped to Brooklyn, destroying the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge to preclude a simple invasion of Brooklyn as well. Although Commonwealth troops have not attempted to cross troops into Brooklyn or Manhattan, they have launched mortar attacks at the New York Coast.

In the skies, the Commonwealth and Vinsalia have been fighting for air supremacy. The Commonwealth has attempted to turn Newark Liberty International Airport into a forward operation base, as Vinsalia has done with JFK. The two sides have attempted to take out the opposing airports, but heavy anti-aircraft installations on both sides have prevented either side from from making large advances.

The Allied Naval fleet has moved out of New York waters, and is expected to engage a northbound Commonwealth fleet. The allied fleet contains only two aircraft carriers while the Commonwealth has seven. It is unknown how many of the seven carriers may be a part of the inbound strike force.

President Charlotte Laurent has authorized an additional 25,000 troops deployed directly to New York City to reinforce the Vinsalian troops already there. This increases the size of the J Andres force in Vinsalia to 175,000.
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February 18, 2081

H1N1 THREAT SPREADS TO J ANDRES AND VINSALIA


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DANBURY -- The H1N1 influenza that has killed hundreds in Tikal has spread to both J Andres and Vinsalia. Minister Malvern assured the press that all members of the military have received the vaccine, and there is no shortage of supply of the vaccine for J Andres citizens. The virus is most prevalent in the western districts of Danbury and Lanier, where both Richard, Earl of Danbury, and Samantha, Countess of Lanier, have succumbed to the illness. Richard and Samantha were the last surviving children of Emperor Richard.

Marissa Roth, CEO of Pfizer Quigley released a statement saying that recent outbreak in J Andres would not impact the schedule of delivering vaccines to Tikal, where the virus is still spreading. Roth would not state when the shipments would arrive, out of concern they may be intercepted by the Commonwealth or Mexico.
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March 3, 2081

ROME AND BRITAIN ENGAGE COMMONWEALTH AT BERMUDA


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BERMUDA, NAC -- Shortly after the Commonwealth began the invasion of New York, it appeared they were also sending a northward bound fleet to New York to eliminate the Allied fleet that was amassing there. This week, it was clear this was not the intention as reconnaissance aircraft showed the fleet moving east, to reinforce the already strong holdings of the Commonwealth in Bermuda.

Why would the Commonwealth divert a large naval force to an island far off the coast of the continent? To intercept a European fleet bound for North America. Rome and Britian released their declarations of war to coincide with the attack on Bermuda. Both sides have experiences heavy aircraft losses and one of the Roman aircraft carriers had serious damage done to its flight deck. Although it wasn't sunk, it is greatly debilitated. The two sides are nearly evenly matched in strength, although the Allied Vinsalian/Quebec/Andrean fleet will likely arrive tomorrow and may tip the scales.
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March 8, 2081

JFK AIRPORT OVERWHELMED

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NEW YORK CITY, VINSALIA -- For more than three weeks, Vinsalia and the North American Commonwealth have battled in the skies over New York. The Commonwealth launching planes from Newark and Vinsalia from JFK. The results have been costly. Prior to this morning's offensives, both sides were estimated to have lost nearly 100 aircraft each.

This morning, additional aircraft from throughout the Commonwealth were directed to Newark where they launched another yet another attack on JFK. Although the Commonwealth suffered incredible losses, estimated at nearly another 60 aircraft, they destroyed many of the anti-aircraft emplacements, opening the door for their bombers to lay waste to the airport. The airstrip is now in an unusable state and the remaining Vinsalian aircraft have retreated back towards Albany. This relocation will require more time and fuel to be expended defending New York which will lead to smaller deployed force in the skies.

On the ground, the Commonwealth has held position. Their few ventures into Manhattan have proved dangerous as the Vinsalian army has set up mines and roadblocks, as well as snipers in many of the skyscrapers. J Andres and Quebecois troops are also part of the allied contingent in New York City. Edited by J Andres
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April 13, 2081

NAC PUSHES EASTWARD AS ROCHESTER FALLS

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ROCHESTER, VINSALIA -- The North American Commonwealth is making large gains in Northern Vinsalia. Although the attack on New York City has slowed to essentially the bombardment of the infrastructure, the forces in the north continue to cut across Vinsalia. Buffalo fell in early February, and now Rochester can be added to the list. The Commonwealth is marching east along Route 90, on a path that should take them directly to the Vinsalian capital of Albany, and then, should then continue eastward, potentially directly to Boston.

On the Mexican front, Tikal proved victorious in Puerto Vallarta, but has lost serious territory on their east coast. The Tikal army is pressing onwards to Guadalajara, but Californian troops are headed south to reinforce the Mexican troops there.
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May 6, 2081

NIPPON STRIKES PACIFIC FLEET AND NSR

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VANCOUVER ISLAND, NORTHWEST SOCIALIST REPUBLIC -- The Empire of Nippon joined the fray today with an attack on Vancouver Island and a separate attack on the Californian Pacific Fleet. Troops arrived on Vancouver Island by airplane. It is believed that Nippon established a forward operating base on one of the smaller Aleutian islands and launched the attack from there. In either event, the island was lightly fortified and Nippon quickly took the island. Strategists are still speculating if Nippon will move North towards Vancouver, or south towards Seattle. California has already recalled some of its troops from Mexico to reallocate them towards this new threat.

In addition to the land offensive in the NSR, Nippon engaged the Californian Fleet about 100 miles southeast of Hawaii. Hawaii is a territory of North Mexico, although numerous Californian ships are stationed there as well. The Nippon fleet did sink one Californian destroyer, but also lost a large number of planes. Edited by J Andres
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September 23, 2081

EDITORIAL: J ANDRES CELEBRATES CENTENNIAL WHILE WAR CONTINUES

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ENDOR CUIDAD -- Despite the fact the war is not going well, and despite the fact the Commonwealth is practically knocking on Danbury's door, the citizens of J Andres took to the streets to show that their morale has not been shaken. Today is the centennial of J Andres founding. Or in other words, the day the great President General Josef Mercton decided to be opportunistic in the power vacuum after the collapse of the Maritime Colony of Rhode Island, and decided to get a band of people together and conquer the neighboring towns. I mean, really? The formation of other nations is a little more dignified. The former United States was fed up with their colony status and overthrew their overseas rulers, but J Andres chose war over diplomacy in its infancy; is it truly a surprise we find ourselves in this current predicament?

Every September 23rd, some newspaper columnist makes the argument that J Andres is a historical relic and has no place in the modern world. In my twenty year career here at The Anchor Times, I have refrained from writing such an article. Today is different. The world is embroiled in war, a war that was started by our allies, and now we are following them to the grave. Everyone cheered when Rome and Britain joined our side, but what do we represent? Are we really any different than the Triad? Our sons and daughters are dying on the battlefields in Vinsalia, and all because the Commonwealth is enforcing their maritime borders? Would we expect anything different if the roles were flipped?

But today we celebrate our history, not our true history of course, that would be too controversial, but our happy history. Although there are those who carry the banner of Josef Mercton, everyone is quick to forget his son, who brought the country to civil war over the throne. Why is it that so many modern countries have monarchies by the way? In fact, look at the members of Coalition who we are fighting. Not a single one has a hereditary monarch, yet we fight on the side of our Queen Katherine, neighboring King Gabriel, the High Prince of Tikal, the King of England, and the King of Rome. How are we the side fighting for democracy?

J Andres had its moment in the sun. Few will argue that Ben Richard or Adrik Annan were not great Presidents who ruled J Andres during the glory days. The days of glory are over. All we are left with are their descendants who feel privleged enough to construct castles and palaces and soccer stadiums while the rest of our citizens send their offspring to war. The obvious exceptions to this rule are Lord William of Rossingol and Lady Vanessa of Lanier who are fighting alongside our soldiers. I hope none of our soldiers die in combat, but I pray the most for William and Vanessa, for I fear without them and their values, our nobility will continue to ruin every inch of progress this nation makes.
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