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Operation Forge


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[b]SLS Aosta
Off the Coast of Sicily, near Marsala[/b]

[i]Admiral Acbari stood on the command bridge, anxiously waiting for the clock to strike 0500 hours. As the senior most officer in the Sicilian Navy, the Admiral had the duty and pleasure of overseeing the amphibious landing of SL Forces that would mark the start of Operation Forge, the campaign to recapture Sicily and Malta from opposition forces. Thousands of troops were right now moving from the troop ships that had carried them from Sardinia to the smaller landing craft that would take them to shore. Aircraft from the Aosta and the other carriers would provide the troops with close air support as they hit the beaches and would also ensure air superiority was maintained throughout the landing. Though the opposition had little in the way of an airforce, intelligence believed that a small contingent of enemy fighters were stationed at the airport in Marsala.[/i]

[i]The Communications Officer walked hurriedly to where the Admiral stood and handed him a short printout[/i]

"Admiral, I've just received confirmation from UMS GHQ, their forces are a go and should be dropping on Malta shortly."

"Excellent," the Admiral replied, "its time to get this operation started. Sound General Quarters, all hands to battle stations. I want the first CAPs in the air in five minutes. Radio the fleet, tell the landing craft its time to go."

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The radio crackled a bit but cleared up in an instant. [i]"Bravo Alpha, Air Wing Group Zulu is clear to drop off package. I repeat, Air Wing Group Zulu is clear to drop off package. Naval support is en route and you will rendezvous at Position Zala at 0900 hours. Further instructions will be given to members on ground. Command out."[/i]

The radio went silent once more. Cracking his neck, Flight Captain Robert De Cala looked back at the 50 troops sitting and standing behind him in the M2 Falcon's [OOC: V-22 Osprey] load deck. He calmly reached for his intercom microphone and clicked the initiator on the side. [i]"All paratroopers. Prepare for jump mission Sigma. Operation Zala is about to commence. You will receive further instruction on the ground as stated in your mission specs. God speed boys."[/i] Clicking off the system, he focused his attention to the inboard RADAR guidance system since it was literally the dead of night. [i]Five minutes to midnight...[/i] his mind mumbled as he clicked the button for the cargo bay door.

As the door open, a man immediately latched himself into the ceiling harness and braced himself against the mounted XM-312 Heavy Machine Gun at the mouth of the bay. His right handle toggled the night-goggles he had integrated into his helmet and began to analyze the ground for any signs of hostile movement. The silent alarm system was then initiated by the co-pilot, signaling high alert status for all crew.

The harbinger of time loomed nearer as the hour was at hand. [i]"All up boys, we are bout to rock this mother $%&@er. Time it right. I don't want any dead jumpers tonight. Let's go Platoon!"[/i] cried First Lieutenant McCoy. The men responded in quiet obedience and tightened up their harness straps. One by one they dove out of the cargo bay and quietly unfurled their parachutes into the dead of night. In the distance, FB-22 Bombers roared across the landscape dropping incendiaries on multiple ammunition banks controlled by the opposition forces.

Closing his eyes for a moment, he waited a few moments after his fiftieth soldier jumped out and he hurled himself into the airstream. An instant rush of air pounded his body as he could feel the hands of gravity grappling him. Smiling, he stabilized himself in the air and wrenched on his parachute. Like magnificent angelic wings the carbon nanotube parachutes threw themselves into the air.

Operation Zala had commenced.

[OOC: I gotta run to a math exam, so I'll be back in a bit to continue this]

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[b]Marsala, Sicily[/b]

[i]Brigadier General Said Al-Malak stood with his commanders around a small folding table, examining a detailed terrain map of Western Sicily. It had been three days since the first Sicilian troops came ashore. Both beaches had been secured within a matter of minutes and very little organized resistance had been by opposition forces. While a few small patrols were encountered as the beachheads were established and expanded, they were quickly annihilated by Sicilian troops with few casualties. By the end of the first day the beachheads were well established and two columns of infantry rushed in a pincer movement to encircle Marsala. The second and third days had been spent capturing and securing Marsala and its much needed port facilities.

Thanks to CAP missions from the Navy enemy forces in Marsala were quickly targeted and eliminated, Sicilian casualties had been kept under 100 dead and wounded and a number of important resistance leaders had been captured. With the port facilities in Marsala secured mechanized and armored units were flowing into the rapidly expanding Sicilian beachhead around Marsala. [/i]

"I do have some updates, detachments from the 13th Infantry Regiment have secured the Trapani Airport. The 2nd Mechanized Brigade has entered the outskirts of Trapani proper. They are reporting moderate resistance as well was scattered armor activity in the vicinity," said one of Al-Malak's staff officers, pointing out positions on the map as he progressed through his report.

"Thank you Corporal," interrupted Al-Malak," send orders to the 3rd Urban Armored Brigade to move towards Trapani and support the 2nd Mechanized."

[i]Said allowed himself a moment to reflect on the situation. How long ago was it that he had been but a lowly Captain in the 3rd UA Brigade. Through the Peacekeeping mission in Italy after the Borghese regime fell, where he was promoted to major and given command of the 3rd UA after his commanding officer was killed by an insurgents bullet. The insurgency had died down back then, and most people thought little of it. Who would have thought the insurgency would come back so many years later and wreak so much havoc. Then there was the short lived Iberian War, the promotion to Colonel came shortly after that.

Then the insurgency returned. It had seemed like the Army was containing it at first, cordoning off Naples from the rest of the country. Somehow it spread all throughout the surrounding area, the forces sent to contain the insurgency found themselves surrounded by it. Organization had broken down, those units that were able to fight their way out did so with heavy casualties. Even then, all the situation seemed to need was more force, the IF was sending overtures to help with anti-insurgency operations.

There had always been discontent among some of the general staff about the League's relationship with the IF, and the idea of IF soldiers in Sicilian territory seemed to push some of these officers over the edge. Said remembered the day they had put their coup into action. He was in Messina visiting family when the shooting started. Opposition forces were attacking the Central Government building where the cabinet had been meeting. It was thanks to Said's ability to rally some local infantry battalions to counter attack and hold of the opposition that the Foreign and National Directors were able to escape, though opposition forces had already killed many of the Cabinet ministers before Said drove them off.

With the generals responsible for defending Messina defecting, Said took it upon himself to organize what loyal forces there were and fight a rearguard action while fleeing civilians and government personnel were ferried to Sardinia. A few weeks ago Said was promoted to Brigadier General, in large part because of his actions in the retreat from Messina, and the Steward had chosen him personally to oversee the invasion of Sicily.[/i]

"Now, as soon as the armored forces have finished landing the Army is going to split into three..." Said began, however he was interrupted by an aide handing him an envelope bearing the Seal of the Steward. He opened the envelope and read the short message inside.

"Colonel Anderri, please finish the briefing, Im am being called away on urgent matters of state." Urgent matters of state indeed, so urgent the Steward had not given any details, only that they needed to speak immediately.

Within a half hour, Brig. General Said Al-Malak was on a plane, bound for Sardinia.

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Firmly pressing his body against the granite wall, McCoy peered around the corner. [i]Still nothing,[/i] his mind pondered as he relaxed himself again. He looked over to the rest of his squad as one man finished wiping off blood off of his wakizashi. Five dead bodies were piled on top of each other and were carefully placed underneath an awning looming over a park bench.

Here they waited, in the city of Rabat, waiting to meet up with four other platoons to take the city in Operation Zala's final push. Though resistance was heavy throughout the island, the Mechodamian forces were able to push through the defenses with relative ease, especially after the amphibious landings in Marasascala. Once Rabat was taken, the next phase of the operation could take place. Rabat had key artillery posts that were potential threats to any landings in Dingli. Without the armored corps, the push to the northwest would take longer than expected. So with Rabat out of the picture, Dingli would quickly come under Mechodamian controlled and victory would be assured.

Tracers from antiaircraft lit up the sky like fireworks, trying to counter the bombing invasion. Not even an hour ago the city was bombarded by more than a hundred thousand pounds of explosives, ripping the main military infrastructure to shreds. Unfortunately there were more artillery posts than anticipated, along with unpredicted SAM sites that were concealed from satellite surveillance.

Now all McCoy could do was wait. He had his lead squad pressed up against a destroyed church as the rest of his platoon took cover fire positions just in case if there was an ambush. At this point, any form of mitigated resistance seemed highly unlikely. Most of the resistance was pressed on the shores; an aerial shock attack wasn't something they had expected.

Fires erupted across the street as the entire structure gave way. A plume of flames flattened out and rushed out of the sides. However, the ambient sound of embers was interrupted as a massive explosion decimated the local town hall. Screams of soldiers inside cried out into the air as the building collapsed on them.

Jumping to attention, McCoy immediately activated his intranetwork and established the comm. link with the rest of his platoon. [i]"That was the signal boys, let's do this !@#$. Let's $%&@ some fascist pigs up. We're leading the charge here. Make sure to give us some !@#$@#$ cover fire. I'd prefer to come out of this alive,"[/i] he bellowed as he and his squad immediately rounded the corner of the church.

Behind him five opposition soldiers emerged from an apartment, bewildered by the blaze of the town hall. In an instant, a hail of .50 caliber gun fire sawed them in half as the XM312 stationed in the apartment across the street stepped on the gas. On the adjacent side of the church, the squad sprinted into a small alley that funneled out to a shed that sat right next to the town hall. They slowly crept through the alley, safeties off, and trigger fingers very happy.

They emerged on the other side of the church where the shed once was. Now it was a mere pile of wood, torn apart by aerial chaingun fire. McCoy tiptoed to the edge of the alley and stuck is thumb out. Right in front of the squad stood an unsuspecting crowd of soldiers helping up their fallen comrades. Bodies littered the grounds as men were groaning in agonizing pain.

Cupping his mic, McCoy whispered, [i]"Shed is a bust. Only other way into the sewers is in the basement of the building across the street. Bogies are !@#$@#$ everywhere. MK-47 teams, unload on this mother $%&@ers."[/i] Just as the comm. link broke off, McCoy motioned his team to move back around the corner of the alley.

A moment passed by as the cries of men filled the air. A vacuum of explosions quickly muted them as grenades pummeled the square. Shouts were heard, but to no avail. The bombardment was too concise. For nearly a minute hundreds of grenades converged onto the square. As the explosions tapered away, the squad proceeded to push forward.

Eight men scurried across the Hell-stricken square, stepping on top of bodies left and right. Their goal was to gain access into the sewers. Once they did that, it was an easy cruise to victory.

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General Al-Malak sat in his new headquarters building in downtown Syracuse. Military operations had been relatively easy over the past few weeks and opposition forces had been reduced to a small pocket around Messina. Victory was only a matter of time and his primary task now turned to rounding up members of the opposition command structure, both fascists and defected members of the military command. The Navy was hard at work patrolling the sea in between Sicily and North Africa after he had received word that the opposition leadership may try to flee there. A handful of mid level military officers had already been captured in mop up operations near Palermo.

He was about to go to lunch when he heard a knock at the door:


One of General Al-Malak's aides entered. "Message for you from the Fleet sir. Captain Sieferi of the SLS Aegis reports that he intercepted a small craft near Catania carrying a number of HVT's. He has them detained at the moment, he believes one of them is General Renee sir."

Said's interest was piqued when he heard General Renee's name mentioned. "Well, well. I had been expecting the leader of the opposition to be fighting with his men up in Messina right now. If he has been captured then this is excellent news. Verify its him, if it is him, inform GHQ immediately. The Steward will want to hear about this."


[b]An Announcement from Steward Jean d'Aosta[/b]

It is my pleasure to announce that as of today, the last major source of military opposition has fallen in Sicily. The islands are now reunited as one nation, as they should be, and we can continue with the arduous task of healing. Our mettle has been tested, and we have survived. I have never been more proud to consider myself a citizen of this nation than today.

I also have the pleasure to announce that General Jean-Claude Renee, formerly a member of the Sicilian High Command, and most recently leader of the military opposition in Sicily, was captured this morning, along with a number of his aides, by the [i]SLS Aegis[/i] off the Coast of Catania. My thanks go out to Captain Sieferi of the [i]Aegis[/i] as well as his crew for capturing this traitor. My thanks also go out to all the members of the Sicilian Armed Forces, and Brigadier General Said Al-Malak in particular for his leadership, for reforging the disparate islands into one, strong, proud nation.

I would also like to thank this nation's allies for the support they have provided us in these trying times. What you have done for this nation is greatly appreciated and will always be remembered.

All those members of the uprising that are captured by Sicilian forces will be held accountable for their actions. I will be convening a special court in the coming weeks that will deal specifically with cases related to the uprising and subsequent anarchy in this nation that the uprising brought about.

Finally, I will be traveling to a number of regional and international neighbors for talks on a variety of topics relating to Sicilian foreign policy in the next few weeks. An announcement regarding an approximate itinerary will be provided to the press in the coming days.

[i]-Jean d'Aosta
Steward of the Sicilian League[/i]

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