Bureau of Feline Affairs Governor-General H. J. "Hoppy" Franciflora has been inspecting military facilities nationwide. As commander of BFA military units, he has overseen improvements at multiple installations from Tenne to Wirdleonia to East Atkinos. Here, he is shown finishing his inspection of the archery positions in central Wirt.
He was eager to get back inside; it was a very hot, humid afternoon. Once inside, he was able to concentrate on the maps, forecasts and reports brought to him by Intel Officer Lt. Ben Got'em and officers of the I Corps, based out of Wirt. Most of his forces and those of the Schulmania National Military were positioned in the far east, near the coast where Queensferry has been attacking. He shuffled through his papers until he found the forecast for east coast weather. This would influence the troop exercises he had planned for the weekend.
The report read, "The three day forecast is as follows:
Day Min Max Cloud cover Wind Chance of rain
1 16 C (61 F) 25 C (77F) Partly Cloudy 5-10 kts SW Negligible
2 15 C (59 F) 27 C (81 F) Clear 10-15 kts SSW Negligible
3 17 C (63 F) 24 C (75 F) Partly Cloudy 10-15 kts SW, 5-10 kts W afternoon Negligible
For weather yours,
Corporal Nelson, XII Corps 26th Division Meteorology Office, Schulmania Bureau of Feline Affairs (Military)."
This report was as close to prefect as he could have asked for. The weather would be clear and not too hot; perfect for a complex military drill for repelling invading forces. He authorized the use of BFA forces and sent the papers downstairs to Chancellor Mooky, who would command the combined forces along the East Atkinos-Devonshire border. Approved by both leaders, the deployment of units in the military zone was finalized. The Simtropolis Bunny Brigade was deployed to send word to the troops as quickly as possible.
The configuration of military units in position for the exercises, dubbed "Operation Pounce" is shown below.
IV Corps is primarily positioned on the east Devonshire coast and outlying islands. V Corps occupied the midlands of Eastern Devonshire and has some regiments on outlying islands. Division 10 is tasked with security along the East Atkinos-Devonshire border. VII and XI Corps are positioned in eastern Atkinos along the security perimeter constructed north of Woods of Wayne.
Troops stationed at the Castillo de las Fajitas on the site of the former breakaway colony of Oras would certainly enjoy the mild weather predicted for the coast. The strenuous military exercises will be much easier than with the temperatures 8-12 degrees higher, which has been the norm over the last week and a half.
Meanwhile, off the coast...
Queensferry forces, led by Commodore Ben T. Sleazscum of the Nefarious Navy of Queensferry (NNQF), prepare to initiate Operation Earwig...
At the southern tip of Scout Island, small patrols from the Castillo monitor the shoreline and coastal waters for suspicious activity. Today's patrols include a platoon of reserve officer cadets from the newly-established Glenwood Military Academy. Two companies, one of which from the VI Corps 12th Division 132nd Regiment and the other from BFA's XI Corps 23rd Division 161st Regiment, have been assigned patrol duty along the southern half of the island. An entire battalion is stationed at the Castillo, currently augmented by another battalion from the 129th Regiment, which is participating in the military exercises.
Squads of cadets keep a close eye on the shore. A few notice something large on the horizon. Cadet Trekky Redshirt quickly called out. His supervisor, Corporal Mad Cat Imvhozzi, confirmed that there were at least two enemy ships closing in on their position. The alarm was quickly abounded and troops took up positions from Chateau Briand south to the tip of the island. Cadet Donny Doomsday was dispatched to send out the signal to Royal Schulmania Navy vessels on the west side of the island to prepare for combat. Squadrons from the Second and Third Fleets were positioned close to the island and would approach the designated coordinates from two sides - Second Fleet would sail around the southern tip of the island and Third Fleet circling around the northern end and down the east coast. These fleets are still archetypal wooden vessels, as the shipyards on Schulmanicus and Gran Maru have not yet fabricated any new metal warships to complement the six obtained from Schulmauckland.
The vessels of eastern fleets have not been upgraded as have those of the First Fleet. Four squadrons left the military exercises, headed toward an engagement site off of the east coast. Remaining vessels in the fleets, based out of Cape Eastway and Wood of Wayne would not be called into the battle and will remain on patrol outside of the combat zone.
From the same direction, a large flock of birds was headed toward shore. They were very loud and quite unusual. TRT Sergeant Michael Archean grabbed the binoculars from Cadet Soon-To Expire and was startled at what he saw.
This was no giant flock of birds - and things were about to get a whole lot worse.
Assault helicopters were on their way. Cadet Ima Gonner was dispatched to alert the base that incoming enemy craft were fast approaching. Archery units along the eastern coast took up positions with flaming arrows, catapults and crossbows. Regrettably, the balloon units would not get in the air before the assault happened. Hopefully, the balloons would be able to regroup and launch later.
Within minutes, the lightly armed perimeter patrol was within range of the helicopters. Archery units from the VI Corps 12th Division 132nd Regiment opened fire with all weapons. Most weapons missed their marks, but some catapult boulders hit their targets and damaged the helicopters. Three helicopters turned back because of damage, the balance of them returned fire.
Several of our positions were taken out by small missile fire. In this volley, Private Bigglesworth and 27 others, including 13 cadets, did not make it. And this was just the beginning.
Helicopter gunships pounded coastal defense positions, destroying all of the catapults and driving units back toward the Castillo. The map below shows the strategic withdrawal to Castillo de las Fajitas.
The strategic withdraw preserves our forces behind fortified lines, but comes at a cost.
Of course, this is exactly what Queensferry wanted. By clearing the southern end of the island of defenders, it would be easier to land troops and supplies for a ground assault. The Commodore has delivered on Lord Smirque of Accolade's strategic objectives by securing a landing site. Now, large quantities of equipment and troops could be off-loaded without coming under fire. Not a bad plan. For them, anyway.
As the perimeter was secured by tanks and artillery, a wider landing site could be established.
Soon, supplies for over 1000 heavily armed troops had been deposited. Queensferry has come to stay.
A sizeable and potent fighting force quickly organized and set out to eliminate resistance in the area formerly occupied by the settlement of Oras.
Some in the landing force took pride in surveying the destruction caused by the aerial assault on the settlement. The destruction appeared nearly whole.
Queensferry forces are securing the vicinity and eliminating Schulminion positions as they are found. For those defenders not in the fortified walls of the Castillo, such as Cadets Trekky Redshirt and Donny Doomsday, the only solace is eight more lives to continue the fight.
Advancing with virtually no resistance, Queensferry forces under direct command of Lord Smirque approached their primary target, the Castillo de las Fajitas Con Carne, key to Schulmania's defenses on the southern half of the island.
The Battle of the Castillo is now set to begin in earnest.
This time, Schulminion army forces got the first shots, as archers operating catapults, crossbows and arrows sent a shower of flaming debris in a hail of fury across the Queensferry lines.
The unexpected return fire slowed the enemy advance, albeit briefly. As they returned fire on the castle, more and more of our shots hit their targets.
Return fire began crumbling the walls of the castle and helicopter gunships were en route to finish off resistance. Col. I. Of Tiger ordered a withdrawal back to Chateau Briand and the safety of the fortified line across the island. Brave members of the army held their positions and continued to fire at the enemy, scoring a few hits for the good guys.
Satisfying, isn't it? Take THAT, Queensferry!
Tactical Response Teams manned the crumbling walls and set up diversions to allow for more of the Schulminion forces to regroup behind the fortified lines. Unfortunately, some of these brave warriors gave the ultimate price to help the cause of freedom.
Sgt. Archean's bravery had a high cost, but he helped to save hundreds of lives. And he still has eight lives left to give Queensferry what they have coming to them.
His brigade gave the other TRT brigade enough time to finish their diversion. As Queensferry advances over the charred remains of the castle, they will get a little surprise.
TRT Corporal James Donovan Logan's llama traffic jam proved the perfect foil to the heavily armed and highly mobile Queensferry forces. Getting past all of those llamas would take a good bit of time, perfect for regrouping forces to make it to the fortified line to the north.
While all of this was going on, word reached Chateau Briand that things were not going well at sea either. The fleets engaged the enemy off the southeastern coast. They sustained heavy losses before returning back to port with about half the ships they left with.
Squadron III was completely lost and Squadron V sustained 50% losses. Squadron IV lost 25% of its ships as did Squadron VI. All three Simtropolis-enrolled navy members will be using their second lives as a means to pay back Queensferry for its vile aggression.
TRT forces from the 29th BFA Division stealthily joined the withdrawal to the defensive line. The 29th is an all-TRT unit deployed in squads throughout the armed forces. It is tasked with the recovery of enemy technology and other classified missions. As Queensferry advanced, small squads were able to gather valuable materials which will be sent to Maxis City AFB for analysis.
Enemy forces are on the move north. It remains to be seen if they can retain their foothold on Schulminion territory or if they will be repelled by the fortified line ahead.
At the end of this engagement, the southern half of the island has fallen into enemy hands. The enemy is advancing northward toward our defenses. Our navy has been severely wounded. The map showing the current front line is shown here.
Interested in helping Schulmania? Consider service in the Schulmania National Military. A convenient application is shown below.
The Supreme Wirdle needs us all to help defend the cause of furs and purrs. Down with the wicked and evil Queensferry! Together, we shall claw our way to victory!