Wednesday, 31 December 2008

Happy New Year (2009)

New Year greetings from Liz and En!

How time flies so fast when you think that yesterday was 2008! Despite of the hectic and crazy festivities that seem to have taken over our limited SL time, a good number of residents still managed to go in-world. I was going on and off to check for any surprises that Liz may have left for her "c'est qui tom papa" (loud laugher), Lizzy apparently was doing the same. Nevertheless the time difference between our RL worlds didn't seem to be a problem for the both of us as "sweet nothings" never fail to greet our unexpecting AVs during logins. One of the reasons why we look forward to go in-world on every given opportunity!

Celebrating the New Year together! Plus all the chatter and updates from last week's (last year even) festivities. Never a dull moment when we're together.

CSI: New York Episode "Down The Rabbit Hole"

Can't help but reminisce all the wonderful events of 2008. Well discovering Second Life is one of them, thanks to an episode of CSI New York which opened a new door for me. After years of being addicted to my work (yep workaholic as I have always been for over 15 years until you know what...), it has made a big change in me of wanting to stay at home more often which caught a lot of my workmates by surprise! Could we say that SL has been good for me then? One thing for sure is that I don't spend as much GBP every Friday when I hang out with the lads.. Linden $ are far much more cheaper (spits out coffee for not being able to control his laughter). After all, it's the chatter we share on a Friday or Saturday night that makes the get-together party worthwhile... grub and booze comes second and while having some "take-home" buddy is optional, I don't carry excess baggage with me on the way back to my place (chuckles). Besides. if it's just chatter we're after on a work-week break (okay that means Friday in layman's terms duh), Second Life has lots of that and I am sure most if not all of you residents agree.

Check out this short clip of that CSI:NY episode, and I wish that changing clothes and editing your appearance would be as lightning fast! False advertising of SL? You be the judge (laughter):

.. so what do you think? Even the gladiator role play made it look like a game from a Playstation. How I wish that were the case in real time SL hahaha. Oh oh.. and the super duper panoramic screen? I want one! Some animations were probably CGI generated, don't you think?

Now check this one out:

hrrrmmm walking hand in hand? The one me and Liz got was horrible! I wish there was really one that we could get which mimics real life "holding-hands" while walking (grumbles).

Another question, what's wrong with the pick-up line "I love waterfalls" anyway? Bah! hahaha. Watching those CSI:NY clips again really brought back good old noobish memories! sighs...

Cheers for 2009

What would be an even more better way to wrap up 2008 than visiting my first hang-out spot as a noob... Miramare! And what good timing that was with all the fireworks already in place. Good old memories also lit up my subconsciousness like a roman candle, as pleasant memoirs came flooding in. To see the folks that help mould my virtual alter-ego there with me was just enough for me to be thankful for I wouldn't be to where I am right now in SL without them.

Her "hotness" Lisa, the queen of Barcola and her royal loverly-hawtest Lizzy, the queen of my heart celebrate the New Year with the Brickies (a Barcola institution).

So what to expect in 2009 with all the gloominess the world is experiencing right now in RL? I guess it's still going to be the same for us all in SL... status quo. Whoever said the party should ever end? The only thing missing though would be our dear friends Drei Dragonash (one of the three SHB founders.. guess who the other two are..) and Sammie "Mew" Benoir who I think won't be with us for the coming year (cries). But who knows, after all anything and everything is possible in SL right?

The only way to move is forward...

And I hope that's exactly what we're all going to do. With so much going on in SL, upgrades and new features popping up occasionally making the virtual experience getting even more closer to real life, the future seems bright! Who knows, maybe we get to actually experience the reliability of Second Life like in the scenes we saw on CSI:NY.... omg that would be pure virtual heaven, wouldn't it? Then maybe I'd probably be getting me that super huge HD monitor. Think about how huge those "pink and blue" balls would be hahahahahahaha...

The future looks bright for me and Lizzy-babes, a new year... a new chapter!

To everyone who had made my adventures in Second Life pleasant (apart from Lizzy-babes of course!), Prospero Ano... Bonne Année... Buon Capodanno... einen guten Rutsch ins Neujahr... oh oh, and how can we forget... nanu nanu eeepuy nuayee ahree... that's alien for you peeps hahaha

Tuesday, 30 December 2008

First SL Christmas (2008)

It's that time of the year again when evergreen pines, poinsettias and mistletoes takes over a special corner in our homes. Just like the RL Christmas rush we've got so used to (with all the chaos that comes along with it), a virtual preparation can be equally as stressful. Though I would have to admit that it's way far too convenient when everything can be done with just a click of a mouse... and of course let us not forget that teleporting helps make things quicker as well.

Pressure Pressure!

Now how do I decorate the penthouse? I was really keen on making it very special but with so many ideas in my head, it wasn't easy deciding on what to do first! Good thing Lizzy was there to help me out with the most important and basic ornament for Christmas, the tree!

Awww give me a hug babes! We've done it, our first ever Christmas tree! En and Liz congratulate each other with a warm-body-heat-saving hug (rawrrr)!

Having thought of Caroline Apollo's tree on display at Lo Lo and Lisa's towering pine at Miramare, we headed to Botanical (in Straylight Island) for a 7 foot evergreen pine and a set of sculpty snow cover. I remember the first time I went there with Liz for a bit of He-Man and She-Ra role play much to the bemusement of others (laughter)... ahhhh These days of "innocence" will always be blissful for us...

The Ice Breaker

The tree was all we needed to jump start our decorating frenzy. Liz chose a perfect spot for the it and did a marvelous and fantastic job in setting up the tree. Nothing less that amazing, and I wouldn't have asked for more, it was simply perfect!

Our Japanese-inspired dining area will have to give way to the tree. Pressies instead of takeaways will be a staple on this spot for the time being. Don't you just love decorating?

A view to a chill? Making sure Santa knows that he is invited in this household! It would be more lovely to see two lovebirds seated on the cushions wouldn't it?

Naturally once you have broken the ice, ideas would start to flood in. It was much more easier to put everything down to its rightful place once you get things started. We couldn't be more pleased with the outcome which we believe added more of the homely ambiance we tried to project at the condo. Having to voluntarily add a bit more premium for the extra prims was worth it as I have always believed in quality comes first before practicality.

All ready to go! Looking around for anything that may need some dolling up before moving on to decorate the outdoors. But not after a glass of shaken (and not stirred *coughs*) martini... and maybe a bit of that "une baguette" as well. Care to join me?

What The Heck (Let's Get Carried Away)!

We can't leave the rest of the unit just like that, and how can we forget to decorate the fireplace? After all that is where Father Christmas will be squeezing his big bum to get in the condo (still baffles me how the old dude can do Blaine *lol*). Better ready the hot cocoa and the biscuits for the old man if we ever want to get everything on our wish list "neatly stacked" under the tree! ho ho ho!

Time to relax a bit, decorating ain't easy (laughter)... Black Italian marble does look good on a fireplace doesn't it? One of the many fixtures I modified as a noob, a favourite past-time of mine apart from virtual 7Seas fishing and OCS combat (of course). I leave the shopping to Liz (chuckles).

Warming up as it begins to snow outside as SL Weather forecasts a blizzard. Apparently, it would seem that we all would be spending a white Christmas in SL after all!

Bleeping Blizzards! Here comes the snow! Can't wait to have a snowball fight when Liz wakes up! Oh, is she gonna get it! Well both outdoors... and ermmm... indoors (naughty grin)...

Lets sing to the tune of Mr. Lennon's "Happy Christmas" song (hehehe)

So this is SL Christmas... Look what have I done... Raised the tree up this morning... Liz did it, I did none...

Okay.. okay I'll have to stop... I'd hate to receive an AR from the IPR owners of this song as it is a Christmas classic (chuckles). But I betcha I made you guys sing, didn't I? Catchy isn't it? I guess I really got "carried away" there. Karaoke anyone? hahaha...

Dang it, a mistletoe and no Liz? I guess I'll just have to make up with the snow-woman then (can't kiss a snow-"man" can I?) and see how far down the huge snowball goes from the 11th floor balcony hahaha. Nah just kidding, can't do that to this cool work of art from Sugar Rush. They did a good job crafting this ornament, didn't they? Go check them out!

Happy Holidays to everyone!

SL Christmas is indeed something special as we get to celebrate it with people around the globe! And having different time zones would "almost" be like celebrating it for two days! That's the beauty of SL, and that's what makes it click!

Well the tree is up... the decorations are all around the place... and apart from me starting to have the usual Christmas blues (sighs) as I wrap up this blog... I leave you all with a very special message...

Love ya all!

Monday, 24 November 2008

Escape From FG: The Apache Longbow


's (aka En) search for his parents ended in grief as he discovered through Gen. Slade (Brazilian Special Forces) of their ambush on the outskirts of Kierman. To make things worse, renegade Partisan troops have returned to Fulda, bringing back terror in the towns of Eichenzell and Neuhoff.

The renegades had regrouped after having been driven out Fulda by loyal Partisan and EUFOR troops. With most of the European Forces at the end of their Tour of Duty
, the outlaws had taken advantage of the lull in operations, wresting back control of the besieged towns once more.

The death of both his parents may have rendered his fight for the liberation of Fulda a lost cause. The Eufor troop come to terms with the loss of the two senior M16 agents.

New buildings and an invigorated forest have given Eichenzell a new image. A newly built-up civilian Psychiatric hospital (rising from the ashes after it was completely destroyed in the war) towers the Fuldanian landscape. The institution would help rehabilitate towns people suffering from the trauma brought about by war. Its multi-purpose rooftop has been designed to function as an emergency evacuation facility and an attack helicopter landing pad.

Just when the rehabilitation of Fulda was nearing its completion (with a new bridge restoring links to and from the towns around Eichenzell), chaos once again has threatened to hamper the progress which the city have so far accomplished.

Heaney Air Force Base, Fulda (HAFB)

With a squadron of Apache Longbows now stationed at Heaney Air Force Base (HAFB), will taking back control of the city from rogue elements be an easy and effortless task?

Operation Tiger Whip: In case troops violate any of the articles of war in Fulda, then will they realise the true meaning of fire from heaven.

High caliber M198 Howitzers cannons are on stand-by at the AFB to support troops in clearing the land of hostile enemy forces. Locals call it Malebolgia's Megadeath as no one has ever lived to tell the tale of Beelzebub's slumber party.

AH-64D Apache Longbows patrolling Fulda skies as troops rehearse themselves for the actual battle. Pilots and Gunners do their best to put their acts together. Just the perfect recipe for effective combat and survival in the event a full-scale encounter with the enemy breaks out.

EUFOR get their Apaches Ready.

Eufor troop "En" awaits for his gunner as aerial sorties over Fulda were given the all-clear by the squadron commander.

Troops marvel at this state-of-the-art killing machine amid its capability to precisely fire laser guided AGM-114L Hellfire missiles and APKWS Rockets. Overpowering enemy positions with incinerating rounds has never been this easy and exciting for a pilot.

The M230 chain gun seems to be the primary weapon of choice for most gunners as a very experienced Apache marksman can take down enemy forces hiding in a heavily populated area with ease, avoiding any civilian casualties.

It is compulsory for pilot to have a gunner (as a co-pilot) to effectively operate the Apache Longbow during combat. Two heads is always better than just having one.

Sophistication beyond imagination, the gunner's cockpit.

A gunner's responsibility is to make sure no enemy threat would be left standing. As well as striking the enemy first before they establish themselves a strategic position, they also must avoid a blue on blue with allied troops.

Maneuverability and agility, the pilot's cockpit.

The pilot's responsibility on the other hand is to ensure that both he, the gunner and the chopper arrive to base safely, as well as no civilian or troop-mate getting caught in the crossfire.

Communication between both the pilot and the gunner would be the most important and effective "weapon" one could ever mount in the Apache.

It would mean the difference between returning to base in one piece, or retrieve the chopper back as a total wreck. A very costly mistake as one may put it.

The dreaded chain-gun can fire simultaneous rounds, leaving little time for the enemy to retaliate. It is said that you have at least 3 seconds to react with the right type of weapon or you end up facing the sky with the back of your head.

With eight (8) AGM-114L Hellfire missiles and forty (40) rounds of APKWS Rockets at the gunner's disposal, the Apache Longbow is one deadly force to reckon with as it has the capability to attack with utmost precision.

Hovering above Neuhoff, Eufor Headquarters, while keeping an eye for hostile troops encroaching the buffer zone. An enemy AT-4 rocket launcher can easily burn Eufor HQ to the ground, as well as the planting of mines within the convoy route have proven very effective against any Eufor deployment to Eichenzell. However, Apache sentries patrolling the skies have deterred any encroachment attempt by rogue Partisans or the stealthy N.E.B. (New Eastern Bloc) troops.

The Apache's Achilles' Heel.

Though seemingly an invincible bird of steel, the Apache does seem to have a weak spot. Long arms fire to the rotor could effectively destabilise hovering, and eventually bring the chopper down. Direct hits from an M1A1 Abrams tank have also been responsible in bringing down several choppers in combat.

The flight of the Valkyries. Apache Longbows seemingly looking invincible in Fulda skies, suffered one of Eufor's worse aviation disaster in history since the 2008 Black Hawk crash in Neuhoff to which ten (10) of its troops were killed.

Burning flame! One of the choppers shot down by a yet "unknown weapon". Witnesses from the ground described it as something similar to a mobile "Stinger", a notoriously sophisticated surface-to-air missile (SAM). The Apache wreck burns next to N.E.B. HQ, condemning the notorious group as the prime suspect to the latest atrocity.

Crash landing. Both the pilot and the gunner ejects to safety seconds before the crash, as they encountered landing problems due to a damaged rotor blade. Not known to many, the rotors have seem to be the Apache's Achilles' heel.

It always boils down to the coordination between the pilot and the gunner. As with such great power comes bigger responsibilities. The pilot is responsible for both his and the gunner's life, and the gunner must be certain that no civilians casualties would be involved in the crossfire.

A Thorn On The Chief's Side.

It is rumoured that Stingers may have already been offered to dealers in the arms black market, ahead of its official release to EUFOR troops. The SAMs (surface-to-air missiles) have yet to see some action in Fulda, and how effective they really are remains to be seen.

A manhunt
dubbed: Operation Jenny E against a notorious civilian outlaw group was successful in ending the radicals unlawful activities. Both Eufor and loyal Partisan troops have encountered in the past - civilians discharging unspecified weapons against them, who then would blend with the crowd to avoid capture.

The outlaws had claimed at least the lives of three (3) Eufor soldiers as well as wounding several others with their modus operandi of hit-and-run, reminiscent of the N.E.B.'s guerilla tactics.

Target sighted. A row of hideouts being used by rogue Partisan troops were identified by Eufor soldiers on the ground scouring the area formerly used by the N.E.B. as their headquarters. At least three houses were thought to be utilised by the outlaws.

The Apache's chain guns have riddled the structures with its M230 30mm rounds rendering them useless and inhabitable.

Finishing touches. Gunner extraordinaire Ellynor Lisle reduced enemy hideouts to rubble with a Hellfire missile.

The European Defense Agency (EDA) is said to be funding the construction of a multi-storey residential building over ground-zero in accordance to E.U. plans to integrate Fuldanian refugees displaced by the war, a move which was welcomed by the city council.

Mission accomplished?
Apache choppers land at Heaney AFB after clearing Eichenzell of persistent outlaws. For how long the would peace last is unknown, as history would show that there never was a truly lasting peace in the city.

have seen rogues flee town only to find out later of their return. "How can you fight an insurgency when the enemy has no face?", a frustrated Eufor troop was quoted saying.

"In the lessons of past and present wars, it is always difficult fighting the enemy when the enemy are the very same people you have sworn to protect,"
added the squadron commander.

Always On Active Stand-by.

Eufor Pilots and Gunners brace themselves for the possibility of skirmishes in the cloak of darkness. The battle has taken an even more nasty turn as rogue Partisans who have taken the reigns of a sleeping N.E.B. use new tactics in trying to get around the Eufor dragnet.

From militia-style ambushes to pockets of insurgency, the opposition will not stop trying at anything in their desperate attempt to succeed at their bastardly plans.

EUFOR's upgrades the Apache Longbow. With the addition of a large EUFOR flag painted on the sides of the chopper as well as pulsar signal lights installed on its wings and pylons, mid-air collisions during night time sorties would be a thing of the past. Pilots and gunners upgrade their skills and capability to effectively engage the enemy in night-time combat.

Infra-red (IR) diode-based searchlights are installed on the Apache's underside producing enough lighting to reveal targets hiding in total darkness. Making the Apache deadly in night time as it is during daytime.

It is a never ending battle between good versus evil as Fulda illuminates the evening sky with burning houses. Scores of houses torched by the insurgents have left the city in ruins as an Apache helicopter hit enemy positions with its missiles.

Epilogue: What next for N71 Aeon?

With the death of both his M16 parents, the big question now is: What next for the EUFOR soldier? Apparently not all is lost for the Englishman as having to follow an Australian contact from Melbourne to Fulda had created a special bond between the two.

Escape from Fulda.
With cases of Post Fulda Gap Syndrome (PFGS) on the rise among the FG veterans, the two troops have decided to escape the German city for a place less stressful and a lot more peaceful.

"It's doing my head in Babes." Lizzy Mornington tells En.

"Well, you know that it is time for you to move on when you no longer feel welcome anymore. I guess it is time for us to go Hun." En tells Lizzy with a grin on his face.

He switches on his Ducati patrol bike and drives across the bridge of a town that once welcomed them with open arms. Lizzy holds on to En's blood-soaked jacket and reflects on the day they first stepped foot in Fulda.

She looks behind her as the city slowly disappears from sight.

Heading up north to the town of Bremerhaven on a hijacked speedboat, the two hoped to escape the internal madness of a once thriving German city.

The river channel (frequented by smuggling syndicates operating an oil cartel) will lead them to the open sea, but what lies ahead of them is still uncertain.

"Where to?" the woman in En's life asks her man.

"We cross the English channel to Hartlepool, and from there we drive back to London." En answers Lizzy back with the sound of an even more relieved and hopeful soldier.

"I have a friend there whom we can borrow a car from." En continues on saying.

"Then we can have that English breakfast we have both been craving for!"

Lizzy sat speechless for a moment with the look of excitement beaming on her face, accompanied with the most reassuring smile as they travel across the German countryside.

"It is so lovely here Babes." Lizzy sweetly tells En.

"There's more of that from where we are heading to Hun.", he answers back pulling her towards him - rubbing her by the shoulders. Their boat throttles across the serene river which seems to get wider and deeper as they go further and further away from Fulda.

Old habits never die as the two lay in bed ever more relaxed, with their Sig 599 and XM-109 slung on their backs. Is it out of habit that they decide to sleep with their weapons on... or is it just something they have gotten so accustomed to having fought endless battles in the streets and the woodlands of Fulda Gap?

For the first time in so many months since arriving in Fulda, the two can now both close their eyes as they sleep together on their last night in German soil.

The end of their Tour-of-Duty serving the European Forces would surely pave way for them to spend more time together. To escape the chaos and uncertainty that befalls the towns of Eichenzell and Neuhoff was the next best thing since sliced bread (and English countryside butter with home-made raspberry jam of course).

... and so a brand new chapter begins as En can be heard mumbling in his sleep the words: "trout... carp... bait... cast..."


Sunday, 28 September 2008

Fulda Gap: A Soldier's Story


After years of fighting between the two main factions, EUFOR (European Union Force) and the NEB (New Eastern Bloc), peace reigned in the City of Fulda particularly in the towns of Neuhof and Eichenzell. A great number of troops from both factions have been killed-in-action from years of being in conflict with each other. On a mid-September morning in 2008, the NEB had ceased its invasion on the City of Fulda.

The peaceful and sleepy town of Eichenzell post EUFOR-NEB conflict.

The European Defense Agency (EDA) baffled by their sudden retreat, have gathered credible intel that the NEB which consist of radical and hard line officers from the now defunct KGB (Komitet Gosudarstvenno Bezopasnosti) alongside their communist counterparts from the Chinese Special Forces (CSF) were regrouping in the Pamir Mountains of Tajikistan. The mountain range which borders Russia and China is a notorious training ground for new recruits wishing to join the NEB. The dreaded and feared New Eastern Bloc is known to force small town folks living along the mountain side to support their quest in taking over Hesse most prosperous city of Fulda.

The fortified New Eastern Bloc (NEB) Headquarters in the city of Fulda seems to have been deserted by its troops. Could it be a tactical ploy to deceive their enemy?

The EUFOR deployment consisting mainly of troops from Western European countries is now being headed by a German top brass, since the armed-conflict is happening on German soil. They have succeeded in taking "temporary" control over two of the most hard-hit municipalities of Fulda (Neuhof and Eichenzell), in which for a limited time leaves EUFOR functioning as the towns' local police force. Their primary objective is to thwart any attempt by NEB guerrillas in trying to retake control of the towns.

Success in driving out the invading forces had finally brought peace to the area. Commerce has returned; local governments were re-established and towns folk with whom were deprived of democracy for years during the war, were given back their liberty and freedom. It would seem that normalcy has returned to the lives of each Fuldanian and that the prospects of a re-emerging German city rising from the ashes may just be realised sooner than what most people would have expected.

The EUFOR base in the town of Neuhof had seen some activity despite the pullout of some of its troops amidst the absence of NEB forces in the city of Fulda.

Healing the wounded. There are 4 spawning areas in Fulda: Partisan's Cottage (C4 grid), NEB~HQ (A4 grid), Civilian Wards (C3 grid) and EUFOR base (D1 grid).

Troops in Fulda have their own story to tell; former civilians caught in the middle of the crossfire were drawn into joining the factions. Various nationalities from around the world who had visited the town (including those who stayed), have their own reasons on why they chose to remain in Fulda.

They All Have A Story To Tell
A Soldier's Profile

N71 Aeon: EUFOR Soldier (L10-K931-D499 -1.87)

Born in England and the only son of (British Intelligence) M16 parents, he joined the British SAS (Special Air Service) in the hope that the organisation may shed light on his parents' alleged (post-cold war) disappearance in Eastern Europe. His initial discoveries lead him to Melbourne, Australia in search a woman whose father was said to have been his parents' contact in the former Yugoslavia.

Taking up a master’s degree and majoring in Oriental Studies at the University of Melbourne, he had hoped that his new found knowledge and skill would help him in his quest to solve the mystery involving both his parents. All this was about to change when a note was left in his mailbox.

The note reads: "I know what happened to your parents. They are both still alive.. Go to Eichenzell, the answers are all there".

He packs his bags and takes the first trip to Fulda the next day. Instead of answers, more questions arose when he was greeted by warring factions trying to wrest control over the town. Still searching for clues, he stayed in Eichenzell looking for any proof that will lead him directly to his parents' whereabouts. As he walked around the town centre at a time when the whistling of bullets had given way to the sound of gulls hovering in the air, a woman in an Australian accent appeared in front of him: "You got my note? Come follow me". And the two disappeared into the dense woodlands of Fulda Gap.

Lizzy Mornington: EUFOR Soldier

I remember growing up listening to stories of my Great Uncle's survival against the odds during WW2. He spent years living in the jungle with the Chinese Communist guerrillas not knowing that the war had ended three and a half years earlier. My mother, who lived with her grandmother while growing up, would tell tales of not being able to play a simple game of hide and seek, for if she was found, she would certainly wind up with another gun pointed to her head.

He often reverted back to the 24 year old man he was, when he was first placed in Malaya to help stop the Japanese Army. I decided, that I would try my best, not to let that happen to another family.

With knowledge gained at university and through work experience, I was brought to Fulda Gap to help re-introduce soldiers back into civilisation after the war had ended. Not long after I entered the village of Eichenzell, I was met by a man in a EUFOR uniform who handed me a Sig 556 and told me to:

"Stay close and keep your head down." "But the war has ended" I protested. "Ha ha, that's what you think" he replied running off through the trees...

Ellynor Lisle: EUFOR Soldier

Born in the seventies and brought up in a perfect childhood, moving around with my father's job in the Royal Air Force. My father had met my German mother while serving in Germany. Aeroplane mad... unusual for a girl... my parents encouraged me and I got a private pilot's license when I was 16. After a spell in the Army, I paid for my flying through a sequence of teaching jobs throughout Europe. Took up helicopter flying, and became experienced enough to do some commercial work, and even had a try on the controls of some Army machines during the time I was still in the Army Reserves.

In Spring 2009 I finally settled in Germany near my mother's relatives and met my partner who became my fiance soon afterwards. Could not get back to UK after Canary Wharf; so decided to stick it out during 2010 and witnessed some terrible things. My partner went to fight... not seen him since... So I decided I am not going to meekly sit around and wait for the next outrage. The war in Fulda Gap is wrong and there's nothing left to do but fight, kick the invaders out, find my partner and get back to normality.

The Civil War.

With the absence of the NEB in Fulda, most of EUFOR's contingency troops have pulled out of the city (as ordered by the United Nations through the European Defense Agency). Security of the town was eventually handed over to the locals. Partisan recruits were given vigorous military training and counter-insurgency programs to defend the city in case an invasion of a revitalised NEB takes place.

The establishment of a Partisan faction was a success with most of the towns' citizens enlisting in the thousands. This led to convince the EDA to further reduce EUFOR presence in the region; from having a battalion of the European Forces during the conflict, to just under a platoon in peace time.

Berauschende Freiheit.

History will tell us that too much democracy if left unchecked will have an intoxicating effect on people. The lack of self-policing with the lax attitude of some of the towns' folk and the corruption of local officials have created an imbalance of power within the city. The infiltration of some criminal elements in the populace, as suspected to be the stealthy Russian mafia with the help of disgruntled former Eastern German military officials were able to stir internal strife amongst the towns' people.

The smuggling of contraband, from hard liquor to high end luxury items have corrupted the minds of ambitious individuals through greed and selfishness. Particularly fuel, thanks to the UN ending sanctions to the towns, have poured in Eichenzell unmonitored and undocumented.

"Too early and too soon," words from the towns' elders about the early pullout of EUFOR troops in Eichenzell amidst the burning institutional buildings.

With the possibility of a bloody civil war looming in the horizon, will the EUFOR camp regroup in time for the town's rescue? Or will the NEB feast on the cadavers and successfully take over a strife-ridden Fulda?

An attempt to smuggle in a Ferrari GTB into Fulda was intercepted by EUFOR troops at the bridge's check-point.

A tip-off by some locals that illegal super-strength Vodka was being used to bribe Partisan guards by the Russian mafia. "Arbi Barayev will not be pleased! You'll all be sorry!" shouts a disgruntled smuggler in a deep Russian accent as EUFOR troops took him away.

The car was supposedly a "gift" for a Partisan platoon commander in charge of patrolling the Fulda river.

Fuel, The Root Of All Evil?

Fuel in Eichenzell is the cheapest in the whole of Europe having no tax and duties imposed on the small town as it tries to recover its fragile economy. The transport and sale of fuel outside the city's borders is strictly prohibited.

Gang lords and warlords had successfully infiltrated the newly formed Partisan force, in an attempt to gain control of a cartel smuglling Fulda-Kraftstoff. The fuel is then to be sold to nearby German states at full price, earning the syndicates about 60% profit! A great portion of the fuel is also said to have been smuggled out of Germany to Eastern European countries via the Fulda river.

Battle of the tanks! Partisans loyal to the government battle rogue Partisan troops trying to take control of the city's fuel pipeline, albeit for the gang lords of Eichenzell's fuel cartel. Smuggling of cheap fuel out of the city has been a thorn on the side for both EUFOR and local politicians.

A small convoy of M1A1 Abrams Battle Tanks are always on constant guard at Eichenzell's main petrol station. Having a direct link to the Druzhba pipeline which supplies Germany, Poland and Ukraine from Russia, the station which has a fuel and oil underground complex is pivotal to the rebuilding and the survival of the city.

An underground passage known to have secret doors and tunnels will lead you directly to the complex. It is frequently being targeted by rogue Partisan forces under the employ of gang lords and the mafia. This instigated local forces battling amongst themselves, while an outnumbered EUFOR desperately trying to restore order have become targets themselves for their intervention.

"This is our war!", shouts a rogue Partisan in a stern Eastern German accent, exclaiming further : "This is civil war! Go back to your country as you are no longer needed here! Zurück eindringlinge gehen Haupt!"; shouting at EU troops as the deafening blast of an M136 AT-4 Recoilless RPG sets their nearby outpost ablaze. Despite the EU led contingency having superb training in combat, the downsized EUFOR forces suffered fatalities from these senseless attacks.

Having been strictly ordered by their commanding officer: "shoot only if you are shot at..." EUFOR commanders fear that any pre-mature retaliation might draw them into Fulda's civil war, as their new objective is now to restore peace and order in Fulda and to neutralise any form of unrest.

Some impatient EUFOR troops wonder how long one can take to stand all these hostilities. They currently rely on crucial assistance given to them by loyal Partisan forces in defending their base.

"Keep on your toes gentlemen, until reinforcements arrive." an attempt by EUFOR's German commander to uplift the morale of the outnumbered troops. The sight of seeing Partisans battle each other is indeed upsetting. N71 Aeon recalls a problem the Americans had in Mogadishu when Somalia was also being torn apart by in fighting amongst Somali warlords; fueled by greed and the ambition of having absolute power.

Black Hawk down! The European Defense Agency suffered a horrible setback when one of their Sikorsky UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters was shot down by RPGs (rocket propelled grenades) during troop deployment in Neuhof.

Partisans At War.

Skirmishes between Partisans is a common occurrence. Cousins fighting against cousins and former friends turned into foes. With most of the European Union forces out of Fulda, restoring order has been a daunting task as EUFOR soldiers continue to be the targets of rogue Partisan forces.

The threat of the NEB who were thought to have disbanded is still alive, as the faction's "sleeper unit guerrillas" loyal to veteran Pinky Turok have targeted EUFOR and Partisan troops through hit-and-run sniping; hoping this may stir up hostilities between the Partisans against the EUFORs. To some extent they have been successful at that, as finger pointing between the two camps on "who shot first..." have irked commanders from both camps. Most troops use 25mm XM-109 sniper's rifles, making it impossible to pinpoint exactly on who is responsible for the assassinations. It would seem that the NEB have not left Fulda after all.

NEB's ever elusive Pinky Turok, notorious for having garnered over 2,000 kills and reaching Level 14 in OCS rankings. She is said to be lurking on your shadow, and that you hear a faint laughter before you realise you are already bathing in your own pool of blood. She leads a small band of NEB guerillas sniping at EUFOR and Partisan troops, keeping the offensive alive until the main NEB entourage arrives.

Is the NEB strategically flaming up a civil war in Eichenzell? That may seem to be the case as instability and in-fighting would diminish if not exhaust all the resources and provisions of both the Partisans and EUFOR units. And if successful, taking back control of the town would not be an uphill battle for the New Eastern Bloc. As deaths within the Partisan camp are at an all time high and the targeting of EUFOR soldiers by rogue Partisans still rife, all that the NEB has to do is watch in the sidelines as the skirmishes would likely be doing the dirty job for them.

Unidentified Flying Crafts Above.

Recently there has been some strange sightings of an unknown aircraft hovering above the towns' skies. Rumour has it that they are predator drones, unmanned and remotely controlled miniature planes which has the capability of launching cruise missiles and taking aerial spy shots of strategic facilities and troop locations.

Mysterious and unexplained explosions have also been attributed to that. The NEB are the prime suspects whose unusual inactivity baffled security experts. "They are playing a Trojan horse on us", N71 Aeon, a strategic and counter offense specialist of a top secret unit within the EUFOR camp was quoted as saying.

Creating the belief that the NEB is no more had given the towns' people a false sense of security. The NEB may strike any moment when people least expect it, or as the story of the Trojan war goes: strike when the opposition is in deep slumber.

Hovering quietly above the sky, a Predator Drone circles around Eichenzell. Why it's here, no one knows for sure.

Spies Among Us.

In the reports submitted to the EDA by EUFOR's secret unit (the Union Black), there was great reason to believe that double agents have infiltrated both the EUFOR and Partisan camps, passing on valuable intelligence information to the other side. Security experts within the EUFOR camp fear that most of this information may have reached NEB hands.

Strategies on how to end the civil-strife in Fulda as well as new tactics to help defeat the NEB may have been leaked to the enemy, making them a few steps ahead of the EU forces in wrestling back control of the towns. Ironically, this information was also gathered by EUFOR's own infiltrating agent. It is a spy versus spy scenario reminiscent of the cold war between the former U.S.S.R. and the United States.

Halt! Who goes there! A very cautious informant for the EUFOR camp takes extra precautionary measures, making sure that double agents are not posing as his secret EUFOR contact.

Internal sources also revealed that the NEB have acquired advance military hardware smuggled in from the US black market to Russia. And word has it that a small unit of NEB officers may have acquired blueprints of a secret weapon currently being developed by arms manufacturers in America.

"It just came out of nowhere", exclaimed an excited witness as he continued on saying: "It was so quiet like a feather falling from the sky! The troops were caught unaware!", referring to the massacre of Partisan soldiers by a couple of invading NEB troops on a stealthy bird of steel. Looks like the once sleepy towns of Hesse will have to unite once more to fight against their common enemy, the NEB. Unite or ignite!

A Secret Delivery! N71 Aeon goes on sentry duty as the latest batch of arsenal and hardware arrives in a secret location in Fulda. Could it be the same military hardware the NEB smuggled in from Russia?

Calls made by the EUFOR top brasses in the Fulda deployment have not been ignored by the EDA. A squadron of newly procured AH-64D Apache Longbow Attack Helicopters have been deployed to the city to help thwart any attempt by the NEB to re-invade and take over the towns of Eichenzell and Neuhof. Though if suspicions by the EDA is confirmed correct, the opposition may already have been training with the same hardware which as feared by many, would make the aerospace of Fulda a battle ground and albeit a graveyard for the advance attack choppers.

Will the Apache Longbow be Fulda's ultimate killing machine? Armed with a 30 mm M230 Chain Gun under the aircraft's nose and its ability to carry AGM-114 Hellfire and Hydra 70 missiles on its stub wing pylons, it may indeed be difficult to shoot down. Though theoretically, the chopper can be destroyed by artillery from an M136 AT-4 Recoilless RPG launcher and the M1A1 Abrams battle tank. The XM-109 Sniper's Rifle is also known to cause considerable damage to the chopper, as well as rounds fired from the Sig-599 Assault Rifle will make hovering a bit more difficult for the Apache. And as told in ancient Greek mythology: No matter how strong and invincible Achilles was known to be, he still had a vulnerable heel.

The Death Of An Outlawed Partisan Sniper.

Armed with the Sig 556 Assault Rifle and the XM-109 Sniper Rifle, European Union Forces and loyal Partisan troops patrol alongside each other in securing the city of Fulda as more outlawed troops and criminal elements were being brought to justice. But the battle has still not been won as the threat of invasion by the New Eastern Bloc is still rife.

Recently, an outlawed Partisan wanted for a series of murders and bombings in the city had been killed by two (2) of EUFOR's veteran troops Ellynor Lisle and N71 Aeon. Both were on patrol duty when shots were fired atop Eichenzell's Psychiatric Hospital. The outlaw was said to be a in-patient at the asylum, suffering from PFGS (Post Fulda Gap Syndrome) and post traumatic stress from having been deployed in the war too long.

An HEDP round was fired at the direction of the EUFOR soldiers which gave the position of the crazed sniper. Heat signatures emitted from urine helped pinpoint the exact location of the wanted rogue. A series of shots were heard and the menace was finally taken down.

A dead man's view. EUFOR troops Ellynor Lisle and N71 Aeon shoots down a deranged sniper from the Psychiatric Building to the delight of the town's folk.


With the recent death of the notorious sniper, tensions between the EUFOR camp and the loyal Partisans have eased. A bit of normalcy has returned to the city of Fulda, albeit temporarily since locals have reported sightings of NEB troops in the outskirts of town.

Partisans getting back control of the city, continue to receive combat training from their European Union counterparts. Rogue and outlawed Partisans with links to the city's underworld went back into hiding. Their underground hideouts are known to be scattered around Neuhof and Eichenzell. Though the threat they pose to the towns' fragile democracy is still great, vigilance and the desire of its citizens to keep the peace may be the driving force to prevent Fulda from falling back into chaos.

Meeting with destiny, N71 seeks for answers as he and Lizzy overlook the town of Eichenzell from Fulda's highest peak.

N71 Aeon, who went to Fulda in the hope to find some answers met up with the mysterious Australian woman. Lizzy Mornington, whose father worked for the Australian Secret Intelligence Service (ASIS) talks of both their parents' activities in Yugoslavia before its break-up. The senior intel officials then escaped to Fulda when hostilities between the Serbs and Croats begun. What the three senior officers were doing in the German city is still deemed by the M16 and the ASIS as classified intelligence information.

Lizzy took N71 to the foothills of Wasserkuppe where Fulda's communication complex is located. "This is where they were last seen", she told Aeon and continued: "They were talking to Gen. Lucci Slade of the Brazilian Special Forces." A baffled Aeon wondered what the BSF was doing in Fulda.

"But isn't Germany quite off-course for the Latinos? What were they doing here?", he quipped. "Fuel... Arms... Intel... who knows?", answered an equally clueless Mornington as she went on saying: "But the General and both your parents seemed to have a very interesting discussion." "Last time they were here, they boarded a UH-1H Iroquois en route to Portugal."

"What? They are not here in Fulda?", a mixture of both desperation and frustration can be heard on N71's voice as he pinches the bridge of his nose, tightly shuts his eyes and bites his lips.

"Oh man...", followed by a deep sigh as the Brit who joined EUFOR a few months back wipes the sweat on his brow and looks blindly in the horizon. "And where can I find this Gen. Slade?", N71 asked and Lizzy quickly answered... "Keirman"...