Saturday, 31 January 2009

Fulda Gap: The Rescue

An American UH-60 Black Hawk chopper flies above the cold North Atlantic ocean. On board is a EUFOR officer keen on returning to Fulda, twelve (12) days after EUFOR's massive pull-out from Eichenzell (amid a KV virus outbreak). The chartered American chopper took off at RAF Lakenheath, a former US Air Force facility in the United Kingdom which reopened recently in support for American troops in the NATO-led military action in Germany.

Braving the North Atlantic skies, EUFOR troops back on a special mission to Fulda.

It has been over a week since the last time EUFOR Central Command (ECC) had made contact with officer En Aeon, back when the bombings in Eichenzell began. First time since Operation: The Only Solution which forced the evacuation of troops (based in Heaney Air Force Base) out of Fulda, a previous order to send non-European personnel back to their home country has been revoked. All troops are to re-establish military presence in the German city to counter reports of an increased number of people moving in and around Eichenzell in the dead of night.

EUFOR Central Command
(ECC) suspects N.E.B. (New Eastern Bloc) taking advantage of a signed truce, to establish their position in taking over the desserted German town. A directive to block all human traffic around Eichenzell is to be enforced ASAP. Unaware to the ECC of the horrors (resulting from the KV Virus outbreak) that would greet its forces.

12th of January, 2009: 0730 hrs
Saving EUFOR Troop En Aeon...

The sound of a chopper hovering nearby aroused the troop from an inconvenient slumber as he struggles to gain consciousness. He feels his feet are soaked in water but does not seem to know the reason why. Dazed with his eyes tightly shut, he attempts to make sense on what was going on around him.

"I hear thunder... it's getting louder... (grunts) I'm wet! Has it rained down on me?... who put out the lights?" (moans)

Taking off his gas-mask, exposing his face to the morning sun: "It's getting warm, I can feel it on my face... is it the sun?... Have I fallen asleep?!..."

"Arghh! the light!... it blinds!..." Still confused and seemingly exhausted, he rests his head on damp soil. "Where am I?... Where is this place?... Am I dead? I can't be dead!... I just can't die... not now... not yet..."

"Who's there?... Who are you?..." He sees a faint silhouette of a person, and tries to reach for his rifle in which he struggles.

"Anybody out there?... Arghh! my eyes... too bright... help!..." He hardly recalls what exactly had happened before, but his instincts tell him he must survive.

He gets flashbacks and the last thing he now remembers was being chased down by creatures in the dark. "Stop right there!... Befördern Sie nicht… mich sagte Anschlag!... Please stop... or I'll... I'll... unghhh"

Standing next to him is a familiar face he thought he would never see again. Lizzy Mornington came back to rescue her man. Her instincts convinced her to jump ship when the AWACS that would take her back to Australia went for a logistical stop-over at the RAF Lakenheath in Suffolk, England. Intuition made her believe that something was not right, and that she must find her way back to Fulda immediately.

While putting together a plan to rescue En, a new memorandum from EUFOR Command Central (ECC) was released, authorizing the re-deployment of EUFOR troops back to Fulda. It would be in response to a suspected N.E.B. (New Eastern Bloc) troop build-up in Eichenzell.

This would be the moment Lizzy was waiting for: a free-ticket back to no-man's-land.

An angel of the morning. Just in the nick of time, Lizzy saves En from untimely death who was severely suffering from hypothermia, dehydration and starvation.

The last time she and En were together was at the infirmary, before her sudden departure back to Australia. Her heart sank at the poorly sight of her man, beaten down by nature.

Like a scene from the La Pieta, Lizzy cradles a semi-conscious En as troops drop down from a UH-60 Black Hawk chopper: part of a redeployment effort of EUFOR troops to Fulda.

"Everything is going to be alright hun... it's all going to be okay..." Lizzy tries to comfort and reassure En as she cautiously look in the woods that surround them, aware of the abomination that may be lurking in the shadows.

10th of January, 2009: 1910 hrs
More than 48 hours EARLIER...

... as gunfire proved to be unsuccessful in holding back the advancing mutants, En leaps instinctively off a bridge behind the patrol outpost. It was the only way out as he was being swamped by a multitude of these ghastly creatures.

He screams as he came crashing down the cold seawater, as howls and growls echo above him. The water breaks his fall as he scrambles himself to safety, disturbing a herd of deer in the process. He struggles to keep himself afloat with all the attached military gear dragging him down the deep water.

A close call. En leaps off a bridge before an overwhelming crowd of mutants, bent on ravaging the lone EUFOR soldier.

10th of January, 2009: 1925 hrs
In an inlet just outside Eichenzell...

Shocked and exhausted, En swims safely to shore. The company of wildlife seems to give him a sense of security, as the calmness of these wild animals would mean the absence of savages in the area. Nature starts to take over as the bitter-cold breeze smother him... he feels very tired... dazed and ostensibly confused.

Tired and exhausted, En could barely move or more so react at the curious nipping of marine life, least notice the presence of a prying wild fox.

With dawn taking over the night sky, a full moon still beaming above him... he lays motionless... staring blindly into space. He feels very cold, shivering not because of fright or fear but of hypothermia that seems to blister the warmth away from his very core... he now feels very-very tired.

"Must not sleep... must stay awake... cold... bitter cold..." he mutters to himself as random thoughts besets him.

"Lizzy... you there?... Where are you?... Why did you leave me?", a feeling of abandonment takes over this once brave soldier as anger, frustration and even despair conquers him. Disoriented, he seems to blame everybody for what has happened to him... he blames God... he blames himself.

"What the bloody hell are you looking at!...", swearing at the sight of a taunting full moon. "Leave me alone... just leave me alone... leave me... alone... " he whispers as he sinks into sloom.

"Hey babes, you there?... Lizzy... Lizzy... please... come and help... me... save me..."

Friday, 30 January 2009

OCS Viewer Update: Icing On The Cake

As mentioned in my previous blog, an update for the official OCS viewer is due to be out soon. Surprisingly, the update was released much sooner than expected! Yes folks, the much anticipated "patch" is here! Say bye-bye-bye to your "psychic" opponents who always seem to know exactly where you are! chuckles.

Some players have found a way around the absence of the radar-like "mini-map" by using the "main-map" as an alternative. Though not as convenient as having a permanent "beacon" on the corner of your screen, the main map can be quite useful as if having a "satellite navigator" at hand. Having to pause for a while for some location-hints have proven to be as effective as having the actual mini-map on. But as we will all know by now, those days are definitely OVER!

A ghost town? No troops? Not quite! The new OCS viewer disables the built-in-map's radar system, showing only an aerial topographical shot of the sim.

Say goodbye to all those psychic "playahs" (laughter) who seem to have the supernatural powers to shadow your every move hehehe. No more wall shooters... no more "x-ray visions"... and to those who love having immortality HUDs and shields, radars and bootleg OCS gear, no more room for you in the new Fulda Gap. Virtual combat has never been this fair... this exciting and this awesome as ever before.

As I attempt to be one of those psychics in FG (off-the game of course: chuckles), I foresee a day when more and more players would be encouraged to go head-to-head with top OCS gamers in Fulda Gap. Then again you need not be a psychic to know that. hehehe

My hat's off to all the Omega Concern people behind this remarkable OCS viewer!

A Secret Playground

Has any of you discovered that secret location in Fulda Gap yet? Just when you thought that everything we see in the new FG are the only things we would have to be contented with, here comes another interesting feature. Truly, there is actually a lot more in Fulda than meets the pixel eye! But getting there isn't as easy as you think, as a lot of that "thinking-out-of-the-box" may have to apply here: sentido común.

Okay! okay here are some tips for those unaware of this secret garden of delights (but they would have to be in a riddle):

a. The sun will shine and i hope you won't mind, me saying "Here's Johnny" on a street not aligned...

b. Rub that magic lamp and wish one song for me, singing "A whole new world" to a claustrophobic place to be...

Keep your eyes peeled. This labyrinth is an ambush haven. You'll never know what awaits around a corner.

Indeed it is a whole (or should I say a "hole" hahaha) new world as it would not be easy chasing (or be chased by) an opponent in a network of narrow tunnels, in which to the inexperience combatant may just end up a dead-end. I have seen a lot of pockets for ambushes, making this maze a perfect venue for CQC or Close Quarters Combat.

I am already hearing a lot of us here saying: "Where in the world have I placed that bloody crowbar?" hahaha

A dose of the Dual Sig Sauer P229 Handgun might just be helpful in tight situations like these as well. Time to test these babies! woot! woot!

I have also been hearing about a "vault" somewhere in Fulda, which I still have to find out for myself! Something with a secret combination was also being talked about within the OCS-FG community. Now that adds more excitement to the game's role play, don't you think? What exactly is inside it? More questions.. more riddles!

What The Heck Is A Laser Designator?

Ever wonder what that Laser Designator (LD) in our Sig-556 actually does? In my first few days in Fulda, I was able to try this motha-for-all-seasons feature in our ever-so-reliable Sig 556. I called it the "Hail Mary" as it activates a barrage of artillery from the sky. It lasts a good ten seconds (or even more), capable of eliminating a group of bogeys in the field with just one shot (yep, the holy grail!). It still should be active in Fulda though theoretically, a certain object (albeit also in a certain angle and time) must be specifically targeted. The stuff that involves a lot of "jargon-mathematics".

Eeeeep... x2 + y3 multiplied by z2 divided by the square root of 0.765 multiplied by the distance of 56 meters equals.... oh ugh my head hurts.... hahaha

However, it is also possible to try it out on a public sand-box which does not have a "no-push" restriction. Just make sure there is no sign that prohibits the use of any weapons. You will definitely be left in awe with this spectacular feature... totally a sub-freezing level in the coolness gadget meter! Promise!

Three heads are better than two! Pushing the stakes higher as the Sig-556 plays a vital role in supporting teamwork on the battlefield, with the pilot, gunner and designator coordinating each others' actions.

There is another reason why we have LDs featured in our Sigs. Think of the AH-Apache Longbow's APKWS Rockets... Ever wondered why they aren't laser activated from the chopper like its killer-Hellfire counterpart? That is where the Sig-556 LD steps in! OCS is pushing teamwork in FG further by encouraging coordination between team-mates situated in the air to the ones down below. Another step forward in eliminating individualism among players in Fulda.

A scene of things to come! Ground troops guiding the AH-64D Apache Longbow for bogeys. Communication and coordination will be a major factor in winning against opposing forces.

But before we go jumping off our seats, ripping our shirts off and flexing those biceps (well the ladies can stop after the ripping of shirts and forget the biceps... we'll be fine with that hahaha) giving out a loud "grrrrrrrr haarrrrrrr"... bare in mind that these things are currently in the works and are still being tested by our friends at the Omega Concern. Believe me they have heaps and truckloads lined up for all the zealous OCS maniacs like me! hahaha...

STOP! Hummer Time!
da-da-da-dum... ta-dum... di-dum... should touch this!

While the vehicle production of big name companies around the world has been hit by recession, The Omega Concern is optimistic that the pending release of a new DOZOR/HUMMER ( High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle aka HMMWV or Humvee) would just beat that! A leaked photo by insiders (shhh don't tell April!) have seen the manufacture of an improved and updated version of the military vehicle. Rumour of another version installed with a top mounted .50 caliber machine gun is also in the works. Looks like the good times are about to roll in Fulda Gap!

I want one! ... or four for that matter! Just another amazing installment for us OCS kids! 2009 looks bright after all!

Well folks, that is just the tip of the iceberg as I have been told that there are a lot more surprises waiting for us in the couple of months (if not weeks) to come. Finally, no more reason to whine about cheats and all the good reasons for Olympus to have a break from baby-sitting us kids.

Don't you just love a happy ending?

Tuesday, 27 January 2009

The Omega Concern: Muscle Behind OCS

One cannot truly say they have had the ultimate virtual combat experience until they have actually lived the Fulda Gap role play in SL. It has been my inspiration for some of the (fictional) short stories featured in my blog. It has also been a benchmark for other combat simulators in Second Life. Fulda Gap is synonymous to the OCS combat system, the most popular combat system to date with more and more combat enthusiasts jumping into the bandwagon. OCS is one of the many combat systems available in Second Life, though OCS seems to be the most preferred choice among serious players due to a lot of its amazing factors and features.

Entering Fulda Gap: After joining the Fulda Gap group, make sure you have at least one official OCS weapon and an official uniform. The MARPAT (featured in picture) is available at the Omega Concern shop. Nothing beats a good camouflage and gear in virtual combat survival.

OCS is "probably" the only combat system with an online record that keeps track of your progress in rankings. It is simply saying: The more you "hit" (better than saying "kill" in my opinion lol) the more points you get. And the more points you get, the higher level you reach.

Think of Level 1 as being a new recruit-cum-trainee and whoever reaches the top rank would be seen as Fulda Gap's five-star general. There is no limit on how much points you keep, it is infinite as the game never ends.

OCS Creame dela Creame! The Top 10 combatants! Dare to be on top?

Why bother with the points and rankings?

Simple, the higher your ranking is, the more accurate and deadly your aim will be. Which would make it possible for you to get a hit with just one shot: the Holy Grail in OCS combat. Much like in real life war, the longer one stays in the battlefield the more skillful and knowledgeable the troops becomes. Think war veteran... your style and technique would evolve with you as you get to know the weapons and the simulator (sim) better.

The online OCS Player Standings will also reflect your last "hit" as well as the weapon last used. This would give you more than enough hints that the OCS server does keep track of any OCS activity when the official OCS HUD is worn (well it is compulsory that you wear it to make OCS work hahaha). So cheats (yes kids they are everywhere) who use illegal and bootleg weapons and/or troops who are keen on "rezzing" out scripted prims from their inventory, beware the Gods of Olympus are watching! (laughter)

The New Fulda Gap 2009 from afar. Last year we were given an urban and rural combat setting. This year were going on woodland warfare were camouflage would play a crucial role in a troop's survival.

Fulda Gap is simulated in a Class5-high-performance sim with its own dedicated server and albeit even its own exclusive system which helps keep the game spontaneous and lag-free. At the start of the year, April Heaney who is the brainchild and pioneer of the OCS combat system has rebuilt Fulda Gap with an all-new environment. This would give new players the same leverage as the established veterans in getting to know the new Fulda better.

Whatcha fancy mate? Urban combat or jungle warfare? The new Fulda Gap sim: you don't have to teleport to another sim to have a different setting, when you can have them both in one go! And the next big question is: Will you be the hunter or the hunted? Go figure that one out!

With an established reference point for role play present in the game, supplemented with a player's own mini-biography or story (reasons for being in Fulda Gap) makes the game even more appealing and exciting: adding more depth and character to the avatar.

Normally a new player would start as a Partisan (neutral troop), and you can chose which side you would want to belong to: EUFOR (European Union Forces) or the N.E.B. (New Eastern Bloc) - after submitting your role play profile to April Heaney.

Starting as Partisans not so long ago, Lizzy Mornington, N71 Aeon and Ellynore Lisle now fight under the EUFOR banner.Who would be next to join the two main factions?

The Official OCS Viewer

Leaping forward in keeping the promise for a real combat experience, April has helped develop the first ever OCS Viewer in Second Life. It is custom built to rid the game of its little gremlins: the common cheat features which are built-in the standard viewer. Mind you, this is a Linden Labs viewer so any fear of "undesirables" being installed in your PC would simply be ridiculous.

There is nothing more exciting than playing combat in a pitch-dark environment, radically changing the way we play virtual combat. It gives new meaning to the phrase "bloody adrenaline rush".

The benefits of having to use the official OCS viewer means no more bloody "mini maps" and overriding of default environment settings. That means night combat would be done at night as the way it really should be. The Ctrl-Shift-Y (or N) features are disabled as well as the Advance Menu from activating the "Admin Status".

If that is not enough to tickle your combat fancy, name tags that usually give away your exact location (with that obvious placard floating above your head), even if standing too-close behind walls have also been disabled. Technically speaking, no one should know exactly where you are... or wont they? Excited already aren't you? hahaha

The OCS viewer was basically a year and a half in the making, but it was surely worth the wait! I imagine more updates for the viewer soon as the level of game play would be raised.

The Omega Concern: One Stop Armory

Discovering Fulda Gap was only by chance as Ellynore Lisle who was also a Wilder Skies pilot like me at that time (yep she was so good at it I would not last a minute in the sky! hahaha) had Eichenzell featured on her "profile picks" (did I just admit there that I snoop on someone else's profile? Oooops!). A simple innocent question about Eichenzell brought us both to Omega Concern. The first sight of Omega's glowing dome struck me with awe... much more upon seeing all the amazing weapons on display!

The rendering and the presentation of each weapon was non like no other. It was love at first sight for me with these babies and they have just converted me from originally being a pacifist to a die-hard combatant! yeehaw!

You will never end up more confused than I was the first time I tried choosing for my first weapon. With so many on offer, it would be hard to decide which one to get!... you would simply want them all!

Elly was so cool enough to patiently explain to me everything what is to know about FG. I have to admit, it was information overload as she tried to immerse me with all the technical details on "the hows, the whos and the what" in Fulda Gap within just 10 minutes (laughter)! Not to mention that I spent most of the time asking the same questions over and over again (pssst.. and I think this was the first time I irked her off... lol).

My First True Weapon

Forget all your freebie weapons, they do not compare **** to these babies! The details and resemblance to the real McCoy is uncanny. Among the many choices on offer, I took the Sig-556 Assault Rifle. Apart from a built-in grenade launcher, the features and gizmos that come along with it commands its asking price. And in spite of it being the most expensive rifle in the Omega arsenal, it still remains the most popular weapon of choice among the OCS zealots.

Apart from the Sig, I would recommend for beginners to also get the M67 Fragmentation Grenade and the M16A2/ M21 Mine Pack. These would be sufficient enough to help you "last longer" in combat but does not guarantee that you would be invincible. Weapons only becomes effective when the user uses common sense and a lot of guts when playing in the field. Just make sure you throw your grenades far away from where you are, and avoid stepping on your own mines! hahaha

Hitting Hard While Charging Less

I have also discovered that the XM-109 Sniper Rifle can be a powerful weapon in spite of it costing less than the Sig. Its function is straightforward: aim... shoot... and kill. It can hit a mark even at great distance making it one of the most feared weapons in the OCS armory. Combatants with higher levels in ranking make this rifle their preferred weapon of choice.

The Big Mommas

They are the first thing that will catch your eye upon entering the Omega Concern. The only three vehicles that can be used in Fulda Gap:

The Dozor Utility Vehicle, the M1A1 Abrams Battle Tank, and the AH-64D Apache Longbow

Please bear in mind that other types of vehicles and crafts (apart from the ones mentioned above) are not allowed to be used in Fulda. Believe me, you would not want the Game Managers (GMs) breathing behind your neck! hahaha You will surely get more than just a slap on the wrist... really!

All vehicles blow up when hit beyond its damage limits. So drive or fly them with care! These vehicles are HUD or Menu driven.

The Apache Longbow is by far the most sophisticated aircraft in Second Life... BAR NONE! Nothing comes close to this eagle as being the most interactive attack craft, consistent with role play. Missiles fire away from hardpoints (weapon stations) and actually show them getting depleted, unlike missiles mounted on other crafts that remain static.

Flying this bird can be quite a challenge especially with the OCS HUD on. A crash will cost you your life so flying with care is advised.

Getting this chopper (or helo if you are an airman) is worth the investment. I am very certain that April's creation had sent ripples across the crafting of virtual helicopters in Second Life. Expect a lot of changes on the way SL helicopters are made, and at least owning the first one ever created should give you enough prestige to last until the next best thing arrives.

Thanks (and kisses) a million to my Lizzy-babes for giving me one as a present and of course to April for finally bringing this one out of the hanger... making me the first ever to own one! Good things happen to those who patiently wait. wehey!

Oh my goodness mate... don't just look at it, get one!

To Join or Not To Join? Is that a question?

There isn't a good enough reason not to visit Fulda Gap. The membership is now free, the Official HUD cost just 1L$ and neither do you have to pay for the Official OCS Viewer. Initially, you don't have to own weapons to enter the sim. But do be advised that if another troop gets a visual, you just might end up getting shot! hehehe

Don't fancy being a soldier but want to still be part of the role play? Apply to become part of the Civilian Faction, but please be neutral and non-partisan unless you wish to become an outlaw! Now that's another story!

For more details about the Omega Concern and Fulda Gap:

Things to comply to before entering the barrier: 1) wear your group tag 2) wear your OCS HUD 3) use the official OCS viewer 4) be nice and play fair 5) don't bloody cheat, well not that you can with new safeguards installed.. but if you do, see you in your third life hahaha

The Omega Concern main shop, where all combat dreams come true... less the Blue Fairy of course!

Friday, 9 January 2009

Return To Fulda: EUFOR Recall


9th of January, 2009: 1700 hrs
193 hrs post Operation: TOS...

"My name is En Aeon of the European Union Forces (EUFOR). I represent the United Kingdom in united Europe's largest joint-armed forces deployment. I am on sentry duty, guarding the only road that links Eichenzell to other nearby municipalities in Fulda" (a city in the German state of Hesse).

"My presence here is never opposed as Fulda has a long history of militarisation, espionage, armed struggle and divide since time immemorial. The people of Eichenzell have been accustomed to seeing foreign military forces in their land with most having established base here."

"Fulda and most of its municipalities have the most strategic location in Deutschland. The town is currently off-limits to anyone and it is my mandate that I keep it that way."

"On New Year's eve, Eichenzell suffered an outbreak of pandemic proportions. Being the only EUFOR soldier positively identified to be immune to the Krippen Virus (KV virus), the European Defense Agency (EDA) assigned me as sentinel to guard the gates of hell."

"At 1830 hours, nearing sunset I will hide in the dense forest that sweeps through the Fuldanian landscape. Strange things are happening in this once lively town during the night... strange and horrible things."

This is my story:

A fictional story inspired the movie "I Am Legend", an adaptation from a novel by Richard Matheson. The movie from Warner Bros. is starred by Will Smith. This alternate story is set on a role play setting in Second Life's Fulda Gap.

STORY ONE: When Man Acts Like God
The Alpha of the Omega

The Outbreak...

Headlines around the world would be telling stories of the horrors that shook Fulda, a beautiful German city now left in ruins. Eichenzell, a municipality within the city was to be the hardest hit with most of its infrastructure and buildings reduced to rubble. Eichenzell is ground zero for Europe's deadly KV virus outbreak. The virus is a genetically re-engineered measles virus proven to have cured cancer. Previous reports claim that the virus has mutated into a lethal strain. KV-carriers would be manifesting rabies-like symptoms a few days into the infection's metamorphoses. It is said though not proven as of this time, that the virus which was earlier thought to be transmitted via body fluids is also suspected to spread the infection through simple body contact. In the several days that had passed after its first recorded case, the KV virus has mutated further to become an airborne transmitted disease making it deadlier than the SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome) outbreak in Asia in 2002-2003.

On the 1st of January 2009, more than 10,000 in Eichenzell would die from the KV virus. Had it not been contained in the first twenty-four (24) hours upon the (mutated) virus' first exposure, the death toll would have reached over a million in just two weeks (paving the way for the extinction of humankind). The virus is quickly spreading to neighbouring Fuldanian towns and the exact number of casualties is yet unknown. Those that have survived devolved into a primal and aggressive state. Reversing the effects nor finding an immediate remedy for the disease were futile as of this time.

The immediate evacuation of un-infected or immune civilians in towns neighbouring Eichenzell is currently ongoing. Those that show symptoms or are suspected of carrying the virus would be prevented from leaving their homes. Those proven to be infected but force their way out of the quarantine or attempt to escape through backdoor routes would be shot and killed.

The horrific reality for mankind's survival. Headlines around the world reports the destruction of Eichenzell and the death of at least 90% of its population from the deadly KV virus.

Weighing The Scales...

The German President has declared Martial Law in the city of Fulda. National troops as well as EUFOR have set up quarantine centres around the city's entry and exit points. The town of Eichenzell has been shut from the rest of the world as anyone was prevented from leaving or entering the town. At least 10,000 people have died from the KV virus.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) through the United Nations (UN) had called for an emergency crisis meeting with three (3) major intercontinental organisations namely: The G8 Nations, the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) and the European Union (EU). Heated and emotional debates stemmed particularly between Germany and the United States, when the Americans recommended to the UN of a move that would later be dubbed "The Only Solution" (TOS). It was reminiscent of Hitler's "The Final Solution". A move that will shock and frighten the rest of the civilised world.

"Dieses ist unverschämt! Ich weise unbedingt jede mögliche gegen zurück meine Leute genommen zu werden Tätigkeit!!" (This is outrageous! I unconditionally reject any action to be taken against my people!"), argued the German President who seemed to have lost her poise and temper.

"We have no choice but to chose between saving your 60,000 Fuldanians, or saving the other 83M Germans." The U.N.'s Secretary General tries frantically to convince the German leader that the operation to sanitise Fulda is in her country's (and eventually the rest of the world's) best interest, and continues: "We are also talking about the survival of humankind my friend."

Minutes later, supersonic booms from American jets soaring the German aerospace can be heard from a distance... followed by a succession of deafening and terrifying explosions.

Shock and awe. American F/A-18E Super Hornets fly in from the north Atlantic to bomb Eichenzell and Neuhoff as Operation: The Only Solution commences, part of sanitising Europe from the deadly KV virus which have already killed thousands of infected civilians.

1st January, 2009: 1800 hrs (TOS: Dooms Day)
Europe's Black Friday...

NATO has decided to carry on with "The Only Solution" as Germany, the only member out of the 26 NATO countries objected to the action until the very last minute. The NATO chair, with the endorsement from the WHO and with consent from the UN, directed the United States to carry out the operation. The United Kingdom which is covered by EU policies and treaties it helped ratified, have abstained to take the lead role in conducting the "sanitation" (out of respect for Germany being a fellow European state). All flights in and out of Germany were canceled. The UK which earlier abstained in Operation: The Only Solution had only agreed to enforce a "no-fly zone" through its British Royal Air Force (RAF) assisting the Luftwaffe.

Four (4) F/A-18E Super Hornets took off from the USS George H.W. Bush just 50 nautical miles off the German coast. The Navy jets released a barrage of rockets and bombs as each one of them incinerated everything on its path. A scene that replicated the destruction cause by the bombing of Dresden by the British and American air forces during WWII. People from neighbouring towns claim of hearing haunting screams miles away and that the stench of burning flesh dissipate in the air. This is the day the World mourned for Eichenzell.

STORY TWO: Romeo and Juliet
Troopers Before The Blitz (a side story leading to the events)

1st of January, 2009: 0630 hrs (TOS minus 11.30 hrs)
Redeployment by Selection...

The escape of En and Lizzy from Germany was cut short when they were spotted by EUFOR troops on the lookout for AWOLs. It was supposed to be their last day in the country when they were tracked down through signals transmitted from the (hijacked) speedboat's GPS system. Had they left German waters (into the Atlantic) thirty minutes earlier, they would have been on their way to Hartlepool.

A good morning to start for En and Lizzy as they gaze over the German sunrise with Sollie, a stray cat. Unaware of a series of unfortunate and tragic events that are about to change the whole world.

1st of January, 2009: 0745 hrs (TOS minus 10.15 hrs)
Nabbing the AWOL EUFORs...

En and Lizzy who both wanted so much to make pleasant their last day in German territory, thought of spending time fishing together. Hoping that unwinding would help them forget the awful memory of the chaos and strife that befalls Fulda, a city they would have called home. Only to be pulled back into the madness and uncertainty they had wished to leave behind. A Luftwaffe's RAH-66 Comanche attack helicopter spotted the couple as it hovers above Bremerhaven, a coastal town overlooking the north Atlantic Sea. They were to be escorted back to Heaney Air Force Base (HAFB), a military airfield just outside Eichenzell.

En slips away from the speedboat as Lizzy hooks him by accident - distracted by the buzzing sound of a Eufor chopper hovering overhead. The sight of a fully loaded attack helicopter worries them both.

"We have a situation in Fulda, every EUFOR troop is ordered to report back to Base Command," quips the pilot through the chopper's boom speakers, and continues: "Best be ready for debriefing in about 0815 hrs."

No way out. En and Lizzy were escorted back to Heaney Air Force Base (HAFB) by two RAH-66 Comanche Attack Helicopters to comply with orders to recall all EUFOR troops in response to an Alert Level5 (AL5) incident in Eichenzell.

"Sierra-3 to Bravo Charlie, We've located the skippers!", the pilot reports to base command.

"Well done officer, return to base ASAP for debriefing and make sure the skippers get to rendezvous point safely,"
replies the EUFOR commander.

"Roger that Bravo Charlie, Sierra-3 over and out."

En and Lizzy thinking that this was going to be another one of those battles with the New Eastern Bloc (NEB) were clueless on the gravity of the actual situation. The choppers made certain that the two AWOLs wont get away as they were being closely escorted back to HAFB amid the shortage of EUFOR troops.

1st of January, 2009: 0830 hrs (TOS minus 09.30 hrs)
Separation Anxiety...

Fifteen minutes into debriefing, all EUFOR troops gather at Heaney Air Force Base (HAFB) in Lummerland. EUFOR Headquarters in Neuhoff had been sealed off as they were told about the horrors that went on in the last 24 hours.

"Troops, Eichenzell is Europe's ground Zero," announced the new EUFOR Commander, Brig. Gen. Marc Harris in a briefing on the KV virus outbreak that killed over 10,000 people overnight. Gen. Harris has taken over command from his German counterpart on the grounds that the latter might develop a conflict-of-interest. Some actions would have involved constraining German locals and any inaction by the former commander would greatly compromise the operations.

En would see his former mentor from his RAF (The Royal Air Force) days as a greenhorn pilot, and both would acknowledge each other's presence.

However, a directive by the European Defense Agency (EDA) to send all non-European troops back to their home country (a precautionary measure in case of a full scale outbreak - effectively preventing anyone from being a KV virus carrier) was being enforced. Lizzy Mornington being Australian was not exempted from this. It would see the couple part ways at a time when they would have wanted to be together the most. It seemed after all like it was the end of the world and at times like this, who else would they rather want to be with but with each other? And En having known recently about the death of his parents added much to the feeling of emptiness.

"I don't want to go hun, but they are going to drag my ass on that plane whether I like it or not." Liz tells En, which seemed to make him struggle to give her any reply.

Lizzy announces the bad news to En as she heads back home to Melbourne, Australia. All troops were ordered to help in the preparation and protection of their home country against the dreaded virus.

1st of January, 2009: 0930 hrs (TOS minus 08.30 hrs)
The Longest Goodbye...

Back in the AFB's infirmary, Lizzy says her final goodbye. It has always been difficult for the two to be apart, for even in combat they have vigilantly looked after each other in the whole time the NEB and Eufor were in conflict.

Liz finally tells En: "Goodbye love, come home to Melbourne when this is all over." En stutters and was only able to say "I love you babe" without a sound.

"Time to go Miss Mornington," a Eufor MP reminds the two soldiers that its time for them to part. The sound of a departing AWACS gets louder, signaling that it is now prepared to take off. "The plane cannot wait for any of us much longer Ma'am, we have to hurry up." the impatient MP was close to telling her superior officer to dash towards the plane.

snaps back: "Alright already! I copy! Stand down soldier!" and all En could do was watch Lizzy walk away as she gives him a couple of glances back. Could this be the last time En and Lizzy would be seen together?

The bitterness of the word goodbye. Pre-departure drama as Lizzy Mornington prepare to board the AWACS destined for Australia. It was to be their longest goodbye.

As the sound of the aircraft's thundering engines fades away, the Secretary General of the United Nations (UN) publicly acknowledges for the first time in a worldwide broadcast, the outbreak of the KV virus. Outlined were the drastic actions to be taken in containing the epidemic and the reasons of not having any other option but to ensure even through very extreme means and measures, that the problem would not leave Fulda soil.

On the 1st of January, 2009 at 1800 hrs (Friday, 6:00 pm in standard time), the United States Navy through the recommendation of the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the approval from the following organisations: the Group of 8 Nations (G8); the European Union (EU); and the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO); in light of the imminent threat to the survival of humankind in the event and/or the possibility of a KV viral pandemic, the municipality of Eichenzell in the city of Fulda and of the state of Hesse in the sovereign country of Germany will be isolated, quarantined and "sanitised" through military means.

The ultimate sacrifice. Fulda burns in the horizon as Eichenzell pays the price for man's meddling with nature. American fighter jets launch from USS George H.W.Bush to commence Operation: The Only Solution on New Year's day.

STORY THREE: Europe's Ground Zero
The Origin of the KV Virus Mutation

With the Fuldanians having the highest rate of cancers in the country (from having been in constant exposure to radioactive materials, as well as highly toxic chemicals used by the NEB in their war against EUFOR), the town's folk were given top priority (since February 2008) for treatment using the genetically modified KV virus. Initially, all recipients of this treatment responded positively and miraculously healing their cancer. It was seen as the greatest medical breakthrough in modern times; the elixir of life capable of abolishing human suffering from this once thought-to-be-incurable disease. It wasn't until July of the same year, five (5) months into the treatment that KV-recipients had started to show symptoms of abnormal behaviour.

31st December, 2008: 0155 hrs
Grim's New Year's Eve...

The KV situation was to remain top secret to the locals for fear that any knowledge of a deadly outbreak may result in riots and anarchy, bringing to mind the Panic of 1857 in New York City. A top brass supervising the procedure enforced an all-out ban on the media. Every individual infected or even suspected of having the abnormal symptoms were forcibly taken to Eichenzell's Psychiatric Hospital. It was martial law in the making, unauthorised as it may have been.

"They were acting like rabid dogs," exclaimed a German nurse of the infected patients.

"We have to fully restrain them to keep us from getting bitten,"
added a domestic cleaner who seemingly got tired of having to sweep fallen human hair almost every minute.

"They act like a pack of hungry wolves, officer,"
says another as fear can be seen on the staff's face. Indeed it was something they have never encountered before.

In full force. Eufor and Partisan Special Forces guards the Eichenzell Psychiatric Hospital, which was later converted into a quarantine centre for KV virus infections. The facility is off-limits to civilians and most especially the Press as a citywide media-blackout is enforced in the town.

31st December, 2008: 1155 hrs
Correcting A Mistake By Making Another Mistake

Brig. Gen. Marc Harris, a British EUFOR commander has taken over the helm on operations in Eichenzell. The move to transfer jurisdiction from a German counterpart was to avoid any conflict of interests since directives from Central Command would involve constraining German locals.

Having thought that these symptoms were similar to rabies, a desperate decision to administer anti-rabies shots by the newly appointed base commander only aggravated the situation. Most of the people who had taken these shots bled instantly from every possible opening on their body: eyes, ears, nose, mouth and in some cases through the mamilla and the rectum. It was the most horrific sight as the repercussion of a misused drug shows its side-effects. It drove them to absolute madness as rage took over their psyche, an adverse reaction as if the victims were burning from the inside.

Their skin turned pale white and had the strength to break-free from the harnesses (perhaps with a sudden surge of adrenaline). Others who have gone completely mad mauled hospital staff, feasting on chunks of their flesh. The wards which once were rooms for remedy and healing were instantly transformed into chambers of death. The mutilated bodies of victims from the cannibalistic frenzy (as a result of the KV mutation) scatter like meat from a slaughterhouse.

Before the carnage. Administering an anti-rabies vaccine that led to the mutation of the KV virus which quickly turned the infected into feral savages.

31st December, 2008: 1245 hrs
Fall Back! Fall Back!

"Shut the doors and lock them all in," shouts the commander who seemingly was still into shock. The soldiers who were fortunate enough to get out first, hesitated for a while as a few of their comrades were still inside. A few breaths behind them were the ghastly beasts that reduced these courageous men into a stunned and distressed squad.

"Well soldier, what the hell are you waiting for?" shouts a concerned officer as the door remained ajar.

"But sir, our men?"
remarked a demoralised Partisan muttering "Englischer tyrann..."

"That is a direct order soldier! Shut the door and seal it now!"
demanded the nervous commander.

Screams of help from the people that had unfortunately been locked inside (both hospital staff and soldiers) were overshadowed by the loud grunts... the growls... the snarls and the howls of beings who no longer resemble anything that is human.

With so much adrenaline, they have managed to jolt the huge metal door that separates them from the troops outside. The troops quickly left the facility in a convoy of Humvees as they head back towards Heaney AFB.

31st December, 2008: 1350 hrs
Meat Is Murder...

The convoy of retreating soldiers hastily left the facility for the airbase, as scores of KV infected mutants breached the locked doors exposing themselves to the afternoon sun. Those that have been out in the open for a little more than a minute died almost instantly. It would seem that their mutation which weakened the presence of melanin in the skin also made them vulnerable to ultra-violet (UV) light. The KV mutants who were seemingly unstoppable had a weakness afterall... the sun.

The unfortunate ones. Doomed troops battle a legion of vicious savages as their comrades retreat to HAFB. None of the soldiers locked inside the quarantine centre would survive.

31st December, 2008: 1500 hrs
When The Postman Rings...
/o~ = over/respond

EUFOR Base Command (Bravo Charlie) updates EUFOR Central Command (Echo Charlie) on the possibility that the radius of the KV Virus outbreak may extend from Eichenzell to Fulda's other municipalities. A report on the tragic loss of its troops at the quarantine centre amid the carnage was relayed, and a request for a "bio-clean-up" was paramount. EUFOR's high-tech gadgetry connects all European Union (EU) armed forces to one Central Command. It is one of the most secured ComLink to date, with multiple digital encryptions being transmitted at random intervals as well as an IDT (Intelligent Digital Translator) that reads and translates multi-lingual verbal communications in real time.

Base Command prepares to brief Central Command as the troops await for a new directive.

"Bravo Charlie to Echo Delta, do you copy? /o~"
"This is Echo Delta, we read you loud and clear. Are we up close and personal Bravo Charlie? /o~"
"That's affirmative, we want to keep you up to speed as we have padlocked ground zero for Royal Mail to deliver the parcel. /o~"
"That's a negative, the Royal Mail refuses to be postmaster. FedEx is expected to ring the bell. /o~"

... referring to the US (FedEx) taking the lead from UK (Royal Mail) in Operation: The Only Solution when the Brits abstained for involvement in the action...

"Copy that, but we have a pucker factor off the scales sir. /o~"
"Say your state Bravo Charlie. /o~"
"We have an AL5 Code: Bio. Delta Sierras been going on around here. /o~"
"Have we any cool-aids? What is the body count? /o~"
"Only 18 see the light of day, civilian casualties are high. /o~"
"Copy that Bravo Charlie, ATT for AL5 Code: Bio requested? /o~"

... EUFOR Base Command recount the situation at the quarantine centre and notified superiors that the problem has elevated to a biological catastrophe...

"That's affirmative as we need to bring in the birds at the speed of heat and sanitise this place ASAP. /o~"
"We copy that, we'll send a buster over but ready all your uniform to be taken out of the laundry /o~"
"Roger that as we are all beaded up here. We'll make sure the eagles fly with us to Mother before the mailman rings /o~"
"That will surely make us warm and fuzzy here until we get the boys at Mother all spooled up for ACM. /o~"

... Base Command requests for the bombing of Eichenzell as Central Command advise the troops to prepare for an immediate evacuation prior to launching its military operation...

Heaney AFB, EUFOR's last frontier is heavily guarded by troops preparing for EVAC amid Operation: The Only Solution. RAH-66 Comanches take flight in search for MIA or AWOL EUFOR soldiers as AH-64 Apache Longbows secure the perimeter.

"We'll give you the coordinates as soon as we get Alert confirmation. /o~"

Roger, send us a red light for the AOA to save us from a blue on blue, copy? /o~"
"Copy, that should keep the envelop firmly in place. /o~"
"We radio back in 1600 hrs, go check for light leaks or get us some go juice. /o~"
"Negative on the light leaks Echo Charlie, can't be as warm and fuzzy over here with all the spooks. /o~"
"Gaff off the last one then but keep your men sweet. /o~"
"Roger, warp one hop for us with FAGs packed up in Devil's Rain.o~"
"Copy that, Mother sends you their bill to look for any Echos gone AWOL /o~"
"Tell Mother the bill has been paid. We'll send one of the locals to boondoggle the area for a lookout. We probably have a double out there posing as a skipper. /o~"

... a directive to search and nab EUFOR troops who have gone AWOL or have been MIA. Lizzy and En would be taken into custody the following day as they attempt to cross the Atlantic for Hartlepool in England, UK...

"Bravo Zulu. God help us all... over and out..."
"Over and out..."

1st January, 2009: 0600 hrs
The Search for Officers Lizzy and En...

With the reality of EUFOR having less than the adequate troops needed to keep the situation in Eichenzell under control, a new directive from EUFOR Central Command (ECC) to beef-up security (ahead of NATO's Oplan: TOS) prompted Base Command to recall all available troops back for duty. This would include troops who have gone AWOL and also to press on searching for troops declared as MIA (Missing-In-Action: troops possibly captured by enemy forces).

Base Command have sent two RAH-66 Comanche attack helicopters to carry-on the mission, eventually catching up on two EUFOR officers.

Spotted! EUFOR Officers En and Lizzy were nabbed moments before their daring escape to England. Both were immediately escorted back to base for debriefing.

Having to face a much superior pursuer and with no easy way out, the two soldiers had to concede. They would be directed to meet other EUFOR troops waiting at the rendezvous point: an inlet under a bridge that links Neuhoff to Lummerland.

EUFOR troops back in Fulda. En spots something in the woods that vaguely resembles a human, as Lizzy loads-up her beloved sniper's rifle for some action. Recalled EUFOR troops gather at Rendezvous point waiting for others before proceeding to Heaney AFB.

Lizzy Mornington proudly brandishes her XM-109 as En Aeon scans the area for hostiles unaware of a ceasefire that had recently been signed between EUFOR and the NEB. After being told about the horrors that went on in Eichenzell, the couple would be forced to part ways. Lizzy, an Australian and other non-European troops would be sent back to their home country as drastic measures to control the outbreak nears its final stage. En being is English (obviously European) and was found out to be the only one to have immunity to the Krippen Virus would be directed to stay.

1st January, 2009: 1500 hrs
Let The Fireworks Begin...

"Echo Charlie to Bravo Charlie, you've got 60 minutes to get your ass over here and out of Fulda!" EUFOR Central Command (ECC) radios in a new directive to pull out all troops from Fulda as Oplan: TOS commences in less than an hour.

"We copy that Echo Charlie, complete EVAC will be initiated."
Base Command further instructs troops to ready all mobile and crucial military hardware as the entire EUFOR contingent withdraws from Fulda, the first time since their war against the New Eastern Bloc (NEB).

Bowing out in despair. A base commander takes a last look at Fulda before evacuating his troops to a waiting NATO-U.S. Navy vessel, the U.S.S. George H.W. Bush.

The deafening sounds of various choppers taking-off simultaneously thunders in the air. As troops pull-out from a town they helped secure against the NEB. For the first time, EUFOR felt the consequence of their failure to save the people of Fulda.

The EUFOR base commander feeling the brunt of defeat for having failed to put the situation under control, has been summoned by the EUFOR Central Command (ECC). He was to face an enquiry by the military tribunal about the unauthorised administration of a vaccine. Knowing he would be held accountable for the outbreak, he would have preferred to stay behind with En and die a hero, than face a court martial.

A last salute to a mentor. En gives his respect to a former mentor and a friend Brig. Gen. Marc Harris, who was an RAF Wing Commander when En was still a trainee at the RAF Coningsby Air Force Base in Lincolnshire, UK.

"At ease soldier... I brought you back feeling confident that you would be able to survive and accomplish your mission. Your reputation precedes you." The base commander commends En before boarding the last EUFOR chopper to leave Fulda. He continues: "We have left some provisions for you at the bomb shelter where you will stay until you are certain that the bombings have stopped," referring to NATO's Operation: The Only Solution (TOS).

"Thank you sir, may God save us all!", En salutes his superior officer as the commander boards a Black Hawk helicopter. "I will try not to fail you sir!", shouts En as his voice seemed to be overwhelmed by the chopper's rotor slicing through the air.

"Better not fail us for our sake. See you back in England son" the commander who knew En as a young neophyte, salutes back at his compatriot before disappearing into the horizon.

En readies his gear as the last eagle leaves Fulda airspace, just minutes before Operation: The Only Solution takes place. En must quickly establish a strategic "designator" position to beacon laser-guided bombs to their specific targets.


9th of January, 2009: 1800 hrs
194 hrs post Operation: TOS...

"My name is En Aeon of the European Union Forces (EUFOR). It has been an hour since my last attempt to contact Central Command. It has also been eight days since NATO forces "sanitised" Eichenzell, having been taken over by a Krippen virus outbreak."

"I haven't heard from EUFOR Central Command (ECC) nor from the European Defense Agency (EDA) since troops pulled-out from Fulda. I can't help but wonder if they have already taken me for dead."

A week ago prior to Oplan: TOS. EUFOR Troop En Aeon activates his Sig-599 "designator" to precisely guide the the F/A Superhornet's AGM-65 Maveric missiles to specific targets in Eichenzell.

"I've been having these morbid thoughts of just being a wandering soul. Nothing is clear to me anymore on what is real or not... not even sure if I am awake or if I am still living in this nightmare?",

"I patrol the only passable road that leads to Eichenzell, a German town in the city of Fulda that has fallen victim from the KV Virus. This is my post, it is my duty not to abandon it."

"To my knowledge, at least 15,000 have already died from the virus since the outbreak, there could be more."

It was an assumption that this genetically manipulated virus would be the cure for all cancers. Somehow it has taught humankind a very valuable lesson: Not to manipulate or interfere with the natural flow of nature.

Run like there is no more tomorrow! The terrifying scene from the NATO bombings as En narrowly escapes death as he runs for cover. He safely crosses the Lummerland-Neuhoff bridge after successfully designating targets for American jet fighters to unload their packages.

"It's been over 194 hours now since EUFOR had pulled out of Fulda, a lot has happened since then. Being the only one in EUFOR's Fulda deployment to be immune to the virus, I was given carte blanche to stay behind. I am to make sure that no one returns to Eichenzell without the all clear from the WHO. No one knows when that will happen nor how many of its citizens have survived NATO's Oplan: TOS."

"It's close to dusk and the sun is about to be taken over by the night sky. I've been hearing strange things in the dark, and more and more of these things come out night after night."

"I am N71 Aeon, I am EUFOR... and I am all alone."

10th of January, 2009: 1900 hrs
219 hrs post Operation: TOS...

A bored and lonely En decides to patrol the perimeter at night, something he has never done before since EUFOR's EVAC from Fulda. "I can't stand this bunker any longer!" En whispers to himself as he head out to watch over the only road that leads back to Eichenzell.

Just shortly after arriving, he sees people coming towards his post. "Stoppen Sie nach rechts dort, Sie gewährt nicht, hier zu sein! Von drehen Sie herum und gehen Sie zurück zu, wo Sie kamen! Kommen Sie irgendwie näher und ich schieße!" (Stop right there, you are not allowed to be here! Turn around and go back to where you came from! Come any closer and I'll shoot!), as he attempts to communicate with the wanderers in German.

"I said STOP or God forbid me, I will shoot! I will shoot!", a tense situation was building up as the late night travelers, who seemed to be joined by others more run towards him.

"This is my last warning!", ignoring En the people come dashing as it dawns upon the soldier that they are not ordinary people just wanting passage to Eichenzell. They were the "things" he and Lizzy saw in the woods more than a week ago.

Without hessitation, the EUFOR soldier fires his rifle as the sound of automatic gunshots reverberate the night sky. Rounds upon rounds were fired from his SIG-556 assault rifle, but the growling and snarling just seems to get louder and nearer...

"God damn it!", were En Aeon's last words as the sound of a loud scream echoes in the dark...

Halt who goes there! En gets visual of approaching individuals. But something tells him that things just aren't as they seem to be.