Best of Friends (a short story) – ch. 1, version 1.0

This is not yet final, just something I thought up quickly earlier. LOL
Inspired by the song “I’m Not Gonna Teach Your Boyfriend How to Dance with You” by Black Kids

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“So, um, is it alright with you?”, Stella asked.  “Are you ok with it?”

“Yeah, sure. I’m ok with it, Stella,” Krystel said. “You’re my best friend. I’ll do everything I can to help.”

“Well, I really hope that you’d understand….it’ll mean much to me in the school dance, you know, when the first time we dance together, it’ll be a great experience,” Stella said. “He barely knows any dance, so maybe if you could help him with that part, when we do dance would be great, it’ll be memorable for me.”

“Of course, anything for my best friend, don’t worry any bit,” Krystel replied. “The problem will be the actual ‘teaching’ now then.”

“Hmmmm…you’re right. I wonder how we’ll get to match your schedules…anyway, I gotta go, Francis is waiting for me!”

“Oh, right. Take care Stella, and say hi to Francis for me, ok?”

“Of course Krystel, you’re friends now too, right?”

“I….uh,” Krystel paused. “I guess you can say that…”

“Good, I’m expecting an improved dancing Francis soon!”, and Stella laughed.

“Yeah, bye Stella.”

Stella approaches Krystel, and hugs her. “Bye Krystel.”

“What have I gotten into…” Krystel thought, as her best friend walks away, about to meet her boyfriend Francis.

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“It’s all cool, bro?”

“Yep, all cool.”

“You sure? It’s not like Krystel’s some girl you’ll be meeting for the first time,” Kieran said. “She’s your girlfriend’s best friend man! Relax! And besides, I think she’ll be the one that needs to worry, not you.”

“Yeah, yeah, yeah, I get it bro,” Francis answered. “But man, these dancing lessons, I know how important it is for Stella, and I definitely don’t want to make an ass of myself to everybody during the dance.”

“Exactly. So quit the talk and let’s get started.” a girl’s voice said…Krystel’s.

Francis sighed.

“You’re not really keen on wasting any time, not even a minute late…”

“Hey, don’t complain, and I ain’t complaining either,” Krystel replied.

Kieran laughed. “Your ‘dance instructor’ knows the drill man, so it’s better that you follow her advice,” Kieran said. “So, you two want an audience or something? I’m not exactly busy today, might as well watch you two dance,” Kieran glances at his friend Francis. “Well, scratch that, only one of you would probably be dancing. The other would just ‘try’ to dance.”

“Thanks for the encouragement there Kieran,” Francis answered, the sarcasm easily detected. “It really gives me a lot of hope that someone will be laughing when I try to learn how to dance properly.”

“Well, that’s what friends are for, bro,” Kieran said.

“And you’re a good friend,” Francis replied, sincerely this time.

“You two done with your ‘bro’ business?”, Krystel asked.

“Hahaha, yeah, all done here,” Kieran said. “I’ll go find a place to sit, somewhere comfortable when I’m laughing at him.”

“Great, I thought you took the hint to stop rubbing it in already.”

“Don’t worry Francis, I took the hint, then threw it away,” Kieran said, and went to a spot nearby, still barely able to control his laughter.

“Oh hey, would you mind if I ask Linda to come over?”, he shouts to the two.

“Go ahead bro, at least she’ll keep you company there…you won’t get all sad and lonely now,” Francis answered.

“Oooohhh, looks like he can hit back eh?”, Kieran said.

“I wouldn’t mind…go ahead and ask Linda then,” Krystel added.

“Good, I’ll text her to come here,” Kieran said.

And the first of the dance tutorials began.

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The dance lessons were tiring, and full of pressure. To both, albeit for different reasons. For Francis, it’s a bit easier to understand. To avoid embarrassing himself, make his girl happy, and have a memorable time during the dance. For Krystel, it’s…quite different. She’s still conflicted, but she’s going along with all of this, for Stella’s sake. And probably because she no longer sees her best friend as simply just her ‘best friend’. Maybe, just maybe, she thought, she actually has feelings for her best friend.

Character sheet – Anderrin

Name: Anderrin D’Ealondiere Silvanus (an-der-rin di-ya-lon-di-yey sil-va-nus)
2nd name: Anderrin Dannoul (as a human)
Gender: Male
Age: (appears as a 32 year old human when in disguise), ~220 years old
Race: Fae
Faction: Priarchy
Profession: Field Commander of the Priarchy Army

Physical Appearance
Hair length, style and color: refer to – http://img329.imageshack.us/img329/5998/sc2raphaelzc1.jpg
Eye color: almond
Good, muscular build. Quite tall for a Fae (around 5’10”)

Description:
One of the few of the Fae that lived in Harmonia. He was also the only Fae that served the Harmonian Royal Family, and the Royal Counsel at that. One of the most adept and experienced wielders of magic, Anderrin has been known to put more preference to the Fire and Water elements.

He is usually scholarly looking, calm and stoic. He says his thoughts when it is appropriate to do so, and comfortably expresses them with an air of quiet exuberance. He wears spectacles (just for appearances), and as Royal Counsel before, he clothes himself accordingly, but without a touch of extravagance. He tends to be simple in preferences and tastes, and keeps his room neat and tidy.

As it stands, no one from the previous members of the Harmonia Royal Court, the Royal Family, and the Royal Panzer knows of his recent past as a soldier during the Winter Wars, and only knew of his fighting prowess during the Siege of Felimgrad.
 
During his time as a soldier, he preferred to wear leather armor instead of the conventional steel armor (chain mail, plated, scale mail etc.), saying that “They might give more protection, but they are heavier. I’d rather dodge the enemies’ attacks instead of hoping that the metal can protect me from the blow.”

Previously he has disguised his true race; however with the events that has passed after the fall of Felimgrad disguising his Fae heritage is now pointless. And now that eleven years has passed since the fall of that city, he has now lived for more than two-hundred and twenty years already, arguably the “peak” of a Fae in terms of age.

Background:
Anderrin is one of the few Fae still living that was born during the pre-Winter Age. He was however too young to remember the events of the War of the Mages, although under extreme circumstances he can actually “recall” bits of that past.

His parents have already died before the start of the 2nd Winter War. He then left their home, wandering aimlessly for years until he reaches and settles in Harmonia, and joined the Harmonia Army as a mere footsoldier, under a human disguise. He disguised himself as a son, and only surviving member of house Dannoul. It was right before the 26th Winter War.

By this time he was unfortunately been assigned as field assistant to officers in the army. Thus 5 more Winter Wars passed before he actually get into combat.

During the 31st Winter War, Anderrin proved his mettle in battle, when his platoon during a patrol was subsequently ambushed by the enemy. Outnumbered 4-to-1, he was forced to wield magic, and their group was able to hold their own until reinforcements arrived.

The following Winter Wars (32nd to 34th) however he was once more largely assigned to supportive tasks in camp, and once again was not involved in any actual fighting.

As the 35th Winter War raged, he once again get to prove his strengths in combat, and steadily climbed up in the ranks, being a field officer and then a captain by the 36th Winter War. In the 37th, he was promoted to battalion commander.

By the time of the 38th Winter War, Anderrin have been able to climb from his position as battalion commander to being a field commander of the Harmonia Army. By this time he has been disenchanted with fighting, and asked if he may be assigned somewhere else that does not involve fighting. He was then assigned to Covert Operations. Anderrin, after the 40th Winter War, was out in his first, and subsequently, last assignment for Covert Operations. He was able to discover, and report the planned formation of the Alliance. Thanks to his efforts, Harmonia was not wholly surprised by the formation of the Alliance, but Anderrin was unable to determine the extent of this formation, which turned out to be composed of ALL the other kingdoms, and aided by his kindred, the Fae.

In the year 210 WA, Anderrin was made Royal Counsel by the king of Harmonia, as the previous Royal Counsel has peacefully died of old age. None disagreed with the King, as Anderrin has shown loyalty to the Royal House and the Kingdom, and have done much service for both. Afterwards his counsel has been instrumental in the Kingdom’s policies.

Along with the Conclave, the field commanders of the army, the king and the Royal Guard Lord Commander, he planned the defense of Harmonia against the Alliance, which they have already been aware of beforehand, thanks to Anderrin’s clandestine contacts. Their plans however failed to stop the onslaught of the Alliance forces, and war and destruction dawned in the capital of Harmonia, Felimgrad.

As the Siege of Felimgrad ravaged on, and the Royal Guard and most of the Royal Court dead or missing, he was forced to fight again, for the Royal Family, and for Harmonia. Despite all his efforts, he was unable to protect the king, and he was fortunate enough to get out of the city just before it was leveled in one single blast, which he has no idea where it came from or how it happened.

Vowing not to let the same events of the Last Siege happen again, Anderrin has put much effort in honing his skills, and mastering a unique ability of his, aptly named the “Royal Guard”. He set out in a journey to seek his kin, and has joined up with the Fae Priarchies. He is now currently a field commander (“Hero”) of the Fae Priarchies.

Napoleon: Total War – land battle

Map: Aosta Valley

France (me) v. Austria (AI – Normal)

Forces are roughly equal in number: 2,252 men for France and 2,112 for Austria.

I mostly kept the starting default deployment. I then moved my cavalry units towards the flanks.

My first movement was advancing my right flank (a unit of lancers and a unit of infantry) to the west of the village.

Napoleon_2013_09_25_17_25_18_079

right flank’s initial advance

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Afterwards I advanced the bulk of my forces (fusiliers and National Guard) towards the village for a quick capture.

Napoleon_2013_09_25_17_25_26_756

The main force

Napoleon_2013_09_25_17_25_36_827

advancing towards the village

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Most of my cavalry were in the left flank, and also have a substantially bigger infantry component compared to the right flank. They moved forward to the east of the village, in support of the main force’s advance.

Napoleon_2013_09_25_17_25_41_538

left flank advance

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Majority of the French force barely reach it in time, and first contact with the enemy is made in the southern outskirts of the village. The nature of their arrival meant a continuous defensive line is not really deployed along the village’s edge.

Initial contact in village

no true single defensive line was made
no true single defensive line was made

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Between the two flanks, it is only the left flank that really encountered the Austrians. The ensuing firefight around and inside the village went favorably to our forces. Having arrived just ahead of the Austrians meant that regardless of the lack of a true defensive line (in one of the screenshots you will see that some Austrian units had actually outflanked the French forces on the southern edge of the village; the French general’s own unit was forced to make a last-ditch charge upon them) the Austrians were already at a disadvantage. Eventually, I was able to stabilize the situation in the village and thus gave me enough time to finally commit our right flank to maneuver behind the Austrians.

left flank encounter

Austrian outflanking from the east of the village
Austrian outflanking from the east of the village
fighting in the middle

fighting in the middle

stabilized the situation in the village

stabilized the situation in the village

right flank getting behind the Austrians

right flank getting behind the Austrians

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The left flank  then proceeds with their attack to the Austrian right. A last-ditch bayonet charge by the Austrians south of the village ended into a rout for them. A ‘cleanup’ of their remaining forces followed, and the battle was won.

left flank attacks

left flank attacks

the center repulses the desperate Austrians

the center repulses the desperate Austrians

clean up of remaining enemy units

clean up of remaining enemy units

battle results

Hearts of Iron 3 mini sit-rep

A large ‘bulge’ was formed during early 1944 while USSR forces around the Pripet (Pinsk) Marshes have retreated to the north, south, and east. Axis forces promptly ‘filled it in’. Thus a bulge is formed around Dubno (to its south-west), Kiev (to its south-east), Homel/Homyel (to its north-east), Minsk (to its north), and Nowgrodek (to its northwest). By August 1944 the forces responsible to ‘close the gap’ have concentrated around Dubno and Kobryn (south-west of Nowgrodek).

Rough estimation of the forces trapped once the gap was closed in December 1944 is at around 110 divisions. 223 divisions in total were committed to wrapping around the bulge, closing the gap, and eventually to dispose of enemy forces trapped within, with operations starting in January 1945. Numerous attempts for relief have been repulsed. An operation to reclaim Bessarabia will commence at the same time as the ‘clean-up’ of the encircled enemy forces.

Star Driver: Next (02)

“Good morning, class. I’m your new deputy homeroom teacher. And your homeroom teacher allowed me to do homeroom for the class today.” He smiles, looking across the room.

“I will also be your new English teacher, the principal gladly accepted my application for the position. So, here I am.”

Murmurs among the students begin, prompting him to respond to some of the queries.

“A new teacher this late in the school year? Well, the timing may be weird, but it’s not really unheard of now, is it?” “Ah, how old am I? Old enough to be your teacher!” This elicits laughter from the class. “Where I’m from? Well, yes, I am a foreigner. You can surmise that much from my appearance alone. But I am quite…skilled in various languages.”

He raises his hands, signaling for some order. “Now, now, class. Let’s begin homeroom. Let’s make it a bit quick however, since this would just be the first time…let’s check attendance first.”

With that finished, he called once again for silence. “Class. This would be an important announcement, especially for those who knows what I’m talking about,” he said. “If you know what the words “Cybodies”, “Star Driver”, “Glittering Cross”, “Zero Time” and “Tauburn” mean, please see me after class today. Meet me at the school grounds. Other…people with knowledge of those words would also be informed of this, so no need to be, uh, troubled. I guess.”

“Don’t worry, for those who don’t know what those words mean. Think of them as ‘code words’ in a very secret game being…played right now. If you don’t know what they mean, don’t wait for me at the school grounds. Is that clear?” Answers of “Yes, sensei.” are heard from the students. Yet some of them, and understandably so, have a worried look on them, wondering what their new teacher has in store for them in the afternoon.

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It’s now afternoon, and those who knows what those words really mean are gathered in the school grounds after classes have ended. Those who do not really know what they mean were promptly asked to leave by the new teachers.

“Well, well, well…looks like everybody’s here,” the new English teacher said.

“Now, let me introduce myself properly. As some of the students here already know, I am their class’ new deputy homeroom teacher, as well as the new English teacher,” he said. “My name is Michel Baptiste. I am the…” he pauses, briefly.

“I am the current director of the Special Operations Division of our group, as well as the commander of its First and Second Armed Response Detachments. As of now, I am the only member of the Second ARD, since it would mostly be comprised of new members, while some of the members of the First would be reorganized into it. Your new classmates, the ‘transfer students’, as well as the other new faculty member, are all currently members of the First ARD.”

“What are you talking about, sensei?” It was Keito Nichi who asked the question.

“I will properly answer your question once we are all gathered in our base of operations, ‘Ivrogne’.”

Someone gasped, while Keito herself seems to have barely kept her composure. A complete stranger knowing that name of hers shocked her.

“Is there a problem, Okamoto-sensei? Or should I call you ‘Professor Green’ now?”, he asked, laughing shortly afterwards.

“As I have said, any further questions would be answered once we all get to our ship. Or submarine. Well actually it’s both, and it can fly too, so I don’t really know what to call it anymore.” He laughs again. “Now, come, come, everyone! We should all be going there right now. Our transportation to the coast is already prepared, so hurry up and let’s all ride the bus now!”

A Brief Discussion on a Victory

Yes, it was “just” a paintball match (capture the flag). So? LOL

IMPT: RIGHT CLICK ON EACH IMAGE, SELECT “VIEW IMAGE” (OR SIMILAR). THEME ISN’T WIDE ENOUGH LOL

This is a rough map of the “battlefield”:
battlefield map

And this is the general plan of both sides (my team is red):
general plan

So my general plan was this:

  • Divide forces into three
  • 2/3s would advance through the flanks, to hold higher ground
  • remaining 1/3 to hold center
  • Flanking forces to provide support to center forces when able
  • Flanking force with initiative to capture flag would do so

Their general plan was this:

  • Pool bulk of forces through a center advance
  • Remaining forces to provide cover along the flanks (and defend the flag)

This was the first phase of the battle:
first phase

The center thrust was repulsed. Threat in the middle was eliminated. Distance of advance on the east side afforded a “chance” for a breakthrough, so the enemy tried to make for it on that side.

second phase

Breakthrough was NOT achieved on the east side in the central sector. Enemy defenses completely overrun by forces advancing along both flanks. The flag is captured, objective has been achieved, victory obtained.

Final positions:
final positions

If it isn’t “capture the flag”, it still doesn’t bode well for the blue team.

Hearts of Iron 3 short progress report

The summer of 1945 began with a general offensive all along the whole front from the Soviet Union. There are 5 primary “foci” for the offensive for which the armored divisions are concentrated: 1. just west of Warsaw, 2. just east of Krakow, 3. just east of Budapest, 4. just east of Novi Sad, and 5. just north of Larissa.

The armor concentration near Warsaw is by far the biggest for the Red Army, comprising 168 divisions of tanks and mostly mechanized or motorized infantry. Barely half of that, 82 divisions, was brought near Budapest. 46 divisions were placed outside Krakow, 34 divisions in southern Yugoslavia and 22 divisions are in position for the conquest of Greece.

The narrowing of the front compared to 1944 aided the Axis forces in increasing further their forces along the line. The bogged-down operations by the Western Allies in the Italian peninsula (only controlling Sicily thus far) meant Italy was able to commit more forces to the Eastern Front.

The Red Army was able to remove Axis forces in Greece immediately, thus the 22 armored divisions were able to help in the Yugoslav sector. Hungary surrendered as well after the fall of Budapest, in addition to the capture of half of Slovakia, and consequently forces assigned to the Hungarian sector are now positioned along south Germany and west Czechoslovakia.

Although Krakow was liberated, progress was relatively slow in the south Poland sector. The north Poland sector forces however was able to spread out and thus an encirclement of Axis forces in western Poland was achieved. Armored divisions part of the northern thrust was able to solidify a front just 50 miles east of Berlin, before winter set in and 1946 came.