Operation: Yellow Salvation
4:44 AM LOCAL TIME:
Centurion Atrus Iocopheno had been given orders to report to the Ministry of Diplomacy for an apparent classified debriefing, which made Iocopheno nervous since this was the first time he had ever received such an order. Having only been in the Legion for a few years, he had made a name for himself as a particularly valiant and stouthearted soldier but he did not think his actions were that impressive for a face to face with one of the most influential people in all of Caphiria.
Iocopheno waited for about fifteen minutes in the lobby before the doors to the office opened and he almost couldn’t believe who came out. The Imperial Commander of the entire IAF, Varrus Pavolcinax, was a tall and sinewy man with a grizzled face. He had a well-groomed beard that was turning grey and he had a steely look in his eyes that could only be given from seeing the horrors that a man in his position was allowed to see.
Iocopheno immediately snapped to attention and stood up, saluting the Imperial Commander as he approached him. “At ease, Centurion. Please…Join us.” Iocopheno had a brief look of confusion in his face as he followed the Imperial Commander of the Imperial Armed Forces of Caphiria into the offices of the Minister of Diplomacy. What a morning I am having, thought Iocopheno. The office was massive and had multiple tables stacked with books and documents sprawling across them.
The Imperial Commander was in the opposite corner of the office where the Minister of Diplomacy was on the phone. “Yes, Princeps Senatus. I agree and understand completely. Yes. We’re about to debrief and prepare now. We will establish a link and then touch base once everything is in place.” The Minister hung up the phone and sighed slightly and pinched the bridge of his nose before silently waving two fingers at Iocopheno, signaling him to approach the desk.
“I imagine this is all a bit jarring for you, Centurion.” The Minister paused. “We’ll get right down to things as time is of the essence. Commander?”
Imperial Commander Pavolcinax nodded. “Based on a combination of outstanding active and non-active duty performances, it is with great honor that I hereby promote you to the rank of Dux. You are now a commanding officer in the upper leadership of the IAF, albeit in the lowest capacity. You will still maintain your position as an active-duty leader and being a Dux will allow you to exercise more direct control over your Legion.”
Iocopheno’s eyes widened with disbelief as he shook the Imperial Commander’s hand. He had just been promoted to lead and oversee an entire Legion. He was pretty sure this made him one of the youngest people in modern history to hold this rank. “Thank you, Commander, truly. But…Forgive me for asking, why me? Why now?”
The Minister chimed in. “Caphiria needs you, Dux Iocopheno. The Imperial Commander needs you. I need you. There is a highly sensitive mission that is required of someone of your caliber and you are our first choice. I won’t sugarcoat or lie to you; this is guerilla warfare plain and simple. But before I can fully debrief you, I need to know that you are committed. This is national security after all.”
Without hesitation, Iocopheno agreed to his commitment and listened attentively as the Ministry of Diplomacy and Imperial Commander debriefed him on the task at hand. The Imperial Commander looked on stoically and simply said, “This is Yellow Salvation.”
6:15 AM LOCAL TIME:
As his first major action as Dux, Iocopheno had been given the choice over which legion he would command. He chose the 114th legion, known as the ‘Deathstalkers’ for their high precision and low failure rates, after the most dangerous species of scorpions. The 6,000 strong legion was on the Caphiria-Veltorina border waiting for the green light to execute their mission. It was pretty straightforward: their objective was to secure two cities within the state of Veltorina and within that, secure any key points such as political and financial centers, airports, and military bases as needed.
Dux Iocopheno sent a third of the legion to secure the city of Amorium, called Unit Bravo, while he would lead the second third to secure the capital city Constantinople called Unit Alpha, leaving the last third to quell any conflicts that would arise and prevent them from completing their objective, Unit Charlie. It was predicted that the entire operation should take less than a full day. After waiting for approximately 15 minutes, Iocopheno received the green light. Operation: Yellow Salvation was officially started.
Unit Bravo consisted of 2,000 soldiers and they moved from the Caphiria-Veltorina border on the western part of Veltorina to the northern part where Amorium was. They landed approximately 6 kilometers from the city and began to mobilize. They were in the Lagunaria region and had identified 5 key points to secure: the Avendicci river, Vetsini Airport, the Agriklion military base, the Egathraia district, and Psylaos, the political center the region.
Unit Bravo then divided into six Centuries, with each one taking responsibility over securing one of objective points. The 6th Century remained in Amorium and their focus was securing the city and occupying it. The First Century Bravo mobilized towards the Avendicci river, a key stronghold in controlling the water supply to neighboring areas. The Second Century Bravo had a more complex task in that they had to secure the Vetsini Airport. They had the option of using air support but the main focus of the mission was self-containment. The Third Century Bravo was already near the Agriklion military base and identified the commanding officer, Sofronio Glaros as the VIP asset to take alive. The Fourth and Fifth Centuries Bravo would be working more or less together as both the Egathraia District and Psylaos center were within close enough proximity that a full assault seemed a better use of resources than two smaller ones.
Unit Bravo encountered minimal resistance in every key point they focused on except for the Agriklion military base. Naturally, a firefight ensued there. The Third Century Bravo was prepared for an assault with Veltorinan forces, though they sustained heavy casualties. By the time the Third Century had been able to secure the majority of the military base, the element of surprise had been lost and reinforcements had been called to that particular location. This proved to be a double-edged sword as it seemed that the Veltorinan forces were not yet aware of the other locations that were being secured, buying them more time but at the same time the Third Century Bravo was not prepared for an all-out assault with the military. They were losing men and slowly losing their foothold on Agriklion. Options were slowly running out. They’d have to call in reinforcements to match the Veltorinan’s or use one of their hail Mary air strike options. The latter of which would surely result in a full-scale war, which would make this mission a failure.
[TO BE CONTINUED.]
[TO BE CONTINUED.]