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Episode 3: Win

The Republic of Altis and Stratis sits at the center of an escalating global conflict. As the world stands on the brink of all-out war, NATO forces join the fray.

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Kerry is debriefed by Colonel Armstrong.

« Soldier 1: Yeah, that's him. The 'guerrilla' guy.
Soldier 2: He's been hiding on Altis this whole time?
Members of the 111th ID suspect Kerry's involvement in TF Aegis' loss
»

Having returned to Stratis later that night for some sleep, Kerry wakes up twelve hours later at the main airport. Now under NATO control again, Kerry makes his way towards the command centre to report in for a briefing.

All the while however, rumours spread amongst the members of the 111th Infantry Division, with wild speculation about the fate of Task Force Aegis, and Kerry's possible involvement in the incident.

Upon arrival, Colonel David Armstrong, the commander of the 111th ID, informs the gathered squad leaders about the situation on the mainland. Their initial attack on the airport had failed due to having encountered heavier-than-expected resistance from the entrenched AAF and CSAT defenders, with the rest of the force holding steady at the town of Neochori, west of the airport.

A second offensive was being planned, but they needed more time to assemble troops for the assault. With every available man required to report in for duty, Kerry was also called in to assist for this reason.

« And - while we're on the subject, Corporal - were it up to me, you'd be stuck here spit-shining latrines until a court-martial deemed you fit for duty. Lucky for you, command doesn't feel likewise. But make no mistake, you fuck up just once - you endanger any of my men - and you're gone.
Members of the 111th ID suspect Kerry's involvement in TF Aegis' loss
»

Armstrong however, still held doubts about Kerry's reliability and did not allow him to be deployed at the front; particularly in light of his mentioning of a "Captain Scott Miller" that didn't exist. Attached to Charlie 2-4, a rear guard squad, he was assigned with the responsibility of "guarding" a dilapidated slum at Katalaki on the outskirts of Neochori instead.

While on duty later that evening, Kerry suddenly spots the silhouettes of several boats approaching the shore. He reports in the sighting, but Charlie 2-4's CO orders him to disengage and to fall back to the squad's transport instead. As Kerry makes his way towards them, radio chatter erupts about signs of heavy CSAT activity all across the airport.

« All units, intel indicates enemy mobilization at the airport and capital. Presumed counter-offensive inbound. Report to your CO, assume defensive positions and prepare for contact.
Armstrong orders all NATO forces to prepare for an imminent attack.
»

But when he reaches the MRAP, he returns to find his entire squad lying dead and the vehicle destroyed. Suddenly, loud explosions can be heard from the distance, with the Neochori defence force's anti-aircraft batteries at Points Kilo, Omicron, and Starfire all in flames.

Reports from other squads in the area also come in with the same information, and contact with the entire front line force is completely lost. And with their defensive emplacements neutralised, CSAT gunships are free to fly in to wreak havoc on NATO troops, with even the NATO-occupied AAC airfield soon coming under fire.

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NATO troops race to plug the gap in the defensive lines at Neochori.

Unsure of what to do now that his entire squad was eliminated, Armstrong tells Kerry to link up with two other mechanised reinforcements heading his way; Delta 3-1 and Delta 3-2, with orders to retake the front before too many CSAT forces can funnel through the breach.

At that same moment, a gunship begins to circle around and prepares to strafe the two vehicles. To the surprise of the NATO units however, the gunship comes under fire from surface-to-air missiles and is forced to break off from its attack run. An urgent radio transmission is received by Armstrong, with the caller demanding to speak to Kerry only.

« Nikos: American, it's Nikos.
Kerry: Nikos? Shit, man, it's good to hear from you!
Nikos: Listen, there's little time. Our brothers are engaging those gunships. They're close to you. On my order, they'll assist you as needed.
Nikos informs Kerry of the FIA's intent to assist NATO forces in retaking Neochori
»

Kerry receives the transmission and discovers that it was from Nikos Panagopoulos, the former second-in-command (and now leader) of the FIA guerillas. He informs Kerry of a group that were nearby and ready to lend their aid as needed. Having also overheard the transmission, Armstrong agrees with the guerilla leader's plan, and in spite of his continued misgivings over the Corporal's unreliability; orders Delta 3-1 to ferry Kerry to the town to link up with the guerillas.

Now racing towards Neochori, the two IFVs soon reach a treeline on the outskirts of the town, blasting their way through numerous CSAT motorised infantry squads that were swarming into the gap. On arrival, Kerry takes command of the guerillas and is assigned the callsign of Nomad.

With the combined might of Kerry's guerillas, Delta 3-1 and 3-2's dismounts and the IFVs, NATO forces are able to retake the defensive lines at Neochori and for the time being, manage to hold it against further CSAT incursions.

Before they can even catch their breath however, Armstrong informs the defenders that a platoon of CSAT heavy armour was rapidly closing onto their positions. Making use of whatever anti-tank weapons and static launchers that were left at the outpost, and with the help of Delta 3-1/3-2, the ragtag force is able to repel the CSAT offensive.

« The situation's finally under control over here! All units, hold your positions. We're not out of this yet!
The attack on Neochori is finally repelled
»
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NATO artillery begins bombarding the main airport.

Despite incurring heavy losses from the CSAT breakthrough, they are able to regroup and hold the line. At dusk the next day, the bulk of the NATO attack force finally arrives and set up their artillery in preparation for the main assault.

Kerry meanwhile, was now officially placed in charge of Nomad and was sent to link up with his guerilla squadmates to assist in the attack. Though NATO artillery had shelled the nearby CSAT AA battery at Point Texas, a platoon of mechanised AAF troops were still holding the factory complex beneath it near the town of Lakka. It needed to be taken so that the force could advance through to the airport.

« 111th ID Soldier: Don't worry - we've got their heavy hardware marked for the artillery - should be a cakewalk.
Kerry: Sure. A cakewalk... Okay, man, that's my ride. Keep your head down.
The attack on the airport begins
»

Joining up with his men, Kerry is shuttled towards to the outskirts of the complex where another unit, callsign Echo One, were standing by and ready to assist. Nomad cuts its way through the disorganised AAF defenders and eventually secure the complex with Echo's fire support. Having swiftly cleared the site, Nomad move to the next phase of the plan which was to regroup at a nearby LZ in order to join the main assault.

Before they can be picked up by their dedicated transport however, the helicopter comes under AA fire from Point Texas. Armstrong orders Kerry to move in and clear Texas manually. Advancing uphill under intense fire, they manage to fight their way through to the top and destroy the AA battery.

Nonetheless, the main attack was already underway and with their transport destroyed, Kerry and Nomad could do little but wait to be picked up and "watch the show".

« Kerry: ...The fuck was that!?
Charlie 2-2 Commander: Crossroads, was that us? Over.
Armstrong: Uh, that's a negative, Charlie-2-2. No further information at this time. Continue the operation. Crossroads out.
Kerry: Felt like a goddamn earthquake.
The tremor hits just as NATO's offensive on the airport commences
»

Without warning however, an earthquake-like tremor briefly shocks the entire island. But with no explanation regarding its cause, NATO forces disregard it and proceed with the operation. Shortly afterwards, the airport is finally cleared of CSAT/AAF troops by noon.

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The offensive continues eastward.

« The bombardment's already underway. We're dropping a metric fuck-ton of shit on them.
The attack on Pyrgos begins
»

Now that the airport had fallen under their complete control, heavy reinforcements could be safely brought into the fight.

As evening began to fall, NATO forces advanced east and then south to the capital city of Pyrgos. Thanks to the distraction provided by other NATO forces elsewhere, the way towards the capital was now clear at last. As for Kerry, even though still a part of Nomad, he was once again reassigned under the watchful eye of another, more trustworthy squad leader. Nomad formed a part of a mechanised convoy that was driving its way through to the capital.

Along the way, they are ambushed by AAF troopers holed up in a nearby warehouse at Point X-Ray. Forced to dismount, Nomad clear out the nearby warehouse on foot and eliminate the last of the enemy troopers. A distress call then comes in from another unit, Charlie 2-3, who had also been ambushed on their way to Pyrgos and were now pinned down. At that same moment, NATO artillery also begins the second phase of shelling against the capital in preparation for the main assault.

« Nikos: Shit, Kerry, come in! This is Nikos.
Kerry: It's Kerry here, go ahead.
Nikos: NATO is shelling Pyrgos. You need to stop it, now!
Kerry: Are you sure!? We're engaging Greenback positions near the city, how copy?
Nikos: Listen to me: yes, we are certain. NATO is hitting Pyrgos. You must do something!
Nikos pleads for Kerry to halt NATO's bombardment on the capital
»

Nikos suddenly radios Kerry again directly, and desperately tries to get him to cease the bombardment as civilian dwellings were being hit in the crossfire. Kerry informs Nomad's squad leader who then relays the message to Armstrong, putting an indefinite halt to the shelling for the time being.

Time was running short for the pinned down troops near the capital however. With the bombardment stopped and no other reinforcements in range available to relieve Charlie 2-3, it fell to Nomad to assist the beleaguered unit. Mounting up immediately, Kerry's unit leads the charge into Pyrgos.

Upon reaching the site, the unit dismounts and proceeds on foot through the nearby cemetery to link up with Charlie 2-3's commanding officer. He informs them of an AAF tank that had embedded itself into a dense cluster of civilian dwellings, and that the AAF were using it to support their blockade as a virtually untouchable heavy gun to put a stop to their advances.

Nomad's squad leader suggests that Kerry split up with three other team members to flank around the blockade instead. Sneaking past the entrenched defenders, Kerry soon reaches and visually identifies the immobilised tank. The squad leader suggests calling in artillery, but Kerry opts to destroy it with satchel charges rather than risk any further collateral damage.

With the tank finally removed, the rest of the force is able to breach the AAF blockade, destroying the last of the defenders and paving the way for the rest of the city to fall under NATO control later that night. Again, another earthquake tremor strikes during the attack, but NATO command is unable to provide a plausible explanation for the continued shocks.

« Son of a bitch. Just what the hell are you doing here, Miller?
Kerry
»

By this time, Kerry's situation had also finally been cleared up following the conclusion of the so-called "Stratis Incident" investigation being conducted by NATO MEDCOM. Absolved of any blame, Armstrong still cautions him against communicating with Captain Miller however, and forbids him with getting involved with the "Brits and their black ops bullshit".

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Nomad begins its attack on Kalochori.

The loss of Pyrgos to NATO forces sowed havoc amongst the AAF and caused their remaining troops to be split in half, cut off from each other and overstretched. Meanwhile, it was also noted that CSAT troops were attempting to avoid all contact with NATO forces, disengaging or simply retreating rather than return fire whenever they were encountered.

NATO's pincers were simultaneously closing in onto the AAF's remaining troops personally led by Colonel Akhanteros but one major obstacle still stood in the way; the heavily fortified town of Kalochori in the east. Kerry, once again in command of Nomad, was assigned with the responsibility of seizing both the solar farm and the town itself.

Air support clears the remaining AA threats near the solar farm and paves the way for Nomad's helicopter to land, though they still come under fire from the AAF defenders. Cutting their way through the farm, Kerry calls in artillery strikes on the fortified city centre as well. Nomad and other allied squads then begin to move on Kalochori under the covering fire of a supporting IFV callsigned Delta 3-4. Just then, another tremor hits the island, with Kerry noting that they were getting stronger each time.

« Armstrong: Crossroads to Nomad, status report. Over.
Kerry: I'm fine. Any more surprises?
Armstrong: We don't know - MEDCOM's got no idea what's causing it - according to seismic monitoring, this is abnormal activity.
Kerry: This was the strongest one yet. If it carries on like this, we'll have no island to fight for.
The tremors strike Altis again
»

Armstrong reports that the shocks were highly unusual but still had no plausible explanation for their cause, advising all forces to continue the mission. Soon after, the last of the AAF defenders are taken out and town falls under NATO's control.

Reports begin to come in of an AAF platoon of mechanised infantry heading their way however, seeking to retake Kalochori in a desperate counteroffensive. Though low on supplies at this point, Nomad and the other squads regroup and take up positions to the east of the town. Hitching a ride via Delta 3-4's IFV, Kerry's squad quickly arrives on the scene and occupy the once AAF-operated defensive emplacements.

Taking control of a UCAV sent to assist them and with the help of an allied attack helicopter, NATO forces are able to halt the attack and for good measure, also destroy much of their remaining heavy armour assets. Most importantly, now that Kalochori had finally been secured the last push against the AAF's sole hold over the island in north-east could be achieved.

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NATO forces assemble north of Paros in preparation to inflict a finishing blow against the AAF.

Hours later, Nomad continues moving north-east and sets up a temporary resupply point on the outskirts of Paros' city centre. Yet another seismic tremor hits the island, almost becoming a regular occurrence at this point; much to the annoyance of NATO forces.

When the rest of the reinforcements arrive, Nomad and the other rallied squads move out to link up with the main force near Ioannina.

Suddenly, Kerry receives a broken radio transmission and recognises the voice: Lieutenant James of CTRG begins to splutter out his coordinates, urging Kerry to make his way to his position.

« James: ... Kerry ... Do you copy? ...
Kerry: Lieutenant? What the fuck? Where are you?
James: I'm... Checkpoint ... 210 ... 189 ...
Kerry: Lieutenant James!? ... What the hell ... 210-189? ... there's nothing up there. Lieutenant? Respond! ... Goddammit!
James' transmission to Kerry
»

But with Armstrong's orders still in effect, Kerry can do little but disregard James' broken message. He heads off in the direction of Ioannina and personally meets up with Armstrong himself. Armstrong, now assured of Kerry's reliability, offers him the opportunity to lead the attack, entrusting him with the task of marking targets for artillery strikes and close air support.

Kerry is assigned a few squad members to assist him and together, they head to a small outpost overlooking the town. Softening up the AAF's remaining units, Kerry signals the go-ahead to Armstrong, who then orders the charge into the town. They easily cut their way through the disoriented and understrength survivors before Armstrong gets another radio message, notifying him of Akhanteros' intent to surrender. The remaining AAF troopers are rounded up by NATO forces and herded off for temporary internment.

« All units, stand down. I say again, stand down. The AAF have issued their formal surrender. Straight from Akhanteros himself. Hold your fire and prepare to receive POWs.
Armstrong's orders to all NATO forces following Akhanteros' announcement
»

Six Weeks Later...

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The Republic of Altis and Stratis is at peace, but many questions continue to remain unanswered...

Six weeks pass following the AAF's capitulation. NATO forces continue to maintain a heavy presence on the island, though peace has mostly been restored to the wartorn country.

Kerry, now formally promoted to the rank of Sergeant, is assigned with the responsibility of escorting a journalist from the AAN World News network for an arranged interview with former Minister for Defense Nikos Panagopolous. Hitching a ride on a military truck, Kerry soon arrives at the airport and meets with the reporter, who introduces himself as Mark Cole.

Taking one of the pre-arranged trucks that was parked for him at the airport, Kerry finds it to be low on fuel and diverts for a resupply at a nearby fuel station. After topping up, Kerry drives off in the direction of Athira in time for the interview. Along the way, Cole begins to "interrogate" Kerry for answers, demanding a first-hand account from the Sergeant to find out what exactly had happened to TF Aegis.

Under orders to stay quiet for security reasons, Kerry refuses to answer directly but reassures Cole that even NATO command was unsure of what exactly led to the AAF attack on Stratis. They soon arrive at Athira, and Cole thanks Kerry for the lift, leaving him his phone number and urging Kerry to call him if he wanted to "talk" more about the Stratis Incident.

« Sergeant Kerry, we've got a situation here, return to the base immediately.
Armstrong calls Kerry back to the airport
»

Just as he begins walking back to the truck, Armstrong radios in Kerry to urgently return to the airport for unknown reasons...

Timeline

New Dawn (9th August, 2035)

« Following a botched invasion on Altis, Kerry is taken back to NATO's re-established base on Stratis. »

Kerry is shipped back to the NATO-controlled Stratis airbase after being debriefed by Colonel Armstrong. Despite being under heavy suspicion for being involved with the loss of TF Aegis, he is still reassigned to active duty near the frontlines at Katalaki.

Resurgent West (9th August, 2035)

« Although still under suspicion, Kerry returns to the NATO front-line on patrol duty. »

NATO lines at Neochori on the mainland are broken through after a surprise CSAT attack at night. Taking commanding of a small guerilla force, Kerry and a few other NATO squads manage to drive back the attackers and regain control of the front line after an hour of fierce fighting.

Air Superiority (9th August, 2035)

« In preparation for a major assault on the main airport, Kerry coordinates FIA forces as NATO form up near Neochori. »

As morning approaches, the main NATO force arrives at Neochori and begins a three-stage attack on the airport being held by AAF/CSAT forces. Kerry's unit manages to seize a nearby factory complex from its defenders, but their transport is shot down by enemy fire. They clear the CSAT anti-aircraft battery but are too late to join up with the main attack. At that same moment, an earthquake tremor strikes the entire island for unclear reasons.

Moral Fiber (9th August, 2035)

« Having seized control of the main airport, NATO are poised to strike Pyrgos, the capital city of Altis. »

With the airport taken, the way to the capital Pyrgos was clear. Kerry's unit advances forward and clears a nearby warehouse, but are forced to divert when another squad is pinned down by heavy fire. Diverting to their position, Kerry's unit are then informed that an entrenched (but immobilised) AAF tank was being used as improvised fire support. Kerry eschews calling in artillery to avoid causing further collateral damage and personally destroys the tank, paving the way for the city's capture.

Preventive Diplomacy (10th August, 2035)

« NATO launches a final push against remaining AAF positions. »

Kerry's squad and other allied units are flown in to the town of Kalochori east of the island to seize it from the AAF in preparation for the final attack against their forces at Molos to the north-east. They first attack the solar farm on the outskirts of the town before moving in, managing to destroy the defenders and also successfully hold off a desperate counterattack by the AAF in the process.

Paradise Found (10th August, 2035)

« Backed into a corner, AAF remnants consolidate for a last-ditch counterattack. »

Hours later, NATO forces regroup for one last battle against the AAF at Molos. Kerry receives a radio transmission from CTRG operative Lieutenant James, but disregards it under direct orders to do so by Colonel Armstrong. Kerry then moves into position on a hill overlooking the AAF defenders and spots targets for artillery and airstrikes before giving the green light for the ground attack. Georgious Akhanteros calls for an unconditional ceasefire, with the last of the AAF survivors surrendering to NATO forces.

Status Quo (27th September, 2035)

« Six weeks after the flashpoint's resolution, Kerry is handed a special task. »

Left in charge with escorting AAN journalist Mark Cole, Kerry personally ferries him to the city of Athira to meet up with Nikos Panagopolous.

Trivia

  • The alternate ending for the Win episode; Game Over, cannot be considered as canon in the timeline as its events directly contradict Apex Protocol.

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