From the journal of C.P.L.M. Cell Commander Juan Arau aka "El Guapo"

October 22nd 2005

Up before dawn this morning. Walked around, checked on mis soldados. They're still on edge from yesterday. Today we will begin to make the meddlers pay for their attempt to kill Marcos y Hector. I do not understand what makes the imperialists believe that they know what is better for Cortanica than we do. What gives them the right to impose their ways upon us? They do not live here. We live here! ¡Somos Cortanica!

Smoke still rising from the imperialists' fighter plane we shot down two nights ago has settled in the valley below our position. Fog of war indeed.

New orders from Marcos:

A large group of enemy troops have been dropped off in the northern section of your area. They will probably try to link up with the other invaders. Intercept and eliminate them.

Quickly sent three cells to grab the western bridge and attempt to push west and north. Sent one cell down the southern trail to put more pressure on the enemy and make sure they do not do the same thing to us. Our preparations were hasty and I did not get to pass around information as I would have liked. I will have to do better. Awaiting first report.

Report came in via cell phone. We own the western bridge and are preparing to move forward. We are using cell phones to circumvent the enemy's annoying ability to break our radio frequencies. The puppet government has left the towers intact in the hopes that turncoats will call in our positions. That may indeed work against our brethren in Puerto Salinas, but here, in the jungle, it is our advantage.

Just realized our mortars are sitting out in the open next to the field hospital. Took them uphill and camouflaged them with the help of another soldier. Rearranged some fallen boards to make base camp stronger.

New report. Alpha, Bravo and Charlie are now advancing westward along the creek toward the trenches and enemy territory. This is faster than I expected. The imperialists must be weary from our previous battles. Los soldados de Cortanica are fighting with vengeance for Marcos y Hector! ¡Vaya! ¡Máteles!

New orders received from Marcos via radio. Told to retrieve any airplane parts that might be found in the North.

Alpha and Charlie began searching while simultaneously holding their part of the line. Bravo now controls a fortified position on a hilltop across from the enemy encampment. No word from Delta since I watched them walk south.

Alpha cell has found what appears to be part of an airplane wing. Unfortunately HQ says it isn't what we're looking for. We are now told to look for an ejection seat. Alpha says they will continue searching. The airplane wing must have been part of poor Jorge's Cessna. I told him not to use the product while transporting it.

New orders from Marcos:

You have three mortars that have been provided for your use against the Yankee invaders. You must choose where to place them carefully. You will not want them near your base camp as the Yankees may be able to use their firing to locate and destroy them. You will want to place them remotely, away from your base camp.
These mortars are an asset to you and as such must be protected. There are no more to be given to your cell so if you lose them they are gone. Shells for your mortars will be forthcoming. You will need to contact your superior and let them know where the mortars will be placed.

Almost all troops are in the field searching or keeping pressure on the enemy. Enlisted the aid of a soldier just released from the field hospital. We pulled the mortars from their hides, put them back together and set them up behind a small hill high enough above the base to be in a different grid. Called HQ, mission complete.

New orders from Marcos:

Our contact inside the Yankee forces has informed us that the Yankees are intending on forming an alliance with the freedom fighters in the hills. The freedom fighter leader, Rico Diaz, is going to be taken out of the country for a meeting with the Yankee commanders about forming this alliance. Our contact does not know the rendezvous point or the route that will be taken by the group. He only knows that they Yankee forces will be meeting with the leader soon and escorting him to their point of departure from somewhere in the north.
Send your forces out to locate the freedom fighter leader, Rico Diaz, and kill him and any of his staff with him. You may of course kill any of the Yankee invaders as well. If you succeed in your task try to recover Rico Diaz's body and return it to your base camp. Call your superiors with any news. Do not fail Carlos in this task!

A picture of Rico was also provided that I posted in the field hospital in case wounded soldiers came back with news. Called Alpha, described Rico and told them to watch for him in their area. Called Bravo, told them to continue holding and to watch for Rico attempting to use the road in front of their position to move south. Alpha is turning around in the north while Charlie and Bravo continue to press the enemy camp. That should complete the imperialists' encirclement if Delta is still alive and in position in the South. Still no contact with them.

Moved out to the trenches with a small mixed force of recently healed troops. Everyone else is pulling their weight. I feel like I should be out at the front. Hoping to find some sign of the traitor.

Movement spotted in the woodline to the west of the trenches. Moved into the woods with Charlie cell leader as the rest of our group was engaged at the eastern bridge. We reached the creek at the far eastern edge and took fire as we attempted to cross. It appears they have slipped through our grasp.

Alpha cell reports Rico Diaz and entourage killed. Relayed to HQ. Hopefully Carlos will be pleased. He likely wanted to introduce Rico to "la máquina", but I'm afraid he'll have to settle for two 7.62's to the chest.

Brief lull in the fighting. Took advantage of the time to eat some field rations.

All cells regrouped at base camp. Delta reported back intact. They had held a position to the south of the enemy encampment for the duration of the morning's battle as I had hoped.

New orders from Marcos:

There are several weapons caches located in your area. Each cache has rifles, ammunition, and various other weapons. You must locate these caches and return all of their contents to your base camp. The caches are located in the following areas:
Cache 1 - Grid Coordinate: G08 in a bunker
Cache 2 - Grid Coordinate: H11 in a bunker
Cache 3 - Grid Coordinate: I16 at the end of the road
Once the contents of each of the caches have been returned to your base camp you need to call your superiors and let them know they have been successfully recovered.

Gathered the cell leaders together and made a plan. Sent Delta south to grab the cache out of the guard shack. Sent Charlie to midfield to bring back the cache hidden there. Sent Bravo north to get the last cache from the road while Alpha held the western bridge open at all costs. Waiting for first report.

Delta returns with a box of shiny, new Krinkovs and a Stinger AA launcher. Charlie reports cache in possession. Bravo reports enemy encountered north of the western bridge. They are attempting to push through. Charlie brings in two crates of mortar rounds and returns to midfield to reinforce Alpha. We are quickly hiding the retrieved items when enemy movement is seen to the south of the base camp's walls. Internally very glad to have spent time reinforcing our position. Due to previous experience, I made the call to evacuate myself (cursed bounty!) and our retrieved caches to an undisclosed location while Delta and a couple men from the field hospital held their ground. A few recently healed members of Alpha cell carried the heavy boxes and found an excellent position to lay low. Spent a long time moving back and forth between positions relaying messages as communications with Delta were still down. Bravo reports nothing found at the designated grid or at the fuel dump further east. Last cache feared to be in enemy hands. Enemy has moved within range and is now trading fire with our defenders. Peeked over the wall. There aren't enough of them to root out the number in the base. They withdrew. Helped Alpha contingent haul boxes back to base. Relayed information to HQ. HQ acknowledges our possession of two caches. With another soldier's help, took boxes uphill to the small knoll where our mortars are set up and camoflaged them on the opposite side. Threw stinger tube into grass on top of hill.

New orders received from Marcos via radio. Told to get our newly acquired mortar rounds to our mortars. We just inadvertently did that. Told Marcos. Mission complete. Mortars hot.

Immediately called HQ for mortar fire on enemy encampment and a grid requested by Alpha cell. Six confirmed casualties at enemy encampment. Unknown effect at other grid. Bravo reports large crate found and enroute to western bridge. Moved to bridge to help ID crate. Consensus: it isn't the right crate.

New orders received from Marcos via radio. Told to destroy enemy radio tower in the southern section of the field. Called HQ for mortar strike but HQ feels the only way to insure total inoperability is to use C4.

Bravo cut across the field and secured the location. Moved crate back to base with another soldier's help since Bravo gave the effort to walk it out. Alpha leader accompanied us to get the C4 necessary to destroy the tower. Called HQ for crate ID. Bravo and Alpha request confirmation of correct structure for detonation. Ran to their location. Confirmed. Watched it go up. Relayed information to HQ. Mission complete.

With no specific orders, all cells return to pressing the enemy. Hoping to bottle them up like before. HQ confirms crate as unimportant. Added crate to base camp wall. Moved towards midfield just in time to miss seeing the western bridge taken out by air strike. Troops hit receive aid from medic. Area still a viable crossing as its possible to climb in and out of the creek. Alpha cell pushes forward and calls retaliatory strike at middle bridge. Relayed to HQ. Bridge blown, unknown casualties.

New orders received from Marcos via radio. Told to find missing courier carrying important message feared lost in the north.

Had troops on station within three minutes of receiving order. Not a trace found. Courier feared lost to enemy. Helped search trenches and field until dark.

With darkness came another lull in the fighting. Drove into Puerto Salinas and met part of Charlie cell at an American fast food restaurant. Briefly considered the irony.

October 23rd 2005

Slept in this morning. Had just enough time to check on everyone before regrouping at the base. Morale is high today, but our numbers are lower. Decided to continue with same radio channel setup as almost everything important is coming in via courier or cell phone. The troops still with us are now thoroughly battle-hardened. Nothing but smiles and determination all around. They look ready.

New orders from Marcos:

The Yankees have had something dropped by a parachute to them somewhere in your local area. Locate and recover it before the Yankee forces can get to it! Keep your superiors informed of the situation as it develops.

All cells fanned out looking for the item. Enemy contact on all fronts. Three remaining members of Bravo cell holding southern trail against enemy attack. Alpha, Charlie and Delta pressing forward. Comms finally fixed with Delta. Reading them loud and clear. Members of Alpha cell have found the ejection seat at last. Bravo reports holding against continued waves. All personnel with knowledge of seat's location wounded. Waiting for their release from the field hospital. Called Delta to western bridge. Moved up and met them with Alpha cell's medic. Had Alpha's medic guide them to the seat. Bravo reports two guns down, now holding with sidearms and one rifle. Ran back to base. Grabbed three submachine guns from my personal collection and several hundred rounds. Ran forward to Bravo's position and resupplied them. Took their personal arms back to base for repair. Delta returned with the seat while I was gone. Informed HQ, mission finally complete. So much time has now passed that we have to assume the enemy is in possession of the para-drop. Informant warns me to protect our underground drug lab. A mixed contingent takes up defensive positions. Tried to convince troops in tower of its ineffectiveness. Marcos meets me on field with his Kalashnikov and more orders.

New orders from Marcos:

Our informant has gotten information to us explaining that the item that was para-dropped to the yankee forces were several bio-chemical bombs with a chemical in them that will kill all the coca plants that the agent comes in contact with. They are currently going out to plant these bombs with the intention of detonating them. This must not happen! If the yankees succeed in their evil plan then our main source of income for supporting our struggle will be destroyed. You are to deploy your troops and locate the bombs. Our contact believes that there are three bombs that have been deployed to your area. Disarm them if you have to and return them to your base camp. Kill as many of the intruders as possible! Keep your superiors up to date as this situation develops.

¡Increíble! Anti-coca chemical weapons? And they call us evil? Informed as many troops as I could of the imperialists' plan. Everyone except the few guarding the drug lab itself was forward in contact with the enemy. They were attempting to get into the enemy camp. Warned different troops in tower it was a death trap. Alpha cell reports it has retrieved last weapons cache from enemy encampment. Met them coming down the road. Called HQ to report in while they took the boxes uphill and stashed them with our mortars. As they were moving back forward, an air strike came in and destroyed the tower. That's irony. Internally glad I don't have to worry about the tower any more. Back at base, I looked uphill to see suspicious movement at the little knoll we were using to hide our weapons and mortars. Only three members of Alpha cell in base with me. As they moved forward to try to kill the imperialists I went north into the trees. Called everyone on radio and cell phone, telling them to return to base as fast as possible. Cut west as I heard the explosion that I was fearing. Moved quickly to the trail at the edge of the field that the enemy had to have used to infiltrate our territory. Dropped down behind a little tree just as their squad came running at me. Shot their pointman but was immediately wounded by the others. They paused to heal their man and continued running down the perimeter trail. Thank goodness they didn't recognize me. I walked down to the field hospital and had them patch up my shoulder. Went uphill to survey the damage. They got our mortars, the boxes that Alpha cell had just recaptured and the Stinger tube I had thrown on top of the hill. Fortunately they didn't see the other two caches under their camoflage. All cells were engaged with the enemy as they retreated to their helicopters. Walked back down to base and met the field commander who had led our forces against the imperialists' first actions. Together we moved south but were only met by the sound of rotors slipping into the distance. The cells reported back that the bombs had not been stopped but we had inflicted tremendous casualties.

They succeeded in detonating their chemical weapons and eliminating our coca crop. Granted, we still have the contents of our lab. Being realistic, I know that the product in there will only serve local demand for a little while and won't bring in the amount of money we'll need. Marcos and I informed Carlos personally, and fortunately, he seemed more interested in our success in forcing the imperialists out of the country. Surprisingly he was most visibly concerned over the loss of the courier. I was very glad to walk out of that building. All too many have been carried out. During the ride back, Marcos informed me of the new direction the CPLM will be taking. He told me about our new Cuban allies and the plan to strike back at the meddling imperialists. We will take this fight to their country! We will see how they feel when it is their homes that are burning! We will make them pay for their crimes! ¡Vivirán en miedo! ¡Vive Cortanica!

Major thanks to all CPLM. Whatever part you played this year, it was important. Whether you were on the front line or in the back carrying a box. That's the beauty, and curse, of major scenario gaming. Special thanks to all cell leaders. I appreciate you guys stepping up. Thanks also to the medics, intel officers and engineers. I also appreciate all the people who helped me complete a task in the backfield (setting up mortars, hiding caches, etc.). You know who you are. Lastly, but furthest from the least, thanks to Team Blackjack. Without your hard work, there would be no Cortanica for us to ruthlessly dominate, err, protect. I hope to see you all at Urgent Vengeance.