The war with U MAMA started in 1946 just after the Japanese pulled out and we informed the French we were no longer a French colony. They insisted we still were one, until we asked them how many tens of thousands of troops they were wanted to have die trying to conquer us. Now we had modern weapons and were similarly armed to them they wouldn’t find us as easy to control as before. They never sent any troops, but kept up a lot of political trouble for the next sixty-five years. In the short period of calm that followed King Marshad was betrayed and killed by some army generals in the pay of U MAMA.
During the Japanese occupation a US officer hiding in the Amir Mountains found out about the Amir Diamond Mine. After the war he told his father who told his brother-in-law, the owner of a major arms company in the US. They decided to get control of the diamond mine to use it to become billionaires. They needed help to do this, so they brought some friends in on the deal. Since most were part of U MAMA they decided to use the U MAMA resources to get what they wanted. Thus they started a semi-secret war that lasted seventy years. Much of the war was fought with spies and assassins, but some were military campaigns. For all except the last few years of the war both sides kept the existence of the mine secret, as neither side wanted others involved. I’m sure their initial desire to control Berant was purely greed, but I’m also sure it later became much more ego than greed, because we defied them so much and so successfully they were determined to beat us.
The major military campaigns of the war are recounted in various journal entries and are available in other histories. So I won’t recount the events of the Dareed War, the Darmore Incursion, the Day of Blood, or the Shukra War. I’ll talk about some of the clandestine activities against us by U MAMA and the CIA, as told to me by my grandfather and father, because you need to understand what we were up against and fought. I’ll concentrate on my clandestine war against U MAMA and the CIA. How I used spies, assassins, economic warfare, and theft to hurt my enemies in a manner that caused them the most suffering while removing their ability to hurt us further. When I was able to counter attack I attacked the very core of their being, the core of their existence, their reason for being, the seat of their power - their bank accounts; and squashed them like the evil bugs they were. All the spying and killing I did was to stop their assaults on us, and to bankrupt them.
I was able to get started on my counter offensive after my fourteenth birthday, and it took until I was twenty-four years old to finish them. The majority of my actions were after the Day of Blood. It took eight long years for me to end the U MAMA war and sheath The Sound of Battle, the sword mother had drawn on that terrible day.
The Early Attempts
In 1949, a few months after King Edward killed the rebel generals and their hard core supporters, the U MAMA bosses started trying to assassinate him. The first attempts were by hired gunmen, but when the fourth and fifth attempts were made by CIA agents he registered a strong protest with the US government. When the sixth assassin turned out to be a CIA agent King Edward had the head and hands removed, packed in ice, and sent to the Berant Embassy in the US. They sent it through the US postal system to the US Secretary of State with a note saying the next CIA assassin would have different bits posted to the various news organisations. After that the CIA rarely used their own people as the actual gunman. It’s believed the Secretary of State wasn’t happy with several staff in his mail room having to take a lot of sick leave after opening the package, plus some of them having some other problems.
U MAMA’s activities from 1949 to 1954 were mostly in the political sphere where they tried to discredit King Edward and the Berant government and society. The introduction of a constitution and establishing an elected parliament in 1950 countered a lot of the U MAMA political propaganda. By late 1954 U MAMA had given up on trying to get the US government to oust King Edward and replace him with a puppet government. This was due to Berant being the only strong government in the region that was supportive of democracy in any form. Although Berant wasn’t well placed to provide the US with military bases or economic support King Edward was respected by the people of all the other countries in the region, and he was respectfully listened to by all their governments. The US administration really wanted to keep the strong support as a counter to the growing local communist organisations.
From 1949 to 2014 U MAMA kept sending spies and assassins to Berant while they continued to foster and support rebels and brigands. When they couldn’t get control directly they tried to foster disharmony and disruption in attempts to split the Royal Family from the people. They failed in all these attempts.
From 1954 to 2011 they also tried to conquer Berant via military action, direct and through proxies, these all failed due to the courage and fighting skills of the Berant Royal Guards. After the Shukra War in 2011 U MAMA no longer had access to the combat resources needed to mount a military campaign directly or by proxy. On the military front the period 1954 to 1969 was spent insinuating their controls into various governments in the region while building up our neighbouring governments’ military capabilities, and then encourage them to attack Berant.
U MAMA were able to influence a lot of people, and get a lot of control in many places due to the economic damage done to the region by the Japanese occupation. Luckily for Berant this same economic damage hindered U MAMA’s activities. Before they could get Dareed to attack Berant in 1970 they first had to build up its economy enough for it to maintain a large enough army, and then to have the army equipped and trained with the latest military hardware at discounted rates and on credit. This took fifteen years, even then U MAMA didn’t help update or equip the Dareed air or sea military capability. They concentrated on the land forces, because Berant had no air or sea military capability of their own then. Anyway, you need to control the land to capture Berant. Following the defeat of the Dareed Army, and Dareed’s assimilation into Berant (which made the country stronger), they needed another decade to prepare Shukra for a military attack on Berant. Which was later followed with an attempt to take control of Shukra, and failed. Each failure left Berant stronger and better prepared for their next attack, because the Kings re-evaluated the Royal Guards’ future military needs and capabilities. Each successful defence meant an increase, and improvement, of the Guards equipment and training.
In 1949 King Edward established the Royal Intelligence Service (RIS). They immediately established agents to collect intelligence on what was happening in the country, and to track people of interest within the country. In 1950 they started expanding this to collecting information in other countries as well as tracking people of interest in other countries. By 1955 they realised they needed agents within U MAMA and the CIA itself. However, this was proving difficult, and remained so for many years. In the 1970s they did manage to get a lot of agents with family links to Berant within the CIA; however, these would only provide RIS with information that wasn’t harmful to the US government or people. But they made a point of letting RIS know of rogue CIA actions against Berant. This did help a lot. It also helped in identifying the CIA people involved in attacking Berant and the royal family.
The biggest danger to the country in the period 1949 to 1975 was economic. Berant had no internal economy worthy of the name or in need of management until 1965. The country had no real industry, and was having to import all the needed technology and metals. U MAMA tried to bankrupt the country by manipulating Berant access to the international economy and markets. Luckily Berant was self-sufficient in regards to all of the domestic needs, provided the people didn’t want to go for the domestic use of modern technology in a big way. Modern technology was where Berant was most vulnerable.
Knowing how other countries had big problems from importing technology in the 1920s and 1930s, and seeing what was happening in Europe and Japan under the US Marshall Plan, King Edward decided Berant needed to import technical knowledge and skills before technical capability and manufacturing. Most of the available technology in the 1950s was from the US. Most of the US companies were interested in selling equipment, but not knowledge or skills. King Edward worked out a way around the problem.
King Edward increased the mining of diamonds by the traditional methods. These were cut and prepared by clan experts in the traditional manner. The finished diamonds were different to those generally available, and many had some slight colour tints. All this resulted in them being seen as of a higher grade and worth more. Since the supply of AGM (Amir Gem Mines) diamonds wasn’t very large they were sought after by those wanting rare or very high quality gems. Slowly the supply of diamonds to the market increased. Between 1900 and 1950 a total of ten kilograms of AGM diamonds were mined; most were sold, and the rest were used within the clan. Between 1950 and 1970 a total of thirty kilograms of AGM diamonds were mined and sold. A major increase in the diamond production rate.
With the many millions of dollars raised through diamond sales King Edward improved the standard of living in Berant by improving medical and educational systems and facilities. This used up 25% of the money. He used 55% of the money to buy control of various US companies. He created a holding company in the US, and had them buy shares in companies he had an interest in. When he had control he organised his own people to be placed on the company boards, and they changed the corporate policy to allow the export of knowledge. The remaining 20% of the money was used to establish Berant businesses to learn and use the technological know-how. As the companies made profits the monies were reinvested in this economic improvement program. More shares bought, more companies started. More technology know-how imported into Berant.
The process worked like this. Buy the shares and become owner of a company that has the wanted technology. Establish a Berant business to provide the technology locally. Arrange and sign legal agreements between the two businesses so the Berant business obtains a licence to make and sell the US technology. The Berant business then pays for Berant citizens to be properly trained in the technology in the US. The knowledge and know-how of the technology is imported into Berant, and ensures Berant has control of its local availability. This meant a slow importation and introduction of a technological base into the country, but it also meant the country couldn’t be held to ransom or bankrupted by it later.
Laws were passed making it unlawful for overseas companies to introduce technology or technological products unless they provide the in-country expertise and knowledge first. Most foreign investors chose not to follow this path, because it meant they were handing over control of their technology to locals. This destroyed U MAMA’s ability to damage or control the country through the international economy. When they made the importation of metals difficult or too expensive Berant citizens just used methods that used none or less metals, or did without those items for a while. No new technology was introduced until after Berant put in place the full capability to support it locally.
In many cases it wasn’t necessary to import the technology, since the finished product was available from many sources and it wasn’t critical to any operations. This made the importation of technology seem to be haphazard to many people. Berant imported the capability to manufacture light trucks and buses, but didn’t worry about cars or heavy trucks for some decades. Light trucks and buses were needed to keep the internal economy functioning well. The country could manage without the heavy trucks or cars, so people just bought them from overseas as required. The same with aircraft, for many decades the country had no internal aircraft industry. People bought what they needed from overseas, and imported the minimal basic maintenance technology needed.
This approach did have some downside legacies in Berant often had outdated technologies, and were behind the world in areas that weren’t seen as being that important by most. A case in point being land-based communications systems. In the early 1970s a cable based telephone network was put into place using late 1960s technology. Over the next two decades the system was expanded, because more people wanted telephones. In the mid 1980s the exchanges had to be upgraded, because the older equipment was no longer available for more expansion of the network. This new equipment couldn’t handle digital data transmissions or signals, except as analogue modem signals. That was the situation with the official network right up to the day it closed down in late 2009. This old system limited the use of computers and access to the Internet across the country, because there was no effective digital telecommunications backbone to work on. The few Internet Service Providers (ISPs) that were set up had to establish satellite access to the rest of the world. This made them expensive, since they needed satellite links in every town they operated in. Which resulted in them only setting up in major cities where they could be sure of a large enough client base to make it profitable for them.
In mid 2000 I saw the need for an effective digital communications backbone. I knew I wouldn’t get a decent modern digital network through the parliament, and they controlled all of the current internal communications infrastructure. So I did what I needed to do, and established my own company to provide a digital backbone without it being obvious. I established my ISP in my home town, because it didn’t have one yet. I provided an extremely wide bandwidth satellite service with fibre optic cable throughout the town and into each of the clients’ establishments, a process repeated in all branch offices when we expanded. The system was set up to handle Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) and data from the start, all part of a combined service deal. This provided a much clearer and cheaper phone service, and it allowed for good international phone service through foreign VoIP systems. When I expanded to other centres, most of which were far apart, I set up high bandwidth satellite links there too. But I also had crews out laying very high bandwidth fibre optic trunk cables between all of my offices. In short order my network had an effective fibre optic link to every office and client so domestic calls went VoIP over fibre optic from client to client anywhere in the country, all within my network. Heavy on infrastructure costs, but cheaper operating costs. By 2007 I had a privately owned fibre optic network covering the whole country, and few outside of the company knew it existed. When the international telecommunications network ran two regional submarine cables into the country in 2007, one near Dareena and one at Carmel, I was able to cut back on the satellite links and put most of my Internet usage from the whole country over those two cables, due to having a national fibre optic network. This costly infrastructure was a critical factor in the defences on the Day of Blood. Because U MAMA didn’t know it existed they took no action to disable it. Nor was it accessible to them to attack or interfere with.
The enemy was able to take down the government owned telephone network, and most of the known major military radio transmission relay towers. The interference systems at each area of attack disabled the normal local satellite communications channels. The only satellite channels in use in those areas were the Cyclops ones, because they didn’t know anything about them and their operational frequencies were well away from the regular channels for communications and military use. However, by routing the Guard’s communications through my ISP fibre network we had land communications bypassing the interference and connecting to normal radio and satellite communications systems outside the zones.
That was the only time the shortfalls in King Edward’s technology importation plan was in a position to harm the country, and it had been countered. In general, his plan to update Berant’s tech base worked extremely well. Anything critical to the national economy had the technological knowledge imported before the equipment so our people could maintain them, and not have to worry about foreign boycotts. And the government communications were more than adequate for the normal economic needs of the country.
Even U MAMA saw no point in trying to boycott the Berant exports, since the country didn’t have much in the way of exports until 2004 and later. And most of what Berant did export was done in areas they couldn’t affect; like the exportation of AGM diamonds, or things that were in demand: such as our grains and alcohols to our neighbours, or our exotic hardwoods to Europe and the US. Starting in 2003 Berant was exporting knowledge, something that’s even harder for them to interfere with. From the mid 1950s until 2006 the bulk of Berant’s international currency came from the tourism industry based at Carmel and the View Port Marina. King Edward had built both these facilities with the sole intent of making them top line international tourist venues. As he said at the time, “We have the perfect holiday location: tropical sun, light tropical sandy beaches, surf, and not too humid, with good fishing to boot. Let’s rent it to rich foreigners at a premium rate.” So he did.
In the late 1970s U MAMA did try to interfere with the tourist income by organising some terrorist attacks at Carmel and the View Port Marina. However, RIS was able to close down those operations before they were able to do anything to affect the tourists.
One of the most interesting aspects of this was the construction of Highcliff, the new Royal Palace and residence right beside Carmel. Many thought this odd, but it turned out to be a good draw-card. Over 80% of the visitors to Highcliff each year are international tourists who come to watch a monarchy in operation, most daily activities are open to public view. The King has four major charity balls each year, and three of them are open to anyone with the money to buy tickets. While tickets for the fourth (the Débutantes’ Ball) are restricted to Berant citizens only. Around 75% of the tickets sold at the other three balls are sold to international tourists. At all these events the King spends the first few hours welcoming all the arrivals at the door before mingling with the guests. Highcliff is only a short drive or walk from Carmel, and is on all the local tours. Obviously, he saw the monarchy as a tourist draw-card, and played to it very well.
Over the years many hundreds of U MAMA’s hired assassins were intercepted in attempts to kill the King and royal family. The US developed Tactical Nuclear Weapons (TNWs, the so called backpack bombs), and got them down to a reasonable size. Then the assassination attempts moved from being gunmen and poisoners to people sneaking in these small nuclear weapons with the aim of setting them off near the King. Since he spent most of his time at Highcliff the majority are sent for detonation in Carmel, or View Port, or the lands around them. RIS were able to intercept them all, a total of fifty-six TNWs. We assume they got them all, because none were detonated by U MAMA or the CIA.
King Edward sent the first ones back with a strong diplomatic note. When RIS intercepted them a second time, about six months after they were given back to the US government, it was decided to keep them. Later, when I became involved with Guards’ military policy, I developed doctrine for them to be deployed by us in various military situations. Most were later installed as the warheads of our cruise missiles, adding to our military capability and response flexibility.
During all this the CIA was active inserting agents, and collecting information about us. RIS was active countering the CIA, and inserting agents into the CIA and U MAMA organisations. In 2003 I convinced King Herbert to be more active in inserting RIS agents into the CIA.
My Active Involvement
My first active involvement with U MAMA and their activities was in the attack on the cabin where they held my sister, Kelly, prisoner. After her funeral I stood at her grave and swore those responsible would pay for her painful death, pay in a big way. By the time I was eleven my business was expanding, and I had the funds to start doing things. Due to my studies in economic and business, coupled with my actions in improving the economy of areas where my new branches set up, King Herbert (my father) was using me as a private adviser on economics. Where I could I slanted my advice toward activities that would have an adverse impact on the U MAMA companies without a similar impact on our economic growth. Over the next few years my actions in this, and other areas, expanded a great deal.
I invented Nolar when I was about twelve, then used and sold it as a substitute for most metals, especially steel, in most applications. When I invented the stronger version, Nolar Two, I started up a new group of companies to manufacture military equipment for our own use based on Nolar Two in place of steel and Kevlar. But the final equipment we used were items made of Nolar Three, and later Nolar Four - which I invented while I was redesigning the weapons for manufacture with Nolar Two. The equipment made with Nolar Three and Four was exclusively for sale to, and use by, the Guards; Nolar Two variants were later sold overseas, and the Berant Army. These include troop carriers, tanks, small arms, and mortars. The only metal used was for the interior rifling of guns and the projectiles; later we moved to Nolar Four for the rifling and the rounds. Engines were Nolar Two with ceramic coatings in all heat areas. All projectiles were made as case-less rounds with plastic explosive for the propellant, no need for an ejector sequence on all rounds, just a manual ejector sequence for faulty rounds. In my fourteenth year we equipped all Guards units with equipment from my companies, because it was much lighter, tougher, and more flexible than the available overseas items. It also improved our trade figures by reducing expensive imports while creating many local jobs. Later we started selling slightly less capable versions of what we used to friendly foreign governments. Especially the US, because it cut into the U MAMA profits.
Case-less Artillery Shells and Munitions (CASaM) manufactured bullets, grenades, mortar rounds, artillery shells, mines (for personnel and vehicles), general explosives, and detonators. All used plastique explosives we made locally.
General Arms manufactured artillery guns, mortars, cannons (40 mm and 75 mm), and small arms - pistols, rifles, grenade launchers, light machine-guns, heavy machine-guns, and magazine cases.
Valhalla Vehicles manufactured light and heavy armoured vehicles, troop carriers, tanks, armoured cars, command cars, six wheeled field vehicles (mistakenly called Jeeps) in a number of variations - they had machine-gun mounts, light cannon mounts, radio vehicles, trucks, tankers, ambulances, and scout vehicles.
Paladin Plate made body armour, limb armour, helmets, boots, gloves, uniforms, and armoured plate for use in any situation. This came in various colours or transparent. Some plate was for civilian use.
Birdman Enterprises manufactured aircraft for commercial and military use. Concentrating on small to medium freighters and fighter aircraft at first. This was where our military need was at the time.
Amarant Cookware and Cutlery, an existing local company owned by another man already made cooking and eating utensils locally in steel. They switched to making cheaper and longer lasting products out of Nolar and / or ceramics when Nolar was made available for general public use. They also did combat knives, canteens, and camp stoves.
With the Guards outfitted by products from these companies their field kits were many kilograms lighter than those of other military forces. This meant they carried a higher ammunition load, and moved quicker. The limitation became the pack’s physical size, not its weight.
In 2006, when I turned fourteen, grandfather retired as the Clan Father and I was voted in as the new Clan Father. This gave me control of the clan resources, including all the clan owned US businesses. Grandfather also gave me the businesses that were part of his personal property. One of his wives retired from active business management and gave me all the businesses she inherited from her father; she was born in the US and came from an old US business family. I merged all the businesses I owned into one corporation, and streamlined the management of all operations. Because this improved profitability I did the same with the clan businesses, making them a corporation of their own. During this process I started focusing on developing connections with the US political structure via lobby groups, the same way other US businesses did.
I employed investigators in the US to look into the operations of the U MAMA companies on all levels. I employed hackers to attack their computer systems. I also increased the focus of RIS in inserting agents into the CIA and the U MAMA companies. By co-ordinating between these two lines of attack I was able to use them to assist each other.
About then I added the manufacture of rescue and military patrol boats to the craft being constructed at Dream Boats. The yard had been making commercial and pleasure craft out of Nolar Two for just over a year when I added Nolar Three military versions to the lists. Nolar Three and Nolar Four were only used for craft made for the Royal Guards. All other boats for sale were Nolar Two, including foreign military sales. That same policy applied to all our equipment sales.
All this time View Port Internet continued to expand, and now had branches near all Guards bases with fibre optic trunk lines to the base. Most major towns and cities were included in the network. About 75% of the national adult population were VPI home clients in 2008. By the time I was eighteen that stood at 99% of the adult population with every village, town, and city was connected to the network.
During the period between Kelly’s death and the Day of Blood my involvement was limited to managing and organising intelligence and financial operations, plus inventing. Following the Day of Blood I took a more direct approach in the intelligence operations, and I was much more involved while keeping up with all the other existing operations. The following accounts are using diary entries focused more on what happened after the Day of Blood.
My attack on our enemies used seven main avenues, and each of them operated independently, but information was shared between them. In most cases I had field commanders acting within the general briefs I gave them, usually three or four field commanders within each avenue of attack. In some cases I took a role in the operation, usually when it required a very fine touch or needed my special skills to ensure success. Otherwise I left the field operations to the field commanders. All the operations were interwoven, and many flowed into each other. I’ll explain, in general, what each was and how it worked, and follow that with reports of the more critical field operations, some of them involving my direct personal actions.