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User:Nedland/Teh Complete Story of Teh Rice Lane Wor
This is the funniest cancer by Suzuki I've ever seen, and now it's preserved forever. Enjoy!
Operation Ruina was a year-long struggle of supremacy in an area known as the Rice Lane Woods, the Starland Republic’s original homeland. It culminated into the ten-day long Rice Lane War, which saw the deployment of makeshift chemical weapons, a highly effective and highly controversial move. The escalating conflict of Operation Ruina, as well as the dysfunctionality the Starland Republic suffered after our victory in the Rice Lane War, is directly responsible for my overall viewpoints and lack of trust to the other micronationalists in the community. But where, how, why, when, and who started this conflict?
It all began in April 2009, when I was 12 years old. By then I had been the current President of the Starland Republic for a little over two years. Minor power struggles over our home territory of the Keith Woods had weakened my government, but somehow we managed to defeat opposition through shear boredom. Zachtania, Glass Republic, Hadlow and Moccasin Creek all managed to conquer the Keith Woods, and all of them collapsed within a matter of weeks because their leaders became bored with micronationalism. The Starland Republic’s response to these violations of territory were simply to do nothing, let the project fizzle out, and then return the government to a state of normalcy. The constant invasion of our capital, Fort Drew, was a problem, however.
To counter this problem, expeditions were sent out to the Rice Lane Woods, a vast stretch of territory just east of the Keith Wood’s meager few acres. The plan was to move the capital out of the Keith Woods and into the Rice Lane Woods. This move was made difficult by the fact that the government at the time was not a Republic as the name suggests. Only the six founding members (known as the Old Dogs) had law making ability, and by April 2009 I was the only Old Dog left, the only one who could create and enact laws. To complicate problems even further, I was then running a country with just 2 other citizens, my neighbors, the Layton brothers: Gregory and Michael, both of whom were younger than me by a few years (8 and 9, respectively). With 3 citizens, no real functioning government, and frequent takeovers from outsiders, I began to think about doing the unthinkable: shutting down the Starland Republic. I was saved by the Layton’s new neighbor, a tall, popular 13 year-old by the name of Kyle Wells.
Kyle Wells took a keen interest in me and the Layton brothers’ Rice Lane Woods expeditions almost from the start. At first we just thought he liked hiking, so we allowed him to join Expedition #13. Me and the Layton brothers told Wells that the purpose of this expedition was to find a suitable entrance point into the Rice Lane Woods, because the entire place was surrounded by a 20-foot drop off into Shop Branch, a tributary of Deep Branch (the Rice Lane Woods are sometimes to referred to as the Deep Branch Forest). Beforehand we would have to swim through deep water to reach the other side. If we could find a bridge or entrance, than we could move Fort Drew (a shed) from the Keith Woods into the Rice Lane Woods. Wells obviously asked what purpose Fort Drew served, and why it needed to be moved. So we told him. And afterwards, Wells asked if he could become a citizen. So we let him.
Wells quickly showed great loyalty and ambition in the Starland Republic, helping buy and build a brand new shed in the Rice Lane Woods that became the new capital Gilmoropolis, as well as building a portable bridge to access the territory more easily. His popularity at school won over nearly two dozen new citizens, and brought back one of the Old Dogs, Tegan Paris. In July, the Starland Republic was seeing a time of growth and prosperity that seemed to dwarf the Golden Age of Jericho Gilmore in early 2007. One day in mid-late July, Wells came to my house and asked if he could be allotted some land in the Rice Lane Woods to set up a client state of the Starland Republic. Given his strong commitment to my project, as well as bringing in much needed citizens, I allowed it, and gave him land around an eastern feature in the Rice Lane Woods we called the Mega Tank Plains. Wells called his territory the “Starlandic Territory of New Pamlico,” based on the fact that he had native Pamlico ancestors and we were just across a river from Pamlico County, North Carolina. Of the 25 citizens that the Starland Republic had in early August, 14 of them belonged to the Starlandic Territory of New Pamlico.
On 20 August 2009, Kyle Wells declared his self-governing territory its own country: the New Pamlico Federation. At first I laughed it off as yet another person jumping into micronationalism, only to abandon it after a week or two. On the 24th, Wells came to my house to talk about a proposal of a union between New Pamlico and Starland. As I was getting drinks for my not-so-honorable guest, he entered my room and found one of my silk dresses. At this time I was a closeted transgender, and my dresses were completely secret to everybody in the world. Wells returned to the table with the dress in his hands, and blackmailed me: give the Starland Republic to him, or have the whole middle school know that I wear dresses. I reluctantly chose the former.
Wells quickly split up the Starland Republic into three federatives: New Pamlico (containing Gilmoropolis), Trookslund and Deep Branch. His original territory around the Mega Tank Plains became the fourth federative of North Pamlico (although technically the easternmost region, most hand-drawn maps had the Mega Tank Plains facing up, not right; this confusion caused the misnaming). Each federative was appointed a governor by Wells, with Gregory Layton getting Trookslund, Michael Layton getting North Pamlico, and me getting Deep Branch. Wells maintained direct control over the federative of New Pamlico, and made Gilmoropolis his capital city as well (although he never changed the name, for some reason). I’m not entirely sure why Wells, after blacklisting me and taking over my country, found it smart to have me control a quarter of his nation. I assume it was to keep the loyal citizens of Starland from having desires of rebellion, and to keep me too preoccupied with running Deep Branch from leading such a revolt. Whatever the case, this unwise decision would be New Pamlico’s ultimate downfall.
Open revolution in Wells’ Federation was severely repressed. I made an early attempt of a coup on 3 October. Since I was considered to be a valuable asset within the higher ranks of New Pamlico, I was not given a leadership positon in what was known as Operation Hammer Blow (although I was instrumental in planning the operation). The plan was simplistic and doomed to failure. A rag-tag gang of middle-schoolers was going to march on Gilmoropolis and occupy the capital building until Wells released his hold on Starland. Trouble was that the person I assigned to lead the coup turned out to be a double agent. Peter Gorgon, the kid I trusted to save my country, marched five of my supporters into a trap in the Rice Lane Woods. I don’t know what those loyal citizens of the Starland Republic had to endure, but if was anything like my experience for being implicated in Hammer Blow, then I can tell you it wasn’t pretty. I was tortured and raped by Wells himself, and I bear the scar on my face to prove it.
Now, I know some people in the community (Ned) think that I should have gone to the police, or told a parent. But back then, doing so would make my femininity known to the whole world. Why was silence worth more than the risk of humiliation? Simple: my last experience with hinting to my parents that I wanted to be a girl got my skull dented in with a table lamp (I have a mentally unstable mother, whom I have rarely gotten along with). Also, if my parents knew of Wells’ actions, they would prevent me from going outside, which would prevent me from plotting my next coup attempt. From the Latin word for “overthrow” or “downfall” came Operation Ruina.
Ruina was designed to take the fight straight to Wells, and end New Pamlico once and for all. It was formulated and lead by me and Gregory Layton, who secretly created a military entente between Deep Branch and Trookslund, called the Andory-Gregrew Alliance (from Andrew, my name at the time, and Gregory). Michael Layton had, by this time, become Wells’ second-in-command, and had become increasingly distant from his younger brother. I had wished that for this plan to succeed, we could get the Layton brothers’ federatives and mine to work together to oust Wells, but Michael’s increasing loyalty to New Pamlico meant that this dream wasn’t a possibility. Operation Ruina, formulated by Gregory and me on 1 January 2010, became the official platform of Andory-Gregrew, with both Kyle Wells and Michael Layton as the primary targets.
Ruina relied on utmost secrecy, and to that end all Andory-Gregrew meetings were held in my very difficult to access, windowless, stifling hot or freezing cold, attic. My attic became known as the “Toaster Instructions,” to prevent anybody on the outside from understanding what on earth we were talking about. All documents were handwritten using a 13-step code that predictably changed daily, and were written in the Precursor alphabet from my favorite video game series, Jak and Daxter (which, indecently, is now New Starland’s national alphabet). Meetings dates and times were kept as unpredictable as possible, sometimes occurring every day in one week, and then none after for a whole month. Our valiant efforts for secrecy obviously paid off: Wells and Michael knew absolutely nothing about Andory-Gregrew, even though 13 of their own citizens were conspiring against them.
Spying was perhaps the most important task of Ruina, with eyes on Wells’ house and Gilmoropolis at almost every conceivable time. Even though we were all still in middle school, we all took it upon ourselves to sneak out of the house to stay up from dusk to dawn on patrol. This was mainly because Wells and Michael spent most of the night encamped at Gilmoropolis than at either of each other’s houses. Communications from spy networks to the routinely manned Toaster Instructions took place on radios that I hand built myself (the main receiver, and currently my favorite device for radio astronomy, was built from an X-Box I salvaged on the side of the road). One of the more ingenious devices we used was MAX, a modified Walmart RC car capable of being piloted from safely inside Toaster Instructions, with a live video feed being sent to us directly. It had about a half-mile radius, just long enough to scout the outer perimeter of the Rice Lane Woods that bordered Gilmoropolis.
Undoubtedly the most profound development that Ruina produced was weaponry. None of us at the time were old enough to legally buy guns, and since the operation was to be one of violent take-over, Andory-Gregrew needed weapons. We came up with dozens of great ideas, but only a few were ever built and even fewer saw actual combat use. Some things, like the modified Nerf guns that shot hand-made aluminum bullets were complete duds, while the bleach series of weapons proved war-winners. This controversial armament was intended to be vinegar. I forget how bleach ever got into the picture, but during the development phase we used vinegar. Water guns were filled with vinegar, as well as water balloons. Balloons filled with vinegar were housed in lightbulbs filled with baking soda, which were then outfitted to modified model rockets. By May 2010, we had 15 vinegar guns, 500 vinegar balloons, and 10 vinegar rockets. So, with 13 highly trained and fiercely loyal rebels, Gregory and I prepared to launch Operation Ruina.
The campaign was to begin on 15 May, but five days beforehand, Wells’ and his whole family suddenly, and unexpectedly, moved, and left the leadership of New Pamlico to Michael. This was a massive failing of our spy network, which had worked meticulously for four whole months to make sure that major developments like that wouldn’t be a surprise. But it was a huge shock, and late that evening, Andory-Gregrew met for an emergency session at Toaster Instructions. At 21:00 UTC (4:00 PM in Starland) on 10 May 2010, Andory-Gregrew was restructured as the provisional government of the second Starland Republic, and declared war on the New Pamlico Federation. Operation Ruina was a go.
The few days were uneventful. I was reluctant to start a full-blown conflict with Michael because of a combination of our past friendship and the fact that I didn’t know how he would lead New Pamlico. If he seemed laid back about it, I’d offer a diplomatic solution. Our spy network proved that Michael was intent on carrying on Wells’ legacy, and I grudgingly decided that in order for the Starland Republic to once again be free, we would have to meet the New Pamlico forces head on. On the 20th, my entire command showed up to Toaster Instructions at three in the morning, armed and ready. Somewhere along the line that day, the vinegar in our weapons was changed out with bleach. I don’t know who did it, but I honestly think that person responsible made the right decision. Two hours later, we silently marched to Gilmoropolis. (Oh, in case you’re wondering, even though 20 May 2010 was a Thursday, we got out of school a week earlier; I say that now because I know someone is going to attempt to bring it up in the comments).
Gilmoropolis, being a shed in the middle of the Rice Lane Woods, is surrounded by very tall pine trees. Justin Zeller, one of the Old Dogs who had tried to expunge rivals in Drew Star Line during his presidency in late 2006, and was beginning to find atonement by helping our cause, recommended ascending the trees and waiting for Michael’s forces to show up (they’d all went to Gilmoropolis every day since the war started, so it fairly reasonable to wait a whole day for them). So, I took Zeller’s advice, and the 13 of us climbed to lowest branches of the pines, about 20 feet up. Here we readied our balloons and water guns, with the rockets being left on the ground, and were hence never used. The sunrise came and went, a slight drizzle occurred around 8, and by noon we were all wet, grumpy, tired, and sore. But then, alas! On the horizon, leading nearly 30 individuals armed with sharpened bamboo poles, Michael Layton came into view. When they were within 10 feet of Gilmoropolis, I let out a war cry, and the attack commenced.
The New Pamlico forces, though they outnumbered us more than two-to-one, were ill-prepared for the onslaught of chemical laden balloons dropped on their heads. Almost all of them ran away, and the dozen or so that remained began throwing rocks, branches, and pinecones at us. Gregory was hit in the ear by a bowling-bowl sized rock, falling out of his perch from the blow. Me and Zeller quickly dove out of our trees to assist him, both of us injuring ourselves slightly on the way down. Those of Michael’s regiment who stayed attacked us with their bamboo staffs, and violent, hand-to-hand combat ensued. I took a massive blow to the head, and Zeller received three broken knuckles in the melee. It was only when the rest of my group descended their trees to assist me and Zeller that the rest of Michael’s forces disbanded. We were all sweaty, tired, bruised, injured, and not one of us was spared the hazard of chemical burns from our own weapons. Gregory, despite being knocked out and falling 20 feet, visibly suffered no wounds from his ordeal. We would later find out that he had received permanent hearing damage from the battle.
Despite our wounds, the battle was not over yet. We still needed to find Michael, and fortunately, we didn’t have to look very far. He had holed himself inside the Gilmoropolis shed, according to Nikki (surname forgotten) from the moment my shrill war-call was audible. We managed to get him to sign a peace treaty. After nearly a year of oppression and violence, the Starland Republic’s independence was secured for the final time in one, momentous battle. New Pamlico was allowed to keep its original territory around the Mega Tank Plains, but the rest of the Rice Lane Woods, even areas not part of the four federatives (known as the Darkest Depths, a still unexplored subtropical jungle), was returned to the Starland Republic. Michael and his nation, despite surviving to some extent, would never again pose a threat to my beloved country. I also received Michael’s bamboo staff, something I carry with me everywhere to this day.
The Starland Republic held its first elections in 15 months on 31 May 2010, and I was once again inaugurated as president, with Gregory as my trusted vice president. My address was focused on congratulating my fellow Starlanders for their heroism. Some of those who fought in the battle are citizens of New Starland today: Rose Griffin, Rialy Newson, and Tegan Paris. Another person valued during the battle was Brock Thompson, who broke his leg descending the pines during the battle. Thompson would later be responsible for the Starland Republic’s ultimate collapse three years later, but that is another story for another time, which coincidently involved New Pamlico again.
So, wait, how is this backstory reflective of me and DNS? Well, for one thing, we actually had to fight to maintain what is ours. Many of you, I’m sure, have conducted glorious wars in the name of your micronation, but I doubt any of you have experienced the violent hand-to-hand combat that me and my fellow citizens experienced. My body is still scarred from the sufferings of the Rice Lane War, and the injuries I received that day have gifted to me chronic migraines, and my worsening eyesight at just 20 years of age may be linked to my contact with bleach. Me and my comrades gave everything we had, limbs and all, to maintain our micronationalism. So, we come to my first part: disrespect for others. Many of you here talk about the great things you have accomplished inside and outside of your micronation, and one or two of you (Bradley) brag the living ears off everybody about how great and instrumental you are to the community. I’m not saying that any of you are wrong to feel proud of your achievements. What I am saying is that from the perspective of someone who has risked one heck of a lot to maintain the Drew Star Line legacy, and rarely talks about the struggle to do so, your accomplishments seem unimportant. Now, I know that’s not a fair assumption. Everything we do is important to us, and will be of interest to somebody in the community to read about. But it is just how I feel inside, and although I feel my beliefs are unwarranted (and yet I still maintain them), this is why many of you find me disrespectful.
So, now we get to me being untrusting of others in this community. I watched how Wells’ loyalty in Starland quickly changed to an ambitious drive towards total domination of his peers. Even after he moved and left New Pamlico to Michael, he was still a violent character. Three years ago, I saw his face on the local news: arrested for raping a 12-year old. I see people who share Wells’ drive to conquer other micronations, through seemingly peaceful means, too often for comfort in the community. Bilal is the best example I can give, not because he acts like Wells, but because he’s thus far the only one I’ve pointed fingers at for being dominating. Others, like Ned and Patrick’s collection of countries, I’ve wanted to publically criticize, but I stopped myself only because they are so well respected, and their constituent countries seem happy. I’m sure the Shorewellian Commonwealth is similar, and I’m just blinded by my fear.
So, what am I afraid of? I’m afraid of something I’ve spent so long working towards, with so many great people, being destroyed by an outsider wanting in. Many in New Starland, being veterans of the Rice Lane War, feel the same way. We all share the same fear, the same lack of trust, and the same disrespect for the community. That’s why it took us a decade to finally attempt to join it (and completely blow it because of our collective ego). Reforms towards openness have been spearheaded by Paris, one of the war vets, who is responsible for the second request at GUM membership (which failed) and the “walk-out” event that followed Operation MegaCat. She sees the need for New Starland to be new in both name, function, and openness to the community. I full heartedly agree with her, but so far my attempts to be a positive contributor have failed because I can’t see past the past. And I don’t know if I ever will.
This new letter or whatever doesn’t signify my return to these forums at this time. I do hope, however, that this long hodgepodge of words (3804 at the last count) will begin to make my positions, my fearmongering, and my disrespect towards other community members, to light. This letter was not easy to write, do to some of the emotional damage I still suffer from those events in 2009-2010. I’m sure this thread will get dozens of mix-responses, especially complaints about its length (this was originally intended to be an Editorial article, but I changed my mind about two thousand words in). Anyways, I just thought this was something that needed to be said, in what I’m sure is the record holder for the longest post in forum history.