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Operation Back on the Map
Posted: Apr 12 2020, 05:04 AM
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(OOC: After discussion with Vilita, I am creating this post as IC basis to reclaim and re-establish lands that I previously governed. This will also be posted in the new AOCAF thread.)

Sammy Randolph was an odd child. At the age of three, he had yet to say a word, yet he was reading through any book he could get his hands on. It started with cookbooks, newspapers, even his mother's trashy tabloids. The first time he got his hands on an old atlas, stuffed away in a dusty box in the basement, he couldn't get enough. He didn't ask for the latest toys and games trends each year when his birthday rolled around; his parents knew that as many history books as they could find would be perfect for him. He was obsessed with memorizing all the world capitals he could - a daunting task given the more-than-180 thousand nations in front of him, but he did his best. And he loved growing up in the fast-evolving region of Atlantian Oceania, where each new edition of the Delaclav Cartographers' World Atlas would present a series of changes, restructures, and sociopolitical situations.

His parents were a bit worried by this fanaticism, but remarkably, he was well-adjusted and made it through school with little difficulty. He made good grades and had a circle of close friends - it just happened that those friends were obsessed with fantasy games instead of football scores. And when their home nation of Delaclava faced civil turmoil and chose to institute a policy of international isolation, the virtual worlds they created had to become more vivid than ever; the nations they imagined and wrote about took more realistic shape, for that was the only outside world they could know.

But Delaclava was entering a turning point in its history just as Sam was rounding out a Natural History degree at Valhalla University. The administration of Dictator Helene Rokoka had shifted from an attitude of isolation to that of colonialism, and they expanded on their overseas territories. Former allies' governments had fallen by the wayside, and a more prosperous Delaclava was able and willing to welcome these nations into the fold with open arms. These developments required an extensive new round of surveying the Delaclav lands, and remarkably, the Department of Natural Resources was looking for students with the very talents that Sam possessed.

Sam spent the next several years largely abroad gathering geological data about Delaclava's new acquisitions, interacting with provincial ambassadors, and designing maps that reflected not only the natural geography of the lands but also the current state of the fluid political landscape. He and his team could hardly keep track of the regular twists and turns that came their way, but Sam was fortunate to have that youthful curiosity and imagination brought back into reality. And as that project wound down, what was once a fulfillment of childhood fantasy soon morphed into higher government positions, first as head of the newly created Office of Cartography, then higher within the National Geological Survey. By the time President Joseph Urso was elected on a platform of New Openness, Samuel Randolph was primed for higher office, and it was no surprise when Urso tapped him as his new Natural Resources Secretary.

As part of Delaclava's new diplomatic policy, one of the priority projects in Randolph's Department was to actually put Delaclava back on the map, and Department teams had been all around Atlantian Oceania to determine the latest status of the region. So when the first official AO atlas to enter Delaclava since Randolph was a schoolboy finally came across his desk, he was tickled with anticipation.

The payoff was...less than satisfying. He stared at the page for a minute, then called a meeting with his deputies for that afternoon. There, he divulged a slight problem:

"We're missing from the Atlantian Oceania map."

"What do you mean?" one of his deputies asked.

Randolph flashed the image of the map on the screen behind him. "See where we're supposed to be? That portion of Southern Cyanea?" He gestured to a large blue sea, vaguely surrounded by a chain of islands. "That land mass just isn't there. It shows the islands that we had to surrender, but our territory is still right there and it's just...empty."

"How do you figure that happened?" the same deputy asked.

"Well, it's hard creating these maps when nations operate on different planes of space and time, isn't it? At some point Whittoria was in that spot, but Delaclava hadn't gone anywhere. Then it just became a gap in the continent, and everyone got used to flying by that area, I suppose? But it doesn't seem the regional cartographers are aware that our doors are open once again."

"You know," another deputy chimed in thoughtfully, "that does explain... several of the task force members I sent out and about, a lot of ambassadors were quite surprised to see them turn up. They had a lot of passport issues, and a few of my guys even got detained in Gyatso-Kai for a few days."

"Ok..." Randolph paused. "We'll have to clear this up. I'll have a word with President Urso. We need to make sure they draw Cyanea back on the map, and our overseas territories are all over there—" he pointed to the southeastern islands "—so we'll need to make sure we get those marked off too."

After the meeting was over, Randolph chuckled to himself. He'd drawn so many fictional and real-life maps where Delaclava was the only nation on the chart. He had hardly expected to see a map without his own nation. But he relished this newest opportunity to contribute to the knowledge of the world around him.
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Posted: Apr 17 2020, 05:51 PM
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The Mystery of Delaclava

The Atlantian Oceania Cartography Institute (AOCI) Office in Tropicoast was where all the new maps were printed. The information they needed for the maps was gathered at a makeshift office space in Lopinka, Vilita that had been stood up when disorder reigned in Mertagne and 1093 Goats overran the AOCI Headquarters there. The cartographers wanted to be somewhere bustling. Not the biggest city - but not isolated on the tropical edge of the Calanian Dessert outside of a chemically questionable factory. So they found a building just down the road from the Toys '4' All headquarters in the former Vilitan Capital and settled in.

The annual meeting of the AOCI members took place on AOisland where the teams reviewed the current maps and adjudicated any changes. The leads from the temporary AOCI headquarters in Lopinka ran the meeting and sometimes there would be a representative on hand from the Tropicorp plant - but typically they were just involved in the printing and distribution of the maps and not much else. This is what made the call received from an unknown number in Cyanea one recent day all the more odd.

They received a call from a man named Sammy Randolph. He claimed to be from Delaclava and they claimed their land was missing from the map. After being transferred three times throughout the Tropicorp system, Sam finally got a hold of Injuara Laksi who was one of three document reviewers that interfaced directly with the AOCI headquarters in Lopinka. Laksi explained to Randolph that there were no actual cartographers in Tropicoast - all of the decisions were made at the Lopinka facility. Randolph asked for a number to the Lopinka offices but Laksi was unsure if they would get in trouble for providing a direct line. After all, they had no idea what the credentials of this person really were. The National Geological Survey of Delaclava? Delaclava wasn't even on the map. It all sounded made up. So Laksi simply pointed Randolph to the official AOCI website, http://www.aoci.ao; and politely ended the conversation.

After the call ended, they turned to one of their colleagues and asked if they had ever heard of a place called "Delaclava" before. They responded "Oh yes, I think that might be a city in Whittoria? My Aunt may have vacationed there once."

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Posted: Apr 18 2020, 03:16 AM
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AOCI Temporary Headquarters, Lopinka, Vilita :: Knowing that they were first-shift on the business continuity team, Yptol Aromai'i knew that even when the AOCI headquarters relocated out of Lopinka it would be another few months before they would be relocated. So, as everyone around them began packing their boxes, Aromai'i decided to once again procrastinate and instead opened up their communicator to check the notes. One message in particular caught their eye very quickly:

CODE
Received 32 Minutes Ago :: FW: NetContact_Form: OUR NATION IS NOT ON YOUR MAP!! HELP!


It was certainly an attention grabbing headline, but presumably the AOCI website support staff get ridiculous inquiries all the time. Most of them do not get forwarded on to a second chair regional mapper such as Yptol Aromai'i. Now they were intrigued and opened it up.

The message body was well written, almost official - a far cry from the attention grabbing headline that had been forwarded on from the net support team. The author introduced themselves as Sam Randolph, Secretary of Natural Resources for the Government of Delaclava. Mr. Randolph was writing as he had received a copy of the Atlas of Atlantian Oceania Version 1.6 and had some concerns about the absence of the United Republic of Delaclava from the Atlas.

Aromai'i was confused. In order to have passed from the net support staff to his desk, at least two reviewers would have had to have found this request legitimate. But the United Republic of Delaclava? Aromai'i was a cartographer not a history buff but there were certainly some overlaps required in the profession.

Of course, maybe it was just a versioning thing. Taking out a copy of the recently published Atlas of Atlantian Oceania Version 1.8.2.1, Aromai'i confirmed there was no Delaclava marked on the map. Having been born of a Misrantian Mother and Turorian father and having never worked for the AOCI in Magnaeus, the world East of Calania was mostly unfamiliar. Most of the geographical and geopolitical data feeding the AO Atlas from the Cyanea region was provided by teams from the Free Kingdom of Falcania who ruled the skies in the region with total control. As a result, AOCI never sent any of its own Drones into the sector.

While the details were fuzzy, Aromai'i recalled reading that political change in the region had at one point seen the Whittorians claim control of the entirety of Southern Cyanea though there was some push back from the locals and reports of disputes to the Whittorians right to rule. Eventually, the Whittorian seat of government centralized on the smaller "Islandokere" abandoning the larger Cyanea landmass after it was believed an small asteroid had struck the region resulting in higher sea levels and potentially unsafe levels of foreign contaminants in the soils.

Aromai'i decided to research the file on Cyanea and was shocked at what they found. The last detailed report from the Falcanian's was years prior. It read:

CODE
FROM: HIGH ROOST
TO: AOCI HEADQUARTERS

[u]CYANEA SURVEY REPORT[/u]

[b]GEOPOLITICAL:[/b] Whittorian presence focused on Islandokere landmass.
Full separation from mainland Cyanea which has overtaken in part by floodwaters. Population have appropriately retreated.

[b]GEOLOGICAL:[/b] Cross-dimensional event has resulted in rising water levels hyper focused on outlying Cyanea.
No impact to surrounding nations. No assistance required.

Reference documentation attached and Update to follow


Update to follow? That was the last report from them. As Aromai'i thought longer on the topic they realized that no one from High Roost had attended the last 5 annual Cartography summits on Aoisland. Every single summit that Aromai'i had been to, the Cyanea & Luciterra Surveys were represented by a team from the Whittorian Islands of the Euran Overseas Territory. They were given the chance to review the Atlas, they were given a chance to report any changes in their area of regard - but nothing. No inputs, no objections, no "This entire nation is missing". Aromai'i decided to reach out to the Euran team, as well as the Falcanian's. They sensed something political was going on. The Eurans were trying to expand their footprint in Calania and likely weren't paying too much attention to what was going on in Cyanea. The Falcanians had recently ceded the Regional Delegacy back to Aoisland in a similar showing of putting their own interests ahead of those of the region. Of course, if the Whittorians had lost control of Delaclava they would certainly not be in any rush to update the Atlas to reflect that so would have no reason to self report.

Yptol Aromai'i had involved three of their colleagues in the hunt for answers surrounding the Delaclava inquiry. After getting a second look at the note from Mr. Sam Randolph, they realized that there was a new government in charge of Delaclava - a government that, unlike its predecessors, was focused on establishing and expanding relations with nations outside of Cyanea. Feeling more like detectives than Cartographers, the trio had abandoned the idea of packing their moving boxes and began to put together their theories on what had transpired to result in Delaclava not being on the map. The leading theory was as follows:
  • 1. A weak and isolationist government in Delaclava allowed neighbor Whittoria to penetrate its society to such an extent that they were able to convince other government leaders throughout Atlantian Oceania into believing they had peacefully taken control of Delaclava in order to increase its perceived influence in the region. The internalized Delaclava government was potentially aware, but uninterested in these developments. Overtime, the Delaclava nomenclature would disappear from maps entirely due to this influence and Passports from Delaclava were not accepted at newly founded borders.
  • 2. The Free Kingdom of Falcania was aware the Whittorian claims were invalid, but did not call them out on it as they did not want to disadvantage themselves from potentially taking ruler ship of Delaclava over themselves. It would be easier for Falcania to earn favor in taking Delaclava from Whittoria than from and Independent Delaclava themselves.
  • 3. When the cross-dimensional foreign object affected sea levels in the region, the Falcanians simultaneously minimized and exaggerated reports of the impact of the event, seeing a new opportunity to seize control of the area making it appear as though the land area and population density had been reduced in the region to a level that required no independent survey from AOCI members, and all reporting on changes in the region could be handled from High Roost.
  • 4. When the accurate reporting of Geological and Geopolitical changes in the region were no longer to their benefit, the Falcanians decided to stop attending the annual Summit at Aoisland. At the same time, however, a delegation from the Whittorian Islands showed up uninvited. The goal of the Euran Overseas Territory delegation was to begin negotiations for expansion of their holdings around Magnaeus and the former Sunrise lands bordering New West Guiana. When they realized that Falcania were not in attendance, they named themselves representatives of Cyanea and Luciterra even though they had not prepared any surveys of the sector. They self-assumed de-facto representation of the sector and attended subsequent summits under the guise of being the designated Cyanea & Luciterra team but really only looking to collect information that would further boost their claim to expansion within the Former Calanian Union.
  • 5. When a new government was elected in Delaclava, they relaxed many of the former isolationist policies, and strived for a policy of openness and inclusion into regional affairs with step one being to re-claim their identity on the official Atlas. This would have the knock on effect of nullifying attempts from Whittoria and Falcania to assert control over their lands and exposing the team from the Euran Overseas Territory as not having provided good faith representation of the Cyanea & Luciterra surveyance sector at the Annual AO Cartography Summit in Aoisland.
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Posted: Apr 19 2020, 08:02 PM
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AOCI Temporary Headquarters, Lopinka, Vilita :: Yptol Aromai'i had another message flashing in their communicator. Finally, the Falcanians had gotten back to them. The trio hovered around the screen to see if the contents of the message would confirm their somewhat extraordinary theory for how politics, major acts of nature and ignorance and shaped the AO Atlas.

CODE
[b]RE: Clarification of latest Cyanea & Luciterra Survey[/b]

Greetings Yptol! After receiving your inquiry we were happy to review previous
survey data we have collected for Cyanea & Luciterra. We note a discrepancy in
the file that was sent in our last Survey submission to the Cartography Institute.
It appears that one of the file layers was inadvertently set to hidden before the
topographical data was packaged digitally. The updated file is attached. We note
that the physical copy of the survey that was sent along with our original report
correctly depicted the changes to the landmass resulting from sea level changes.

Please also pass along our apologies for being unable to attend the most recent
Cartography Summit on Aoisland.

Glory be to High Roost


"Here we go" Aramai'i muttered as they went to open the file, wondering if the Falcanians were just being crass or ignorant - they had missed five summits! Did they not realize the missed more than one, or were simply only sorry for missing the most recent one? The file appeared on the screen

The Trio collectively 'hmmm'd' at the data

"Well that looks a lot more like I remembered it" one of them said. Yptol spent a few moments turning the missing layer on and off. Sure, this could have been an innocent screw up. The Falcanian's might have intended to send the proper data over following their surveying the impacts of the cross-dimensional event. They might have actually sent a physical backup of the data to ensure it was properly received and it might have simply been overlooked by the AOCI staff due to the temporary nature of their work environment transitioning from the purpose built Magnaeus Headquarters to the very much temporary and much less well organized Lopinka Complex. Or, it could have been intentional. Sure, the cross dimensional event had an effect of the shape of the Cyanea landmass. After years of the militarily scrawny (compared to Falcania) Whittorians trying to lay claim over Cyanea, High Roost may just have figured a little misdirection was the best way to facilitate their own expansion. Then, robotically cycling between the layers, Yptol could feel anxiety rising amongst their colleagues. It was time to take off the detectives hat and remember what their job was. They were Cartographers. All they really had to do was make sure it was right from this point forward. There was a whole differently facility on Aoisland for dealing with Regional Council matters and it wasn't one that any of the Cartographers ever wanted to be called to testify at.

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"I mean, whats a landmass between friends right?" as the trio chuckled, knowing that AO Atlas 1.8.2.1 was already out the door, on the printer and en-route to government officials throughout Atlantian Oceania. The Lopinka Headquarters of the Atlantian Oceania Cartography Institute was being packed up and many of the boxes had already been moved to the Tropicorp Warehouse for either long term storage or eventual relocation to the new headquarters.

"Days after press isn't probably the time for a major change like this... We have no capacity to handle it until the new Headquarters is up and running anyway" Aramai'i continued. "Which box do you think that Physical copy of the survey might be in?"

One of the Trio replied "I don't know, but my vote is we let them find it when unpacking the New Headquarters and deal with it then. Lets respond back to this Sam guy and tell him as much..."


CODE
RE: NetContact_Form: OUR NATION IS NOT ON YOUR MAP!! HELP!

Dear Sam,

Thank You very much for your inquiry. Please note the version of the Atlantian
Oceania Atlas which you have received is outdated and there have been a
number of iterations since this copy. I understand your concern regarding the
absence of Delaclava in the Southern Cyanea sector of the map. Please rest
assured that the Atlantian Oceania Cartography Institute does have accurate
survey data of Southern Cyanea including the lands occupied by your nation,
Delaclava. Please note the Atlantian Oceania Cartography Institute is currently
in the process of transitioning from its headquarters in Lopinka to a new home
in the Glorious South West! Once we have settled in to our new offices we will
immediately begin final review of Atlantian Oceania Atlas version 1.9.0. If you
would like to receive an advance draft copy of this Atlas please provide an
address where you would like this sent. I have included below our current
rendition of Southern Cyanea to ease your concerns regarding your outdated
Atlas variant.

Thank You,

Yptol Aramai'i
Second Chair Cartographic Associate
Atlantian Oceania Cartography Institute
Lopinka, Vilita | Tropicoast, Tropicorp


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The message was sent. The ball was crisis averted. The trio were about to go back to their packing duty but one of them noticed a new message had come in. It was from the Eurans.

"Oh the Eurans have responded. We've got to get packing. They probably just want to clarify their Calanian holdings once more. I'll forward this off now that we've dealt with the Delaclava situation. Lets go get some boxes!"
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