The taking of Planal V
In the conflict that opposes the I.D.E.A. to the rebel forces of the Ordeal, battles are often asymmetric. The overwhelming military power of the former makes it impossible for the latter to face them in pitched battles. Instead, they mostly rely on guerilla tactics, sabotage and terrorist attacks to weaken their foe. Nevertheless, the rebel group managed several times, with the support of local forces, to snatch dimensions from the agency. That was mostly due to the company deciding that the place was not worth the trouble of engaging in a full-fledged war. One dimension escapes this general rule, a world that the I.D.E.A. still tries actively to get back, with little success so far.
The dimension is an unconventional one. Time may flow differently from one dimension to another, but the change is often small enough to be barely noticeable. Planal V does not play by the rules, and time is leagues faster here than anywhere else. As an example, a second on Terra is 7 hours and 12 minutes on Planal V. This desynchronisation has several effects on travels to and from the dimension, including guaranteed nausea while the body adapts to the faster rhythm and an impossibility for regular Inter-Dimensional Train to work properly.
The main interest of the dimension is research and development. Such processes take an incompressible amount of time and the most ambitious can even take years, an eternity on some worlds. Whether it be scientific or weaponry research, the I.D.E.A. has all the reasons to control the dimension, and the Alternative even more, if only to deny its enemy.
The I.D.E.A. tried to keep secret the characteristics of Planal V for as long as possible, taking the dangerous gamble of sustaining a minimal garrison and no permanent explorer to make it seem that the dimension is dull and uninteresting. Unfortunately for them, the spy network of the I.D.E.A. managed to stealthily catch the information. The Ordeal made its preparation in complete secrecy and mobilised around 50.000 soldiers and 3 Icarryan Explorers to face off the 15.000 I.D.E.A. troups. The attack did not need to be lightning fast, but once launched reinforcement would only arrive late.
The assault was planned for the 4th of November 2518 at 05:36. The leader of the Ordeal himself, Kozyn Yrridye Ultrae, took the lead of the operation. Since it was not possible for the full invasion force to land at the same time, three waves were sent using the biggest portal in their possession. It took a whole Planal V day to have all the troops ready.
The intel about the garrison on Planal V contained no more than the number of soldiers and the rough estimate of their armoury. A crucial piece of information was missing, the corp of the thousands of guards were part of. No mere troops, they were 4 elite platoons stationed in the dimension. Even with three explorers on the Ordeal's side, the outcome was now uncertain. Icarryans are not invincible, and there is only so much they can do against a war fortress.
If the losses were too great on their side, the attackers were not sure to survive the reinforcement that the I.D.E.A. was mobilising and theirs would come too late. Kozyn had to find a way to overcome the resistance with minimal losses, and he succeeded. Displaying once again his great sense of strategy, he managed to blow up the fortress with less than two thousand losses.
The Ordeal is still in control of Planal. The I.D.E.A. tries regularly to send a vendetta to retrieve their lost colony, but the protection erected by the former master of barriers Taddeus Kil holds them off. It was suggested that an important garrison at all times, one that could be mobilised in an instant from the point of view of any dimension. It was rejected in the end, as sustaining such a force in Planal V may be possible with the near-illimited resources of the I.D.E.A., but the Ordeal cannot afford it.
The main opposition of the I.D.E.A. is without a doubt the Alternative, an organisation as tentacular as the one it aims to take down, divided into three main factions
- The Right Vision: The main faction, versatile in its actions but leading the economic and political fight.
- The Ordeal: The most violent faction, gathering all fighters and revanchists to spearhead the military conflicts.
- The Exode: A smaller faction trying to develop its own interdimensional travel technology to escape the Dominium's grasp.
On the non-intervention of Explorers
Both Icarryans and Aclyers are individuals of great power, equaling thousands of soldiers. Although they are not meant to take part in wars, their mere presence would be enough to turn the tides of a battle. Both the I.D.E.A. and the Alternative count explorers or former explorers in their ranks, ready to take action. They are however invaluable assets, that neither side can afford to lose. Furthermore, the showdown between two explorers would ravage the land and cause heavy losses. As an implicit rule, explorers are not to step up on the battlefield if another one is known to stand with the opposite side.
This is another reason for the I.D.E.A.'s global supremacy. The agency has about a hundred times more explorers than the Alternative. It is then easier for it to dispatch at least one explorer on every front, to either force a stalemate or take advantage of the lake of one in the opponent forces.