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Title: Battle Status

MAY 18. Shock, tragedy, and disbelief. As celebrations from the two-month anniversary of the ACC began winding down, the scene quickly changed from one of festivity, to one of horror. Hours after the event that will surely shake the very foundations of this surging alliance, the people are still left angered with despair, unable to find the words to express their emotions.

"Shock, tragedy, and disbelief."

At 1:32 in the afternoon, the leading officers of the ACC were stepping down from the float where they had been invited as honored guests at a local parade here in the capital. But then, the cries of jubilation were violently interrupted with what felt like one collective shriek, as the sound of gunfire broke out along the main parade column. In the aftermath of the chaos that followed, with panicked pedestrians trampling each other as a desperate mob, there were cries of sorrow over the single fatality from the incident.

21 year-old Prince Nicholas von Nusseburg, the ACC Operations Commander and scion of the First House of Nusseburg, was shot in the upper torso by what appeared to be two high-velocity sniper rounds. He was declared dead on arrival at St. John's Hospital.

In an investigation and manhunt of driven efficiency, arrests were made within hours. All of the men involved were associated with several known nationalist paramilitary groups who were reportedly against the recent pro-diplomacy, pro-defense movement that Prince Nusseburg championed in his final days. Rumors have been rampant that the assassination was carried out with support from Iraq's Freedom Alliance, but these have been unsubstantiated.

Even still, the arrests have brought little comfort to the Atlantic, where the people weep over their slain commander. As the sun sets here tonight, the city is quiet—quiet with the mourning of a future that could be lost. This is Kerry Pressman, reporting for Atlantic News, ACC Headquarters.

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