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The main inhabited planet of Glendathu, home to the capital Whiskey Colony and the K’Lath people, as well as Oberon occupants. This planet is mostly barren, but is under terraforming projects to create more hospitable areas to the colonists. This is also the base world for the operations of the Colonial Union.

Surrounded by the CU orbital fleet.
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The main inhabited planet of Glendathu, and the home planet of the Oberon.


Klendath is a part of Glendathu.

8 Places in Klendath:

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Khor Militia [4] The main fighting force of the Fh'Khoreth religious sect

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Sovereignty here has been granted to Joseph_Bennett!
Maxus Sywell has left the area, heading down towards Whiskey Colony.
Arrendal Mithras materializes from the void.
Arrendal Mithras vanishes into nothingness, but you get the feeling they are heading somewhere else.


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The desert planet.

It is not an isolated place, despite the desolate appearance from space.

Indeed, if you looked at the surface, you wouldn't see much. The species of man that lived there, the Oberon, were very seperated by the vast stretches of desert in between their colonies.

One might wonder how they had advanced up to this level of technology, considering the fact that metal was hard to get on this world and that most materials were as well.
The answer could likely be found in the pure, forceful determination of the Oberon to exist and adapt.

There were also theories as to how the Oberon got on the planet in the first place, as most of the life forms on Klendath lived under the sand, and almost none lived above it, and the Oberon were very clearly not made for this place. How did they evolve here? Most of the Oberon didn't believe in a higher power, but surely, that had to be a possibility, right? Tracing back their history as far as they can, it appears that they had always had the basic equipment needed to survive a desert planet. So perhaps they hadn't originated here.

There has always been a part of the mind that wants to know where it all comes from. Perhaps the expeditions would bring some answers. Perhaps they wouldn't. The answers would be soon determined.

As for now, the desert planet sat alone, silent save for the radio transmissions from ships above.


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Klendath was by no means a great place to live, so the many residents of the otherwise barren planet made the best of what they had.

One of these methods of entertainment most often used by the people were competitions of skill, and one of the competitions played out on a small mesa just south of Oscar Colony, with several dozen competitors gathering with their tread bikes in preparation for a race. The reward wasn't much, but many people travelled to watch and participate, simply because of the fact that it was something to do.

The competitors all had their bikes in a line behind a wooden fence that would fall, in a fashion not dissimilar to dirt bike racing. The bikes were all heavily varied, with many seemingly made from scrap.

The crowd were gathered, with some sitting in chairs, although many more were simply sitting in the on the dirt. Since the sun was setting, they didn't need the usual tarp covers to protect them from the usual extreme heat, and there was a mixture of torches and electric lights to illuminate the track.
The track itself was a winding, bumpy, and uneven trail, bordered with an assortment of metal and wooden boxes, barrels, and markers.

The track was overseen by several Rangers, men and women in tan tunics with grey chevrons on the shoulders and chest. They were all carrying a weapon of some sort, with mostly short iron bars, although one or two had a pistol made of pipe.

One of the Rangers steps forward, and raises a hand with a small revolver in it. He counts down, and the racers all rev their engines, and on a single shot, start off down the track.


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Somewhere north of Oscar Colony,
Glendathu system,
Persues Megra constellation
73,458lYs beyond the Charybdis Veil

Tibra (Spring),
2nd, 2671

Deep in the mesalands that divided the sandy desert seas, the slow march of civilization’s advance on Klendath had continued in the shadow of a monolithic structure that rose from the rocky shelves of the plateau. In the decades since its construction, the terraformer had sat silently in the empty reaches of some of the planet’s more abandoned territory. The valley which sat in the shadow of a mesa, where a sector of the terraformer’s habitat had carved a temperate landscape, was eclipsed by the hulk of the structure where a small settlement had taken root.

As gravel and rocks crunched beneath the heavy tires of an Exomog truck, the view of the stretching cliff-side settlement came into view from the cab of the Exogarden Peacekeeping Force hauler truck. It trundled away from what was possibly the last orbital-lander to leave the settlement with a shipment of evacuees. With a large, four-engined metal and steel dragon at the back of the truck, the silent occupants of the closed-top truck were faced with the imposing rock face stretching up from their front.

In the dark back of the truck a man coughed, the very taste of the air taking the breath from lungs that had only sustained recycled air. Rehabilitation from orbit was normally a process that would take several days, and allowed for the easier transition from traveling in starships down to planets far more comfortable than most of the occupants were feeling now.

“Metered dose administration of emergency levabutol.” A synthetic, growling voice remarked from somewhere in the dark. The other occupants seemed to move around then, one of the men pulling away a stretch of netting and tarp on where the robotic voice had come from.

The single ABE infantry droid was packed in amongst munitions and supplies, though its single ocular eye gave a soft blue glow to the darkness of the truck. With it, the six soldiers were bathed in a soft light that brought a cascade of disappointed sighs and groans as several of them were woken up.

“Turn off the fucking toaster!” A gruff voice shot out, while the truck then shuddered to a halt. A pounding hand on the back was met with another round of disappointment. As light finally drew in from the back of the truck clanging open, the soldiers inside were greeted with a sheet of concrete that had replaced the cliffside sprawl of the overhanging mesa.

”Out, lazy bones! Ge’ out!”

One of the men at the back wore a dirt colored, khaki uniform with a shemagh wrapped around his face. From the bare script on the chest of his ballistic armor, he was a Sergeant Major of the Bathe Republic’s Bleakshores Light Infantry Regiment. Out on the hot concrete, there were two or three dozen other men disembarking empty trucks as well, various khaki uniforms all now found together. As bleary eyes turned to a single man in sandy brown armor, a hawkish officer stood atop a crate, his helmet in one hand.

”Welcome to the Sanctuary, gentlemen. There has been an incident requiring the attention of the Peacekeepers.”

The man’s firm tone only grew more determined as he continued. “Nine hours ago the planetary governor and key members of government were executed on television by armed terrorists.” As he spoke, his rasping voice was boomed across the larger group by an automaton, similar to the one bound up in the truck, holding its detached cranial unit above two metallic shoulders.

“After discussion with the Juniors, I have requested that the EPKF not abandon life and property of the people of this planet to armed aggressors that would undo the work done here, work I have helped them build over the past thirty years.”

One of the men in the crowd of peacekeepers was finally able to spy a name, only having to put one gloved palm over his bad eye to see the black lettered name beneath a crowned white and blue flag. Camryn. Major Camryn. “I requested a shore battalion but have been denied, there are more important fights elsewhere and that equipment is needed elsewhere. Instead, we will be defending a strategic asset until suitable relief from friendly forces can be enacted.”

“To prevent any of the vital and life-saving technologies here from falling into enemy hands, on this planet or beyond, we will be defending this installation and the civilian settlement with friendly forces. Know that while we stand alone the eyes of the galaxy will be upon us, ladies and gentlemen. Be ready to defend yourselves accordingly.”


After the Major’s speech, the newly arrived peacekeepers were directed to the nearby armor where a myriad of hurried voices and personnel were busy arming the new arrivals, and the company-sized strength of Oberon soldiers that had been in the installation alongside the EPKF section. At the weapons tables, a swarthy Pirn hefted up an assault rifle, turning it over to a spindly armed Oberon who barely looked old enough to drive.

One of the Peacekeepers, the name ANDERSON stenciled on the patch on his chest, reached out to take the M-18 from the younger man. “Get him a Starling, I’ll need something with a medium barrel.” Anderson remarked, the Pirnish quartermaster only chortling as he produced a smaller, 9mm submachine gun that the Oberon would find easier to handle.

”You best hit the commissary and find some chow before it’s gone for the day - and the rebs and gubbies start blasting each other!”


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As the trucks of men unloaded onto the settlement’s concrete pathway, a young man watches alongside his several compatriots, looking on as the men, very distinctly more organized than the militiamen that were currently based in the station. He says a quick goodbye to his friends as they stare in quiet observation at the assemblage of soldiers, standing before their shouting leader, quickly setting down across the camp, running across a variety of people gathered either watching the newcomers, and a small crowd of individuals gathered around a weathered box television, the screen dusty and weathered with dust and sand.
The young man steadily sprints along a weathered path until he comes across a camp, and runs into one tent, slowing down as he opens a flap.
“Grandfather, Grandfather!” he says, rather loudly, interrupting an ancient, shirtless man with a beard down to the middle of his chest, seemingly in the middle of a prayer. “What now, boy?” his grandfather intones, squinting in the light of the sun. I was in prayer, boy. Is nothing sacred to the young? By Godwind.” The boy doesn’t take the time to look ashamed before hurtling on. ”Grandfather, the peace-fighters are here, like Erva said! They are here to help. We will push back the rebels!” The Grandfather shakily stands, before grabbing a long, wooden rifle he uses to steady himself from a nearby cot, the design similar to that of a a Mosin-Nagant. He stares intently into the eyes of his grandson, and shakes his head. “My son’s son, you should not dream of war, like many of you young make the mistake of. I told you to board the savior ships with your Mother and your sisters, but you insisted. I don’t want you to have to go through what I have. War is not for children.” The boy’s face turns a light shade of red, but he doesn’t say anything. The elder sighs, and pushes out of the tent and into the setting daylight. “Go and get a gun you can handle, boy. Godwind willing, at least be ready to fight, if you are so insistent.”
The boy nods and runs back up the path as his grandfather weakly follows.
Soon, he comes to the newly erected armor, where he stands in line with some of his friends, many discussing how exciting the new people would be, and how surely the Khor would flee upon seeing the organized movement of the Peace-warrior spacers. “We will have this solved in a single tenday!” one laughs, the boy chuckling hesitantly alongside them. They go around as they slowly move forward in line, discussing what they’ll do when the revolution is put down until it comes to the boy. “What about you, Almed? What will you do?” one of his friends asks. The boy spends a couple seconds thinking before responding. “I’ll probably continue to help Mother and the family with the goats, I suppose.” His friends look at him, straight faced for a couple seconds, before collectively bursting into laughter, one of them clapping him on the back. He again turns red-faced. He’s about to retort when he realizes that he’s about to be at the front of the line, and his friends walk up and collect their weapons, many gathering M18s from the Exogarden armorer, or AK-74s from the K’Lath representative, who Almed quickly realizes is one of his Grandfather’s friends, who would surely give him a bolt-rifle like Grandfather used, but which he was no good with. He decides to take his chances with the spacer weaponsman, a wide, shorter man, who the boy hesitantly steps up to. The man rustles around a bit before handing him a large, heavy rifle, which he takes, the weight unwieldy but manageable. He begins to speak in common, saying “Thank you,” before being quickly interrupted by another spacer who plucks the rifle from him before quickly saying something to the weaponsman, who chuckles and hands Almed a smaller rifle, which he hesitantly takes and mutters another thank you before walking off to meet with his friends again.
He eventually finds them, all standing around and eating the food the K’Lath grubmaster had given them, a soup made of goat flesh and a variety of spices and vegetables. They’re all wearing their rifles, eager to show them off, all large and high-calibered, when Almed walks up, and they spot his rifle. “Why did they give you a woman’s weapon?” one asks, seemingly seriously, the others trying not to laugh. Almed sighs, and says quietly that they didn’t, another man with the word “Anderson” sketched on his shirt took the rifle they gave him and switched it for the Starling. Upon hearing this, the other boys sober. “You really should stand up for yourself, Almed. It would do you good.” Almed just shakes his head and continues eating. “I mean, it’s not your fault you’re small. You’re just later in… uh… well, it’s not your fault,” another one says.
Almed just sighs, and mumbles “I’m going to go back to camp and get ready for colors.”
As he leaves, the other boys, all between the ages of 16 and 18, look at each other darkly before setting off along the outside eating area, searching for the peacekeeper named Anderson.

3 miles southeast.
18:23 PM, Dark Hours.

The sun was setting rapidly, leading into a night that would be surprisingly short. Twelve men in a variety of clothes, the single unifying feature being grey and purple shemaghs wrapped around their faces, stand around a small campfire, one of a camp of about a dozen, roughly 130 men. They have treadbikes around them, snowmobile-like vehicles designed for traversing desert dunes. The light smoke rises from the campfire, quickly dispersed in the wind, as small amounts of food cook over it, mostly hunks of meat from goats and desert lizards. The men, waiting as they watch their food cook, are passing around a pipe of sorts, filled with what appears to be purple dust.
The men, as evidenced by their outfits, appear to be Khor militiamen, the splinter army forwarded by their religious separatist group, the Fh'Khoreth. They have a single leader, a man in plain robes with a large circular, toothed symbol sewn onto his back and shoulders, a Fh'Khoreth warpriest, should anyone familiar with them have seen it.
"Eat and rest well, brothers," the man intones. "Come the time, we shall set off and see what this monolith to these L'Chek space-mongrel's god has done, that taints the desert so." He references the distant greenery, motioning towards it as he speaks to the assortment of men, both young and middle-aged. "Soon these filthy unbelievers will be eaten by the scavengers of the desert, as we advance with the full might of the Brotherhood."
They continue to smoke the Melange, although some of the older men seem reluctant. Two of them glance at each other before standing and walking to the edge of the camp, before conversing in hushed tones.
"This fanatic is a madman. I do not believe we are ready to take on an army of foreign soldiers."
"You lack faith, brother. We are surely capable of at least scouting the camp, learning what powers they hold. No alien sorcery will stop us."
"I think you lack sense, my brother. Think. These men are capable of sending off the children and women to safer spaces through rockets, and have been altering the desert since we were but children. Their sorcery is powerful."
The other man shakes his head. "I am fearful, my brother, but we cannot simply leave. Even if we are to make it back to Victor, we would be trialed as criminals, and not just us, but our families would be killed as well. No. We must fight, and if so, die to protect our kin."
"Still, my brother and friend, I hate to think what would happen to our families should we be on the losing side in this war. I remember our days in the Mobile Infantry, when we would not fear combat against our own blood. Now, we are a nation divided, and I know not which side to fight for."
"I know not either. I will pray on this."
"I as well."
The men step back into the camp, and sit across from each other, tiredly observing as the younger men begin to consume the Spice Melange, and watch as they begin to exhibit the telltale signs of agitation, and warily take the pipe as it is passed around.
The warpriest rises.
"Stay vigilant, brothers! Come midnight, we advance with the rest of the force!"


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The quartermaster area was along a flat escarpment, using the mesa’s natural terrain to make an ammo dump that was shielded from the air and also straddled one of the main supply routes that led through the valley. There was dust and sand still blowing down from the escarpment, giving the place a bath of fine silicon with stronger gusts of the wind, which tugged at tarps and netting that tied down weaponry and hardware.

As the wind carried another shroud of whisping dust down onto the parade ground below, a pair of peacekeepers dragged a flapping edge of netting back across a pile of munitions, the two men sputtering through mouthfuls of grit and sand. “Montie - Montie tie the net down! Montie the fucking net - Montie - Montie tie the fucking net down!”

“Sorry mate, cheeky fucker wants to do a stroll!” One of the peacekeeper’s said, the cackling Tranebian jumping down into a trench that ran along the perimeter of the parade ground. Tying off the hanging strap into one of the stone support pillars, the peacekeeper sat back on a small cut out in the trench. With a groan, he tore the clunky helmet free from his head, revealing pale features and a bald head as stuffy, stale air filled his lungs. “Why does this planet taste so fucking salty?”

“On account of 94 percent of it being dry land. Supposed to be 93 come next solar cycle.” The other peacekeeper remarked, HOMER stenciled on the ID patch on his vest, hopping down into the trench from the bright, windy environs above and then settling into the cooling darkness. “And there’s lots of salt flats around.”

“94 percent? Talk about a dirtball.” Montie sighed, reaching a gloved hand out to grasp at a straw that came sprouting from the shoulder of his ballistic vest. The moisture-drawing bladder in his suit squeezed what little water there was to take from the air, and drained it into his mouth. His other hand was pulling out a nutri-bar and offering it to his friend.

Homer and Montie both then stood, taking the most they could of a brief rest until staring out at the rest of the soldiers preparing their defenses. Their eyes came back towards the quartermaster, who was unfolding the stock of an MP-24C machine carbine, and exchanging it to a peacekeeper that had taken an M-18A from a young Oberon male.

As Montie crossed his gloves in front of himself, on the parapet of the trench, he studied the man. The peacekeeper turned over the rifle in his hands, half-gloved fingers checking the vent catch, the magazine well and the selector all in one expert motion. As the two peacekeepers continued to stare, Homer leaned sideways.

“Hey, you ever seen a Sentran before?” Homer whispered, bobbing his head over towards the quartermaster. The words rang empty for a few moments, the heat cooking Montie’s thoughts into brittle mush. But when he noticed the khaki fatigues, he shifted against the lip of the trench as well.

Somewhere centuries ago, when he was younger Montie remembered when he was still in school. During the tumultuous years of the Galactic Commonwealth. He remembered the prop-feeds of the Edenite rebellions and Scatter’s Wolves, nuclear terror bombings and the colony attacks.

“Not like - an actual one.” Was all Montie could offer back up, as Homer gave a nonchalant wave over towards the quartermaster.

“I thought they were all dead, prop-feed says they were muted - gene-keyed, like they say they’re gonna’ do to the Aschen.” Homer remarked, a bemused darkness in his tone that only came from prolonged exposure to the extranet. Montie only patted his gloved hands up and down against the sandbags of the trench.

”I think you need to leave your e-bus on the charger more.”

Across from the quartermaster was the Tactical Operations Center for the firebase, known as Hotel, which sat behind the battlefield fortifications that marked the farthest edges of what was being referred to as the Protection Zone. Here, the first defensive lines had been prepared to control the approaches into and through the valley. Several small villages and hamlets dotted the main road and gentle hills of the valley, which naturally formed supply and communications lines. The farthest ones were a pair of goat farms against a hill that formed a lynchpin into the open plains of the valley.

“There’s a goat farm on the approach to our defensive shed.” A Sergeant reported, standing atop a small outcropping of rock. In one hand, he held the e-bus tablet which displayed the EPKF’s hardened positions scattered throughout the valley. In the other he brought the BAV binoculars up to his eye, scoping to the west where a collection of homes and shacks was found.

Major Camryn stood off to the side, two hands fixed in the straps of his ballistic vest, with a folding-stock rifle hanging off his groin as he took in the view from atop the hill. Down below, dust picked up from the spinning wheels of armored cars that trundled along widened goat paths that branched from the road. The M1112F Saber was a main-stay armored car of the Exogarden, even as the design itself was practically aged out of the millenia.

Still, tires rolled everywhere.

The two peacekeepers remained still as the dust swept the fortified position when the cars rolled to a stop, the Oberon flags waving against the wind. The Sergeant dropped his binoculars down around his neck, one hand then resting on his carbine strapped to his chest. As the occupants disembarked, the Sergeant handed the tablet over to the Major.

“Captain Ahtaf.” The Major began, shaking hands with one of the masked Oberon soldiers. As the soldiers began taking over the position, the two EPKF officers conversed with their host-nation counterparts. “This position here is going to be your first contact point, we have another patrol that will be joining you here in thirty.”

Three kilometers away, another armored car sped along the rugged ground, dirt and rocks flinging up behind it as the rear hatch popped open and a peacekeeper rose himself out through the opening. Adjusting an antenna mounted on the back of the armored car, he then looked up into the sky until he found a black speck against the planet’s imposing sun.

From a low enough altitude the MRD-20 Beaudrone was easily visible to the naked eye, like an olive-drab shark skulking in the skies above. Through a series of haptic relays, the powerful electronic suite onboard the armored car allowed the peacekeeper to directly view and control the Beaudrone that loitered above.

As the civil war dragged on it had been orbiting in a concentric circle over the various battlefields that developed around the terraforming station, which had allowed the Saber and it’s crew of three peacekeepers to have an almost real-time view of the fighting around them. Situational awareness was a military necessity, exemplified nowhere more than during a small-scale defensive operation. As radios began to sound along the positions, the final Saber continued speeding down the main roadway.

”This is Recon on all frequencies, fighting between government and rebel forces has crossed into the Protection Zone, we’ve got a few hours before the first waves start reaching the drone fields!”


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The collective response to the arrival and hurried fortification of the peacekeepers was varied, some younger and middle-aged K'Lath rushing to help, while many of the older simply stood by and kept their junior counterparts organized, quietly, and in some cases judgingly, staring at their newfound comrades as they rushed to complete work.

In the TOC, or "Tock," as the natives referred to it, a joking reference to the word "To'hock," meaning a church, Captain Ahtaf shifts slightly as he adjusts the strap of the AK-74 over his shoulder while shaking the Major's hand, and pulls down his mask, showing a young but incredibly tired face. "Esteemed brother, I-" He catches himself, and begins speaking in a more casual tone, in Common. "I apologize. I have had to please my many older counterparts with platitudes, although I do hope you are accepting of my more modern tone. I do not speak Common too eloquently, but I hope I can at least convey the point that we are indebted to your service to our people."
He lets go of the Major's hand and continues, almost awkwardly, likely due to the fact that he's new to such customs. "I understand that the fighting has been going on, spiralling down to this point." He lowers his voice. "I have some experienced men, but many are boys or elders who came here seeking refuge. We have almost no Colonial Union military here, they have left us to regroup in Whiskey Province, where the Union is trying to build their forces to launch a counter-assault. The command is fearful, they fear everything. I fear that they are unstable, and will end up destroying us and themselves. I trust your people with our lives, but I fear that soon our own nation will begin to work against itself." He adjusts himself, leaning back. "I apologize. I have spent many fearful days before you arrived, as I am sure my many comrades have."
Outside the sheltered TOC, off in the distance, a flying figure accompanied by a quiet roaring sound that slowly grows in volume begins to near the outside of the western edge, and reveals itself as a "Duster," the common name for a jet-powered personnel carrier. It's streaked with white paint, and has an emblem, a sun with a lightning bolt inside of it, placed over the cockpit.
It slows down and lands some distance outside of the TOC, on an open spot outside of the fortifications, hovering as it forcefully blasts air down and around.
As it lands and begins to power down, the side doors open and out climb roughly ten men and women, their faces concealed by filter masks. Behind them, a man dressed in khakis and a white dress shirt steps out, and unbuckles his mask, squinting in the light.
They approach the encampment and are ushered in by the K'Lath guards, where the man walks into the room, flanked on either side by two of the soldiers, as the others disperse out into the surrounding defenses.
These soldiers were, on closer inspection, quite peculiar, as their skin appeared to be toned a deep green, although in some cases inefficiently covered with gray uniforms, trimmed with blue, in a sort of dress style.
The general acceptance of these newcomers varies, with many of the K'Lath loyalists retreating silently, muttering oaths or prayers. Several of the soldiers with the green tone laugh and make quick, aggressive gestures, unclearly in jest, towards the regular loyalists, many of whom flinch or withdraw heavily.

One individual, a younger K'Lath, around seventeen, wearing a yellow T-Shirt and a combat rig with several 7.62 magazines strapped into it, as well as a blue baseball cap, hops down from the top of an emplacement, into a trench and quickly walks over to the two soldiers, Homer and Montie. He leans with his back against the wall near them, and says in older common, like he's half aware of it, "I never did like those green-skinned devils. They were not made like you or me, you see?" He chuckles, and then holds out his hands, one over the other, in introduction to the two. "For real though, stay away from them. They are not sane. I am Abrim. You two are?"


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Major Camryn was a stalwart Tranebian, he shared the typical sharp, royal features that many of the Oberon would describe, in the spanning decades of their planet’s re-entry to the galactic fold, as Gardenite. He stood a few heads taller than the Oberon and fellow Edenite peacekeepers in the TOC with him. His skin was white, yet tanned from the years of the sun into a shady cream that bore all the small marks and scars of his years on the planet.

With his gloved grip, it was as the iron will of a thousand worlds made itself manifest on the planet there. The Major and other peacekeepers were silent in the command center, the Captain and other Oberon nervous, expectedly. Besides Camryn stood a shorter Gardenite, mutton chops twisted and dusty from the planet’s earth. The two had been some of the longest to stay on the planet, and had watched many of Oberon soldiers that had come to defend their homes when they had first begun.

“This is an important moment for your world, Captain.” The Major began, dropping his hand to his side as he stood before a rusty table sprawled with a holo-projection of the battlespace. “You’re right to be nervous … there’s something you need to see.”

With a swipe of his hand, he drew open a sprawling projection of the sweeping frontline. More like a long string of sensors and observation points that watched the battles unfold between the rebel and government forces, where the lumbering legs of a sprawling machine could be seen in the mist.

“What we built on this planet, your people will want to use as a weapon. Both in the rebels and in your own government, this is why I will not hand this property over to anyone but the Oberon people living here. This gift is not for the powerful or the wealthy of your world to control, it is for the future of life on this planet.”

Amongst the swirling dust walls and swirling desert storms, the shuddering metallic limbs continued lumbering on. There was a destructive wake, like watching a great shark wade through the murky waters along the shore.

”There is something out there that will build an army for the rebels, and it will do the same for whoever is still left alive in your government if they bring it back to here,”

The map shifted back to the mesa, and then deep into the core of the terraforming complex that sat beneath one of the many ancient volcanoes that dotted the planet. Nestled within, the sprawling geo-vein that ran down into the core of the planet.

”This thing is not a machine, it is a monster. It has been waiting for decades, maybe longer, to get out of whatever grave it’s been buried in - this war is just a smokescreen for it.”

Seizing the silence of the moment, the Sergeant spoke up, giving a quick scratch at the bottom of his neck to drive some dust out. “We’re about pinned on all sides, but we’ve got all the cards we need - because this thing thinks he’ll be able to just walk on in here and plug himself in.”

Camryn then spoke again, the map sprawling out to the defensive lines in the valley entrance to the Sanctuary.

”I will not trade this world over to the same evil that destroyed my own, Captain. I just need to know if you and your people are ready to fight.

Elsewhere in Firebase Hotel

Homier, Montie were joined to a section of other peacekeepers who had gathered at the trench by the motor pool after the reconnaissance car came shooting through on its way back to the town of Sanctuary, giving a near, hurried pace to the preparations for defense. Montie had lost track of the Sentran, disappearing somewhere with the mysterious “special detachments”. Their chalky, tan uniforms were a sharp, darker contrast against the Lizard pattern and khaki that the peacekeepers from off-world wore.

“Hey check it out,” Homer pointed to a hovering aircraft coming to the landing pad as he strapped down one last piece of kit onto the open-top Saber that would be the section’s transport out across the valley. As one of the young soldiers that had disembarked approached, Montie was seated on the floor with a disassembled weapon at his feet, the enormous MG-40B general-puprose machine gun sat with the internals on display.

Montie couldn’t help but notice how young the man was, even though Montie himself didn’t look a day over twenty. “Cheers mate, weird friends ya’ got there.” He remarked to the other, strange Oberon. There were all sorts of things one had to prepare themself for in the Exogarden, but throughout Montie’s service nothing had prepared him for the strangeness to be found throughout the galaxy.

“It’s the Obies’ own little gene-works - impressive really, oughta’ be a bit more tactful with handing out gene-key tech so willy-nilly.” Came another Aenglian accent, the peacekeeper loading a magazine into his carbine. HARRIS stenciled on the ID block on his chest.

“I heard they’re for the ranger and patrol ops, they can sit in the desert longer.” Homer offered, nursing a canteen with several deep gulps. “You think they’re gonna’ send out a night-op? I bet that’s why they’ve got a bunch of those soggies skulking around.”

Montie took the thought for a moment. Was that why a Sentran had been landed? It would explain why, despite being surrounded and outnumbered, things had been surprisingly quiet.

Harris clicked his tongue, looking over to the young Oberon. “First thing to know, don’t fucking talk too much like this guy. And stay away from him in the field, too. He attracts a lot of bullets.”

“I think that’s a sign of efficiency.” Homer came back shortly, putting the canteen away back into a pack on the Saber’s hood.

Harris and Homer then began to talk with Abrim, a few basic pointers about avoiding crossfires and staying away from the autos in transit, and definitely don’t take too much of the stims because it made a bad case of IBS.

Montie however, stared out across the tarmac to a nearby hut built against the rock features. There, he spotted those same chalky-uniformed men, assured he recognized one of them as the Sentran he had spotted earlier at the quartermaster.

And it was, Anderson briefly turned to look back out the hut before disappearing behind the door. There was a short cough as the air suddenly became cold, the deep rock of an abandoned mine and cavern bringing a respite from the unrelenting heat outside. He was joined by three other men, each armed with a short barrel rifle equipped with blocky suppressors.

As they walked along the empty cavern path, their footsteps were only joined by voices after passing through another wide opening in the rock. There, two other soldiers stood next to two ABEs, the man-sized automatons adjusting holo-projectors from their shoulders into the cavern air.

“You three the point team?” One of the men asked gruffly, the Sergeant pulling down the front of his facemask, and flipping up the night-fighting devices mounted on his helmet.

Anderson was the first to speak, nodding. “Aye, what’s the job?” The Sergeant then flashed a hand over to one of the autos, a holo-map spilling over the ground of the cave network out of the valley. From the eagle’s eye view, it was easy to spot the Sanctuary and her defensive cone nestled safely between the valley, as well as some of the villages that lay just beyond the perimeters in the ‘enemy contested zones’.

”We’ll be doing some fire-recon alongside host-nation forces, we’re expecting concentrations of enemy infantry to reach the defensive perimeters by tomorrow, but they’ll be starting an attack without any support. Natives have provided a map of cavern systems into enemy supply sites, let’s kick a leg and help our bluefor friends give the bad guy a little hurt for once.”