The Multiverse

Setting

The Aurora nebula is situated along the far outer fringes of the Scutum-Centaurus arm of the Milky Way galaxy. It is is home to numerous star systems, though the prominent ones that are currently known to be populated include only a handful. The Aurora nebula is largely uncharted territory though, and who knows what might lie around the corner?

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The Aurora

The Aurora nebula is home to countless star systems, though the prominent ones that are currently known to be populated include only a handful.

Minimap

The Aurora is a part of Scutum-Centaurus Arm.

3 Places in The Aurora:

15 Characters Here

Adsiltia [40] "All I seek is Knowledge. Tzeentch provides me with what I wish to know and urges me ever onward"
Cally Tallymadge [24] "Once I was Human with a tortured Mind. Now I see all and am all that exists"
Dion Costas [13] Commander, Classis IX Provincia Arastel; Hastati Class Cruiser 'Mercurial Strike"
Aren Markblac [10] "Hey kids, want some heresy?"
The Zero-One Collective [10] The amassed armies of Aiyanna-A
The Scatterran Navy [3] The belligerent cosmic arm of the Coalition Military Apparatus, the Navy is the largest Scatterran military branch, spanning nearly a thousand worlds.
Nystra Sanoja [2] An angel of Chaos who has consumed the Deity who posessed the Ruinous power knowledge, magic, and change
Cain the Cannibal [2] The Infamous Space Pirate.

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Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Sheila Nagala Character Portrait: Imperial Defense Force Character Portrait: E.V.E. Character Portrait: Ceres Genna Character Portrait: Exogarden Forces
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Aboard the Far Sight Lost.

"Admiral, we've established two-way communications with the Exogarden Carrier Elyxion." EVE chimed in, while the Admiral remained focused on the large holographic table before her.

A shimmering audio icon flashed in the upper right hand corner, and the Admiral slowly reached up to touch it. Keying the communications, she was about to factor response until another contact appeared on the far side of the system.

"Additional ships detected, authenticating identification codes now, It's the Psalm Everyday." EVE reported, the second Reverence II roughly half an AU away pinging on the Far Sight Lost's command grid. This caused Admiral Genna to frown. "This is Provincial Garrison's Command, why is Fleet here?" Genna asked herself quietly.

"Ad Victoriam, Far Sight Lost, this is Psalm Actual, I'll be taking command of this operation as of this moment, I require a full sitrep, and a link up with the Starfleet Carrier in high orbit over the planet." Admiral Nagala's voice carried loud and crisp over the CIC's speaker system, linking the second Reverence II into the Aschen Datalink. It took roughly two minutes for Nagala to go over the identifiers, before she instructed EVE to broadcast to the CNS Elyxion.

"Attention Elyxion Actual, this is Fleet Admiral Nagala, supreme commander of the Imperial Navy, be advised I'll be taking full operational command of all Imperial Assets in system as of now, and I am requesting a full briefing on this package your forces have intercepted."

Pushing some stray black hair from her face, Nagala keyed up her own display, a wide-field display of the entire star system, with Aschen and Exogarden assets highlighted in green, and soft blue respectively. Something this dangerous would no doubt get Intelligence's attention, so she had to act swiftly. She adjusted the peaked cap that rested on her head, and manipulated the controls slightly, to reposition her own Reverence II into a lagrangian point inside the star system, far removed from everything that had been transpiring below.

Below, aboard the Far Sight Lost, Admiral Genna had already recieved new orders from Nagala to begin securing the entire port city immediately for termination, with the Empire's zero-tolerance policy concerning insurgents, the fact had disturbed Admiral Genna greatly.

"Admiral.." One of the Tactical Officers called out. "Fleet's just disseminated revised objectives, they want us to glass the continent?"

Reading the text associated with the order file, Genna nodded. "It's part of the Empire's Zero Tolerance policy when it comes to insurgencies. They don't want to differentiate between friend, and foe, so they want to kill them all. Fortunately, the order stipulates that we're to assist the Exogarden with whatever their objective is, and then raze this city to the ground once all ground assets have withdrawn."

Focusing on the display in front of her, she listened intently to the Marine chatter below.

"We have Scatteran forces moving against the north side of the port, I've identified this warehouse here." EVE reported, highlighting a warehouse where Alpha 2-4 had begun stacking for insertion.

"Our Adepts are closest to this position, we have enemy RPG positions in these offices here." EVE reported, highlighting a red office building, roughly four storeys tall.

Genna nodded slightly, tapping the building.

"One-two, quarter charge, make it so." Genna ordered.

"By your command." EVE reported.

Roughly two blocks from the northern warehouse, inside an office building, a group of insurgents were forming up with a heavy RPG as the line of Aschen war Adepts moved along the side street to the north, unfortunately for them, something big was about to happen.

Those on the ground would hear a deafening, shrill whine, followed by a strange staticky buzz, and a forty thousand roentgen spike in energy, and then there was two blinding green flashes of light, followed by a deafening, thunderous boom-boom, as one of the bow-turrets on the underside of the Reverence II opened fire, engulfing the office building in a flash of neon-green plasma, and sending a shockwave that shattered windows, and set off car alarms.

Amidst the chaos, eight war adepts in blue armor emerged from a nearby overturned eighteen-wheeler, calling out to the Marines stacking at the warehouse.

"Hey! I heard you guys needed a hand, you want us to go in first!" The Adept sergeant called out, his armor bearing the insignia of the Aschen Navy, and the stripes for sergeant. He chambered a twenty-millimeter Magnetron bolt, before he kicked down the jersey barrier that separated the roadway.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Sheila Nagala Character Portrait: E.V.E. Character Portrait: Ceres Genna Character Portrait: Exogarden Forces Character Portrait: Amritha
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Captain Aatos stood with his hands behind his back, looking at a diagnostic of the Reverence II. He had only seen one in person years before when he was younger, on a distant world in the Eastern Republics in a war long ago …

“We’ve found new arrival contacts, signatures read Aschen ships!”

The shrill bark of an Ensign brought him out of his thoughts, and the Captain cautiously glanced over his shoulder once more, as if expecting to find someone in the crow’s nest behind him. “Fuck - this is the CNS Elyxion. We’ve tracked a smuggling pipeline, one end Exogarden security forces uncovered on a planet in the Charybdian Shores. Whatever these insurgents have been smuggling to Aschen space has required considerable resources, an entire life support system even … “ As Jakob began to debrief the Aschen admirals, he was sure to keep the most important cards to his chest - or rather, to the chest of the High Commodore that sanctioned this operation.

What was more concerning was the resistance put up planetside that left an uneasy burning in him, even with the arrival of the Aschen. Amritha’s personal interest in this mission was another factor that drew him to a darker and darker place as he spoke.

“Every smuggler and bootlegger will be running to the star lanes after we neutralize this den, so if there’s anyone you’ve needed to bring in for questioning I’d think about that right now. This is the largest trafficking lane we’ve found in the past few years, and whatever it’s for … well, it’s big as hell.”



Planetside, the eight marines packed at the warehouse readied their weaponry. A Lance Corporal adjusted the firing arm of his MG2 autosuit. The exoskin was light enough for use by even the most mobile of marines, while allowing the user to carry a heavy belt as well as the use of an articulating arm for operating the larger machineguns. The MG-40B hanging by his hip was one of those larger machineguns.

“Ay look, more locals!” A Private replied, loading a 42mm grenade into the magazine tube of the GL-91 grenade launcher. Several of the other marines were quick to recognize the Aschen, giving them a quick all-clear and then waving them over.

“You idiot, those are the fuckin’ Asch - we’ll open it up and you can storm it!” Another Corporal shouted, standing off to the side of the door. Gripping the handle to draw open the warehouse door, the Lance Corporal and Private both then stepped into action. Standing in front as the door opened, the Lance Corporal and Private both levelled their weapons up.

“Ay this the Uber Eats, got the firecracker shrimp!

The GL-41 fired first, a single round bouncing deep into the warehouse to explode with a heavy bang, and was then joined by the MG-40B as the Lance Corporal proceeded to bathe the warehouse before him. The other marines backed away just slightly, as the two marines poured their ammunition into the warehouse. Another marine then turned towards the Aschen, stacked up with his comrades and then waving the heavily armored troopers forward as their two fighters emptied the last of their ammunition.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Sheila Nagala Character Portrait: E.V.E. Character Portrait: Ceres Genna Character Portrait: Exogarden Forces
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Admiral Nagala kept silent as she listened to the briefing. She had heard reports of invasive species popping up on fringe worlds across the Empire. So someone was importing something they weren't supposed to. This brought a brief shadow of concern across the Admiral's face.

"Acknowledged, CNS Elyxion." The Admiral replied, which was short, curt, and to the point, maybe even concerningly so, as she manipulated her holographic controls.

"Once their op's finished, we'll have Far Sight Lost conduct a sterilization op, we'll need prisoners for the Aurora Chair, though." Nagala remarked, frowning as she turned to her command staff, each one of them at their stations, working diligently to supplement EVE's already massive ability to coordinate across vast distance.

"I'll require full debrief on the conclusion of this operation, additionally; be advised to withdraw all assets upon conclusion. I have given the order to begin sterilizing the continent, I intend to send a strong message to these insurgents that we will not tolerate their actions."

Turning to her Executive officer, she gave a curt nod, and then focused her attention back to the holographic readout before her. Nagala had been a veteran of not only the Terran Conflict, but the Galactic War, and all subsequent conflicts with the Scatterran states, the errant racism simply dripped from her words, and the hologram of the strike carrier darkened her face even more.

On the ground, the Adept Sergeant grinned under the opaque-gold visor of his helmet, which polarized from the flash of the explosion.

"Let's show these boys how it's done!" He called out, unclasping a chainsword from his hip, and one-handing the gargantuan Heavy Magnetron as he sailed through the door, his massive frame taking out the concrete around the door frame, and the door itself as his weapon barked it's report inside the warehouse.

The chainsword revved it's angry buzz as he sailed inside, the deep 'thoom' of his weapon echoing against the weapons fire from surviving insurgents, bullet impacts striking his armor in a shower of sparks, but a keen observer could see the subtle ripples across the metal surface from each impact.

Four adepts ran into the warehouse, followed by agonizing screams, as someone's severed head flew out one of the gaping holes in the warehouse from the Lance Corporal's MG-40B.

"Show me what amounts for fury among your misbegotten kind!" Bellowed an Adept Knight-Apprentice, before he lunged towards a young insurgent, laughing as the man emptied his magazine futilely into the adept's stomach in a flash of sparks, and pinging metal. The Adept immediately bathed him in flame from his hydrazine flamethrower, and then tossed the burning man across the warehouse, like a flaming comet, the screaming body arced high over shipping containers.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Sheila Nagala Character Portrait: E.V.E. Character Portrait: Ceres Genna Character Portrait: Exogarden Forces Character Portrait: Amritha
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Lance Corporal Parkastos disengaged his autosuit, swinging the MG-40B off of the mechanical arm before it folded onto the pack mounted to his shoulders. As the Aschen forces stormed in, Alpha 2-4 only exchanged brief gunfire with the insurgents before joining the Aschen. Towards the rear of the warehouse, Alpha 2-4 and the Aschen adepts would find the objective: a pair of shipping containers chock full of life support equipment and materials.

Parkastos keyed his comms with a free hand, soon scanning over the contraband before him. “This is Alpha 2-4 we are green on objective Charlie, definitely a positive on that target analysis.” He started, checking the time on a wristwatch as two other marines were busy securing the contraband.

“We’ve got oxygen and CO2 filters, electrolysis units - whatever they’re moving it’s humanoid.” The Lance Corporal remarked, before making a quick snap to Private Apallis as he studied a large o2 filter. “E - ay, don’t fuckin’ break shit! This is evidence, idiot.”

“I ain’t gonna’ break it!” Apallis snapped, bitterly turning the box away from Parkastos. The Lance Corporal only huffed, snarling to his comrade.

“Y’rember’ the fuckin’ toaster?”

Who knew you weren’t supposed to put metal in it.

“Everyone, Apallis, literally everyone knows that.”

The Lance Corporal let out a defeated sigh as the two marines began to bicker, giving a glance over to the Aschen adepts with a defeated shake of his head. When the comms began to babble again, Parkastos tipped the earpiece back into position. “Fuckin’ idiots these guys … uh, yeah, this is Parkastos, it’s cleared. Any news on the Commander?”

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Sheila Nagala Character Portrait: E.V.E. Character Portrait: Ceres Genna Character Portrait: Exogarden Forces Character Portrait: Amritha
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Two of the Adepts moved rather clumsily, and noisily behind the Lance Corporal as they too shouldered their weapons, each Adept letting their weapons attach with a magnetic clamp to their armor, as they lumbered over to the shipping containers.

Each one of them cantered their head as their visors retracted, eying the contraption that was in front of them.

"What is it?" One of the Adepts asked, turning towards his Sergeant, whom shrugged. "Hell if I know, let's leave it, and let the glassing beams handle it." He suggested, as what sounded like thunder echoed in the distance, followed by a brief flash of orange-pink light that seemed to wash through the windows. One of the Adepts went to the window, and looked out towards the Reverence II in the distance, a brilliant lance of energy fired from the belly of the ship, causing flames, and plasma to lap high into the horizon above the buildings. They had begun glassing an insurgent controlled zone, taking care to avoid Exogarden positions.

"Hey!" The Adept Sergeant called out.

"Whatever nonsense you got here, we better pack up and get rolled out, they've started glassing, and it won't be long before they reach our position." The Adept said, moving back to the Lance Corporal, and his Marines, his visor retracted with a plume of smoke from his cigar, that he had been nursing on throughout the entire engagement.

"What do you suspect this all is, Sarge?" A third adept inquired, lumbering over Private Apallis, and nudging one of the o2 scrubbers with his comically large armored foot.

"Whatever it is, it ain't pretty" He turned to the Lance-Corporal. "Corporal, what do we gotta to to secure this stuff!?" The Adept-Sergeant called out.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Sheila Nagala Character Portrait: E.V.E. Character Portrait: Ceres Genna Character Portrait: Exogarden Forces Character Portrait: Amritha
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Planetside, at the port


Parkastos stood beside a pallet full of materiel, studying the various filters and devices. He was quiet as the radio continued to squawk, the occasional bark of gunfire coming from the other end. Apallis and PFC Strommat were busy photographing and logging the equipment before them. “I think we’ve got a few shipping numbers intact, might be able to get something from that.” Apallis remarked, resting one elbow across his knee as he stood crouched before the pallet.

“I dunno’ what’s been goin’ on in your neck of the woods but whoever’s been trying to get into Aschen space has known their way in. We’ve had traffic disappearing around this constellation for months.” Strommat replied as he caught the question of one of the Adepts, taking a small vial swab and promptly shoving it back into the pockets of his ballistic vest.

“Whoever it is they’re definitely a pro, some of this shit reeks of Red Halo.” Apallis tossed away a packet of air filters and then promptly stood up. Looking over to the Adept by the window, the din of the glassing was slowly growing closer and closer - and Apallis even tasted carbon and atmosphere in the air while he adjusted the G4K rifle at his side. “We’ve heard some odd shit about this little trafficking ring - whatever they’re smuggling, there’s not a buyer in Aschen space for it. Not one intel has determined, at least.”

As the Aschen Sergeant called to the Lance Corporal, Parkastos shook his head and cleared his nose with a huff. “Let it burn with the rest of the planet. We’ve got all we wanted off it, tags and prints. This should have been more well defended if they needed this stuff to make it all the way into Aschen space, wherever they were taking it.” Parkastos’ eyes narrowed then, thoughts running through his mind.

“If you needed this big of a safety just to get through the Local Region we should’ve stepped off into a fucking shitstorm right, Parkie?” Apallis inquired, coming to stand with the marines and other Adepts.

Parkastos’ face suddenly turned, eyes widening a second as he looked over to the Adept Sergeant. “This planet was listed uninhabited on our starcharts - we haven’t had a probe in the constellation for years though, what do your charts read?” He barked to the Sergeant, then promptly turned to look out the window as he brought his JEMI short-band radio to his lips.

“This is Alpha 2-3, something’s not making sense here. I don’t think we’re behind the package, I think we’re ahead of it!”



Onboard the CNS Elxyion


Onboard the CNS Elyxion, Captain Jakob Aatos took a sharp breath as he watched the displays before him. The port had been secured, but as the marines and Adepts groundside linked up, questions began to filter through Aatos’ mind. He had expected more resistance, or at least a more determined attempt to keep the marines from the docks.

Now things were simply going too fast for him to think. It had been mere hours since the Aschen begun their glassing, and at his estimation they would only have a few more hours more before there was a complete collapse of the biosphere on the planet and any investigation would become exponentially more difficult. “Fuck. What’s our timeline looking like here?” The Captain barked.

Down below, an Ensign in Systems stood over the working pit while three other technicians were working. “Estimated sixteen hours before a biosphere collapse and anyone groundside will need to be in a vac-suit. Atmospheric boil to begin in six to eight.”

Just then, a Lieutenant let out a deep yell from Comms, holding a receiver tight to his ear. “Captain, we have comms from Commander Solomon’s unit! He needs connection with both the Elyxion and the Far Sight Lost!” Aatos gripped the rail tightly as he heard the report from the Lieutenant, then firmly nodding as he agreed to the request. As the link was established, the expeditionary carrier tethered its high-powered communications beam to the Aschen ship, a channel soon opening that was first marked with loud gunfire.

”This is Commander Solomon, planetside at objective Charlie - we’re at the Governor’s House but need backup immediately, and a medevac. We’ve - uh, we’ve stumbled on something big.”

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Sheila Nagala Character Portrait: E.V.E. Character Portrait: Ceres Genna Character Portrait: Exogarden Forces Character Portrait: Amritha
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Aboard the Far Sight Lost...

"Admiral, I have an incoming transmission from the CNS Elxyion." EVE chirped as Admiral Genna manipulated her holographic interface, a sound interface flickered into view, she reached up and tapped the icon, and pulled the screen towards a large interface, thumbing her chin, and resting against the console.

”This is Commander Solomon, planetside at objective Charlie - we’re at the Governor’s House but need backup immediately, and a medevac. We’ve - uh, we’ve stumbled on something big.”

"Commander Solomon, this is Admiral Genna, Far Sight Lost actual, I've got reinforcements en-route, hold tight." She replied, triangulating the origins of the transmission on the large command interface, while clicking two Condors on the icon, and a third to be sent to the warehouse.

"Let's extract the Adept team, and Alpha 2-3." Genna called out, before keying the comms.

"Alpha 2-3, this is Far Sight Lost actual, evac Inbound, standby."

Genna turned towards EVE, and then highlighted another swathe of city. "We'll redouble our energy projectors to these neighborhoods here, and start sterilization." Genna remarked.

The massive superstructure of the Reverence II groaned, and protested against the pull of gravity, as the ship's massive thrusters ignited, and the thirty kilometer long supercarrier began to move it's yaw, it's prow adjusting slightly to reveal sunshafts through the darkened sky.

Three Condor VTOLs descended from the belly of the beast, engaging their thrusters, and darting off into two different directions. One Condor began heading towards the Warehouse district, to pick up the Adept Team, and Alpha 2-3, while a pair of Condors began to head towards the Governor's house.

---

Groundside, Warehouse District

The Adept Sergeant shrugged in his armor, the servos, and hydraulics hissing with his movements. "This world was categorized as a colonial frontier world, sparsely inhabited fringe world, with little attention paid by the Empire." The Adept replied, taking a moment to key EVE up for the inquiry.

He lumbered over to the pallet of equipment, and then paused, there was a deafening thunderous roar, and a stiff breeze that washed through broken windows. The Reverence II above had stopped glassing for a moment, igniting it's gargantuan engines to reposition itself further away from their position.

"Sarge!" An Adept called out, as he pointed up into the sky. "Condor!" He called out, the shrill whine of the VTOL engines carrying through the interior of the warehouse.

"Apallis, our ride's here!" The Adept Sergeant, a man by the name of Tarkus called out, as his visor retracted.

"Let's load this garbage and get out of here, looks like you got some friends who need help at the Governor's Mansion." Tarkus added.

---
Groundside, Governor's House

"Solomon, this is Constellation-Five-Nine-Nine, coming in hot, I've got Nebula-Two-Niner-Niner with me, we got assistance inbound, hold position--" The message abruptly cut out at the sound of 30mm flak going off overhead, the pair of Condors, with one of them trailing thick black smoke swooped around the large gated front yard of the Governor's Mansion.

"Triangulate that small arms fire! Take em out!" Sergeant Tiri called out, slamming a fusion cell into his disruptor rifle. He flinched briefly, as small caliber rounds ricocheted from the hull of the VTOL.

"We're hot, go go go, the Navy ain't payin us by the hour!" Tiri called out, hitting the ground running with two ten-man squads of Aschen marines, all formed up and hitting the ground running.

Gunfire was interrupted for Solomon, by the distinct cracks of disruptor fire, as Sergeant Tiri's squad engaged a group of insurgents on the south side of the Governor's lawn, using overturned cars, and some steel hedgehogs as cover, sending shimmering green bolts of light into a block of rowhouses across the street.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Sheila Nagala Character Portrait: E.V.E. Character Portrait: Ceres Genna Character Portrait: Exogarden Forces Character Portrait: Amritha
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At the Governor’s Mansion


The running gunfight that had brought Alpha 2-1 out to the Governor’s Mansion put fire deep into Solomon’s veins, him and his marines chasing the retreating fighters out of the city and into the muddy slums on the port’s outskirts. As Solomon and his squad of twelve made their way onto the street, the radios squawked on as the roaring engines of an Annihilator were soon heard in the distance.

Alpha 2-1 this is Rampage Actual, I’ve got white/black scopes on a structure due north-west, keep your distance. Gonna’ put some ordnance in there.”

Solomon immediately took cover nearby a shack, waving his marines back into cover as well. Crouching down and propping his short-barrel G4KS on the wall, he studied the structure up ahead. It looked to be a commercial building, two stories with a small restaurant on the ground floor. Staff Sergeant Duncan took position behind him, leaned up against the wall as he waited for Solomon’s confirmation. When the Commander nodded, Duncan pinched the comm-strip wrapped around his throat.

This is Alpha 2-1 we are on standby, drain ‘em Rampage.



There was a passing quiet moment as the engines thrummed, then followed with the shump-shump of a distant cannon in the air. A pair of 37mm shells slammed into the structure, the first one impacted the sidewalk and spraying dusted concrete, while the second punched through the second story, exploding with a loud crack as it set off a cache of ammunition hidden within.


As the flowering explosion threw bits of rubble and flaming debris onto the street below, the Annihilator passed in a lazy circle overhead, jets screeching. Onboard, Lieutenant Stanford and Commander Lyndon were scoping out the wreckage of their strike, Stanford turning the Annihilator’s high powered sensors down onto the ruined building below. A few moments later, the comms-bead in Solomon’s ear crackled. “This is Actual, nothing’s alive down there. You boys are cleared to move, Alpha 2-1. In overwatch.

With that, Solomon rallied his marines and struck onward, winding their way up the streets and through the slums. As they neared the outskirts of the city they encountered a roadblock, two sets of parked cars lined across the street while at least a dozen gunmen waited for them. Solomon, Duncan and two other marines had barely made it into cover at another street shop before they opened fire, bullets pockmarking the street and walls as they made it into cover.

“We’ve got contact, we’ve got contact! Roadblock up ahead!” Corporal Matties shouted into his headset, shrinking back into cover as bullets impacted mere inches from his head. Peeling around the corner, he shouldered his G4K1 and let a burst of fire off towards the fortifications.

”We see it Alpha, standby for a microswarm.”


After the radio squeaked, Solomon threw up a hand and made a long wave. “They’re hitting the roadblock with a swarm, heads down!” He barked, reaching out to pull the Corporal back into cover before the first of the micromissiles slammed into the roadblock. There was a dull foomph when the first microdrone exploded, the small missile exploding in a shower of shrapnel and pressure. In the next few seconds, a dozen more small explosions rang out across the roadblock, Mk. 11 Plumata micro-diameter missiles peppering any targets scoped from the Annihilator above.

When the smoke finally cleared, Solomon sent the Corporal and another marine out first. The two slowly advanced from their cover, weapons at the ready, with Corporal Matties at the rear on the comms. “Holy shit Rampage. Talk about mulching the garden.” Matties remarked into his earpiece, reaching a hand up to the marine’s shoulder before him.

”On the house boys, don’t forget to leave a good review.”


Solomon and the rest of the squad advanced after receiving a brief signal from Matties and the other marine at the roadblock. Picking his way through, Solomon made it a point to ignore the mess. Leveraging his way over the hood of a car though, his arm slipped in a murky puddle of blood that had been sprayed when a micromissile went off directly near a man’s torso. His chest hit the hood with a dull thud and then he slipped off onto the street, knees slamming into what was left of the gunfighter with a sickening crunch.

God, fuck!” Solomon barked, before he felt the gloved hand of Sergeant Duncan tugging at him. Fortunately Solomon couldn’t see his face, but he imagined the sort of smile the man wore as he pulled his commander up.

“Watch the step there, Commander.” Duncan replied bluntly, stifling the chuckle in his throat as Solomon got onto his feet and through the rest of the barricade. Solomon clambered over the last and dropped onto the street with a huff, promptly bringing his rifle to bear. As he surveyed the road ahead, his eyes narrowed on a small street winding up a hill towards the Governor’s Mansion, a large colonial structure perched above the city below.

“Alright boys, there’s objective Charlie. What’re we looking like on ammo?” Solomon asked, glancing over his shoulder to Corporal Matties and his fireteam, then to Sergeant Duncan’s. The marines all quietly checked their weapons and magazines; seven rifles, two machineguns and two sniper rifles between all of them.

“We’re green, Commander.” Duncan responded, adjusting the wire stock of his own MP-24. Smaller and lighter than the G4 rifles the rest of the marines carried, Duncan had always preferred the more maneuverable machine carbine in 9x20mm to the heavier, 7.9x59mm battle rifles widely issued to the ALIRBAD.

With that, Solomon gave a soft nod before advancing at the head of his squad. As they made their way up the road to the entrance of the mansion, Rampage Actual was still looming overhead, engines roaring when the Annihilator banked a lazy turn over the sprawling structures.

”This is Actual, I’ve got sigs all over the place, recommend groundside stands off until - gun, gun, break!”


Somewhere on the lawn of the mansion there was another dull crack of a weapon, this time quite a large gun. Solomon could even see the harsh flash-trail of the anti-air cannon as it fired, bright red streaks tearing through the air and past the Annihilator. One of them finally struck the gunship, along the rear of the fuselage, making a sound of rending metal as the Annihilator shuddered and then billowed out a deep, choking black mass of smoke.

”Fuck, that was one of my fuckin’ elevators! This is Actual, we’re losing power - I gotta’ limp this thing outta’ here!"


As soon as the Annihilator had turned and begun to pulse away, still followed by an angry trail of gunfire, Solomon and the marines broke into a sprint up the road to the front fences of the mansion. Then, just as they reached the fences, Alpha 2-1 was raked with gunfire from the windows and balconies, the lawn a beehive of activity. Solomon and four marines took cover immediately by the front gate, using the large stone pillars as cover from the harsh gunfire.

That wasn’t the only surprise though. Peering over his cover, Solomon realized not everyone running around the lawn or in and out of the mansion was armed. A few of them even seemed to be garbed in lab coats and hazmat suits, hurriedly working back and forth and in between the armed gunfighters that were obviously protecting something.

“Duncan, you seeing this shit?” Solomon hollered out, planting his back against the pillar of stone as he folded back into cover, Matties beside him draining half a magazine into the fighters for covering fire.

“Yeah! You seein’ little blokes in haz gear and lab coats?!” Duncan replied with a shout, several of the other marines calling out while exchanging fire with the fighters.

"Whatever they've got here it's somethin' worth fightin' for! They're dug in with a fuckin' 37 millimeter!" Another marine shouted, ducking down back into cover just as a string of machinegun rounds impacted over his head. Solomon left out a grunt as he pulled his JEMI short-band free from his voice, soon keying into the comms. "Marines! Shoot us a way into that god damn mansion! Pasters, Rattaglio, lay down some fire!" He commanded, and the two marines quickly set about their orders. Positioned on either end of the marine position, their two SAW-429s rattled away in deadly scythes of machinegun fire. After he barked into the radio, Solomon then folded his rifle up into his chest, throwing hand signs with his free arm.

Solomon then smacked Matties on the shoulder, pointing at the locked gate. The Corporal practically read his mind, soon standing up and putting two rounds through the lock with his rifle. Next, he shoved it open, filtering in behind another marine while Duncan and his fireteam simply blew a hole in the fence with a breaching charge.

Routing the gunfighters from the lawn was easy enough, the marines advancing under cover of their machinegunners until a pair of three had reached the front patio. Making their way quickly up the stairs, one of the marines promptly sent a boot into the door while his comrade threw a stun grenade through the opening.

“Staff Sergeant, you keep a fireteam and secure the lawn! I’m going in!” Solomon barked, rapidly following up to stack behind the three marines even as Duncan and the rest of the squad were hoofing their way across the lawn. Duncan was just about to stop the Commander before gunfire erupted from a small fighting pit dug in the lawn, catching one running marine in the leg and dropping him onto the floor.

Duncan spun, dropping to his knee and then bathing the foxhole in a hail of 9mm rounds from his machine carbine. “Sonuvabitch! Stentlon’s hit! Watch your perimeter!” Duncan bellowed, the marines remaining with him soon fanning out into a crescent across the lawn. By the time Duncan got back onto his feet and towards the door, Solomon and the marines had already disappeared into the building, the din of gunfire and screaming erupting from inside as they breached.

Alpha 2-1, and now Duncan, had more problems however. Securing the front lawn was easier said than done, as two other hardened positions sat perched on either wing of the manion’s large foundation. Unlike on the lawn however, these two points were connected with a line of trenches running around the south lawn and connecting one another. Realizing this, Duncan growled as he and the remaining marines bunkered down in their positions at the front of the mansion.


By the time the Aschen had arrived, Duncan and the first fireteam was still at the front of the mansion, trading shots with the gunfighters in their hardened positions while the Aschen marines arrived to drop onto the south lawn. “This is Alpha 2-1, Bravo Fireteam is out front - watch your approaches, we’ve got heavy resistance here up front!” He barked.

Now with their reinforcements though, they could properly roll up the defenses. Peeking out from cover, Duncan was followed by another marine as he charged the position on the left side of the mansion. Running in a crouch, he yanked a frag grenade from his vest and promptly rolled it ahead of him into the trench.

When a man, having spotted the grenade and hauling himself out of the trench to flee, was shot dead by the marine behind him, Duncan flopped onto his stomach at the lip of the trench. “Sorry mate!” The grenade exploded in a flurry of pressure and fragmentation, one blood curdling scream following the bark of Duncan’s machine carbine when he rolled into the trench. Peeking up over the edge of the trench, he spotted one of the squads of Aschen, promptly giving them a bold wave while he hefted the MP-24 with one hand.

”Aye, out for a walk on the trails lads?! Watch out for the staff, they’re right fuckin’ tossers!”

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"By the gods what have we gotten ourselves into..."

Marine Sergeant Decurion was caught in the thick of it all, the ratta-tat of gunfire, and the sounds of bullets whizzing past him caused his mind to briefly go blank, the disorienting flash of a disruptor muzzle blinded him in his left eye for just a moment. The din of combat enveloped him, washed over him, and brought him into a fugue state from intensive combat that was completely unlike the simulations.

"Sunt tibi bene!?" The Sergeant's radioman called out, before he grabbed the man and pulled him to the ground. "Ex disrumpam!" He screamed, before he smacked the sergeant across the face. In the face of withering incoming fire, the Sergeant couldn't think, before everything came rushing back.

"Veni in, miles ad victoriam, eamus!" The Man shouted, his collar pins denoting his rank as Specialist called out, as a bullet struck the ground right next to them with a loud ping. The Sergeant shook his head violently, before he cried out. "Form up, find cover, take out that frakking machinegun nest!" He called out, gesturing forward at the hardened position on the right, bullets ricocheting all over as the Aschen team went prone, trying to find what little cover they could from the barrage of rounds coming at them.

"Castellanos! Aventus! Form up to the right, swing wide, Kalfkos! Field of fire on that MG." He screamed. The Aschen squad moved to the right, Sergeant Decurion, and Senior Corporal Kalfkos raised their weapons and began firing rapidly into the hardened position, sending streaks of green light searing against the sandbags and the trench that had been dug, spraying the trench, and the positions behind it with molten rock, and superheated slag from the disruptor impacts, one after another until Decurion's muzzle flew open into sections of four, exposing an intricate pattern of red hot coils, and began venting hot green plasma all over his hand causing him to recoil, and drop the disruptor rifle.

"Plas out!" Castellanos cried out, as his hand was suddenly enveloped in green plasma, and he hefted the plasma grenade in a wide arc into the hardened trench, engulfing it in superheated plasma, and molten slag, causing a scarred, and disfigured insurgent to stumble forward, on fire, and smoking until he fell forward, some of his clothes still sizzling, and smoldering.

"Go, go into the trench!" Decurion called out, stooping back down to pick his rifle up, and check the charge. "Let's go, advance!" Stacking up around an overturned SUV, they moved towards the right flank, alternating their weapons fire to maintain a persistent salvo of disruptor fire focused on the remaining points of contact on the mansion, blowing chunks of molten stone, and dirt away from their impacts, and bathing the entire area in a miasma of thick smoke, and ozone.

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Outside the Governor’s Mansion



”This is Alpha 2-1 confirming Aschen forces groundside - watch your fire and IDs.”


Pasters and Rattaglio were still back at the fence with their SAW’s, forming the combined team’s base of fire. As the Aschen landed, Pasters then moved directly besides Rattaglio as the two SAW gunners exchanged briefly. “Alright I’ve got eyes on the Aschen.” Rattalgio said, soon pulling his helmet off to give him a better view of the battlefield. He then drew the stock of the SAW into his shoulder, looking through the open sight as they began to move on the second MG position.

“Shit, they’re movin’ up!” Pasters barked as the two machinegunners noticed the Aschen dropping prone. When they did, Pasters began to fire directly over their heads, making sure to fire in short, controlled bursts. “Cover them up to the MG position, don’t let that fucker get a round on them!”


On the other side of the Governor’s Mansion, Staff Sergeant Duncan and Specialist Kjelsson finished dragging the wounded Private Stentlon into the trench. Stentlon held his thigh with two gloved hands, cursing angrily through his teeth when he was dumped into the trench. “Awh, fuck Sergeant!”

“Keep bein’ miffed about it Private, might treat ya’ at the pub later.” Duncan remarked, leaning himself against the trench and pulling free the magazine of his MP-24. Checking the stack of 9x20mm cartridges, he then slammed it back home again and charged the weapon once more. “Don’t bleed out there mate, Kjelsson, make sure he gets a medic for that dinger.”

Just as he finished reloading his weapon, another fireteam of marines jumped down into the trench with them. Taking their positions, the marines laid themselves against the back lip of the trench and popped off with rifle fire onto any surviving militia that still tried to engage them.

“Sergeant, I think the Aschen landed on the other side of the mansion!” Lance Corporal Teofil shouted, then returning to snap off rounds at a pair of gunmen positioned near a great, sprawling tree. Just then, they all heard the distinct bark of disruptor fire and the unmistakable din of a plasma grenade.

“Right lads, I’ll be away for a bit - gonna’ make a trip to the neighbors. Don’t burn the house down boys!” Duncan said, and then sharply hauled himself up and out of the trench onto his stomach. Belly crawling his way across the lawn, he was sure to use the bushes and avoid any stray rifle fire as he neared the other trench.


Approaching the lip of the trench, Duncan coughed through the stench of ozone and carbon before shouting out to the Aschen. “Green, boys! Mind if I come on?” He yelled out, soon prying his head over the charred lip of the trench with a bright grin across his face. “Welcome to the cock-up, lads!” He began, reaching up to pluck a pack of cigarettes from his ballistic vest jacket and then toss it down onto the charred floor of the trench amongst the men.

”Pull yourselves a fag, mates, and get ready for more shambles! Top work on the gun here, right gutted the bastards … aye, fancy handin’ me a couple of them blueies you brought there huh? My boys’ll keep them pinned and we’ll smack ‘em! They’ve got our left flank covered, lads! Roll ‘em up from the right!”

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Slowly, the Aschen fireteam crept through the burned out trench, slowly, the sound of glass crunching under their boots filled their ears, suffocated by the thick smell of ozone, carbon, and burning flesh, Sergeant Decurion switched on his wide-spectrum viewfinder to pierce through the dense smoke.

Out of nowhere, a short burst of small caliber rounds ripped through the smoke, a sharp "rat-atat" followed by a loud 'thwip!' as Senior Corporal Aventus fell to the ground with a sharp cry, Castellano caught the militant down the trench as he opened fire, wincing as rounds impacted the ground rather dangerously close to his head.

"Gods damnit!" Castellano hissed as he fumbled with his disruptor rifle, raising it up and loosing a shot, sending a shimmering green blast of light directly to the insurgent's left, striking the wooden retaining wall behind him, splintering the wood. Immediately after, Castellano loosed another shot, taking advantage of the now dazzled militant to put a disruptor bolt center mass, sending the man careening back with a plume of steam, and flame that erupted from his chest. With the immediate threat neutralized, Castellano turned towards Decurion, and Cpl Kalfkos, as they were now attending to the crying Specialist.

He screamed in Anquietas "Quam mali? Quam mali?" Tears streaming down his face from the searing pain as he screamed the words. "Accipere facile!" While Decurion shouted. "Medicus! Medicus!" In that moment Kalfkos reached into his chest carrier to pull out a small white case, a large red triangular symbol emblazoned on it. "Laxo, Laxo! Me vide." He hissed, putting pressure on the chest, but noticed something peculiar. "Nullus sanguinis." Kalfkos said, keeping his hand on Aventus' chest, fishing around inside the plate carrier, pulling something that had been embedded in the kanvium plate, and holding the mushroomed bullet in front of Aventus' face. "Costas sunt confracta, sed erant 'iens futurus finis." He chuckled, and patted the hyperventilating specialist on the helmet as another voice pierced the miasma.

“Green, boys! Mind if I come on?”

Decurion, and Castellanos peered out from the trench only slightly, hands gripping their weapons firmly before realizing it's a friendly. Both of them turned to their downed comrade, and then back to Duncan. Every one of them were caked in sweat, and filth from their brief run through the trenches.

Castellanos looked to the plasma grenades hanging loosely on his bandolier, before he detached two of them, and held the small green spherical grenades out to Duncan.

"Press here until click, five seconds, ten meters." He said with a thick Aschen accent, turning the grenades over to reveal two indentations where fingers would go to arm the grenade. "Big hurt if caught in blast."

Castellano turned back to Aventus, watching as Kalfkos hefted the young specialist to his feet, as he held his chest, his breathing slightly labored. There was a hole in his plate carrier, and once the team regained their composure, Decurion pointed further into the trench complex leading to the building. "intermissum est finis." He said aloud, and nodded for the team to stack up.

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Duncan stretched an arm outward, quickly snagging the two plasma grenades and bringing them back to his chest. Leaning over onto his side, he then snatched a zip-tie from his ballistic vest, wrapping the two together. Looking back to Castellanos with a broadening grin, he held the two daisy-chained grenades together. “Cheers mate, ibi erit … uh, butio. Boom!” Duncan replied with a chuckle, then squabbling down into the trench with the Aschen and taking position beside Decurion.

He held up his forearm, pointing to a holo-display of the Governor’s Mansion, as well as a series of little blue and green tick-marks that represented the marine positions. “Some of my boys say there’s a cellar door on the back quarter of the mansion - want to ring the doorbell with me?” Duncan said, pointing to the objective marker on his forearm and then hefting the daisy-chained grenades before the man. Next, he flicked a foot out to give the Corporal a soft kick in the shin.

“Leave a man with him and we’ll have a medic on that, looks like he just got a kiss on the tit.” Duncan yelled, soon yanking back the charging handle of his MP-24 and turning the rifle over in his hands. “Right, lads, one last little tiff and then we’re done! Paratus ad ire?”

With the marines on their flank encouraging most of the fire, Duncan and the squad of Aschen marines were more or less free to move up, bounding over each other to overwhelm the remaining gunmen as they closed in from the side. Duncan made sure to keep the marines spaced out, crouching by a bush as he took a moment to scan the approach and quickly issue his movements. “Move it, boys, move it! Two at a time, the rest cover fire! Eia igitur, age!.” He shouted, waving a gloved hand forward to the side wall of the mansion before unleashing bursts of fire with his MP-24.

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Sergeant Decurion raised his eyebrow as he watched Duncan daisy chain the grenades together, and then he offered a shrug. Right they had to advance, so he turned back to the wounded specialist, watching as the Senior Corporal helped the young Aventus move towards them. He still struggled to breathe for a moment, but was otherwise alright, his combat nanites working overtime to repair the cracked bone.

Aventus held up his hand, giving the signal that he was alright, and rejoined the formation of Aschen Marines, while Decurion turned his disruptor rifle over, and ejected the fusion cell held in the stock, the fusion cell arcing wide, and hitting the ground as he slid a fresh one into the reciever, the door snapped shut, and the rifle whined with a fresh charge.

The squad of Aschen Marines formed up, even with being hit, Aventus was still in the fight. After they checked their weapons over, all of them gave a nod to Duncan that they were ready, and moved quickly, coordinated through the trench, gunning down the remaining insurgents that moved from cover.

"Ad Victoriam!" Decurion called out, but stopped short as an insurgent moved from some crates to make a grab at Kalfkos, bringin g them both into the mud as they tussled against each other for a good moment. Kalfkos struck the insurgent on the forehead with the butt of his disruptor, causing a sickening crack to echo through the trench before the Aschen corporal grabbed the Insurgent in some kind of headlock, a Pankration move, and with both of them screaming, Kalfkos screamed as well, and there was a crack before the insurgent went limp. Kalfkos threw the now limp body off of him, before he rejoined his comrades, moving under cover around towards the side of the mansion, as instructed they moved two at a time, as the ones who remained behind laid down cover fire, alternating their disruptor fire to provide a steady stream of energy weapons fire.

It was only interrupted by a pop as one of the Aschen Marine's disruptor rifles overheated, and he had to exchange a red hot fusion cell for a fresh one, after a brief lull, he was back into the fight.

"Stack up, put strobes on when they blow the door!" Decurion called out, before calling over to Duncan. "We're going to use strobes, try not to look directly at the light!" He shouted, as the Marines set up their disorienting pulse laser strobers, which were affixed to the underside of their disruptor rifles, which were a fast strobing blinding high power laser light. Those unfortunate to look at them would risk severe retinal burns.

With the strobes affixed, the Aschen waited for Duncan to give the insurgents their welcoming gift.

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As Aschen stacked up to prepare the breach with Duncan, he was pulling up the rear of the squad and barking into his comms-bead. “This is Duncan, I’m with the HN’s at the back of the Mansion. We’re breaching the cellar, lads!” He shouted to the rest of Alpha 2-1, who were busy preventing any approach by whatever was left of the insurgents fighting on the south lawn.

It appeared that most had either been killed or fled, a few seen tossing their weapons down as they disappeared into a dense tree line of forest that ran along the outskirts of the port city. There was the occasional snap of gunfire from the Exogarden marines, another bark of returning fire or the occasional scream of a man being hit somewhere deep within the woods as they retreated.

Across the lawn of the Governor’s Mansion, Alpha platoon had gathered and concentrated on the seized trench, giving covering fire to the Aschen and Duncan. Pasters and Rattaglio had moved up with their SAW-429s, both in the trench beside one another as the marines lay strewn throughout. “Anyone seen the fuckin’ commander?” Pasters finally asked, turning his chest on the lip of the trench. Rattaglio lay down the trench with a radio pack draped on a post of the trench next to him.

“I ain’t seen him since we railed this line - did Staff Sergeant say he’s with fucking hosties?” Rattaglio barked down to the trench. Private Yechezkel was beside him, holding his rifle up against his chest while pressed against the trench.

“What the fuck’s Sarge doing jumping around with fucking Aschen - are they up to something?” The Private barked, adjusting the brim of his helmet as a Specialist down the line racked the pump of his spent grenade launcher before holding up a 42mm shell.

“Bro, if we just invaded Aschen space I’m going to fucking laugh.” Specialist Sergej remarked, kneeling down in the trench as he began to feed a shell into the launcher. “How do you say ‘stay on the fucking ground’ in anquietas?”

“We didn’t fucking invade Aschen space, Indy - “ Pasters grunted as he hauled the SAW-429 and adjusted it against the trench. “Or at least, I’m pretty sure we didn’t.”


Duncan dropped his machine carbine into his sling and reached up to take his helmet free of his head. As the Aschen put their strobes together, the Staff Sergeant pulled free a pair of goggles from his helmet and drew them over his face, covering his head with a fabric cowl in his uniform. “Mind all the lights, boys. Remember, green is friendly this time aye?” Duncan remarked, drawing the daisy chained grenades together and giving them a spin before sticking down onto the door as it activated.

Ducking off to the side, Duncan grabbed his MP-24 and readied for the entry. When the grenades blasted with a wave of heat, it peeled through the metal door with a fizzle of of hot white and blue that burned a sizeable hole into the cellar. Duncan stepped down first into staircase it dropped down into, giving the Aschen a driving hand forward as he did.

The cellar stepped down into a deep complex underneath the mansion that Duncan and the Aschen had just blown their way into, on a corner where a marine was found behind a sandbag position.

Lance Corporal Patrick Madrolus laid the G4 down on the sandbags, pointing down the long hall of the bunker. “Holy shit! Where the fuck have you guys been? The Commander’s down in the comms bunk!” Just as he did, the insurgents strung out in a few last positions let of a snap of gunfire that made Duncan crawl into a nook of the bunker wall before unleashing a shower of fire from his machine carbine for the Aschen and Madrolus to attack. Down the tunnel, another sandbag position snapped off rifle fire, another marine firing off his G4K1 battle rifle into the insurgents.

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The group of Aschen Marines stacked up near the door, but behind some cover so they wouldn't be burned by the heat from the daisy chained plasma grenades. The grenade detonated in a bloom of superheated plasma, and a concussive thermal shockwave that announced their arrival. Aventus, with his wound took point as Decurion gestured he move in after Duncan, the two Senior Corporals immediately followed, with the sergeant immediately behind them, into the hole, their strobes flashing and illuminating the dark cellar interior.

The rattle of gunfire startled Specialist Aventus, as several rounds struck the concrete next to his head. He ducked suddenly, before he started to run back the way he came.

"Frak this, i'm out of here!" The Specialist called out, but was abruptly stopped as the sergeant grabbed him by his plate carrier, and swung him around behind some sandbags.

"Too soon to run, get your shit together and concentrate on that position!" Decurion shouted, raising his disruptor rifle and firing a dozen shots down the tunnel at the insurgent, one bolt struck the concrete wall, splattering the insurgent with molten concrete, the Sergeant took the brief moment of disorientation to loose two more green streaks downrange, illuminating the hallway in green light, and peppering the insurgent's position as Kalfkos took position behind a support pillar.

"Delta Team, this is Actual." Admiral Genna's voice chimed in Decurion's earpiece, causing him to pause abruptly and press himself against the hallway. "Be advised, I've got technicals approaching your position, there's at least a dozen coming up the main road, your new friends are fixing to get overwhelmed."

Decurion frowned, and then turned to Duncan. "They're coming up the main road with reinforcements! Whatever we're here to do, we gotta do it quick!" The Aschen Sergeant called out, ducking from a few rounds striking the concrete while tapping his earpiece.

"Can you slow them down?" He called out.

"I'll see what I can do, Actual out." Genna replied, and Decurion grimaced for a moment. "Tell your boys to hunker down and cover their ears, I don't like where this is going."

Aboard the Far Sight Lost...

Admiral Genna watched quietly as a column of crude armored vehicles, and technicals moved up the battered road, under cover of destroyed buildings, and bombed out overpasses. She noted they seemed to be heading up towards the Governor's mansion, and highlighted the interface.

"Right, EVE, Salvo fire, one third charge."

"Acknowledged, Admiral." EVE replied.

High in the sky, the Reverence II looming over the city slowly began to yaw to the left, turning on it's axis to orient itself somewhat facing the Governor's mansion, a trio of turbodisruptor batteries on the ventral side of the ship's bulbous prow swiveled to life.

It fired roughly eight times, sending hot plasma down along the main road where the Technicals were advancing, the impacts of each bolt shook the city, and caused flames to plume high into the sky, sending debris, molten shrapnel, and destroyed cars flying in all directions, and forcing the insurgent caravan to scatter.

Inside the bunker, the ground shook six times, almost like a powerful earthquake that rocked the mansion, causing dirt, and debris to fall from the ceiling, and Decurion to hold his helmet.

"Shit... that frakking Reverence!" He called out.

"How deep's this thing go? Because I think it's about to heat up topside."

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