Brack shifted slightly as he panned the scope of his rifle out across the darkness before him, his sights’ filled with nothing but the same unending collapsed concrete and piles of debris that had once been buildings of one form or another; all spread out before his slit trench as they had been for the last 3 weeks since his unit had arrived here from the bastion. Keeping one eye on no mans land he squinted in the half light at the half broken clock mounted further along the trench, time steadily refusing to accept it had been more than half an hour since his last check. With a frustrated sigh he pulled his rifle from its rest bracket and sat it in his lap; flipping the scope covers closed and resting his head back against the opposite trench wall he closed his eyes for a moment to let them re-adjust. “That boring aye?” a voice quipped with the sound of scrabbling dirt and a dull thud as somebody dropped into the trench next to him, Opening one eye Brack’s squad mate and spotter Meryn, smirked at him as he held out a mug of something warm. “Nothing for the last 4 hours beyond tedious bordeom” Brack muttered as he sat up straight and took the proffered drink with a nod, sipping on it before retching “The Heck you call this?” He looked at Meryn who shrugged “300 years past best but beats what Charlie platoon are drinking out of that brew stooge they call a heater” he chuckled at the sniper. “Good Point” Brack grinned, taking another sip of the warm liquid as Meryn lent forward against the forward sloping wall, a pair of binoculars held firmly up in front of him. “Light fades out at about 150 with heat dropping out at 450 plus” Brack commented as he put the drink down on the upturned ammo crate they were using as a table, joining his spotter with a second pair of Binoculars as he rested his rifle down carefully against the sandbag rim of their position. “Yeah, piss poor vision thanks to that thing but at least its clear from up here with no deadfalls” Meryn nodded, glaring at the flickering embers coming from a sparking cable junction forward of their position. “I put in a request for a ranger team to slip out there and severe the ruddy thing but apparently command says they’re too busy sweeping out East and South” Brack rolled onto his back, stretching his legs out as Meryn muttered something under his breath. Brack smirked at his partners comments, visually you would think the roles reversed for the two, Meryn the iron rod of an enforcer looked the build of a sniper whilst Brack himself was built stocky and short, more the carrier than the sniper of the two at first glance. But then you looked at the way they operated and it fell perfectly into place with Brack’s endless patience and rock steady aim combined with Meryn’s Ladar sharp eyesight matched with his pension for detail. “Bloody Rangers, they get all the decent sodding jobs” Meryn grumbled as he looked round at Brack who simply nodded, “3 weeks of sod all” Meryn continued on “You’d think one of the mute swarms would do us the favour of coming and relieving this boredom by letting us slot a few of the ugly freaks”. Brack smirked at the mental image as Meryn carried on his small rant, his eyes once more glued to the binoculars even as he grumbled at the lack of things to relieve his growing impatience with being sat on over-watch duty for the FOB. “Could be worse Meryn” Brack shrugged as he slipped back down into the trench proper and picked up his rifle, flipping off the safety cover on the scope and picking out a small screw driver to fiddle about with the settings. “How?” Meryn asked bad temperedly “We could be sent out scouting the underway, lots of lovely lovely waste deep centuries' old shit for you to crawl through” Brack grinned sarcastically at his spotter who responded with a single digit. Brack shook his head smirking as he reset the ranger finder on his scope and put the screwdriver away, flipping the scope covers open and checking the range card they had pinned to the front wall. “Lay us in would you” Brack rested his rifle in the tooled bracket, griping it firmly as he steadied himself and the rifle against his shoulder. “Sure” Meryn nodded, making a small adjustment to his binoculars and bracing himself to provide a steady rest, “Fuse box at 300 with the broken hinge?” He didn’t even look over at Brack as the rifle moved minutely , the sniper slowing his breathing as he concentrated, “Reading zero interference, target fix, centre point of point three zero by point four zero” Meryn breathed as Brack settled into position, putting one hand to his radio as Brack held his breath momentarily “Helos Sierra, Helos Sierra, All Points standby, Ranging shot out, over”. On the last word Brack pulled the trigger, the fuse hatch sparking and blowing clean off as the energy round ripped the last hinge clean off, the hatch clattering to the ground a few metres away “Show off” Meryn grinned at the Sniper, who sniggered in reply at the spotter as he rested the rifle in his lap, pulling it free from the bracket. The both them burst out sniggering and laughing as the tension of sitting waiting for whatever the next order would bring finally broke, the tedium fractured by the single practice round as they sat back against the trench wall still smirking from ear to ear. “Look at the pair of us, you’d think we were flippin white shields the way we’re balling our eyes out” Meryn grinned, taking a drink from the battered mess cup and retching at the liquid, “You’re telling me Meryn” Brack shook his head “And the pair of you for supposed snipers can be heard all the way down to the bulwark end” another voice quipped in snidely. They looked round to see a ranger crouched on the berm behind them looking down at them with narrowed eyes, split by a flash burn covering one side of her face. “Hey Ventra ” Brack and Meryn grinned as the ranger corporal dropped almost silently into their slit trench beside the two Sergeants, “Command sent you up for a look see?” Brack raised an eyebrow “No” the sirly ranger rested her elbows on the forward sandbags, flicking a monocular down and silently looking out into the darkness. Meryn looked at Brack who shrugged “Bastion wants all perimeter positions checked, something a patrol found spooked them, wants all sensor positions and sniper posts double manned, Hunts master isn’t happy according to skuttle” She looked round at them both; a grim look on her face. “Shit” Brack got up and grabbed his binoculars “Guess this boredom just got interesting then” Meryn quipped as he got up….
Military Campaign Progress Edit
For every victory there is a moment of calm, a moment of reflection where the wounded are cared for and the dead are tallied for the letters home to those that wait for the sounds of loved ones that may never return. When Victory is bloodless this sense of longing burns deeper and hotter than any other, as the tension grows and grows across a force, some find ways to cope with the sense of the storm about to break whilst others simply become more and more focussed on the task at hand. For Hive-sec enforcers and rangers a clean victory from a well coordinated application of force is something to be proud off, to show that their years of training and heritage are what make them who they are, the last bastion of hope in a world gone dark. For them the long patrols and silent nights of a victory carry on for many weeks afterwards, their new gains counted, measured and stored away for a later day. Not for them is the purpose of occupation, whilst other cultures may build towns, camps or shanties for their people to call home in their new lands, the soldiers of Hive-Sec will raise their bulwarks against the surrounding darkness, defensive trenches being dug and built with armoured towers anchoring each corner until a defensive camp is established. From here they will send out patrols to keep an eye on the surrounding area and occupy the odd observation point but as far as anyone else living in the territory may be concerned they are a far off light that may make their presence known from time to time when martially motivated to put down raider, mutants or worse., but otherwise remain a distant sight only seen when they wish to be seen.
The first few weeks in the new territory, dubbed The Respite after the aptly named FOB established by the first chapter during the previous months, begin with a growing presence from amongst the levy companies within the fortified camp as supply convoys begin to arrive from the nearest functioning base. Within their holds they carry with them large numbers of munition crates, sandbags, entrenching tools and combat engineers dispatched from Bastion itself under the command of the Captain of the armoury. Following in their wake days after comes a steady stream of tools, equipment and specialised troops who disperse around the camp, the sound of welding torches, shovels and electrical grids being tested becoming a regular occurrence for the following two weeks. The first chapter finds make work to carry out whilst establishing their perimeter patrols and fire sweeps, whilst the company leaders attend field briefings with the Chapter Master about the state of affairs in the dome from updates dispatched from task force dominus. The short version of what information can be ascertained becomes the steady focus of work teams and troopers across the army as the days go by, the node first claimed by the task force remains steadily in the hands of Dominus, the tactics chosen to secure it being vindicated heavily by this factor as the steady flow of reserve food supplies coming in to bastion, the crucible and bloody maw continues to pile up. The secured food ensures that moral remains high amongst the force as mess tents keep a steady two meals a day flowing out to the troops in the field, with patrol rations remaining solid as the month draws to a quiet close beyond the still persistent sound construction work carrying on.
Shortly into the second month a new sound or perhaps the lack of one starts to catch the minds of the enforcers manning the trench lines and rangers on observation duty in the high towers. Some begin to openly put questions to their squad leads and platoon commanders about the constant construction work and the lack of sighting of the chapter master, what the receive satisfies most whilst raising an eyebrow simualtaneously in intrigue. Amongst the engineers a small band of black capped troops arrived and without talking to anyone disappeared into the command tent of the chapter master; Valeria Katlin, before shortly appearing again with Katlin in tow. The only marking that the nearest troopers could see was the crest of the Shadow captain marked on the cap of each trooper, one chatting amicably with Katlin as if old friends. Less than a day later a order was circulated down from the circle to all forces in the field hear by standing the newly promoted First Lieutenant Katlin down from active command of the First chapter due to on going redeployment. With this the banner of the Black-shroud disappears from the command tent to be replaced by the banner of the circle as temporary command falls to bastion until the next chapter master can be elected in field by the relevant forces. Following on from this the army takes on a slightly sombre mood at the loss of the commander, though drinks are raised in salute by the rank and file across all the mess tents to their former general in wishes of luck from them amongst the Shadow corps.
The next few weeks pass quietly once more as the construction work comes to a close over the course of two days during the third week of the month, the engineers packing up and disappearing once more back to their next postings whilst a skeletal crew remains to monitor power grids and defensive positions for signs of decay or malfunction. What they have left behind no longer resembles a simply fortified camp to the trained eyes of a Hive-sec Soldier, but the true beginnings of a potential new defensive fort that could with some additional work provide a new base of operations as well as projecting the beginnings of a defensive screen into the ruins of the colony from Hass East. In place of simple bulwark walls and temporary fire steps comes reinforced trench lines, fire pits and sniper nests built around emplaced towers of sheet metal and reinforced barring. For those acting as the new garrison the FOB starts to resemble a true Hive-sec position with only some extra work really being needed should the supplies be available to turn it into a new shield at the beck and call of Hive-sec. Not all however is positive for the members of Hive-sec as patrols are increased in response to something occurring across the ruins and within the dome itself. With their usual level of profession the first chapter responds quickly and effectively to their new orders and rapidly redeploys through out the territory with full patrols and interlinking fields of search patterns being conducted. Any sign of life is swiftly encircled and either pulled in for investigation by Hive-sec enforcers or run down by teams of rangers and building doors kicked in and strip searched from top to bottom. Nothing new turns up until the middle of the third month when intelligence reports previous circulated amongst the army commanders find their way through various means down to the levy companies, enforcers and rangers of the army. Across the ruins of the former colony forces from all across the various cultures find themselves engaged with forces from every angle including those not before seen, it seemed the ‘Shroud’; as the armies pet nickname for their former leader, had once again proven her choice of tactics well and potentially saved a number of hive-sec lives outside of that of the task force in the dome itself. What the army does find is little to nothing before returning to their garrison, with little materially to show and fewer clues as to what had spooked the bastion into such a hard reaction from few whispers, the hand of the shadow captain is played as the likely source but when pieced with the strange happening some months before hand gives even the most surly ranger pause for thought. Whilst every culture has their so called soldiers none come close to the professional inbred level displayed one to one by the soldiers of Hive-sec , however whatever or more likely whoever had been watching them previously utilising previously un-encountered military grade equipment seemed to have slunk once more into the darkness, letting it swallow any real trace of them whole. The idea of a rival force in any terms that could match Hive-sec is laughed off by a number of Enforcers, whilst some again aren’t so sure and find the idea perplexing as to why they would allow themselves to be seen or found now. The idea becomes a central point among the more politically aware members of the army, whilst rangers in particular are often found discussing the potential stealth capabilities of a new military grade foe, clearly revealing in the idea of someone to properly test themselves against whilst getting food in the new mess halls of the base. Whatever the answer it is soon forgotten with the months close as the furthest ranging scouts bring news from the east, observers established on the border had identified mass movement in the connecting territory belonging to one of the other cultures and Hive-sec’s oldest problem foe, the Mech-corp. What this movement may ascertain to could be the prelude to something much worse but the army holds its position behind their new defences as they await a new commander and orders to move out….
Whilst the Hive-sec army has claimed no new territory for the Hive-sec as a whole their establishment of a properly fortified camp has provided a new opportunity that could see Hive-secs presence permanently cemented in position of the territory, formally dubbed FOB respite by the circle. This action would require substantial supplies to carry out but would in effect provide a level 1 fortification in the territory for 66% of the normal cost to do so, and also provide a new defensive position within the ruins for Hive-sec to operate out of.
Shadows by the gate light Edit
With the first chapter fully established within the territory to the south of Hass East the circle has taken time to take stock of the current actions of task force Dominus in the Agricultural dome of the ruins. The actions are circulated for review and generally signed off upon by the ranking members of Hive-sec whilst the rest of the force happily notes to continued flow of additional food reserves keeping them well stocked and fed for the time being. This exact supply provides enough that a back up reserve converted from an half empty munitions store is cleared and assigned by the circle for construction within the bastion and would provide a fall back plan should things go awry for a short time if the currently controlled node was lost. What does draw discussion amongst the circle however is the aborted reconnaissance mission investigating the so called ‘Soulful’ of the dome, zealot tribals who it seems bare a severe grudge with both the Mech-corp and Raven privateers. A long debate and argument breaks out over whenever to potential further investigate and prosecute the options of further provoking these tribals in a targeted manner against a chosen foe or whether they should be observed by refocus resources on the previously encountered tribals known as the ‘silent’. The decision finally comes to a vote that leaves the circle split as the Logos captain abstains from the vote, more interested in the potential issues faced by this new force of neural net entities capable of breaching the material world. The decision is left to where the task force should aim its resources on one of these 3 avenues of approach, should they attempt to steer in Soulful into aggressive war, establish proper dialog with the Silent or quietly pool their time into cracking these new entities that the dome has spewed out...
1) Vote for the new Chapter Master of the First Chapter army, all active squad leads may stand for the position with interviews by the Task force Captains being carried out shortly after arrival in the dome on Friday at 7:00pm
2)Vote for the Watch Master of the first chapter is also to be resolved this deployment with all non leadership personal permitted to stand. Again interviews will be conducted by the task force captains shortly after arrival on Friday at 7:00pm
3) Two Opportunities stand for the Hive-sec forces to decide upon, one relates to the abilities of the Watch master to submit supplies for construction of a Level one fortification to be dubbed ‘The Respite’ in the currently held territory. This is to be completed by the deployment end. The Second is the direction for the task force to focus; as previously mentioned, on the course of investigation. This is to be completed by Friday evening at 9:00pm Latest and to be reported to Circle command.