The lower guild hall heaved with activity as bidders jostled for position amongst the flurry of bids and counter bids as lots made their way around the room, the auctioneer’s hammer ringing out with a tight clipped thud at each successful sale amongst the crowds. He sat quietly watching it all from his comfortable seating on a balcony above, a small brass table with engraved art work of some sort engraved into the surface and legs sat to his right. He gently picked up the cup sat steaming slightly on its saucer and took a sip from the drink held within it; before putting it back down once more with a slight clink as the ceramic met its like, as he crossed his legs lazily reading through the Guild News sat in his lap as his friend; Wilhelm Von Chrysler, sat besides him on the tables immediate right, one gloved hand gesturing to the bidders below in a steady drawl of a fine bred specialist, his head tilted back as if sneering at the mass itself as he turned to his fellow and flapped one hand towards the auctioneer. “I Say Thomas, the noise, the noise” Wilhelm shook his head “What a ghastly noise these lower families make in such a refined place. And the Auctioneer, the man should be hung for such an appalling voice” The Young Specialist looked across as he picked up his own drink and took a sip “How can one so inept at their role be allowed to continue in it as such, Maybe I should have father remove him”. Thomas De Felon lowered his paper, folding it curtly and laying it on the table beside his cup before removing his glasses and beginning to clean them as he looked at his friend. Barely a Year between them they shared a room at the parliamentary guild academy run by Wilhelm’s Father, accordingly they had become friends and often met in the guild hall to observe the great auctions and enjoy the societal opportunities afforded to one of the specialist’s ranks by birth. “Because Wilhelm, look at how those Guild Hall Staffers there” He pointed one arm of his glasses towards a small knot of guild hall employees by the side of the auction stage “They count and relay to the auctioneer dear friend who is yet to bid, and who requires motivation and who holds the real monetary value amongst the audience” Wilhelm raised one eyebrow very slightly as he took a sip from his own drink. “The Auctioneer then directs those hidden employees in the audience to draw them out and open their accounts to the guild hall, like the master of an orchestra my fine Wilhelm” Wilhelm put his drink down and clapped his hands together in delight “How devious, oh well played that man” He turned to face Thomas “I must have father hire him for our next family opera auction” Thomas smiled at his friend before picking up his paper. “Such simple things are the fine pieces in life” Thomas nodded “Though they hold little sway in these papers it would seem” He passed the paper to his friend who flipped it open “Is this true, an expedition led by one of ‘them’ has actually been successful?” Wilhelm managed to make ’them’; by which he meant Technicians Thomas knew, sound like something disgusting caught in his throat. “Yes, it would seem so” Thomas nodded “How I’ll never imagine as I doubt they even know the basics of refined command the simple masses” Wilhelm bristled “A Technician in command of the Old Guard, what a ghastly thought” He shivered. Thomas Ignored the gesture as he continued on “Quite, though this one seems to have also taken the Wagon masters position to, the first Wagon master General in our history as it seems. An interesting proposition it would seem” Wilhelm looked at his friend “How would you say?” “The last 5 expeditions have been nought but costly follies but this” He tapped the image on the front of the paper of the recovered blade of the general of the Rust colonials under the head line ’Surprise Success in the Dome’ followed by an article on the incident. “This has already succeeded far more, especially with the recovered of the blade, I hear from my own father that the parliament is putting together an investigatory committee to review whether it should oversight this expedition more closely ” Thomas lent back in his chair “Indeed” Wilhelm nodded “If that’s the case I should ask father whether two sons of the high families would provide an excellent opportunity for education in the field of politics” He grinned at Thomas, who replaced his glasses on his face. “Quite. Maybe we shall be able to show these other savages how civilised men and women of the Mech-Corp operate in such manners. I doubt they will be hard to displace with a simple application of funds” Thomas looked at Wilhelm as his friend folded his arms in his lap, “I shall ask Mother for some funds as I doubt these so called Joven ‘civilisations’ will stand in our way for long. I relish a chance at these so called ‘Soldiers’ of the Hive-Sec” Wilhelm opened a page of the paper and showed his friend the image inside of illustrations of the other civilisations. “These lost are as barbaric as though simpleton peoples to our south” Wilhelm scoffed to his friend, “And these Raven pirates or whatever they call themselves, they can barely even dress properly. Such barbarians can not dare to stop our civilisation of the ruins” Thomas nodded at his friend, only half listening. Maybe Wilhelm was right, but Thomas remembered his old tutors lessons somewhat better than his friends. Bare well the mistakes of our past young gentlemen and Ladies, for those that fail to do so shall find themselves repeating the same follies of those that came before...
Army & Territory Situation Edit
In most cases the deployment of any expedition or large force of bodies by the Mech-corp is a case of as much ceremony and pomp as the specialist officer corps can muster with the assistance of their various competing families and the parliament itself. However in this case the Old guard deploys with a quiet efficiency to it, the usual mass wave off by the seething masses of technician families and the overlooking parties of specialists are not to be seen as the Old guard are roused from their various barracks and training yards, formed up and equipped for a stiff march before being given their marching orders and heading out via the great gate that marks the edge of the Mech-Corp home territory, the militiamen on guard their watching with a passing curiosity as the army heads out, some waving and cheering to their passing comrades, some of whom wave back with helmets and cloth caps. The officers of the army march alongside their men, each one marking the beginning of their platoon or company, whilst the battalion majors are permitted to ride in tri-wheeled motor-cays at the head of each battalion within the army itself. Some of the Officers grumble at the lack of ceremony and the harshness of the deployment, complaining they could have taken a day or two to do it ’properly’, these complaints fall on deaf ears of the General himself who quickly has those who spend too much time complaining replaced. The junior members of the Old guards officers soon learn to keep their mouths shut around the former 9th company CSM, whilst the more professional members of the armies officers despite being specialists find themselves quite liking this new technician general.
Soon the great brass work guild slopes and sprawling tin slums of the Mech-Corp home land is a distant sight as the army over the next month pushes immediately west to secure the territory and land present there. The end of the first two weeks outside of the great walls are fairly quiet for the army as the various battalion columns advance at a steady pace through the rubble and ruins of the once great colony. Rifle companies spread out ahead as a vanguard skirmish screen as the army begins to spread out down 3 distinct avenues of advance within the territory by the end of the month, the centre most of these consisting 3 battalions of infantry, whilst the two flanking avenues consists each of one remaining battalion of troops. Communications is kept by a steady use of spare motor cays, large less mobile radio sets that are often filled with nothing more than heavy static from interference amongst the ruin buildings and a set of dedicated runners who sprint through the ruins to bring messages back and forth from the general command position and the battalions themselves as they push further on. Shortly into the second month the left flank reports achieving their assigned objective of the southern entrances to the territory and begin to dig in temporary defensive positions amongst the ruins closest to the tunnels and road ways leading into the territory. Little contact is made from the rifle squads sent south from this positions to search for any sign of contact who after several patrols settle back in with their parent companies in the set of basic barricades and rubble trenches that the rest of the battalion have built. The rest of the army continued to move up through the territory, the central column finding little in their way sake for the odd group of bandits who thought of trying their luck on the armed columns until releasing how seriously out matched they were in terms of troops and fire power. The chance to run down fleeing bandits proves to choice for a few of the newest junior officers who split off to chase them down, the opportunity provides an outlet for some of the young specialists bored with their lack of ‘adventure’ as they see it however the senior officers soon put a stop to it after one young officer makes the mistake of drawing his platoon into an ambush by the bandits that almost succeeds if not for the intervention of an arbitrary unit. The bandits run in terror as energised rounds bounce harmlessly from its RIG shielding, the arbiters return fire blowing bloody chucks of gore out of the bandits hit by its fire. The Mech-Corp technician militiamen shift uneasily around the arbiter as the bed time stories of their child-hoods assert themselves with mental images of eerie silent mass killing war machines from before the end times. The Senior officers quickly issue standing orders to stand down when an arbiter is sighted nearby and to fall back in good order, the junior officer rescued attempts to rile against this order but is quickly reminded by the General himself with a curt example of what happened to the trio of idiots he encountered in the dome that tried to fight an arbiter who were a lot better armed that the young officer in question.
By the second month the Old guard finds itself looking at the edge of the territory, linking tunnels, great elevator shafts and large open road ways standing before them leading into the all consuming darkness ahead. The right flank had re-joined them shortly before hand after locating no path north from the territory short of doubling back via the linkage tunnels near to the Mech-Corp homelands. As such the army settles into a defensive posture, militia troops building simple barricade lines and digging trenches amongst the ruins before settling into these simple defensive positions to await further orders. The Command staff set themselves about ensuring a line of communications back to home before looking to the General for their next orders, a series of companies are pulled off the line and set about identifying the territory properly as to provide a classification for the parliaments incessant pestering and requests for information. It takes the better part of the month but finally a full report is sent back by motor-cay squadron with a full debrief of the territory and its potential. It seems the army has occupied a Teritus class Manufacturing territory that used to be a dedicated construction zone, series of factories filled with mass numbers of broken down and ancient conveyor belts with mass warehouses sat waiting to collect the manufactured goods before having it sent out to the consumers. The Union bosses in the home lands celebrate the find as a potential new source of work from under the current factory barons, whilst the specialist families rub their hands with glee at a new place to plunder for riches and resources. The General of the Old guard is quietly thanked by the parliament by a simple letter sent by one bored looking courier, whilst the officer corps of the army celebrate their new acquisition for the Mech-Corp people. Mean while the darkness watches on as its eyes look carefully over the Old guard and thoughts begin to form…
So the Old guard has successfully conquered new land for the Mech-corp, a Teritus class manufacturing territory which will provide new supplies and opportunities for the civilisation as a whole. The army has taken no real casualties but it could have been different if not for the arbiter intervention. A close call but a worth while reward.