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Fortress

Rile lent back in his chair as he ran one hand through his close cut hair, the sharp shortness of it still feeling faintly itchy as he scratched at the back of his head. Around him other off duty troopers sat chatting and chewing through mouthfuls of scoff with the rest of their squads as the ever present queue for the food hatch snaked its way around the edges of mess tent back over towards the large double flaps that marked the entrance. Most of those in the queue would have just come off rotation and be heading back to their bunks shortly after getting some food down them, a mixture of platoons passing jokes up and down the line as they subconsciously took a single pace forward as each set of 3 received their food trays and headed off to find a spot to sit. Behind these the more surly rangers stood in ones or twos among the enforcers and levy platoons, their trade mark cross rifles insignia marking them out in comparison to the shield brooch of the enforcers, Rile had always wanted to be a ranger following after his grandfather but his talents as it had turned out lay in demolitions and clearance according to the Training sergeants back at Bastion. Accordingly he had been assigned as a grenadier to one of the new pass out Enforcer squads after completing basic and prep at the Crucible in the eastern sectors, before then being deployed to the front line units currently being assembled at ‘the Respite’ as part of the new garrison force. A new garrison this size hadn’t been deployed in a long time Rile thought as he sat chewing thoughtfully, he knew that for certain from his history lessons as a cadet, the last major deployment of a holding battalion was well over 2 centuries ago back when Hive-sec held more than the ’ring’ of the Bastion, Maw and crucible. He put his fork down for a minute thinking about what it could mean before his thoughts were broken by the responding thump next to him as a small giant sat down besides him, the Hive-sec logo branded right into the muscle of the individual as a black tattoo matched by a series of tally marks on their lower arm below an Enforcer patch. “Day dreaming again Rile” the giant spoke with a low rumble to his voice as they looked at the much smaller Rile, “I was until you sat down and half collapsed the table Wrecker” Rile chuckled looking at the man sat next to him, who made a pantomime face of innocence whilst spinning his dining knife between his fingers on one hand. “What's got your thoughts this time then huh?” the giant asked quizzically at his smaller friend as he took chunks out of his food with one hand whilst the other continued playing with the knife, “Just the whole garrison deployment going on, first time its been done in a while and a force this size could mean only one thing really” Rile looked at his friend who simply raised an eyebrow before taking another giant bite out of his food, chewing half out of reflex and half out of thought as he listened to the tiny grenadier. Rile shifted round on his seat  to better face wrecker “Do I have to spell it out to you?”,  Wrecker shrugged before speaking through half a mouthful of food “You’re the history analyst” “The last garrison battalions ever formed still hold their objectives that they were assigned 300 years ago, namely the Hass’s both east and West” Wrecker held up his hands briefly in a motion of fairness “Then the lot being deployed here are for a new hass” He questioned Rile “That’s what I’m thinking, the 1st chapter already call this place ‘the respite’ and its central operations keep ‘the Shroud’, add all the construction work going on with the fortifications being raised and it wouldn’t take much more for a full FOB to be established here beyond the fort itself” Rile nodded. Wrecker seemed to think for a moment as he finished the last chunks of food off of his tray as Rile sat wrapped in his own thoughts about his theories, “A new Hass wouldn’t be a bad thing, especially considering where we’re positioned in terms of strategics and long term positioning” Wrecker sat back crossing his arms as he looked down at Rile “How so?” Rile asked puzzled “Come on, you’re the history guy” Wrecker grinned teasing him as Rile scowled slightly at the dig, “Viable roads wise for anything the size of a military force needing room to move we’re on one of the only two routes a force from the direct east could take to assault the Crucible” Wrecker said surprisingly seriously “Add that to all the recent movement seismic has been picking up due east of us and you can better your next duty rotation that the Rust mites are thinking the same thing and massing again for another go after last time”. Rile sat listening to his friend as the concept sat in his mind and was met by a multitude of vindications falling into place like a puzzle, “Block the direct path and force the enemy to engage on your terms when out numbered, eliminate morale during this and spread the enemy line before engaging with precise strikes in key locations” Rile muttered off the old training line as Wrecker just sat back smirking, “Gets the mites hopping that we’ll strike them clean in the face and force them to cross ground they’ve bled and lost on before, then break their necks and send them home in pieces” Wrecker chuckled darkly as he flexed his arms, flashing the Hive-sec logo as he did. “They always have been a fractured enemy, take out any officers or leadership and they fall apart like target range cut outs” Rile nodded in agreement “Least that’s what the old breed say anyway” Wrecker nodded. Neither of them was past their mid-twenties, and the last major conflict with the militia if you could call it that out of the Mech-corp had been over 80 years ago, during the time of their grandparents generation of troopers amongst the Hive-sec units. Rile scratched at the corner of his face for a second as he pondered something, “My only query is even with us sat here saying and thinking about all this as line troopers, when it comes down to it does this mean we’re simply toying with them whilst we focus else where or are we prepping for the inevitable whilst the circle move the pieces into place?” Rile looked at Wrecker who sat silent for a moment, his thoughts crossing his features as surely as Riles’ own question crossed his. “I think that question will answer itself in time but for now you two should simply leaves quandaries to the officers or the SF’s” a faintly accented voice cut through their stillness as a lithe ranger stood motionless behind them without looking down at the two seated enforcers, lighting a cigarette in the cup of her hand as the embers cast a light onto the corner of her face under the shrouded cowl she wore to cover it, a reconnaissance snipers patch just visible on the front corner of her jacket under a set of rank slides belonging to a lieutenant. “Yes ma’am” Rile and Wrecker both stood bolt up right, the ranger didn’t even turn to look at them as she moved on, “Who was that?” Rile ask wrecker who had the look of something falling into place, “I think that was the reason that center ops is nicknamed ‘the shroud’” he replied as Rile swallowed nervously... 

Military Campaign Progress Edit

The will to stand when all else around you has fallen has been a driving force behind some of the greatest and most tragic incidents in human history. From the first conflicts undertaken by man against his fellow kind through its early years to the battles that would become legend in their own time, before serving as lessons to inspire the generations and eras that came after, defiance in the face of adversity has been as both a guiding light and the crux of man-kinds’ ambitions. For every act of bravery and chivalry that takes a stand in the face of oppression or acts of injustice another driven by pure greed or malice erupts in anew form to stand against it. This never ending battle of wills has created a cycle that has spawned some of the most courageous and dangerous warriors of history, each standing defiant in the face of a threat to their lives and civilisation in turn, before becoming the threat that stokes the fires of defiance a new in a new soul in a new place.  This single will of stubbornness, pride or dint of simple true nobility birthed the greatest acts of humanity, and founded the origins of true civilisations in what would become the centre of the world as it was then. The act of defiance gifts its wielder the armour of spirit to hold their cause close and fan the flames amongst their compatriots to stand together no matter the hardship, to over throw tyrants and dictators, to found nations and topple empires, to crush wars and defend peace no matter the form it takes.  In this singular simple act the spark of what defines the shields of humanity can be found, the will to hold on and never back down when faced with a threat, to never submit when their still stands a single ember of hope that may once more re-ignite the fire of civilisation. 

For the soldiers of Hive-sec this defiance is naturally inbred by countless generations of dedication to their role within the decaying ruins of the former colony. From their first days in the white shield cadet units after their fourth birthday members of the militaristic society are taught that their in only one thing between them and the dying world beyond the armoured walls of the bastion, pure defiance. Every step they take is in halls walked by generations of their predecessors both in terms of blood relations and those whose collar numbers their inherit after their deaths. Each identification has seen many bearers come and go, with each selling their lives against the swarm to whittle it away piece by bloody piece over the course of decades and centuries.  As such this legendary stubbornness and inbuilt belief behind their cause as the last ember of a dead world permeates every aspect of their lives and into the brigade task forces assigned active combat duties that the other survivors and civilians of the colonial ruins now as the armies of Hive-sec, and in particular the 1st chapter.

When duty shifts end or down rotations are permitted amongst the troops within the 1st chapter this natural affinity towards an iron will displays itself in a series of different ways, some will be in games that require patience to wait and see who cracks first, whilst others will engage in games of tactics to test their ability to out think their opponents plans before they can enact them.  For others simple acts such as weapons maintenance become ritualistic in terms of becoming mastered to the degree of being carried out blindfolded in contests against others to compete for the fastest time to prove dominance of their art, whilst others still create tallies of kills to be compared and outdone by their comrades, with those with the highest count by a given point claiming what little un-necessary equipment counts for comforts that are permitted whilst on deployment, be they small music players or old magazines until the tally chart is toppled once again.  Aside from this as a whole whenever the 1st Chapter finds itself establishing a holding pattern within a particular sector of operation  it conducts the usual assortment of continuous drills and combat sessions to ensure rapid reaction capability isn’t compromised by any lieu of action. Accordingly the first few weeks following the seasonal rotation shift is taken up with a set of combat checks and practice drills as the army settles into its positions further, these are joined by a slow but steady stream of freshly deployed ‘pass out’ units deployed from bastion and the crucible in a continuous build up that begins to be noticed by those units already established in their assigned bunk houses and dug outs along the perimeter line. Initially a few additional faces is simply looked over as an investment into a temporary FOB wasn’t that uncommon if the position was being held for a vital reason in the short term,  this out look is soon changed as the third week roles through and the flow of individual squads turns into a roll of platoons of levy combat patrols arriving and being assigned bunks before taking up positions in a combat spread. The younger enforcer squads and ranger teams look to their unit sergeants for an explanation before they kick the confirmation requests up the chains to platoon and then company level whilst the older members simply get on with the business of avoiding too many levies getting under foot, the final answer comes a few days later during a battalion briefing conducted before the beginning of a series of integration drills. Information passed back by task force dominus to the circle had resulted in the circle confirming the activation of the palisade protocol, an old throw back to when Hive-sec would hold claimed ground from a series of interconnecting fire bases. With the supply of food under control for the time being the circle had given the go a head for a permanent FOB to be established in the territory occupied by the 1st chapter. The announcement is met with a silence before a series of vicious grins from newer officers and wolf like smirks from the older veterans, on most operations the 1st chapter would be deployed in a rapid reaction fashion or defensive stance, with this the normally defensive doctrines employed would be turned into an offensive approach as the first fort was constructed. As such the arriving flow of levy platoons and freshly graduated enforcer squads and ranger teams would form the basis of the new fort’s garrison battalion, and provide an on going presence and defensive force for the fort in the case of an attack. The following few days are met with a flurry of activity as each perimeter point in turn finds itself visited by members belonging to the forces under the Captain of the armoury, making a series of notes and checking lanes of fire before moving on to the next and repeating the process. Come the closing days of the month these various work parties come together to form the layout plan for the forts new defence positions and permanent walls from which the rest of the base would grow.

The dawn of the second month slipped past in a din of cutting torches and the sound of entrenching tools digging through the rubble, with the hissing of furnace torches sealing metal against metal  as slowly the first piece of permanent wall was begun up in proper by combat engineer teams. Aside from this the number of pro-active patrols was increased by the 1st chapter as the army kicked over every sign of fire light or movement to ensure no one group would attempt to sneak up on the position whilst construction was under way, this inevitably resulted in little as the territory had been quiet since the army had rolled in some months before hand in a show of force that had toppled the local compound of bandits with such speed that what had remained of that pitiful force had evicted itself post hast from the area completely, only the odd scavenger had remained to make themselves worthy of the occasional patrol sticking their noses into their solo scav runs to little avail beyond in one case the same singular scavenger being questioned by 3 separate patrols, leaving the scav increasingly irate and hurling bottles of unidentified yellow liquid at the questioning sergeant to the amusement of their squad mates. The next few weeks pass in relative quiet for the rest of the 1st chapter as the routine of patrols and garrison operations continue with the now ever present sound of construction continuing on at ever hour to some degree around the base as the first trio of redoubts  are completed, 3 squat bunkers  sat covering the 3 most likely approaches towards the base with a series of fire points and armoured trench ways supported by 3 weapon nests  built upon the roof of each central bunker to provide interlacing fields of heavier fire against any opponent stupid enough to attempt to charge on mass against the redoubt. IF any survived long enough to close the distance however they would find their small arms fire ineffectual thanks to the combination of thick rubble utilised as ablative armour to cover sheet metal salvaged from the local area bolted to the inner frames and welded together to form armour plating  over sandbags filled with concrete dust from pulverised bricks creating the internal layer of protection within the bunkers themselves.  In the center of the base the central operations compound of tents had also been worked on to form a series of permanent structures from welded sheets of plastic and thin metal before being covered in turn by sand bags to give hard cover to those working inside. This work continued on with little notice as the days went by for the most part, the constant flow of salvage teams and engineers working on the fortifications arriving and setting about to work becoming an almost daily part of the routine, some troopers take to calling it the day  ‘scoot’ as engineer teams would appear in their section of trench, scoot them along to the next part much to the annoyance of the next squads sergeant, before spending several hours working on it before giving them the okay to return to a thoroughly reinforced trench line with electric cables running along the back wall for lights, radio comms and power pack rechargers, the parapets having been added to with camo netting covering the tops and rockcrete piled up over additional baffling to create a much more sturdy trench front.

Early on into the final week of the second month however something small but odd pops up amongst the various squads and their constituent members within the army as scuttlebutt slips back and forth between rotations and units. During morning guard switch on the main gate a small party of troops had arrived and passed through, nothing out of the ordinary there but the big difference here had been the midnight all black camo, gear and berets worn by all, the only visible symbol being of the shadow corp pinned to the neck of their collars. The small band make their way through the base and into the operations centre. Shortly afterwards they were joined by the new general of the 1st chapter who spent the better part of the day in discussion with them before they emerged and seconded a bunk room for their own uses, on the way to the bunk two could be seen chatting quietly amongst themselves about something, one bearing the pins of a Lieutenant, just visible under the edge of her cowl whilst the other bore the pins of a Warrant officer. Most of the troopers stayed clear out of their way as the small band of special forces  made their way onwards until disappearing into the bunk room, the fact that a band under the command of the shadow captain was stationing themselves here for however long caught like wild fire amongst the forces arrayed in the FOB as speculation jumped about, with every squad made their own guess as to the true nature of their operation. They wouldn’t have to wait too long as the eclipse of the week brought with it their reappearance at the firing range as off duty troopers and levies gathered around the upper gantries to get a better look at the mysterious SF’s of Hive-secs Shadow corp. Unlike with a line squad where the unit would be made up of a lead sergeant, assisting squad leader who was usually a corporal and then 6 privates, shadow squads were 4 man kill teams and having 2 of them stationed in camp was tantamount to leave day; the one day a year that Hive-sec personnel on non-necessary duty got off, come early. These 4 man teams could operate anywhere doing anything and the lethality they carried made troopers giggle like children, for the team on the range at the moment this consisted of a sniper, heavy gunner, shotgunner and assault carbine operator, all tech-ed up with various gear and personalisation's. After 20 minutes of watching them check over weapons and run pre-ops fire drills a small ripple of silence split into a slow clap as the sniper, the lieutenant spied early, flicked her cowl down to reveal the former general of the 1st chapter. She looked up and gave a mock bow before settling back into her work as the troops around them gave a small cheer as the rest of the Sf team locked over their shoulders at here, the warrant officer shaking his head before nodding at the crowd. The lieutenant responded with a single digit that had the onlookers laughing as they were finally moved on by the fire lane sergeants and the armoury captain for the base after several loud uses of expletives. The primary reason for their appearance made itself known a couple of days later as the team was spotted returning from their operation as two platoon strength patrols were dispatched to provide a running perimeter as the team made its way back. No one was injured but clearly they had been sent to check something. On the back of the heavy gunner a wrap of material was being carried that seemed to flicker and bloom with any heat that got to close to it, the shadow team headed straight for the operations centre as they entered the base, and a day later they were gone again, leaving in the dead of night so that only the night sentries and patrols spotted the faint flickering infra-red light disappearing off into the distance.

The third month came and went almost silently for the large part for the 1st chapter as the army settled down again after the appearance of the shadow teams, troopers hoping to catch another glimpse of them still hung around the firing lanes but after a week or so of nothing they returned back to their usual off duty hang outs in the canteen or commissary, the question of the material and their mission still jumped about and gave the greener troopers something to chat about in the quiet hours whilst the older more grizzled soldiers simply left them be, choosing to let the SF’s get on with whatever black work they were doing that didn't require their noses being burnt in the process. 3 weeks passed after this with nought but the sound of construction and the usual recon reports coming in before filtering back to bastion, work continued on with the new fort as sections of initial trench perimeter lines where reinforced and checked over before being signed off, whilst initial planning for the main walls themselves was carried out as the major part of the project. All in all the fort was almost 50% complete and even then was fairly imposing for those approaching it in its half finished form, the on thing that did keep the 1st chapter on its toes though was the fact that reports were coming back of some form of action occurring to the north and the sound of construction going on through the border routes from the next territory over, from the lands claimed by the so called ’Mech-corp’…

Summary:

The new fort construction is proceeding on schedule, with the fort 50%  complete at this stage. At this rate the fort will be fully operational by the beginning of E5 with a garrison strength of 500 as a level 1 fortification. The 1st chapter is currently garrisoned at the site and providing security operations for the territory whilst they are positioned here. 

Two of a kind Edit

With the ongoing construction of the new forward operating base, or Fort, as its been dubbed by the engineering teams working on it the current theatre of operations has begun to slowly shift from a singular front to two, primarily consisting of the ongoing task force dominus operations within the agriculture dome and the new fronts opening up across the ruins with an increase on mutant swarm activity. Reports flooding back from Dominus indicate that the culture dubbing themselves ‘the lost’, a loose collection of nomadic civilians, have been engaging with one such swarm to the far north west with little success as to be expected. Of more interest has been the recent impromptu alliance of conveyance that has been occurring with the militants of the cellborn resulting in the elimination of a black market crew at the cost of two Hive-sec over the last few months and the ongoing  show of hand by the cellborn in general. This odd if not unwelcome peace with the normally aggressive cellborn culture has proven useful and has drawn the attention of the circle in their strategic operational plans as a chance at a solidified alliance with the militants may prove a useful barrier against any major expansionist aims by certain groups as well as providing a more feasible bedrock for launching an extermination campaign against the active swarms amongst the ruins. Aside from this two other points of note have been brought up as of late, the first being the continual supply of food coming in from the initial occupation of the food node near 9 months before had as ensured a growing stock pile in the case of emergencies and a stronger footing for excursion forces with the Circle looking at opening base operations to further sectors. The second is more curious and potentially troubling in comparison, during the recent months a emergency response transmission was received from an long abandoned Hive-sec outpost in the deep South west notifying the old IFF communications with bastion for the need of reinforcement as it was under attack by unknown forces. This catches the attention of the little seen and often fear shadow captain who puts in a personal appearance during an emergency briefing to ascertain a course of action, 3 routes are put forward to handle the call for help from the old outpost, first being the deployment of the 1st chapter from their current position to force march to the outpost and actively engage whoever may be there as the potential for a swarm nesting in the outpost would become a nightmare to shift. The second would be to dispatch a request to the nearest culture, the cellborn, to investigate and report back as the recent thawing of relations may prove useful in this regard. The final solution would be to request Arbiter involvement as the risk of banditry or black market forces claiming old hive-sec equipment would put the fractured civilian populace at major risk. A shadow team is eventually dispatched to task force dominus to ascertain the likelihood of these response before drawing one as the rapid response to the peculiar incident.

Summary:

1) With the recent friendliness between the Hive-sec forces and Cellborn clans the circle wishes for forces present to investigate the likelihood of a alliance of cause for the purpose of a joint extermination campaign in the future, forces present are requested to report back by deployments end. This MUST be completed by Sunday morning at the latest and reported to circle command.

2) An old Hive-sec outpost, call sign Sentinel two  bravo has sent a distress call utilising old systems, Circle command assigns the forces o Task force dominus to ascertain the situation via one of three options e.g. Dispatch the 1st chapter in strength to investigate, deployment of local nearby units from the cellborn ‘clans’ in a joint scout operation or to request arbiter deployment for a reconnaissance operation of the site.

3) A Shadow corp Kill team will be arriving in camp to chat with forces present about current threat assessments, they will be arriving Friday evening.

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