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The hall swelled with the flow and ebb of dancers swaying to the music that emanated from the rustic band placed high above them on the balcony stage; its conductor faced towards his charges, as the collection of musicians efforts swept out across the great space in front of them. Their audience gently drifted across the shimmering dance floor underneath a chandelier of intricate brass metal work, entwined cogs covering its surface to form a great sphere. Polite laughter filled the surrounding balconies as the great and powerful of the specialist families jostled with one another for position  amongst their fellows, whilst the wives and progeny of the great names chorused with their friends and rivals to the sounds of the Parliamentary orchestra. Small clusters of uniformed officers from the various militia regiments joked and scoffed at their fellows as they mingled amongst their families and other regiments, higher officers sat to one side or another behind wide arching tables with their aides and confidants as they enjoyed the evening, whilst waiters flitting through the crowds of revellers and dancers bearing trays of drinks. “I say this is more what we need, civilisation and a stiff drink” He took a sip from the delicate glass before balancing it in the cup of his gloved hand, his friend carrying on harrumphing with those sat besides next to the dance floor. “Civilisation makes a man want for nothing amongst such refined company, away from the riff raff and common muck” His friend continued, a chorus of affirmative harrumphs following along from the collection of officers sat beside them. “I mean look at this, a place of serene peace cemented amongst refined company, away from all that rabble and noise” Wilhelm continued as Thomas took a sip from his own drink sat before him, a waiter passing close by and refilling the glass for him. Glancing side ways at his company for the evening Thomas had a feeling that his night would be a long one as Wilhelm continued on with his dissection of the evenings festivities with their new friends, two junior officers from the Old Guard and a Captain from the Light company regiment. “I doubt the rank and file would know what to do with themselves” One of the Junior officers scoffed to his twin; both bedecked in their regimental best of green dyed frocks jackets and black jodhpurs, “Indeed, the very smell of them would ruin my clothes for sure, not to mention the glass wear”. Wilhelm chuckled alongside them as Thomas noted the Captain taking a drink to cover the roll of his eyes, His uniform a solid black piece tied off with a blue sash and a simple black felt cap. “Our reverent steps shall re-tame the ruins and Joven savages in no time I am sure” Wilhelm raised his glass to the two junior officers who returned the gesture, “The first piece has been returned to us already my good man” They turned at the new voice as an Officer bearing the uniform of a major of the old guard took a spare chair, seating himself besides them “Major Koniegs, 2 battalion of the Old Guard” He nodded politely as the two juniors and the Captain, who stood in salute before returning to their seats with a wave of the hand from the Major. “A fine piece indeed” Wilhelm smiled, gesturing with the tip of his glass to the display case sat in the midst of the dance floor, a old but elegant sword sat upon a stand within  flanked by two Militia soldiers in full uniform, rifles stood in salute over their right shoulders. “The Blade of General Maris von Silesia, Last commander of the Rust Colonials” Major Koniegs quipped “A beautiful sight to see in our hands once more” one of the junior officers remarked, a tinge of awe entering his voice. “I hear we have the 9th company to thank for its return” “Indeed we do” Koniegs nodded “Apparently scavengers had it, after looting poor von Silesia’s grave site”, “A terrible crime” Wilhelm bowed his head “But once more it sits to be sworn into service again with the right specialist to swing it”. The two juniors looked at one another, shuffling slightly “I hear the parliament investigation met with some surprising findings” they admitted as Thomas raised an eyebrow at their movement “Indeed, from what my father mentioned the previous night that the technician in command has the backing from the parliamentary member embedded with the expedition” Thomas looked round at the faces beside him. “That ‘general’ ” Wilhelm stated; a small tinge of flem seeming to attach itself to his words as he somehow managed to make the rank sound like something sickly when thinking of a technician holding it, “seems to have impressed them, alongside that ranger lot”. The Captain looked up at the mention of the rangers “indeed, it seems they made some impressions on not just our fellow parliamentarians, but that union lot too” one of the Juniors stated; taking a sip from his glass as his twin nodded slightly, “Seems that General Headquarters have had their ears bent enough to consider re-raising the Rust colonials but some aren’t too sure about it from the parliaments end”. “Do excuse me” The Captain stood up, bowing before turning to leave, his regimental badge with the words ’Wasteland Rangers’ flashing momentarily in the back light as he disappeared into the crowd, Thomas watching him go with a raised eyebrow... 

Military Campaign Progress Edit

An army marches on the hopes and dreams of its people; a personification of there drive and determination some would say, a physical entity that gives a man or women marching to war the courage to stand in defence of their homes surrounded by their fellows and often kin as they stand shoulder to shoulder. With every passing victory their strength and morale will grow as they push back against an all prevailing darkness, in such a case an air of quiet confidence can become a wild fire of passion and drive when fanned by the right people at the right time.  Following the success of their first expedition into the ruins in many years the Old guard and their Technician general finds themselves facing just that, a confidence that even the most cynical soldier can not deny spreads like a flame across the army as the first settlers arrive in the former manufacturing territory and start to work on homes and streets for the new town that has been commissioned, named Silesia for the lost Rust colonials general by the parliamentary committee for resettlement after a fierce debate amongst the specialist families. The army does not get to see the fruits of their labours for long however as they soon receive their orders; and begin to march south through the ruined canyon of road ways and tunnels, following  the light company scouts markers and way points as they advance into the unknown.

The first month of the armies march brings them into the outer limits of new lands as the army breaks apart into 3 columns, each advancing at a cautious pace in standing with their orders whilst rifle company skirmishers prowl forward acting like sniffer dogs just beyond the torch light of their masters watch.  Communications  between the battalions and columns flit back and forth  on a daily basis as the army settles into its movements and slowly spreads out to each objective set by their advance timetable, reconnoitring it before clearing and claiming the site, before reporting back to the general and then moving on to the next position as the army rolls forward in a slow but methodical tide of rust coated soldiers.  The company leaders maintain a rigorous pace amongst their subordinates, carefully managing supplies and rations as they move ever onward into the darkness of this new zone, each passing step claiming the land little by little for the mech-corp home lands, bringing new found prosperity for its people and new found avenues of supply that may just make the difference between survival and ruin. Some soldiers can be heard grumbling about the new orders on food provisions, some openly blaming the parliament for the problem but these are quickly clamped down upon by the officers and general himself as the problems facing the mass technician populace are pushed to the back of their minds with a quick lash from the army blue coats. No one can deny the sense of nagging though as the army pushes on but for the time being apart from the odd grumble or slur from the rank and file the army puts the matter to one side as the furthest reaching scouts report back to their respective commanders. From what the scouts can tell the ultimate reaches of the territory push out to the east and south, both leading into the unknown once more via a series of collapsed road ways and tracked tunnels, the one thing that all the scouts report back however is the presence of totem like markings, most likely belonging to the joven tribals; the peoples, who live much further south of the location. The battalion Colonels are pulled together to decide upon a course of action as the likelihood of contact with the peoples, which over the course of three days descends to a vicious cycle of arguments before the general clamps down on it with the support  of the older more guarded officers amongst the army over the more zealous and aggressive junior officers. One thing does universally come out of the  arguments however as further scout reports brought in by a squad detachment of reclamation sector troops; nicknamed the wasteland rangers, points to the territory being another Teritus level position that primarily seems to have been focussed on power production by the capacitor stacks that the columns have been reporting in, alongside the sizeable ruined power station on the far northern edge of the territory.

With the closure of the first month and the dawning of the second the army pushes further on until two thirds of the territory sit within their possession. The earlier reports prove to be accurate as the 3 column advance pushes deeper into the territory, coming across minor power grid capacitor stations and transformer banks arranged in series of 6 around the periphery of a series of transmission spires that link to the surrounding grounding stations. Engineering detachments from each battalion are called up to get the viability of the spires and the systems themselves which takes over a week to complete as the army settles into a defensive posture as the equipment is checked, cleared, tested and logged. It seems that the power systems are indeed viable and could potentially be brought online if the right experts could be enlisted to occupy the station with a security force and a work force to repair the relevant lines the engineers report back to the army staff. This news is quickly conveyed back to the parliament who send one back by the following weeks end with orders to secure and defend the position over the formal occupation and claim of the final third of the territory, this causes some concern amongst the officers but the army sets about recalling the columns and sets about locking down the various side routes and paths through the territory surrounding the key positions within the two thirds that they hold, the final third is left to the 3rd column consisting of 600 men from the 5th battalion to push on with support from various light companies to secure as reports seem to indicate that the rest of the zone is clear of any major contacts at least as far as the armies scouts can tell within the closing days of the second month.

The problem with confidence is that it more often than not breeds an air of cockiness amongst some people, and an aggressiveness in others. Whilst the rest of the army settles in once more to their new acquisition and lodgings the 5th battalion pushes on with its escort of 3 light companies to secure the final third of the territory. At first the confidence of the technician militia and their specialist officers seems well placed until shortly into the first week of the third month things begin to take a turn for the worst. To begin with it seems like nothing major, a squad of rifleman from the light companies disappears seemingly into the either of the ruins, rescue parties are sent out but discover nothing. The next day and the next after that more squads disappear without a trace as the light companies pull their roving squads back together and bunker up around the main battalion column as they push through a penned in road way of ruined maintenance workshops and control tower blocks. An ear splitting screech catches the militia soldiers off guard for a moment as rifles are cocked and the order to form ranks is bellowed up and down the column, silence is their answer as the air seems to hang still for but a moment as all hell breaks loose up and down the line. Tribal warriors dosed in blackened ash as some form of camouflage wielding spears tied off with red sashes that seem to have been almost religiously kept clean alongside red tattoos covering their face leap from concealed positions amongst the rubble, driving their weapons tips through weak points at the arm pits and necks of troopers as more red faced warriors pour from the ruins themselves and crash into the columns form the other side in a tide of shields and blades. Officers bellow orders as the report of rifle fire begins to fill the air alongside the scream of the wounded and dying being trampled under foot as chaos ensues, a fury of close quarters combat ensues for the following few minutes before the tribals retreat back into the rubble, dragging some wounded soldiers off with them to who knows where, their own wounded carried on their backs or left where they fell in the rubble strewn with a mixture of blood and rock dust. Head counts are quickly made by squad as each company checks over their wounded and dead, medics skirting up and down the line prioritising the various wounded amongst the dead. In the course of the next hour multiple dead are called out by squad with others missing or reported wounded via the surgeon captain to the battalion Colonel, simultaneously the light companies report multiple attacks of the same style across each of their positions, one being driven off thanks in no small part to the reclamation sector squad assigned to them from the main army group. 

The next few days of advance are called off as the colonel counts of the dead and dying from his force, sending those that can be saved under armed escort back to the main Old guard positions, before pulling his forces together and cautiously pushing ahead, keeping his heaviest companies on alert to respond to any more ambush attacks on their positions. This tactic doubtlessly saves lives in the next two weeks as the force reaches its assigned objective and sends motor cay reports back to the general of their situation, what they receive back leaves some of the battalions officers gawping for lack of words. Across the entire territory minor ambushes have been cropping up form cleared positions before disappearing into the rubble. In all some 200 militia soldiers of the Old Guard have been killed or so badly wounded that they will never fight again alongside their fellows, reports on the tribals wounded  lists to half that number according to some. The general calls a meeting of his battalion commanders and sets about assigning a series of heavy reinforced patrols to start clearing anymore ambush sites and to ensure the territory is held against any attempted incursions form the south and east. One officer raised the prospect of the attackers being so called ‘hunters’ from the peoples but this is quickly dismissed by the general as he studies some of the broken weapons left behind by the tribals, holding one with its red sash still tied around its haft. “I know this mark...The Soulful” is all he says, before calling for his communication captain and inscribing a note to be sent to command…

Summary:

The old guard have secured a new territory for the mech-corp culture, a Teritus grade zone dedicated to power supply that with some careful management may begin to send power to the new town of Silesia to the north as well as the home lands. This has come at a cost however as some 200 Old guard troops are butchered in a series of ambushes by red tribals; The Soulful, previously encountered in the Agri-dome. For what reasons only time will tell however it seems more than likely that these ambushes are retaliatory for some action in the past…

Doves amongst Crows Edit

With the previous expeditions excursion into the dome having produced varied results and impressions amongst the parliament, some families had thought it a forgone conclusion that the technician in command of the Old guard would be soon out of a job. His position however seems to have be successfully vindicated by not just those new technicians and specialists present but also by the parliamentary representative in field also. The committee team sent to investigate, though some what dishevelled and bruised from their excursion into the dome, returned with glowing reports to the wide smirks of the lower house of technician union bosses and some specialist members of other houses with eyes for their fellows seats in the next round of elections. A hearing amongst the parliament proper resulted in a split vote on removal that may have bogged down other proceedings for days if it hadn’t been for a small vote from a new party of 3 young specialist calling themselves the ’Union of Technical labours representatives’ casting their vote late in the day in favour of supporting the current Old guards general. What part this new group may have to play in the political landscape is unknown but its appearance was lost amongst the general populace at the announcement of an imposed increase in rationing due to the lack of a node controlled by Mech-corp forces, should this continue the populace may face starvation within a short time span it becomes reported across the labour houses and union bars. technicians take to banding together for pot luck soups and stews to keep their families going  as one way of getting round the increase in rationing but the problem becomes the main focal point of any major discussion for days to come. On top of this the news of a potential vote on the re-establishment of the rust colonials catches the ears of many hopeful young technicians hoping to escape the boredom and shortness lived careers in the tin yards or breaking foundries spread across the Mech-corp lands. A vote is called amongst the specialist families to decide upon the new mayor of the town of Silesia, with missives being dispatched to those specialists amongst the dome expeditionary force, whilst technicians are reminded that the yearly techno archive will be open to the public for one day with entries being open to recording and submission to the archive.

Summary:

The election for the general of the Old guard is to be held this coming expedition, see your parliament representative for further details in regards to the vote and its timing. A vote is also to be held amongst specialists only to decide on the new mayor of Silesia; technicians are exempt from this vote, and will need to be completed by Saturday evening of the coming event. Finally all those specialist and technicians (With the warleader skill) will be required to vote on the formation of a new mech-corp army (Reformation of the Rust colonials), this is to be completed by Saturday evening via a vote with the results handed to the parliamentary representative at the conclusion of said vote.

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