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Sweep and clear

Sevrin crouched down, taking a knee he paused at the corner of what had once been a shop of one form or another according to what was left of the rusted and shattered neon sign laying slumped across a burnt out display window. Glancing  the wreckage over he could see scraps of waste paper and the crumpled forms of what looked like cheap data slates just lying where they had been dropped or knocked from shelves, time reducing the metal surfaces to rust and the paper to ghost like wafers where what little actually remained. “What a time people could spend wasting on indulgences” he shook his head as the faint sound of skittering rubble came from behind him, he didn’t even look behind him as he recognised the click pause confirmation through his radio headset as the rest of his squad followed up behind the contemplative scout. Each member had their own distinctive sound when moving quietly through the ruins, or at least he thought so as he listened to him. The heavy thumps of the squads support gunner, the step-jangle-step sound of the medic as his pack swung at his side, the rhythmic vibrations of the trio moving in sync, the ghost like steps of the squad sergeant, and the echo like footfalls of the squad corporal not far behind. A single pulse of static clipped through his head set followed by a pause, holding up a hand he signaled back the all clear as he stood up and fell into step with the squad sergeant as she passed by his position in front of the ruined magazine store. Looking at the ruin the sergeant simply raised an eyebrow with a slight smirk as Sevrin shrugged in response to the squad leaders’ long standing amusement with his inquisitive nature, even if it simply stemmed from what Sevrin himself considered to be a passing reflectiveness. Raising one hand in a flicker of motion that to the untrained eye would be nought but a handful of random gestures Sergeant Leer checked with Sevrin for anything out of the ordinary as the scout had ranged half a mile ahead before waiting for his squad mates, he shook his head before signing back that apart from a few old fires little moved through the surrounding ruins. Leer nodded and flagged the rest of the squad on from where they had fallen into a skirmish line keeping in step with Sevrin as they advanced as one. Part of his mind never failed to be impressed with the noise discipline of a hive-sec infantry section when on patrol, but for them at least it was second nature for another reason he though as an old memory jumped up momentarily in his minds eye as he moved onwards. Combat signing was by pragmatic purpose basic teaching for all children as soon as they could understand the gestures, and became a useful fall back in combat situations if radio comms failed or were otherwise unreliable for whatever reason, but more importantly also when hearing loss couldn’t be repaired by the medics and surgeons from the apothecary corp. Sergeant leer had lost her hearing nearly 3 years ago but that hadn’t stopped her being a good NCO and squad leader, it also meant that the squad habitually fell into the habit of signing everything to one another, even when in base surrounding by fellow troops. Right now that habit made them almost silent moving through the debris strewn streets and rusted time worn buildings that was their forward patrol sector, giving them an un-paralleled advantage should they happen across anything that proved hostile. Pushing forward the squad covered the next mile or so of junctions and cross roads with little trouble as they swept each building in turn and checked over each minor sign of life as each member kept up a steady report of signing between them until they reached a tunnel half barred by a collapsed gantry way that had once upon a time spanned between two transmission towers either side of the entrance road. Grouping up with Leer and the squad’s corporal Sevrin pulled out the map of the surrounding area they had been dispatched into forward of their main company element. Sweep and Clear runs were part and parcel of being the company‘s reconnaissance platoon and right now the two other squads of their unit would be spread out checking the main approaches through this area of abandoned territory towards the next objective assigned from command for the 1st chapter.  Two days before hand he’d walked back into their barracks tent to find the ‘trio’; the squads’ resident triplets, discussing the likelihood of running into a contact after spending over 6 months playing garrison at the ‘Shroud’. Scuttle butt had been running about the posting as it always did as pieces of information slipped from higher up and filtered down to the regular troopers of the goings on, Dominus had apparently been busy according to what conversations flitted back and forth, with their own reconnaissance picking up on swarm sightings and potential positioning's of late. Usually Sevrin left them to it but even behind the surly nature of his demeanour he had to admit he was beginning to champ at the bit to get away from the rotating pattern of secure and control that had been going on. Other reports had been slipping in from units passing through that across the ruins other factions had begun to clash with ever more present swarms as well as in a few cases each other. That wasn’t out of the normal every few generations of so for tensions some where to boil over Sevrin knew, but the increased frequency of aggressive swarms noted at a bad cycle to come he thought. A hand rapped on his helmet breaking his momentary revy as Leer looked at him, “Sorry boss” he signed back quickly; shaking the thoughts from his mind, “Eyes on Sev” Leer signed back with her characteristic smirk as corporal Mern rolled his eyes at the pair of them. Looking at the map before them Sevrin could make out the main artery routes the rest of the army would be following them up alongside their location at the boundary transit tunnels leading further a head with the primary objective marked down with secondary concerns indicated along the main route of travel. What few old records they could pull up had the zones ahead already ear marked for the apothecary stores at bastion most likely, but Sevrin knew that with each passing day those barrack room rumours and half truths maybe replaced with the cold hard facts that for someone the next few hours could well be there last until they were the next to run into a awakened swarm in the darkened ruins of the colony. Pushing the thoughts to the back of his mind for the time being Sevrin tried to get his mind back in focus as Leer and Mern rapped the map up and signalled the rest of the squad to begin making their way down into the tunnel, a small series of clicks bathing the looming entrance in faint green light from the squads handful of infra-red torches. Waiting until they had all entered safely Sev glanced back over his shoulder for a second before disappearing into the tunnel...

Military Campaign Progress Edit

For as long as humanity has huddled together civilisation has never lost the primal tension that would set them to fight or flight. This tension has driven some to carry out acts of grandeur behind a screen of mock confidence, stoking the flames of safety to reveal the shadows that snapped at the edges of their heels, whilst for others it has pushed them to terrible lows only to find the very thing they feared was nought but a shadow of the fire light. That simple lasting fear in the back of the mind transcends every walk of life and as humanity has developed and evolved from the simple tribes, to fledging nations and grand empires before becoming a global whole every single person has still felt the chill on the back of their neck that comes from the same humble origin of fearing the darkness beyond the well known, and so they draw close and arm those that would mark the boundary between the light and the dark, pushing the anxiety back by force of arms and courage of those that would stand peering into the dark so that others may simple walk in the light without ever knowing how close the fear and anxiousness really is. For the soldiers of Hive-sec; born into a life of constant warfare against the lifeless corpse of one of humanities highest points, this anxiety comes not as a fear of the unknown but as a constant reminder, a whispering voice that soldiers have always had. Their name for it has changed with every new generation and every new civilisation born from the ashes of war, but all have given it due for soldiers luck when they have walked unscathed from conflicts where all those around them have died. Now this ‘luck’ is the sound of stillness, skittering behind a wall or the low hum whine of static in the air that every soldier knows are the signals that so long ago would have been the roar beyond the fire light, or the sound of movement in the darkness out of sight.

The first few days of the new season pass with their usual monotony as platoons of troopers are rotated through guard positions as the shroud’s new garrison begin to take over the installation from the various units of the 1st chapter. Some units are maintained in their assigned position until the relevant garrison section drawn from the levy companies is signed off to handle the hand over, fresh faced troopers relieving grim faced enforcers or surly rangers until new eyes peer out into the darkness from every watch post and bunker along the perimeter. Come the end of the week the 1st chapter would find itself almost confined within the new FOB aside from their own recon patrols and fire sweeps as the armies’ officers are called together to discuss the ongoing tactical situation passed down from command as the reports are circulated. Most of the rank and file expect the meeting to last a couple of hours as it usually does before they are sent on a dry run or assigned new sectors today. When the officers of the various companies don’t return a few eye brows are raised as each unit in turn begins to notice a slight tension in the air, the veterans amongst them double checking their equipment and weapons as old tells begin to gnaw at their nerves, anxious to get going once more. When the officers do return the orders given send a ripple of relief through the 1st chapter as the word is given, the army is on the move again heading west and the likelihood of contact is high. By the end of the second week all reconnaissance have been fully recalled from their long range patrols and the army has begun to coalesce as bunk rooms are cleared and munitions pulled from stocks, squads running through contact drills and prepping weapons and armour. Officers run through likely scenarios as the entire army flexes like a muscle, ready to spring back into action once more after their confinement to the shroud for the last 6 months. For the rank and file an almost jubilant mode sweeps through them as they shrug off the anxiety of the last few seasons with evident joy, the newer faces eager to get to grips with the enemy whilst the veterans settle back into the routine that their very bones have become accustomed too. Come the dawn of the fifth day of the third week just as the army begins to head out from the shroud at full strength something catches the attention of the 1st battalion of troops as they pass out of the western gate, a single battered old military transport truck pulls up to a halt as it lets the battalion pass. The back was loaded up with crates and equipment with a pair of rangers perched In the cab, one sat behind the steering wheel whilst the other sat with a rifle in her lap by the passenger door; a squad of levy engineers sitting in amongst the stowed gear. On one flank of the cab someone has stencilled a unit insignia marking the vehicle out as belonging to the bastion’s extremely venerable and small corp of transport trucks, underneath which someone had painted on the name of Task force Dominus as the vehicle finally pulled out from its spot on the side of the road. Raising an eyebrow the passing enforcers and rangers of the 1st chapter would think little of the cargo truck as it disappeared back through the gate and into the FOB. The last troops out of the western gate would see it being unloaded with larger crates being dispatched away across the shroud as the two rangers piloting the vehicle chatted quietly with a surly quartermaster from the Logos captain.

The months end would come and go as the army passed through the familiar gloom of the colonial ruins, passing by in a steady beat of marching feet and low level radio chatter as the first week of the second month came into full view. Forward clearance teams had pushed ahead and were sending back route information all ready as the 1st chapter pressed onwards, leaving small markers for the lead companies to pick up upon when atmospherics interrupted radio communication. Halting in the shadow of a silent burnt out habitation tower the company officers and senior staff talked over the plan for the coming weeks as the scout reports covered the impromptu table before them all. Old maps, scouts observations and whatever else could be pulled from the archives  gave them a rough idea of what to expect as the scout commander reported in to the collection of captains and majors. The roads to the west were clear with only a few passing signs of scout organisms and roving bands of unaffiliated, the routes to the south however bore the markings of the tribals to the far south, superstitious in the extreme their ’wardings’ could be easily seen covering the tunnels part way down as a clear indication of ownership of the territory beyond. The handful of scout units detached to check the far sides had reported back that the route through split into two at the ’wardings’ with fire light further beyond that. Making a note of the potential new tribal settlements for observation the officers spent the next few hours running over the more interesting information of the zones they intended to clear next as ordered by the circle. Old transcripts and maps marked the area as one dedicated to medical treatment of the civilian population pre-collapse and as such the Apothecary corp had already begun to request formal sanction to secure the area for retrieval. Breaking camp early the next day the 1st chapter proceeded through the tunnels and emerged into the new zone, scouts already having moved ahead from their forward positions hours before hand leading the way as the army began to spread out into a combat formation, the air charged with tension as the soldiers of Hive-sec moved with ingrained ease into the motions of sweep and clear at each junction and building, quietly pushing through the terrain and advancing steadily into the new zone.

The next couple of weeks would see the force advance with little sign of any opposition, where fire lights were seen investigating squads would find small bands of scavengers or rough nomads in shoddy camps living amongst the debris. Most simply packed up and moved on with the coming of the hive-sec, whilst others still remained with guarded glances at the passing soldiers and their equipment. The first sign of any real opposition or resistance would come close to the end of the second months final week as the army pushed into the final third of the territory, the leading companies of enforcers swept through a set of compounds filled with treatment centres and a pair of larger hospital facilities that had long been ransacked and left abandoned. At the heart of the final compound a sickly blue glow could be seen from a good mile away as the closet units radioed back for confirmation the 1st chapter readied itself for imminent contact. Closing up into formation the 1st chapter would slowly surround the position and begin to advance on the position, metre by metre, building by building until the source of the light could be seen by all with a clear line of fire should anything emerge. Sat at the heart of the compound a writhing mass of flesh and bile sat growing into and around a sparking generator, the tetracite power core exposed and sparking into the sky around It as tendrils arched out and around it, blister like pods already beginning to form with the twisted forms of patriarchs begins to grow with them, the bone white carapace beginning to form as the heart of a new swarm nest made from the remains of whatever flesh had been gathered here by harpies and howlers. Immediate training kicked in for those closest to the growth as the scouts fell back and reported for radiation screening and treatment, Units with experience fighting in sealed conditions were rotated into position with interlocking fields of fire established. An hour later a single pulsed signal was transmitted to the waiting platoons of rebreather masked troops, and a fire storm lit up the dark of the ruins with the sounds of dozens of rifles, machine guns, grenades and radio static chatter filled the air. Responding immediately though newly grown the nest had already spawned an attachment of howler packs and a small flock of harpies which darted from their resting spots and swirled around the growth attempting to shield it. The generations of passed down experience and ingrained training of a hive-sec soldier though soon overwhelmed the new packs of mutants as the overlapping weapons fire scythed through any pack that attempted to break away, any harpies trying to take to the air brought down with sniper fire and coordinated bursts of automatic fire, grenade blasts reducing them to burning gristled remains smeared across the floor. The ’battle’ if you could call it that lasted but a couple of hours, the echoes of it dying away as quickly as it had come as the nest burned and withered before finally dying. Escorted by veteran teams of enforcers and covered by ranger sniper teams levy engineers soon had the broken generator deactivated and the radiation under control from tis exposed and dying core. For those troops involved the relief was palatable to finally let loose their pent up frustration and anxiety to get to grips with the mutant kind, whilst others would yet have to wait as the army reformed into a sweeping spread. Investigating the compounds fully over the final days of the second month would show the old maps and transcripts to have been indeed correct as to the nature of the zone, the old hospitals and their attached storage facilities having provided care for all those in the surrounding area prior to the fall. Establishing a workable base camp in the compound of one of the hospitals still in a reasonable condition the 1st chapter would spend the next month double checking and clearing the rest of the territory as the reports began to flow back to Bastion and the circle of the occupation and securing of a large amount of medical facilities with a number of still sealed medical vaults that would be shipped back to the apothecary at the first chance after logistic lines had been full established. 

The eclipse of the third month of the season would see the territory fully in the control of the 1st chapter with the army well established and clearing through every building in turn as they settled into the holding pattern it was accustomed too after a sweep and secure run. The first supply units would begin to arrive shortly after and start to ferry the recovered medical equipment back to bastion as word filtered down from the shroud of what exactly that truck two months before hand had been carrying, the more military minded amongst the army struggling to suppress a grin at the news of the recovered weapons and munitions from the far west now reinforcing the newly finished shroud FOB. Out into the darkness of the ruins however something would stir high up in one of the boundary towers, shifting slightly in the cool breeze the figure would materialise momentarily from their perched position, metallic like foil being wrapped away as the figure slipped from sight into the shadows, leaving the 1st chapter to their occupation…

Summary:    

The 1st chapter have occupied a Primus grade medical classification territory with little resistance, a freshly growing nest heart was discovered and quickly neutralised by the army before it could grow any further with out any significant loses to the army as a whole. The first shipments of the recovered medical supplies have already begun being shipped to bastion and the newly completed Shroud (Level 2 fortification with the additional supplies recovered), however someone seems to be watching Hive-sec where ever they go...

Newer Friends and Old foes Edit

With the recent increase in mutant activity across the ruins the circle command of Hive-sec has been on higher alert that usual for some time now, this increased state of readiness becomes a regular occurrence during what analysts within the bastion call the ‘ spawning cycle’, a set of seasons where new swarms often spring up in a steady pattern that they often attempt to interrupt or stop in the infections tracks akin to white bloods cells fighting a constant disease in the body. The recent completion of the first forward operating base of significant scale in the last few generations has given the analysts an added arrow in their quiver so to speak as a solid redoubt to further secure the territories surrounding against increased infestation by the mutant swarms and ‘plague queens’ as the rank and file dub them. On top of this the filtered back reports from task force dominus paint an ever growing picture of the situation in the agri-dome that continues to develop, the most intriguing of these is the possibility of a final meeting with one of the so called ‘elders’ of one of the resident tribes of the dome that may provide crucial information as to the exact nature of the relation of the tribes to one another as well as a ground map for the terrain and key points within the dome. Along with this the Logos captain is quick to point out during the briefing the chance for a potential alliance to be made with the tribe to provide further security to the region as the noted situation with the tempestus mercenaries and their conflict with the sons of chronus further deteriorates the region. After some discussion the circle decide to enact an old protocol should the task force require diplomatic assistance, the exact nature never makes it out of the room but a sergeant from the Logos captains main research team is dispatched to talk with Captain Briggs and McCaffery . The other major piece of note regards the completion of the ‘Shroud’ FOB due south east of hass east, currently it sits as a major buffer between Hive-sec and the mech-corp faction in the far east. With some further work it could be brought upto hass status and begin to provide further military support to the area and act as a infection control position, suppressing mutant activity in the connecting territories due to the garrisoned troops and munitions held with. This would require further work however as the current supplies coming in would not cover the cost of the work, though another route might be open if another course of action were taken…

1) FOB Shroud has been completed, with the recovered supplies pulled from the old fort near to cellborn lands the FOB has been upgraded to level 2 but now takes up all special supplies from the node within the agri dome to maintain the position. An opportunity exists for the next couple of seasons to upgrade it further to a full Hass installation but this would require further special materials to enact and would increase the upkeep cost. Any decision taken regarding this opportunity must be reported to the faction DPCS who will hold more information on the matter.

2) With the proposed meeting between the tribal elder of the silent and those of task force dominus aimed at taking place this coming gathering the Logos captain has dispatched one of her sergeants to assist in the meeting. They shall be arriving alongside the elder sometime on the Saturday evening around 9:00pm. The elder wishes to speak with those of Hive-sec and will likely not take kindly to others interfering from the outside due to the skittish nature of the silent...

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