The war ground on, unrelenting, unforgiving. Oltra a once promising mining colony was now nothing more than a burned out husk, an industrial corpse.
SynJen were on the verge of pulling out of Oltra all together, and giving up entirely on Kannis as more and more soldiers of House Baronor and the Jendari Collective were stationed back on Jendar. The reason for this was that the long fought Camerian Civil war was finally coming to an end and with the balance of power upset this hailed the start of full planetary civil war. The Synths of the Hegemony wanted to continue the campaign, but their motivations seemed entirely fixed on revenge against the Legion of Kharthion and the League of Zandor. Prime Coldan Thrane and Queen Ora Baronor were reluctant to shed so much Jendar blood for someone else’s cause. A few elite Jendari and Baronor units remained behind in the hopes that they would suffice, the forces of the Rin Empire and Volkovian House Knights carried out lightning ambushes and raids in the hopes of upsetting A.L.L progress enough that they wouldnt be able to fully take hold of Oltra and then begin their assault on the planet Kannis itself. It was at this time that the SynJen had a stroke of luck, the newly arrived Solar Raider force known as the Davian Supremacy made contact with Mortan’s Men and were as zealous in their defence of Oltra and Kannis as the Blackheads. A.L.L intelligence agents were determined to figure out why this new alliance had formed, and the Prosecution Directive were deployed in the hopes of capturing a member of the Davian Supremacy.
Prosecution Agent no. KA-4419
“We’re not trained for this” I grumbled to my superior, “We’re cops, not soldiers.” She glared at me in response, but I knew she agreed. Months and months had passed since the campaign had began, I had missed so much back home, so much I was told I wouldn’t. My daughter’s graduation, my son’s first steps, my wife San’s 40th. The memories were transferred, they claim it’s the same as being there, but it’s not. How could it be? If I were truly there it would have been different. Different in small ways. My fingerprints would be there, my soul. I missed them putting Bark down too. San told me I didn’t want those memories, the sad ones, but I begged her for them. How can I know my family, how can I comfort them at all, when it’s hard enough already doing it through someone else’s eyes? I loved that dog. He was a stray, a bit like me back then, I called him Bark because I’ve never been one for imagination. But he was there for me, before my kids, even before San. One memory I’m confident is my own is finding him, and scrubbing that brown coat until it shone like gold.
“You’re right Kay” my superior finally verbalised, probably noticing in my eyes that I had gone elsewhere. “But we’ve still got a job to do. The newcomers are causing us big problems, and their tech is unbelievable, it’s always been our directive to make sure the right tech falls into the right hands. Whether it’s from Mother Gnossos or from a demon god.“
“Right tech, right hands” I muttered the mantra.
Order and peace through the wise distribution of technological power. Give the savages spears and bows, give the civilised guns and grenades, order and peace.
Last Saturday night I set up a pretty big game of Deathzap 3 on our dining room table. I was hoping to try out a game involving two platoons aside with some support. The combined forces of the Davian Supremacy and Pariah Tribes had a stolen Jendari Beam Tank, and the Allegiance of Gnossos brought a Wautomata along.
The scenario was stolen directly from the Warhammer 40k 3rd editon rulebook. 6 objectives numbered secretly from 1 to 6 were spread evenly across the table. Then a die was rolled, and scored a 5. Whoever was in possession of objective 5 at the end of the game would win. In this case objective 5 represented a wounded and unarmed high ranking Davian Supremacy officer. The Defenders of Kannis’ objective was to rescue him, the Allegiance of Gnossos’ objective was to capture him, get him back to base and then ‘persuade’ him to give up information.
We cautiously advanced through the broken town, we had met the supremacy before in open combat, but we were still unsure as to their true capabilities, and rumours of a weapon known as a ‘Death Lance’ had us terrified, a weapon designed to pass directly through energy shields. It was something we could not let any savages get their hands on.
“We’re going to take up positions in the house ahead an provide fire support on the crossroads” my superior barked. My squad mate Rex and I nodded.
To our left we could see the enemies advancing Beam Tank, Rex chuckled. “Who’s got odds on a Gnossian Wautomata versus a crappy old beam tank?”
The superior ignored him, she always did.
“What about you beautiful? Odds?” he half shouted to me as the sounds of gunfire erupted all around.
I followed my superior’s lead and ignored him.
“Eye’s on the prize” the superior called, “Pariah’s spotted ahead with objective alpha.”
We dashed into the ruin, I ignored the rats that had half chewed their way through a civilian casualty. That memory will be mine.
“Woah, the freaks are in now!” Rex laughed.
“Keep it down RX-7193” the superior begged.
“No can do Supes” Rex disregarded, “This is prime time Warsport. Who’s got odds on five freaks versus the big robot?”
I hated freaks, ‘afflicted’ they called them, they were human once. I kicked Rex in the ass to shut him up.
“Hey! Buy me a drink first beautiful!” he protested. “Didn’t know you liked it so rough?”
We had fought for such a long time against the Blackheads we weren’t ready for the Pariahs. Their weaponry was crude, but they were fearless. They made daring assaults across open ground and seemed to take casualties without flinching. A spear can be just as dangerous as a gun in the hands of a madman.
With the Wautomata distracted by the screaming afflicted, the Beam Tank turned on our position. “Rex!” I screamed, “Destroyer now!”
He stumbled to a hole in the wall and took aim.
I waited for darkness. Instead the room was illuminated with a furious energy. The tank had targeted the squad just outside of our position. Their shields deflected the majority of the blast but one of them fell into a smouldering pile of steaming bone and black ash. Rex fell back into he room half blinded.
It was then we heard the screaming advance of two Sector Army squads, and the Pariahs in front were shredded by repeater fire. Seeing the objective now only held by two Davians the call came in for a full advance in our sector.
It seemed the defenders had also noticed their precarious position and turned on us.
A squad of Pariah’s charged, so we countered. The Superior took down two on our way in with her sidearm. I grabbed one from behind and sank my blade into his chest, he gargled and kicked for a moment and then fell limp. He dropped just in time for me to sidestep another attacker, who stumbled in the bloody mud, I leapt on top of him and pushed my knife through his throat. I looked up just in time to see Rex pounding a skull flat with a rock. These are all my memories.
We slaughtered them without taking a scratch, but the enemy was still coming at us. Another Directive squad grabbed objective Alpha, but the old Beam Tank soon tuned them into dust. We tried in vain to hold up the tide of defenders.
In the end it was the freaks that grabbed the wounded officer, and before we realised they had disappeared into a dense forest of ruins.
We sat in the dust as the fight ended as quickly as it had begun. The only thing that we could salvage from the defeat was that more yellow uniforms now littered the field, but a war of attrition wasn’t one we could win.
Rex carved shapes into the dirt while the Superior met with the other squad leaders. I lay in the dust and stared at the sky. If it’s clear enough, on a good day you can see Jendar, which means Gnossos, home, is close by. It was then I felt hot breath on my ear and heard panting.
“Stupid stray dogs!” Rex spat, “Hide your ration packs!”
I rolled over to see the stray’s golden face, his coat shining in spite of the dirt and dust of this world. Rex hurled a rock at him and missed, but the stray picked up on the signal and backed away.
“Stop Rex! I think it’s Bark…”