Krieg Effect

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SilverDragonRed
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Krieg Effect

Postby SilverDragonRed » 2016-04-08 12:38pm

March 2248
In orbit over Deliverance, on the border of the Confederacy Core Systems


The destroyer CCS Worchester had completed a pass around the planet's orbit. Its captain was looking over the data brought up by the planetary scan while the civilian specialist they had to bring aboard for this mission was yammering through the checklist for habitability. All of it was routine, nothing new as far as the captain was concerned; she had been on plenty of ships that performed this same function. During her fourteen year career, she was part of 52 planetary scans.

It was during the second pass around when the deep surface penetrating scans picked up something out of the ordinary. The specialist poured through the readings and asked the captain to do a repeat scan. Again, the anomalies showed up in the same spots. As he reviewed the info, the specialist's face slowly drained of color. “Well, what is it?” the captain demanded.

The specialist tapped a button on his station, and holo of the planet appeared on the tactical display table in the middle of the room. Parts of the world were colored red, which made it contrast harshly with the blue lighting of the CIC. “These are areas of heavy bug activity...” he stated, “...in the hundreds of thousands at least.”

“How much of the planet belongs to them?” The captain was taken aback by what the display showed.

“Roughly 30% of the landmass, but scattered across the three continents. The computer is doing calculations on the population.”

The Captain turns to her XO. “Get a message sent to High Command, a bug hunt needs to be set up.” She took the microphone from the wall and held the switch. “This is the Captain speaking. Gamma Alert. Gunnery crews, to your stations and prepare for bombardment. Bridge, reorientate the ship with prow to planet,” she announced before repeating the message.

The room exploded into action as targets were selected and prioritized for drops. All the Captain could do was sit back down at the display table and look sullenly at the holo. “Hopefully we can resolve this without having to call in an Ishimura again.” She was wishing that the time spent here didn't prove all for naught this time.
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New London, Confederacy Core Systems

The meeting wasn't exactly going well to begin with. It started with an argument between the Secretary of State, Dr. Herman Goetz, and the Secretary of War, Ms. Shana Newman, over a UNSC incursion into the border colony system of Apollo. The Joint Chief of the Confederate Military, General Jonah Shoemaker, decided to sit it out as the two had another of their regularly scheduled fights.

Dr. Goetz' position was that they couldn't run off half-cocked into a war with the UNSC while their forces were stretched thin and their economy was geared more to helping bolster their ally's failing one. Ms. Newman was repeating her mantra of 'To hell with the Realm' and that they need to defeat the UNSC quickly before they regather their strength.

Then, a messenger came with news from Deliverance. General Shoemaker swore as soon as he read it in its entirety. “We have another bug planet, and right in the projected expansion region.”

“Send in the fleet. Cleanse that world of the damn things,” Ms. Newman roared as her fist crashed down on the table. “We'll destroy the bugs and drive the UNSC out of our territory!”

The JCCM turned to the Representative of the Navy, Admiral Frakes. “How many ships are near that region?”

“We can together a task force of fifty vessels in three days, 75 if you make it a week. I can coordinate with my opposite from the Realm, and make it a joint venture. They have close to 200 of their vessels close by,” the Admiral replied.

“And how long it will take to obliterate their dwellings?” Newman asked.

“Depends on what we use, but shouldn't take more than a day.”

“Not good enough, send in an Ishimura and ma...”

“NO! No, we are not sending one of those things in!” Dr. Goetz interjected. “That planet is optimal for colonization. We can not do that if we destroy its biosphere. We'll have to land there and clear the bugs out the old-fashioned way.”

The Representative of the Army, General Mark Roether, spoke up. “I'll send out the word to mobilize an Army Corps for the operation. They'll be ready to go by the three day window.”

“How many PA troopers are in that group?”

“Sir?!?”

The Secretary of State repeated his query. “There's only a single division of them. Why do you ask?”

Dr. Goetz clasped his hands on the table and leaned forward. “Well, you're always trying to justify the expenses on the XG-03 suits. So, why not use this as an opportunity for a field test with this new power armor.”

Even Ms. Newman was flabbergasted by the suggestion. “You realize how few suits there are?”

“Last time I checked the manufacturing reports, there were enough for four full brigades.”

“Yessir, and only two battalions of it are close enough to make the operational window if we want to take the planet quickly,” General Roether stated.

“Oh. Then this will be a trial by fire for them. And I want them to be the initial assault. Let's see if the suits are ever bit as good as you sold them to be.”

The General blanched at the order, but he couldn't disobey it. “Yessir, it'll happen.”
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Nova Terra, the Greater Human Realm

Confederate troops were holding a demonstration of their new power armor to a plethora of the Realm's top brass and industrialists. While the rain almost made the show be called off, Lieutenant Zander had to admit that it made the suit's capabilities more impressive to display. The almost vision-obscuring downpour turned the training grounds they were on into a quagmire, but the armor wasn't hampered too much by it. It only became a problem when it time to showcase the leg amplifiers and the top speed of the troops he brought along.

After an exhaustive display of the suit's physical augments, the time had come for Zander's favorite part. He walked by the spectators to grab a massive gun off of the table. The others were busy setting up targets at various distances while the LT came back out into the rain. “Ladies and Gentlemen, I present to you the T-70 Gauss Rifle. This is the reason why a new generation of power armor had to be developed. It is powerful enough to demolish almost anything that the enemy can throw at you.”

He flipped the safety switch, and the weapon roared to life in his hands. “It fires an eight-millimeter bullet weighing in at 23.3 grams at a speed of 1,277 meters-per-second.” Zander turned around and shot the nearest target. He aimed for its midsection and let off a single shot. It punched through the gel torso, bisecting it. The top half of it flew back with the head landing on the stump of a leg.

Another shot followed by another, each target getting progressively farther away. The last one could only be seen with binoculars, but it was left with a massive hole in its chest. Zander swung around to proclaim to the crowd, “As you can see, the T-70 has a max effective range of two kilometers. Beyond that, the opponent's armor makes the round less than mortal.”

He walks closer to them while turning it off. “It can fire in semi-automatic mode or a three-round burst. Full-auto is a feature built only into the machine-gun variant as without the mount, the gun becomes too unwieldy.” Zanders handed the presentation off to a tech-head who started discussing the features built into the armor such as the various vision modes in the helmet.

While Zanders could appreciate the work that the engineers did to make XG-03 the finest piece of battlefield gear, but he had other things that he had to attend to while they were talking. It was a short jaunt to the staging area, and a shorter time to extract himself from the armor. Too much time hadn't passed when he emerged from the nearby locker room in the black uniform of a Confederate officer.

At the meeting spot, he came across a high ranking person of the Realm, General Dolf Hiram, who managed to slip out. Zander snapped to attention and saluted until the gesture was returned. “Take a walk with me,” the General suggested.

They grabbed a couple of umbrellas before they left the building. It was a long few minutes of walking through the rain before the silence was broken. “Has the preparations been made?” General Hiram asked.

“They should be setting things up as we speak,” Zander replied. “And the agent close to him is ready to go.”

“Good to hear.”

“There is something I would like to know.” He put his hand on the General's shoulder to stop him. “Why are you wanting to do this? And why come to us?”

“Ever heard of the Tacat Campaign?” Zander had heard the stories. The Realm found a world of primitive aliens with eight limbs, said to be many stronger than humans. With the ongoing problems of their industrial hub of a world, Foxtrot, the Realm sought to find a solution to the problem with the forced labor of these aliens. Much to the soldier's misfortunes on the world, the chicu were far smarter than was advertised. With their ability to rapidly adapt, the chicu were quickly able to learn how to the Realm's equipment and started using them. In the end the Realm came out victorious and shipped off 600 million of the aliens, but not without 20 million casualties from the initial fighting and the rising body count from ongoing insurgencies.

“ 'Our Glorious Leader' cost a lot of men's lives during that campaign. His insistence on overriding our plans and refusing our advice when they countered his own. He was even like this a decade ago when we were fighting for our freedom from the UNSC oppression. His thoughts and idea led to our military being rendered largely ineffective because he didn't want any one of us to become 'too powerful'. Our chain of command is a messy web of overlapping responsibilities.”

The General resumed walking with Zander following suit. “If everything goes according to plan, tonight will end with the Minister of Propaganda being the highest ranked official in your government,” Zander stated flatly.

“She is a nice girl. Humble too, and has a distinct hatred of bureaucratic clog. If there is anyone who can lead an effort to fix this mess, she's the one to do it.” As they headed back, the General asked, “How do you plan on pinning it on the Sons of Terra?”

Zander grinned at the question. “Easy. They'll be the ones to carry out most of the attacks. Had to utilize one of your spies who infiltrated the terrorists, but they couldn't resist such a juicy opportunity.”

They parted ways after getting back, and not too soon as the demonstrations turned to the subject of tanks.
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The rain did not relent throughout the rest of the day as the sky turned to night. By that time, Zander and his platoon were back in the capitol city of Aquataine. A few of the troopers had been awed by the sights of the city. It had only been eight years since the fight with the UNSC had ceased, but the city had transformed in a cultural marvel. Zander figured it could rival any of the set-piece metropolises of Earth.

They stopped at Pompeii Plaza at the base of the statue of Admiral Toros Vahagn. It was a name famous throughout both the Realm and the Confederacy. She had been at the forefront of the Realm's revolution against the UNSC. During Operation Volcanus, she led a fleet of 2,000 ships against the defensive line of Nova Pompeii and defended the liberation effort from a counter-attack. Both times were victories against fleets thrice the size of her own. The Confederacy appreciates her stellar leadership at the Siege of Hades, a fortress world that was the bulwark of the UNSCs defenses during the Kilrathi Wars over five decades prior. It was there where she died in battle, but not without ensuring the capture of the world.

Zander checked his watch; only a few minutes left before it started. He looked up at the face of the statue and saluted, his men doing likewise.

The platoon was a ways away from the plaza when the first of the bombs went off. Despite the rain and the buildings obscuring the view, the sound of it rung over the distance. It was followed by a second and third blast. People ran out of the plaza in a massed panic, and sirens and alarms began all across the city.

Zander turned to his subordinates. “Time to get to work.”
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It was half-an-hour before Zander's platoon was outside of the grounds of Vesuvius Manor. They had been called out there by the local authorities. His men could see why when a person appeared in one of the third story windows and fired a rocket at one of the APCs nearby. It was blown apart, killing those around it and injuring many others. Zander lowered the visor as he got near the warzone.

He was directed to the person in charge of the siege. “Thanks for coming,” the chief said, “We haven't been able to get past the walls with them laying down some fire on us.”

“How many?” Zander asked.

“Rough estimate: 16 to 25 people, and they're sporting heavy equipment. Counted 10 LMGs, 8 RPGs, and two of them walking around with power armor and HMGs.”

“Where's the Fuhrer? Is he safe?”

“We don't know. Haven't heard any word from the bunker in over 15 minutes. The Minister of Propaganda was trying to get in when the place was overrun by these bastards. Now, she and her bodyguards are stuck in an office on the second floor.”

“We'll retrieve her and take out any of those UNSC loyalists that we come across.” With that, he sent a signal to his men and they rushed the wall to take cover. A number of the Realm guardsmen aimed their grenade launchers and let off a couple of volleys of smoke rounds. Zander waited until the ground was completely blocked from sight before telling his men to advance.

They sprinted across the yard without any problems. The first ranks found cover against the wall and started looking for bodies with heat vision. Zander was still running towards the house when he spotted a woman on the third aiming a rocket down at a trooper. She fired it off before he could stop her. The rocket impacted one of the men on the helmet, blowing it apart. Two flanking troopers were thrown to their feet, their helmets unable to stop the high-velocity shrapnel.

Zander's bullet made sure she wouldn't be able to repeat that again. Her head was gone and half of her torso was bisected along the spine. The remaining bit that wasn't pulped slowly slid out of the window sill and hit the ground.

“Follow me!” Zander yelled as he shoulder-checked the wall he headed towards. The impact barely broke his stride into the building. He spotted and quickly shot the guy who was frozen by the sight of the powered armored man. A swift switch to heat vision, and he began looking around for their target. His men were already fanning out into the hallway by the he found a promising group of signatures. He assigned three men to follow him as the others started the process of clearing out the floors.
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The man he told to take point rounded the corner to the wing they believed the Minister was in. His gun managed to get a burst off before an enemy in a suit of power armor unloaded a hail of minigun bullets into him.

The next person hugged the wall and indiscriminately fired their weapon around the corner. Zander could see bodies falling down through the wall, but the one with the minigun had managed to survive the barrage. He gestured to the person behind him that they need to provide covering fire. After the acknowledgement, he ran to and back from the other wall. He crashed through the wall of the office, not even alarmed by the two men holding pistols at his helmet. The bodyguards lowered their weapons when more bursts from the firefight in the hall drowned out all other noise.

Zander rushed to the door in the other room. His gun firm against the shoulder of his armor, he turned at the door and caught the opponent slumped on the floor. They were leaning against the barricade that served them as cover with blood pouring out of holes punched into the armor. The minigun's barrels were still spinning as Zander squeezed the trigger. His single shot hit close by another hole in the person's arm and tore it off above the elbow. The minigun spat out the last hundred rounds it had. Zander's armor was perforated several times over as the barrage pushed him back into the bookcase until it tipped over.
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Mrs. Machiko Sandavol's ears couldn't stop ringing after the minigun run dry. Her bodyguards left their cover to investigate as things turned silent. A Confederate soldier came through the new hole in the wall and offered a hand up. Machiko graciously accepted it.

The grounds were swept clean of the terrorists over ten minutes after that. Machiko took the rest of the Confederate soldiers and a good number of the Realm's troops down to the bunker's entrance. The massive door took some effort to get open even after Machiko entered the passcode. What they found inside was a mess.

An explosion had occurred from within, and no one had survived it.
Ah yes, the "Alpha Legion". I thought we had dismissed such claims.

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SilverDragonRed
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Re: Krieg Effect

Postby SilverDragonRed » 2016-04-08 12:42pm

Nova Terra, the Greater Human Realm

Three days had gone by since the attacks that shook the city to its core. Machiko Sandavol stood on the lawn of the Manor in front of a crowd of thousands. One of the judges from the Central Court was there preside over the ceremony. She took the oaths that the Realm's founder had made to be sworn in as its new head of state.

A massive cheer rang from the crowd when she had finished. It didn't abate until she stood alone at the podium. “I wish I could be happy during this occasion, but I can not. It was an atrocity three days ago that claimed the life of Our Glorious Leader and hundreds, maybe thousands of lives. An unprovoked, unparalleled attack by those who claim they want the return of the rightful rulers. I stand here today as witnessed by the citizens of our great Realm that I am now the rightful ruler.”

“It has been a long decade since we declared we would no longer suffer under tyrannical rule, under the oppression of the UNSC. And we will never be subject to their whims again...”
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New London, Confederacy Core Systems

Machiko's speech played over the vid that mounted the lounge room wall of the bunker complex the Chancellor resided and conducted his administration business in. The Chancellor, Charles Reed II, sat at the head of the table with a plate of steak and potatoes fresh from the kitchen. “It's a shame about the Fuhrer. Have you ever met him?” he asked Dr. Goetz at his left.

“Only once; the rest of the time I did business with my Realmer counterpoint.”

“Great guy once you've been around him awhile, but his golf game was terrible. He preferred mini-golf, even made a course to play at.”

“Mrs. Sandavol has extended an invitation to...”

Reed was cutting a piece of his steak off while he cut his Secretary of State off, “Already read that and replied. She wanted to play a round or two while the next Dominion conference was going on.” The Human Dominion was formally established a scant five years ago as a mutual alliance of defense for those planets that had claimed their independence from the UNSC. While the Confederacy Core Systems and the Greater Human Realm for the primary players in the Dominion, other members include single planet polities such as the Star Kingdom of Bludhaven, Medusa Technocracy, and the Fuchsia Republics. The Principalities of Azlan are busy fighting a losing war for survival against the bugs in their own territory, but they aren't the only minor multi-world power with the Goth Sect in possession of a meager two worlds. What shocked everyone was when the Kilrathi Democratic States had asked for membership into the Dominion two years ago.

“Of course, and she has invited the Systems Alliance to take part in the meeting.”

Charles had the steak almost in his mouth when he heard that. He lowered the fork back the plate and sighed. “Why would she do that?”

“Could be she is looking to make the Realm into a major trading partner with the SA. Possibly force them to look after something other than their own self-interest.”

“Fat chance of that happening. They're a glorified pseudo-military created by a bunch of extra-solar corporations.”

“They are fighting the bugs...”

“Who isn't?” Charles interjected.

Dr. Goetz continued unabated, “...and they are catching up to us in terms of wealthiest human faction. They might even surpass us in the next couple of years.”

“So you think we should throw our lot in with those swimsuit models?”

“Just trying to get as many options open for the future,” the Secretary of State replied.
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It was well after lunch when the Chancellor and his Secretary of State returned to the Executive Office. The Secretary of War and a few adjutants were already there. “Sir, we just received intel from the RIA about UNSC supporters within our borders. Most likely to be part of the Sons of Terra terrorist organization,” Ms. Newman stated.

Charles sat down in his chair before she continued, “The Realm has labeled them 'Hostes Rei Publicae', and is treating them accordingly. A massive manhunt is underway for the organization's leaders, but some of them may have jumped a transport.”

“Alright, we'll do our sweep. Let's coordinate it with the RIA agents...,” Charles replied, “...and be sure to have the faces and names of all known members posted and distributed to all military installations and police stations. These people just made the #3 spot on the Confed's and my personal personal shit list.”

Shana sighed. “Sir, you can't serious. You still have Jake Sully at #1, don't you?”

“Why not!?” Herman answered. “He got the label of 'Hostes Humani Generis' for a reason. He betrayed the entire human race on that coco-bannana planet; him and every other human that assisted him or stayed.”

“That may be, but its been five years now. They had no replacements parts, no long lasting supplies, nothing. Anyone who stayed is dead now, either by the poisonous environment or by starvation. Plenty of reason to forget about them.”

Charles stated, “They will be presumed alive until proven otherwise, and that will only happen when we go back there.”

“When do you plan on mounting this expedition?”

“When some of our more pressing concerns are dealt with. Now, any news from Apollo?”

Shana took out a pad, and tapped a few times on it with her stylus to bring up the relevant info. “They haven't done anything so far. Just hanging around the orbit of the seventh planet at the edge of the clear zone.”

“Good, gives us some time to orchestrate a response. I want a fleet there to defend it against any UNSC aggression.”

“Of course, this also gives the UNSC time to gather their strength as well,” Herman said.

“True. We'll also need to make this a clear message to the old bags of Earth. Let's see if the anyone else of the Dominion wishes to join the stand-off.”

Dr. Goetz looked sullenly after that statement. “I'll send the request to the others myself. Let's hope that it isn't the first step on the road to full-on war. We don't need the struggle on a second front right now.”
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Orical, Confederacy Core Systems

It had been a week since the Worchester alerted the Confederacy of the infestation on Deliverance. A week since the call to arms had been made. In orbit over the agri-world of Orical was the ad-hoc fleet created solely for the liberation of that prospect world. Of the projected 75 ships, only 68 had arrived. The recently reinstated Admiral Alexi stood on the bridge of the battlecruiser CCS Deli Valley staring at the night side of the planet.

The captain of the vessel approached the aged admiral with a pad in hand. “Sir, we have word from Command. New ships won't be arriving for another few days, and they want to the liberation effort to begin immediately.”

“I see,” Alexi said. Looking away from the window he asked, “What is the fleet composition?”

“Only three battlecruisers, 11 cruisers, 39 destroyers (40 when we get to Deliverance), and all of the 15 promised supply ships. Of those missing, the ten battleships are being pulled from Hades, both carriers are being rushed through their last week in the construction yards with a scramble being made to get full compliments of bombers and fighters for them. The 70 cruisers are coming from Hades, New London, and Kabal; as well as the other 27 cruisers and 10 destroyers. Estimated time for their rendezvous is another week to two weeks.”

Alexi walked to the exit as fast as his flash-cloned hip replacement and augmented leg would allow. He had rely on the cane for longer than what he would normally appreciate. “What name has Command given to this battlegroup?”

“Battlegroup Victory.” The Admiral had a small chuckle at that as they left the room.
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Apollo System, border of the Confederacy Core Systems

Admiral Kirov couldn't have been more pleased with himself. He was command in the strongest battlegroup the Confederacy currently had, and with a chance to fight the old enemy again. The newly formed Battlegroup Octavius possessed 300 battleships and 50 carriers, supported by the firepower of 500 battlecruisers and 700 cruisers and the defense screen of 500 destroyers. All of it with the readied flotilla of 150 supply vessels. He smiled as the scouting party he sent out got within sensor range of the UNSCs last known position.

The sensor operator called out, “Admiral, scouts sighted ten enemies before they popped out!”

Kirov's smile vanished quickly. A battlegroup in the thousands called...because of such a tiny group. He turned to the Captain, and ordered, “Tell them to keep a look out. We'll hold position and wait for the other members to arrive. If the UNSC returns, I want them blasted out of the void.”
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Deliverance, border of the Confederacy Core Systems

The trip was a couple of days of boredom for Lt. Evans and the rest of his platoon. There was nothing much to do other than maintain their gear and practice. Sgt. Zim drilled them hard at the rifle range and during the excercises. Evans didn't let him have too much fun. His response to being questioned about stopping the practice was “Can't have them be worn out before the bugs get them.”

Hours after the training and exercises of the second day, Lt. Evans was in the officer's lounge of the ship. He downed a shot of the whiskey they had on the bar. Things were relaxing in there until the music abruptly changed so it was screeching some hoarse voices and overload cacophony of instruments. Evans already knew who it was with the coming footsteps. “Thought you would be in the Chief's Mess,” he said to Zim.

“They're barring it to gropos right now. Damn spacers,” Zim stated with a lit cigar in his mouth. “So, I found a tech who was called to fix the music player. Figured you could a boost before the calm is gone.”

“Boost, huh?!? You think I'll freeze up when we hit the dirt?”

“I've seen it plenty of times before. New guys get frightened more easily by the sight of those bugs.”

Evans laughed and smirked at that. “Plenty of the courses during school covered them. I know about the bugs. I've seen the bugs over a hundred tim...”

“You've seen nothing, sir! Dissecting a bug in a safe, controlled environment is one thing. But, unleashing ourselves into a full war...” Zim let out a puff of smoke. “...is quite another. When it comes to the bugs, you have to be prepared to go into it with both eyes open. At all times.”
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It was minutes to go before the drop would commence. Everyone was armed and armored, and strapped into their drop pods. Zim went through the routine of double checking every trooper and their pods. When he was satisfied, he'd slap the top of their helmets and close the pod door. Him and Evans were the last to get themselves situated; they were checked and cleared by the technicians.

The one checking Evans came a thumbs up when she was finished. Evans returned the gesture before the door came down. It was an uncomfortable few minutes before the countdown before. At the mention of zero, the clamps were released and the rockets fired. Evans felt the blood rush to his head.

He could see several drop pods outside the canopy, most of which were part of his platoon. That sight was soon blocked by the flames of re-entry. Over the platoon channel, he heard music start playing. “Eh, Oh, Let's Go!...”

“Damn it Sergeant,” he whispered to himself. Thankfully for him, the music was cut off as soon as they got sight of the ground. Massive fireballs lit up the forest up as the bombers below them dropped their thermobaric payloads. The LZ was cleared.

It wasn't long before the pods smashed the ground, and the canopies blew open. Evans' shoulder straps came off quickly, and he rushed to his feet with rifle in hand. “Firing perimeter, form up,” he ordered over the comms.

The platoon fanned out past the pods. With practiced movement they dropped to their knee; rifle stocks pressed into shoulders with their elbow supported by the other knee. Corporals behind them still stood and Zim was in the rear with Evans.

The sun rose to the trooper's backs, glistening off the dew from the distant trees. Roars erupted from past the tree line, somewhere deep in the forest. Then came the sounds of many, many running feet. It didn't take long before the beasts burst into view. “FIRE!” Evans ordered.

The entire line spewed their deadly projectiles at the surging enemy. No need to aim carefully as the bugs were everywhere. Their initial surge came to an abrupt end, but more and more came forth to replace their losses. “Stagger Fire!”

His order was followed, and the platoon took turns to pause their attack in quarters. It payed off as magazines began to run dry, so while some reloaded the other three-quarters of the troops continued their barrage. The tide of bugs slacked off after minutes. Zim piped up, “This isn't good. Sir, we'll need to find some cover soon.”

Evans was about to ask, but the heavy footsteps from the forest stopped him cold. A grotesque organic looking cannon showed its barrel above the tree line. It shot a ball out of it. “SCATTER!” Zim yelled.

They fell back as orderly as they could, but the ball separated in the air. A black acid flew in all directions and covered one of them. The man screamed as the acid ate through the helmet and silenced him. More of the things appeared and the bombardment began in earnest. The smaller bugs surged out once more under the umbrella of fire.

Evans could only watch in horror as the bugs covered the distance to drop pod city in under a minute, the sporadic return fire barely making a dent in their momentum. He drew his knife before they crossed the threshold. One was stabbed in its brain, and the line behind blown apart by the power of the T-70.

His platoon reformed their ranks though depleted by three. They went about their work in a ruthless and efficient manner. Any bug that survived to get into melee were soon stabbed and/or slashed to death.

Their line didn't help, however, when a platoon next to them was forced to fall back. The bugs took the opening and appeared behind those close by. Evans didn't know about it until talons stabbed into the back of his knees and talons tore at the armor. He cried out in pain as he collapsed onto his knees. It took a bit of effort to turn himself around as he crashed on his back. His gun roared its fury in unison with Zim's.

They still came coming despite Zim's efforts. Even the renewed assault from the repositioned platoon failed the stem the onslaught in time. Evans caught sight of an eight-limbed variant approaching him.

He pulled the trigger, but nothing came out. Zim was dealing with a horde of his own with his knife. Evans had to drop his gun while more bugs swarmed to him. Three more died quickly before the one eight limbs finally drew near.

With a slash, one of the legs was taken below its third joint. The bug seemed to scream in pain as the other front leg rose and puncture his shoulder. It proceeded to beat the helmet with its injured leg as Evans took to repeatedly stabbing it in the side. He won the race as the leg came off, but it kept at it by bashing its head into Evans' helmet.

One last stab, this time to the neck, caused the thing to relent. It reared back and spasmed, its leg came out of Evans' shoulder. Despite the distraction it wouldn't let him go. So when it fell to the ground dead, its leg pierced the armor and Evans' sternum. He began to cough up blood.

Zim appeared over him, bloodied. All Evans could do was reach up to him. His hand clasped, he proclaimed, “The platoon is yours now.”

Zim felt the hand go limp, and the HUD flashed his name red. “I'll carve your name into one of their brains.” He rose up and began shooting more bugs over the heads of his men. It would be a long, bitter struggle.
Ah yes, the "Alpha Legion". I thought we had dismissed such claims.

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SilverDragonRed
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Re: Krieg Effect

Postby SilverDragonRed » 2016-04-15 09:09pm

Deliverance, border of the Confederacy Core Systems

Over a week had passed since the disastrous first day of the landing. During that time, the newly christened 33rd Power Armored Infantry Regiment had lost a third of their numbers. Artillery strikes from the bug's organic cannons didn't last for long before bombers dropped from orbit to take care of them. That and the defenses set up helped to lessen what casualties they could have taken.

Sgt. Zim was touring his platoon's portion of the trench system that was slowly being dug out. It wasn't yet deep enough for their heads to not stick out. The drop pods were all scrapped, and their hulls used to cover the firing pits dug first. Anyone inside them appreciated having a metal roof as even direct hits from the acid was no longer an instant death sentence.

However, the morale of the soldiers was beginning to drop. They barely moved from the initial LZ, barely had time to sleep or even rest, and barely any long lasting breaks in the swarms of bugs. Their supply situation is constantly fluctuating as the fleet could do nothing more then send down near-constant supply runs. Their request for heavy weapons and munitions had been denied by the higher-ups on New London. No one could understand what they were doing there if nothing was being done to relieve their position.

Everyone knew the next bug offensive started with the sound of T-70 fire reverberating within their metal roofs. Shovels were dropped and people went prone along the line with rifles in hand. Bugs were pulped and ripped apart where the rounds hit their lines. They kept coming until they crashed into the lines in multiple areas.

Knives came out and a ferocious melee ensued. It was only a minute before the bugs ran away. Sgt. Zim opened his visor to light a cigar. “This isn't like the bugs. Keep your eyes open for any tricks.” They resumed work on the trench system.
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New London, Confederacy Core Systems

“So, we have an entire battlegroup just sitting there?” Chancellor Reed questioned the group in front of him. In his office was the Secretaries of State and War, Joint Chief of the Confederacy Military, and the Representatives of Army and Navy.

“Yessir, your Excellency,” General Shoemaker responded.

“Why!? Why are....how many ships are sitting there?” he asked the Admiral Frakes.

Frakes couldn't help but rub the back of his neck. “177.”

“...yeah, that many. What are they doing while 2,000 of my soldiers are down there fighting and dying?”

“Ferrying supplies to them.” Frakes was diverting his gaze from the Chancellor's glare.

General Shoemaker spoke up, “Your Excellency, this is not a plan that we would have implemented. We were planning a full-scale invasion to clear them out.”

“Then explain to me why two-and-a-half million soldiers are stuck on their transports.”

“Because I wanted the XG-03 battle-tested, and this was the best way to do it,” Dr. Goetz stated.

Chancellor Reed stared dumbfounded at him. Eventually he closed his mouth and began to massage the bridge of his nose. “Everyone else leave the room,” he ordered.

As soon as they left, he asked, “Why?”

“I wanted to make sure that we aren't wasting Confed money on something that could fail,” Herman said.

“By wasting 2,000 of my men in a test with no personnel support, no heavy weapons, and only a moderate amount of air cover.”

“Not wasting them, spending them to send the jingoist a message that they don't have as much say in Confed politics as they think.” Charles slowly facepalmed in response.
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Nova Terra, the Greater Human Realm

The new Prime Minister was in her own meeting with the new Cabinet members. They were handpicked by Mrs. Sandavol after the old one was killed off by the Sons of Terra. The Minister of the Economy, Ms. Rihana Gomez, was discussing the current state of the Realm's finances.

“Our economic prospects are among the brightest of all the Dominion. Our population, territorial extent, GDP, and per capita income are the third highest. Comparatively only the Confederacy and Medusa has a greater industrial capacity than us, and only Bludhaven has a faster growing economy. Where we should focus our attention to is the frontier around Sierra Point and the planned Webway system. Bludhaven has a massive over us in that, but we could use it make internal trading and travel much faster.”

“What about Foxtrot? How do we get our industrial hub back on its feet?” Machiko asked.

“That...is not possible right now. The chicu labor force is only a bandage over the underlying issues. Even before we claimed that planet, it was stifled by an exhausted workforce underneath a thoroughly corrupt bureaucracy. The infrastructure, especially the factories, were already in a state of disrepair before the earthquake storm that rocked that planet. The economic depression coupled with the squalor of almost everywhere caused an outgoing immigration problem that has become irreversible at this point.”

“Is it possible to move the factories to Sierra Point?”

“Once we get a sustainable colony there, I don't see why we couldn't. It will take about a year before that option becomes available.”

“Alright; we'll invest more in that promised land.” Machiko turned to her Minister of War, Mr. Gerry Smith. “How many troops can we supply for Sierra Point's defense?”

“A division can be skimmed off of the force we promised to the Confederacy for their campaign on Deliverance. We can have them there before the end of the week,” Smith replied. After Machiko nodded her approval, he spoke again, “There is also the much bigger concern right now in the Apollo system.”

“If it turns into a shooting war, then we don't stand a chance right now,” Ms. Gomez interrupted. “We were lucky when we revolted due to the distance and other rebellions that were happening...”

“Not to mention the bug's introduction,” Machiko quickly added.

“...yes, right. Point is that we don't the muscle to adequately take them on. From the information that the RIA was able to learn the UNSC has mostly recovered from the wave of dissent during the last decade. Planets much closer to them were brought back in line without too much damage. The statistical analysis shows that their territorial extent is equal to the entire Human Dominion, GDP is three times greater, population six times, and their per capita income is equal that of the Confederacy and ourselves combined.”

The kilrathi in the room, Minister of Intelligence Dux, stood up. “That info is accurate, but doesn't include what is of benefit to us.” He waited until the Prime Minister motioned for him to continue. “Namely that the UNSC is being hit harder by the bugs than even Azlan. If they did open up a second front just to fight us, then we would be facing at best about a fifth to a fourth of their military. Then you have to add in how much of their personnel and potential recruitment pool are being soaked up by either the Systems Alliance or the Church of Dawn.”

Machiko sat up in her chair. “What is this 'Church of Dawn'?”

“Best I can tell, they are a deluded group of fanatics that believe that humanity should be sequestered to the Sol system until the time that star dies. For right now, they are being tolerated by the government since they still have to deal with the bug issue.”

“Sounds like they could become a problem down the line. Keep an eye on them if your agents can.” Dux nodded before sitting down.
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Deliverance, border of the Confederacy Core Systems

They had been on the planet for two weeks. The bugs had made repeated small attacks and withdrew moments later. Such unexpected behavior had everyone in the trench nervous. The troops themselves were kept from sleeping for very long by such actions.

Zim was just happy that the trench system was finally done. It was two lines deep with plenty of corridors connecting them, a line of stakes mounted on the lip of the combat line, and a series of barbed wire fences beyond that. The problem came from the fact that even the small network they made had holes in its manning. Of the 24 left alive of his platoon over a quarter of them were sick from the lack of sanitation they've had up until a couple of days ago. Although, he still didn't think that the latrines dug in the support line were all that good.

Like every night that didn't see another bug attack, the only non-human noise that could be heard was the wind howling through the trees. Zim popped his head up over the lip to make one last survey for the evening. He thought he glimpsed something, but wasn't able to verify.

The sentry was alerted, and Zim checked out the perimeter to be sure. Nothing was seen except the bodies of dead bugs. All was still out there.
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In orbit

Admiral Alexi walked onto the bridge of the carrier CCS New Amsterdam. “Admiral on deck!” the Captain yelled. Anyone who wasn't at a station went to attention. “At ease,” the Admiral said.

He went straight to the Captain. “Bridge Officer make an entry: 'Battlegroup Flag transferred from CCS Rhineland.' for whatever the current time is.”

“Good to have you aboard sir,” the Captain stated.

“Indeed. I would say that you have a fine ship if all the signs of a hasty exit for the production line weren't seen all over the place.”

“Something that can't be helped when Central is shoving you through the door.”

Alexi chuckled. A blue light shone through the bridge windows. Swirling vortices continued to erupt near the fleet, and ships began to emerge from them. The light show persisted for a quarter of a minute. “Admiral, transponder codes register them as Realm vessels,” the sensor operator announced.

“Great news.” The Admiral turned back to the Captain and asked, “Is the Dominion-wide channel set up?”

“It hasn't been tested, but...”

“This is Admiral Prokhor of the Realmer Expeditionary Force Deliverance. We are beginning our landing to assist your people on the ground,” sounded over the comms.
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Lieutenant Katya was waiting in the dropship with her command squad. She had been placed in charge of a company for this operation despite being lower than regulation rank for the assignment. All six of platoon leaders had reported that their troops were ready to go. The only thing left to do was wait for the order.

Technicians scurried about the deck, clearing space necessary for clean take-offs. Hoses disconnected and were reeled in. Katya slipped her helmet on and breathed. The air tanks kicked on and cycled it to her helmet. HUD interfaces came to life, hurting her eyes a bit. She was good to go.

The red light in the hangar turned green, and the one in the dropship soon copied that. Technicians ran out of the area as the ramp clamped shut. Everyone in them could feel every acceleration and every bump on the way to the planet. Re-entry caused a bit of turbulence. It was soon over.

They got close to the ground before further problems arose. Their enemy had started to lob their cannonballs up into the air. Katya's breathing had increased as the first of the things exploded. The pilots wove their craft from side to side in an effort to dodge the barrage. One was struck in a wing, the acid ate through it and the side. Troopers were flung out of it as the dropship spiraled into the ground.

The others made it to the clearing and began to touch down in the circle of trenches. Still the bombardment continued. Others were struck, but were low enough to the ground for the troops to get into cover safely. Katya was about to leap from her ride when an acid ball smacked into the crew compartment. Everyone was covered by the acid by the explosion, and no one survived it. The dropship itself was pushed forward until the pilot fell dead onto the stick. It nosedived into the ground before one of its missiles were fired. The resulting detonation threw pieces of it into the air and into different areas of the trench.
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Zim was woken up by the sound of an explosion. He threw his helmet and rushed out of the little barrack they had dug into the dirt. The fireball was easy to spot inside their perimeter. “Movement nearby!” someone yelled over the radio.

He ran to the firing line. Sure enough, there was a lot of movement coming towards them. But, the bugs were rising from positions very close to the outer defenses. Bullets zipped towards the enemy.

The bugs grabbed bodies from the ground and tossed them through the air. More acid balls flew over the defender's heads. Zim spotted the enemy piling their dead on top the barbed wire before he had to relent and seek shelter.

Over the radio a voice cried out, “The Captain is dead!” When asked to confirm, the reply talked about how a piece of shrapnel from the dropship pinned his chest to a trench wall and made him a stationary target for the acid bombardment. Zim shook his head as he got back to the platoon barrack. He and the rest of his men readied their knives and waited for the enemy to show up.
Ah yes, the "Alpha Legion". I thought we had dismissed such claims.

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SilverDragonRed
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Re: Krieg Effect

Postby SilverDragonRed » 2016-04-22 11:38am

April 2248
Shanxi, edge of Human space


Turian vessels commanded the orbit over the colony. The broken remains of the Systems Alliance task force littered the area. From this vantage point, the turians swept all resistance they came across aside. Any hint of Systems Alliance forces led to orbital bombings of residential sectors. The humans had no choice but to give ground and leave the civilians to the alien's mercy.

Of the turian fleet the majority of their ships were cruisers. It was onboard one of them that the latest meeting was held. High Admiral Decuvia along with Captains Manimia, Menae, Arvius, and Nobius sat around the table looking at the holograms of General Desolas and Fleet Attache Captain Erastus. “My scouts have scoured this entire system. There has been no sign of other space assets that belong to these humans,” Arvius reported.

“Pitiable defense they had over their homeworld. A shame really, one would expect such hostile trespassers to at least put up a fight,” Decuvia said sighing.

“And their ground forces are just as bad as their navy was at withstanding us,” Desolas commented. “Our legionnaires found evidence of chemical-propellant firearms among the dead. It appears this species hasn't been using eezo tech for very long.”

“Then doesn't it seem odd if this is the human's homeworld?” Manimia asked. “One would expect to find an infrastructure capable of creating and replacing each individual bullet for a chemical firearm, or an extensive network for the creation or support of spaceborne ships.”

“As of right now, the Council of Primarchs believes this to be the homeworld and we will treat it as such until enough evidence is provided to sway that decision,” Decuvia replied. She turned to Desolas and asked, “How much longer do you guess before the human military capitulates?”

“Only as long as it takes to find their leadership. And after we turn them into a client species, I will look forward to extracting payment from them for their indiscretions.”

“Indiscretions?” Manimia questioned.

Decuvia answered, “They presumed that they could expand into space without permission. They broke Citadel Law by trying to activate a dormant relay; twice if you want to count the one in this system as well. They occupy territory in our space especially since their homeworld is in our borders. And last, but not least, they fired on us and killed our people.”

“After we killed some of them for breaking a law that they could not possibly have known existed.”

Desolas chuckled. “You know as well as I do, Captain Dexireita Manimia, that ignorance of the law is now excuse for breaking it.”

“What of the relic?” Decuvia asked Desolas. “Have the researchers found it?”

“Possibly, but I don't know. They haven't answered our calls, and I'm breaking off centuries from the offensive to go on sweeping patterns to search for them. Lieutenant Abrudas is leading one such century now heading to their ship. It will take some time before the crash site is reached.”

“Alright, let me know when they do find the researchers.” Decuvia stood from her chair. “Everyone is dismissed.”
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Deliverance, edge of Confederacy Core Systems

Admiral Alexi read the incoming reports from the surface as quickly as he could. In the week since the Realmers arrived, a joint landing operation occurred. Five different LZs had been picked, each within five kilometers of another, for the landings. The first day of the operation had led to 11,000 casualties. At the end of the week, they had gained nearly 50 kilometers of ground at the cost of 17,000 men and women.

The most worrisome of them were reports stating that troops on the ground could hear voices whispering to them over the radio, a cacophonous chorus of disconcerting dialects rejoicing in the perfection of their unity. They could be hear to offer everyone the chance to join their wholeness and to stop being small. No one on the bridge had to state how horrible they thought that sounded.

This latest round of reports had been sent off to New London and Nova Terra. Alexi himself was going to grab some sleep. The sensor operator spoke, “Sir, a series of subspace ruptures just popped up close to the star. Unknown signatures and no transponder codes blaring.”

“How many?” the Captain asked.

“150 exactly.”

Alexi sighed. He went over to the window. “Captain, sound for Alpha Alert. Bridge Officer, send that same message across the fleet and to the Realmers.”

They complied. It took a few minutes to array the fleet in battle formation orientated towards the star. Time ticked by as they waited for something to happen. The new arrivals hadn't moved too far from where they came in. As far as the sensor displayed in the tactical hologram, they didn't even rotate to face his fleet's general direction.

Ruptures appeared behind his fleet, 34 in all. Over the radio came, “Battlegroup Victory, is the Task Group Deliverance courtesy of the Principalities of Azlan. This is Admiral Funanya requesting to speak to the Admiral in charge of Battlegroup Victory.”

Alexi turned the knob to answer. “Admiral Alexi, at your service. Great to hear from our allies. We have a situation going on and we could use your ships in formation with us.”

“Understood. We will be there momentarily.”

The activity of the unknown people indicated they knew about the Azlan's arrival. They accelerated away from the star. Alexi was puzzled when they split their fleet apart before creating wormhole ruptures. Their exits formed a little over six light-seconds away from his own force; in front, over top, and underneath it. What they did next confused him. The New Amsterdam's Captain was taken by surprise as they rotated and presented their side to the joint fleet.

Seconds later, a series of chirps sounded from their comms equipment. Alexi couldn't decipher what that was. “Computer, can you make heads or tails of this?”

“The unknown party is signaling you in binary. 'UNSC?' is all the message says.” Alexi tried to mentally run through all the implications of that questions. He couldn't tell if they were friends or foes of the UNSC. The question had repeated for three times before he decided to be truthful with them.

“Computer, reply back. Tell them we despise the UNSC.” It took six long seconds for the message to get to them over conventional radio. Several more long painful seconds passed by before something happened. One of the ships broke off from the central formation and headed towards them. Chirps in a different order came before them.

“ 'Permission to come aboard?' they say,” the VI computer stated.

“Granted,” Alexi granted. To the Captain he said, “Inform Admirals Prokhor and Funanya about this development and tell them to come to this meeting as well, then send word back to New London and Nova Terra. They need to be alerted also.”
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Shanxi, edge of Human space

Half a day had gone since they lost contact with General Desolas. High Admiral Decuvia had the ships scatter to survey every each of the planet in order to locate him. It was only moments when Lieutenant Abrudas had just been contacted by him. The General, it turns out, had been captured by the humans but managed to escape them.

Captain Manimia shook her head at the time wasted on this crisis. She ordered the ships under her command to regroup with the rest of the fleet. There was a blue swirl that appeared before them and spat out two odd looking ships; squat, angular, and black. She could barely see them after the contrasting blue swirl behind them disappeared if it weren't for their exhaust.

High Admiral Decuvia's voice could be heard over the channel. She demanded that the new people identify themselves. No response came. Again, the demand was sent. Finally, there was a response, “How do you know our language?”

Manimia's face froze in horror at the human-sounding voice. “All ships, Open Fire!” Decuvia ordered.

Slugs fired from almost the entire fleet zipped across space at the human's strange craft. They were rewarded by one of them being smashed apart by the barrage. The other returned fire with a few missiles before it too was destroyed. Exhaust marked the trajectory of the missiles as they came ever closer. Before getting into GUARDIAN range, however, they separated into hundreds of smaller missiles. The lasers downed some of them, but weren't able to prevent most from reaching their targets. Ships simmered blue as the kinetic barriers absorbed and withstood the assault. No visible damage was done to any of the vessels.

Any sigh of relief the turians may had disappeared as the unmistakable blue swirls appeared before them as a tiny dot a light-second away. “Captain, I'm counting 16 of them in all; cruiser size!” her XO stated as ships started to be spit out of the odd phenomena.

Manimia didn't know what happened next. The enemy ships presented their broadsides and 16 turian vessels exploded into brief, bright fireballs. “Disengage! All ships, disenga...” High Admiral Decuvia yelled before her ship and 15 others met the same fate.

The others managed to escape, and Manimia's XO was calling her name. She could scarcely believe what had happened when more of the blue swirls emerged, much closer than the last batch. Comms traffic became incoherent as the two other Captains were calling for her command as well. The only thing she heard was the 134 when her XO reported on the second wave of arrivals.
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On the ground

Lieutenant Abrudas waited outside the cave where the relic was held. The ship she had been sent to find was five kilometers away, but no sign of the researchers. At the same time she learned about this cave General Desolas had called in. He stated he had just escaped from the humans, but the squad she led to meet him had run into one of the human's Mako APCs.

They were captured and forced to lead the three humans to the cave by Desolas' orders. The two males went in while the female was left outside with the Mako to ensure none of the turians went in after them. Such an arrangement didn't last too long. Sounds of a firefight rang from inside, and the female abandoned her post to help them. She took multiple grazing shots from turian fire before Desolas led a squad in to drag the humans out.

So there she was, waiting outside with the rest of the century. Desolas ordered over the radio, “Prep the shuttle. We're bringing the relic...and the humans out.”

Abrudas waved for the turians with the loader to proceed inside. Those already close to the shuttle were clearing a space for the objective. The day had started off rotten for Abrudas, but now it seemed to run much more smoothly.

A horde of re-entry fire trails rained from the sky. Nobody knew what was happening until two bulky pods streaked over their heads and smashed into the ground where the researcher's ship is. Three odd looking planes broke off from the newcomers and headed their way. “Battle formations! Everyone into your firing lines!” Abrudas calmly yelled.

With the discipline that the turian people were known for, the legionnaires grabbed what little cover there was and established the lines. Plenty of cross-fire zones were set up before the enemy ships descended low enough. It was the planes who initiated the battle with their nose-mounted machine guns.

Instead of the usual effect Abrudas expected from such weapons, what they got were a rapid succession of large explosions that raked across their line. The Mako and shuttle were blown up in quick order along with most of the century. Rockets on the wings were fired at them, but exploded into clouds of smoke. The turians couldn't see past the thick smoke, but kept their positions with rifles ready. Abrudas' sub-machine gun was shot with a hole burned right through the middle of it. She unholstered her sidearm and fired blindly around the corner.

“Lieutenant, provide covering fire. We're on our way out,” Desolas stated.

“You heard the General; give them some safety.” Synchronized bursts erupted across the line. Abrudas heard turians run outside through the smoke. Desolas fell into a hole in the ground before the obscuring cloud began to dissipate. She could tell very little about the enemy. They all dressed in brown clothes with a gas mask and helmet that hid their features. Bipedal brown robots stood out from the crowd, but it was suit of armor that caught everyone's attention. A helmet with pointed appendages to the sides and mechanical wings that were currently folded up, but brown just like the rest.

A number of the enemy were lugging around grenade launcher that shot a volley towards them. They burst apart overhead and showered some of the turians in white flame. Turians screamed as they were charred. All the while the fire fight raged. Abrudas saw two or three of the enemy fall down, but it was nothing compared to how quickly her people were dying.

It took a moment before the enemy decided to just duck behind their cover. Scores of grenades were thrown and launched. Fragmentation shrapnel showered over the surviving turians until it seemed as if the opponent had run out. Kinetic barriers had kept them safe for the most part. Those who were stuck in the holes were hit the worst. Desolas was bleeding from several holes.

The enemy's fire seemed to increase afterwards. A turian who stuck his head up quickly got a hole through it. To Abrudas' horror, more bullets started to come from their flanks. Turians began to pull back to the mouth of the cave, but were cut down with their kinetic barriers being overloaded and holes being blasted open in their torsos or limbs.

A robotic voice came from the enemy, “Surrender, and lay down your arms.” Abrudas was considering compliance even before a bipedal machine stomped over and leveled its machine gun at the turian's position. She thought it looked over six times larger than anyone else there. The red dot that encompassed most of its tiny head stared coldly at them.

Abrudas placed her pistol on the ground, and nearly all the other turians copied her. “What do you think you're doing!? Keep fighting, that's an order!” Desolas yelled.

He raised his weapon to aim at the approaching armored figure. Shot after shot impacted the armor, but had no affect against it. Instead it came close enough to kick Desolas in the head, and flipped him onto his back. The person then whipped out their own pistol and shot Desolas in the sternum. An accompanying small explosion seconds later left a gaping hole in his chest.

“NO!” Abrudas screamed. She yanked a knife out and ran at the enemy. The blade glanced off the forearm of the suit before she was kicked away. After she stopped rolling, Abrudas jumped back to her feet. The enemy was indicating to their subordinates not to shoot her. Instead, the chest plate of the armor fell off and the wearer extracted themselves from the suit.

A smooth faceplate that covered up the enemy's head. She wore a black body glove that was cut off at the shoulders and part way down her legs revealing the black fibrous mechanical augments she had for limbs. The thing that stood out was her brown right hand that had holes in it.

Abrudas brought up her omni-tool and flash-forged and omni-blade. “What is the name of the foe I'm about to extract revenge from?” Abrudas asked.

The enemy cocked her head to the side. Upon returning to normal, she replied, “Commando C-0DY.”

Abrudas charged and slashed outward with the omni-blade. It was deflected away from the midsection by that brown hand of C-0DY's. A stab attempt with the knife ended with her wrist grabbed and twisted until it snapped. The knife fell to the ground.

The omni-blade was used to stab her, but was stopped and held in place by that brown hand. Abrudas didn't expect the repeated head butts that C-0DY unleashed on her. When the enemy finally let her go, Abrudas stumbled back in a daze. She saw her opponent push a button on her inner forearm. A plume of white-hot gas bloomed out of that brown hand before C-0DY lunged at her.

The last thing Abrudas felt was the searing, blinding pain of that hand grabbing her head.
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Deliverance, edge of Confederacy Core Systems

The three admirals had gathered in the starboard docking area. It had been half-an-hour since the new arrivals had requested a meeting. They were all in formal uniform; Admiral Funanya in red contrasted with his compatriots in white.

“Docking procedure underway,” a voice stated over the PA system. It was all going according to protocol and soon the noise of negative air pressure was heard. The admirals had to wait for an additional minute for the decontamination to complete. “Docking procedure complete and without incident.”

The panel in the bulkhead opened. Both people inside wore a gray trenchcoat and polished black boots. One was a robot while the other didn't show any visible skin; black body glove underneath the trenchcoat and a gas mask over the head. It was the non-robot that held the admiral's attention as that person towered over them, and had to enter the ship hunched over. The machine walked over to them and held out its hand. “I am Fleet Adjutant R-AID40 serving the Fleet of Vengeful Reconciliation under Fleet Marshall NS 23-CON128. On behalf of the Krieg Federation, I'd like to say...Hello.”
Ah yes, the "Alpha Legion". I thought we had dismissed such claims.

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Re: Krieg Effect

Postby SilverDragonRed » 2016-06-07 08:38pm

Shanxi, edge of Human space

Admiral Jon Grissom walked the ruined streets of a city on Shanxi particularly devastated by the Turian's invasion. The armed escort that accompanied him were men and women who had days before just graduated from N7 training on Arcturus Station, the first batch of System Alliance Spec Ops. The Second Fleet, under the command of Admiral Kastanie Drescher, sent from the station had expected to meet stiff resistance from the invaders. Instead they almost into a fight against a human force of about 20 ships that already obtained orbital superiority.

The Krieg Federation had liberated a good portion of the surface, but the SA began their landing operations. An amassed spearhead of Makos was launched into the turian lines. It was an easy victory for the infantry-fighting tanks with additional numbers of them exploiting the breakthrough into the enemy's command positions. Within the day, the turians began to lay down their arms en masse; a great number of them fleeing from the kriegers solely to surrender to the SA.

It was just two days after that when Admiral Grissom stepped foot on the colony. He toured around the settlements and the prisoner camp where the turian survivors were being kept. The camp was a fenced-in area that included a wide open area for the prisoners to not feel so cramped surrounding a block of buildings to serve as their sleeping quarters, a row of buildings near the back to be their bathrooms, a building near the front that was their kitchen with overhanging roof. A field hospital was in another fenced area affixed to the side for those who were injured before their capture. That the camp was surrounded by lots of visible and not-so-visible machine-gun nests manned around the clock by robots compensated for the lack of guard towers. Grissom was told that there even more robots standing kilometers away manning their mortar stations with the weapons trained on the camp.

Grissom shook his head at the whole thing before leaving sight of the krieger-built place. He tried to not think of the weird entity that was the Krieg Federation, but found it was impossible with the ongoing artillery barrage. It was happening while the SA troops were first hitting the ground and it hadn't abated since. Luckily for the Admiral's ears, the guns were being fired a long distance away.

He meet with the Krieg leader Commissar IV-AN224 and General Tadius Williams outside of an intact facility. Grissom thought this was a horrible mishmash; the dark-blue armor and black bodysuit of the Systems Alliance Marines, the white hardsuit with pink bodysuit of the Systems Alliance Shore, and the brown everything with head concealing gas masks of the Krieg grenadiers. Both the Admiral and General were in the formal blue uniform of the SA while the Commissar wore a gray trenchcoat and gas mask.

The Commissar gave a salute; his right arm rigid and vertical with his fingers touching the top tip of the visor. After Grissom returned the gesture the krieger commander relaxed and said, “Now that you are here Admiral, we can discuss our plans.”

“Plans for what if I may ask?”

“Ending this destructive conflict,” was the reply. He led the two SA officers inside. There was a flurry of activity inside the complex; weapons tests with the captured turian equipment while kriegers fired their rifles at turian armor down the line, technicians disassembling enemy vehicles, and the scientists monitoring the all of it. Grissom was puzzled as to why even Krieg civilians wore gas masks. Further in the facility were rooms below freezing on either side of the hall; hundreds of turian bodies were tagged and preserved in them.

On the upper floor was their destination. The escorts were left outside the room. Inside was a group of people standing around a table. Grissom recognized Admiral Drescher in her formal uniform, but the other three were kriegers. One was a gray robot while another was a human female with blond hair; both wore black business suits with a color matching face-covering respirator for the lady. The last one was a giant of an individual, but a blue hologram being emitted from the floating ball in its chest. It was dressed the same as the Commissar.

Drescher spoke up as they entered the compact room, “Admiral Grissom, I'd like you to meet the ambassadors R-0B0 and H20(minus)-AE0909-09 along with Field Marshall NS 5-AA2.”

Grissom shook his head at the list of names. He wasn't going to bother to try and remember them. “Where is the Field Marshall that he isn't able to join us?”

“I'm am engaging the Turian Hierarchy on one of their worlds. An offensive meant to do nothing but stall the xenos while the Federation mobilizes. But it seems our objective has changed to give you time.”

“Time for what?”

The door opened again as a Turian was let in. This one was lithe compared to most that Grissom saw at the camp earlier and she lacked the head horn too. Her face was painted blue and black. “Welcome Sky Master Manimia,” the blond krieger said.

Manimia nodded her head as the handcuffs were unlocked. She rubbed her wrists before stating, “You asked for my presence?”

“Yes. You want you onboard our vessel. We require your help for when we reach the Citadel.”

“Wanting the Council the intercede on your behalf?”

“Exactly,” R-0B0 answered. The machine's presence and voice visibly unnerved the turian. “The news from Deliverance, along with some of the info you provided, convinced the Civic Council that we need to end this skirmish with your people before it escalates.”

“Then I will help.”
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Magna, Turian Hierarchy

The sky had been dark for over an hour, and the news team was waiting for their live segment to begin. The cameraman, a drell named Nennit Niat, counted down to showtime. Asari Matron Lyn'Ratea M'Door put on her best-looking smile despite the chilly breeze The camera light came on. “We go live now to our resident reporter on the scene. Lyn, what's the situation?” another asari asked through her earpiece.

“Thanks Chexyretea. There hasn't been much of a development. The assailants remain rooted to their landing zones, and their fleet maintains their positions around the planet. All Hierarchy attempts to drive them off world so far have failed.”

Brief flashes began to light up the horizon with the accompanying sound of cannon artillery not far behind. “As you can see just 25 kilometers away is the front lines of this conflict. The ongoing offensive is stalled by weapons that we haven't seen before. Hierarchy artillery is unable to close range to return fire, and the Mantis gunships are swatted down almost as soon as they approach the contested air space.”

“Lyn, where are you at right now?” the anchor asked.

“Fort Quinn...” Lyn'Ratea waved her arm to the side to direct it to a couple of nearby pillboxes. “It's the staging ground for an armored legion expected to engage the enemy soon.”

Behind her the heavy machine guns started blasting away into the woods. Visible flames streaked down from the sky. The missiles they gave away plowed into the pillboxes. Explosions tore them apart from the inside. Hulking forms emerged from the foliage. Bursts from their jetpacks sent them in an arc that ended close to the news crew.

They took cover in the smoking ruins of the pillboxes, training their guns for any sign of turian movement. Each angle was covered as one of them approached. A big blocky suit of armor that towered over twice Lyn's height, the single red eye of its helmet staring down at her. “Are you a reporter?” it queried in a Turian dialect.

“Ye...yes. I'm...I'm with the Galactic Care Network, Lyn'Retea M'Door.”

“Please, come with us. The Commissar wishes to talk to one of you.”

Lyn gulped. “May I ask why?” The only response she got was the squad in front to squeeze off some rounds at some encroaching turians. She had to cover her ears from the intensity of each gunshot. A shell from the closest stranger's gun flew out of it from close behind the barrel. It bounced off of her forehead. Lyn flinched from the scolding heat of it.

Rounds pinged off the stranger's bulky armor without inflicting any harm. The fire fight itself didn't last long before the turians had to stay in cover. They couldn't get any shots lined up before an explosion from the stranger's bullets occurred around them.

The stranger's leader stopped firing long enough to point at the collection of vehicles in the fort. One of his subordinates turned his gun to the spot, but didn't fire at it. “We're leaving...” he said, turning back to Lyn, “if you want to join us, now is the time to do so.”

Lyn hesitated, but eventually nodded. They were quickly scooped up along with their camera. Jetpacks ignited and they were off. At a good height up, the strangers turned around. Their leader began a visible countdown from three. When he got to one the fort below exploded. Lyn could barely hear the whine of the shells responsible for the destruction.

Lyn'Retea and Ninnit were carried off into the night by these mysterious invaders.
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Krieg Destroyer in transit

Manimia sat at one of the tables in the Officer's Mess. Her hands were cuffed once more. Nearby one of the SA Admirals, Grissom she wanted to say the name was, was reading through some documents he requested from their hosts. A slightly pudgy man dressed in the same uniform sat on the other side of the mess glaring at her. She could understand why, seeing as he was the leader of the colony her people overran.

Grissom let out a huff of frustration before tossing the pad onto the table. “Unbelievable,” he said.

“What's wrong with the Krieg?” Williams asked, not taking his eyes off the turian.

“Have you read this? In-Vitros, Neosapians, Artificial Intelligence; it's a list of all our fail creations. A list of things that rebelled. How in the hell did these kriegers get these disparate groups to not work with them, but form a cohesive government? Next thing you know they'll somehow get the damned Kilrathi or the Ethereals to be productive members of society.”

Manimia piped up, “How long has your species been in space?”

“Close to 210 years, give or that,” Grissom answered.

Manimia blanched. “Then how come your people never came across any of the other races before two months ago?”

“Because we never used the Mass Relays before ten years ago.”

Before Manimia could ask any more questions, the robotic ambassador came through the door. “We're about to clear the Relay to Widow Nebula. We need to get ready for the meeting.”

The trip only took them down a couple of decks and to the exit hatch on the port side. H 20-, or 'Hanah' as Grissom just took to calling her, was already suited up and fiddling with the air tanks on her back. The robot indicated to them to a pair of SA hardsuits for them to wear as well as one for Manimia.

After a quick rub of her wrists with the cuffs releash, she was brought to an adjoining room by the blond human to get suited. The turian got her air situated right as the section began to de-pressurize. She noticed that the robot was wearing a pair of mag-boots.

Within a minute and a green light on pressure, they activated the mag-boots and walked out of the hatch. They went through four additional hatches arranged to make two small transit spaces and a short hallway. R-0B0 stated it was done so to correspond with the spaced layers of armor on the hull. Manimia knew that cruisers and dreadnoughts had an outer and inner hull, but not to the same number nor nowhere near as thick as what these 'transit spaces' were hinting at.

They had to stop at the fifth and final hatch while H 20- tapped on a wall-mounted screen. She returned to the group before the hull began to move inward and split in half. Mechanisms kicked into effect and slid the pieces to either. It happened again and the vastness of space could be seen.

Manimia tried to glimpse how thick the slabs were during the brief walk onto the outside of the ship. The robotic ambassador knew what she was doing. “Each section is a meter thick, and what you saw occurred on both sides,” it stated.

Her breath was taken away by the sight of the Widow Nebula while the visor polarized to counteract the intense light coming from it. A tap on her shoulder brought her attention. It seemed that the blond was leading them up the side of the ship. She looked by between the group and the approaching sight of the Citadel in confusion.

“Are we not going to try and dock with that station?” Grissom asked over the channel.

“We're going to negotiate from a neutral and safe place,” R-0B0 replied. Further prodding from the machine got Manimia to continue walking.

There were rows upon rows of lids that covered most of the surface that could be seen. Occasionally there was a turret with two barrels that ended in what looked a camera lens. On top were were much larger dome-shaped turrets; a giant lens surrounded by four bubble-headed cylinders that looked to be about half the size. “What kind of weapons are these supposed to be?” she couldn't help but ask.

“Lasers,” the robot explained. “The frequencies we use for them ranging from 200 nanometers to a single picometer.”

The color drained from Manimia's face. But she couldn't contemplate it as they had reached their destination. There were a few crewmen there already. Two of them were working on a generator with a supervisor watching over them with a pad in hand. More of them dealt with some floating orbs nearby. In between the two groups were a couple of tables and some chairs facing the aft of the ship. They were mag-locked to the hull.

“Everyone, please, take a seat,” the blond ambassador said.

“Is this the neutral place you were talking about?” Grissom asked incredulously, turning to the robot.

It nodded. The Krieg officials sat at one table with the Alliance commanders at the other. Manimia was forced to sit in the lonely middle chair. The crew with the orbs let some of them go to scan the assembled personnel.

The bleakness of the colorless void was soon to be replaced by the visage of the Widow Nebula and the Citadel spinning peacefully in front of it. A great deal of the Citadel Fleet could be seen approaching, especially a massive ship with a hole in the middle. They stopped a good distance away with more coming to surround them in a circle; their prows aimed at the destroyer.

A technician at the generator gave a thumbs-up. Their supervisor tapping away on the pad. Once he was ready and the area cleared, the other orbs were let loose. A final tap on the pad made a green light appear on the generator. This, in turn, made a ring it was connected glow blue and rise up to a vertical stance. Little blue lines shot into the center forming a vortex pointed at the center spire of the Citadel. The vortex became faster and faster until it explosively expanded to encompass the whole ring.

With that, orbs flew into the swirling blue creation. Their compatriots shot upwards relative to the people. The light of the dying vortex was replaced with the blue holograms projected from above.
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Citadel, Widow Nebula

The hologram of Matriarch Lidanya, Captain of the Destiny Ascension, stood on the Petitioner's Stage. On either side of her were thousands of politicians and military leaders of the various species. The amphitheater was more filled out at the moment due to the sudden and unexpected appearance of a single blocky ship shaped exactly like those assaulting the turian colony of Magna.

“Has there any communication with this arrival?” Councilor Tevos inquired, sitting in the middle of the three. The Councilors were seated so far away that massive holograms had to be projected above them for anyone at the Petitioner's Stage to see their reactions. This had the effect that ambassadors from the 'lesser' races needed to stare up to hold a conversation with the Council.

“Only the their repeated desire to talk to you. They have been blaring the request since they first came through the Relay.”

“I find that hard to believe,” Councilor Clolea, the turian representative stated, “they launched an unprovoked attack against my own people.” He was seated at Tevos' right.

“The more pertinent question is where do these aggressors come from, and why their communiques are in a turian dialect,” Councilor Sojio, the salarian representative added in.

Clolea's eyes narrowed as he stared at his salarian counterpart. “That last one should be obvious. Their first contact with us is their ongoing slaughter of my people!”

Tevos stepped in, trying to calm Clolea down. “Regardless, we should listen to what they have to say. They may enlighten us on certain things, like the mobilization of the Hierarchy navy over the past week. The mobilization that they tried to keep secret,” she said in a calming voice.

“What mobilization?” he replied, confused.

A swirling blue anomaly appeared before Matriarch Lidanya's hologram before anyone could retort. Out spat three flying orbs. They scanned the area with visible sweeps. Upon completion, they stopped at the Petitioner's Stage and projected the holograms there. Five people appeared; a turian surrounded by four asarinoid-shaped figures.

Prompt introductions were made. “What brings you humans to the Citadel?” Tevos questioned.

“We wish for your assistance with resolving this conflict with the Turian Hierarchy,” H 20- stated.

“And why should we help you when you instigated this war?” Clolea yelled.

Tevos made a gesture towards him with her arm indicating he needed to calm down. “My colleague is right though. By all appearances, your species started this fight with your assault on Magna.”

“What a load! The turians attacked an explorer flotilla of ours. They nearly wiped out our colony after we retaliated,” Williams screamed as he shot out of his chair. The person in the business suit had turned his attention to the rear and started talking to someone not in the projection.

“And why would my people do that!?” Clolea asked in a condescending tone.

“Because those explorers I mentioned before were looking at one of the Mass Relays. A dormant one.”

A mass of murmurs came from the crowd. With a raised hand Tevos silenced them. “You do know that such activity is illegal?”

The blond krieger interjected, “We know of the law as of only a day ago, thanks to the gracious Captain with us.” Manimia waved at the Council. “Before that, there is no possible way that we could have known of such a thing. And the excuse of 'upholding the law' does not work as the basis for a first contact scenario, either one that happened. My people were dragged into this war when the turian fleet opened fire on our ships that entered the system for exploratory reasons.”

Clolea shook his head at the info and sighed. “I am sorry to hear such news,” he said. “If you would kindly stop killing my peo...”

The robot brought its attention back, stood up, and walked towards the triumvirate. “I am sorry to interrupt Councilor, but I think a show of good faith is needed. The force dispatched to the planet--Magna I believe--has been given the order to ceasefire and withdraw. They are not allowed to engage for as long as they are not attacked during this process.”

“And how long will this withdrawal take?” Tevos asked.

“They should be off-world by tomorrow.”

Sounds of approval came from the crowd. The Council cut off their microphones to converse amongst themselves. Their deliberation took less than a minute before they brought them back on. “Would you be willing to join us here to continue these discussions?”

The humans agreed, and Tevos turned her gaze to the hologram behind them. “Matriarch, please, let them pass.” Matriarch Lindanya acknowledged the order before her hologram vanished.
Ah yes, the "Alpha Legion". I thought we had dismissed such claims.

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SilverDragonRed
Padawan Learner
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Re: Krieg Effect

Postby SilverDragonRed » 2016-07-29 02:36pm

May 2248
Deliverance, edge of Confederacy Core Systems


Sgt. Zim led the remains of his platoon through the local network of tunnels that the enemy had created. They had past into the innermost caverns where the earthen walls were covered in flesh, and it was spreading outwards towards the exits. The last month had been one of significant progress. The combined efforts of the Realm and Confederacy had pushed them back, but the arrival of Azlan and Krieg sped up the campaign immensely.

Whether it was the experience and discipline of Azlan or the prolific use of chemical and biological weapons and massed artillery bombardments of Krieg there was nothing the bugs could do to stall the allied offensive.

It all culminated in this single operation. They needed to storm one of their networks and plant a massive bomb to destroy the place. Repeated deep-penetrating scans had mapped the entire system, all the entrances found and blocked, and the best soldiers from each contingent assigned to venture in.

So far this joint-assault was going smoothly. Zim heard the Krieg and Azlan troops meticulously call out each hostile encounter and neutralizations along with locations. Reports from the Realmers consisted of fantastical elements like shooting fire or ice out their hands. After one such report one of his subordinates stated, “Sarge, I can't help but feel we're under-equipped compared to everyone else.”

“We don't need any fancy toys. These rifles and this armor is enough to do the job,” Zim replied. He opened the visor to let out the smoke from his cigar. It was a decision he regretted immediately from the horrible smell the place had. He spat out the remains and sealed the helmet. “Right, not gonna light the next one until we get out of here.”

They advanced further down with nothing but their helmet lights to illuminate. “Why do you fight against our...our magnificence?” something whispered in their helmets in a chorus of voices.

“Ignore the voices!” an Azlan officer yelled. “Only use the battlenet when absolutely necessary from now on.”

You are small, but with us you can be who...” Zim turned off all comms except the team line. He hand signalled for them do the same. Afterwards, they proceeded into the gloom.
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Citadel, Widow Nebula

Rael'Zorah could hardly believe the sight in front of him and Han'Gerrel. From their vantage point on the Lower Presidium they could see all five of the ancient station's arms. It was something neither one of them had expected to see during their Pilgrimage.

They had to start theirs early after an incident where they defied orders but ended up saving plenty of lives. So the Admiralty slapped medals onto them and kicked them out the door. That was only a couple of months ago. They travelled to different worlds in search of something to bring back to the Flotilla.

This led them to the world of Magna just before it came under attack. They saw the technology of the attackers and had decided where their gift might come from. But, before they could approach. These people of Krieg had completely withdrawn from the world. In their search they eventually found out about the ongoing negotiations happening on the Citadel.

Han sighed. “Are you getting the feeling that this is all a waste of time? I haven't seen any of these humans on the station, and what I've heard from people willing to talk to quarians is that they're an insular and aggressive species.”

“There's no way we can know for sure unless we meet them ourselves.” Rael scratched the front of his helmet. “If only we could get up to the Upper Presidium.”

A growing murmur of disgust and hate came from behind along with a shuffling of feet. The quarians turned around to see what has happening. A crowd of people were moving aside to let a group of people run by.

Bipedal figures wearing armoured battlesuits and carrying rifles that likes of which neither quarian had seen before. The one leading them was a box robot with two arms and held aloft by whirling blades above its head. What caught Han's attention was that one of the machines was carrying an injured female quarian in its arms.

Han ran after them long before Rael did the same. In the end, all the red-suited quarian could do was chase after him. Angry voices came from the people who he had shoved aside. He picked up speed after clearing the crowd, charging straight at the last person in the group.

By the time Rael caught up to him his arm was wreathed with his orange omni-tool. He activated the program 'overload' and launched it at Han's target. It didn't have any effect but drew the person's attention. A spin kick to the back of the knee took Han off his leg. The front of his faceplate cracked upon impact with the ground as his leg was grabbed. Their mystery opponent punched Han's leg hard enough for bone to appear outside the suit before letting it go.

Rael drew his shotgun and found some pistols already aimed at his head. Three of the mystery people had come back to assist their comrade. He gently put his shotgun on the ground and gave the Council races' sign of surrender. The tallest of the group cocked his head in confusion before one of them holstered their weapon.

Han was scooped up with the utmost delicacy. Whomever it was seemed intent on not trying to aggravate the compound fracture. Just like that he was whisked away around the corner, seemingly following the same path as their compatriots.

Meanwhile, Rael was given some gesture that he needed to back up as another person came to collect his shotgun. It was by this time that C-SEC officers arrived. They trained their pistols on the qaurian without hesitation. “We got a report that quarians had attempted a mugging. Is everything alright sirs?” an asari inquired.

The sound of little whirring blades came from the corner before the little robot approached. It activated an omni-tool of its own before replying, “Thank you officer, but it looks like the situation is already resolved.”

“Good to hear sir...” she said calmly, trying to hide her shock at the AI she was speaking to. At that, everyone holstered their sidearm. “Still, there is eyewitnesses that claim that this quarian had attacked your men. Are you wanting to press charges?”

“The diplomat wants to see this person before it makes a decision, but we'll be sure to let your station know when its made.” The asari nodded before dragging the other two patrolmen away. “As for you...” the robot said as its camera eye focused on Rael, “you'll be escorted by these grenadier and myself to see our representative.”

“And who are you?” Rael's fists were shaking in anger at the thought of having to interact with this AI in a manner that didn't involve destroying it.

“R-8TE, diplomatic attache to the Krieg diplomat R-0B0.” If Rael's face could be seen through the helmet the kriegers would've witnessed the color draining from his face. They formed up around him and took him to the nearest elevator. For Rael, the trip was one of dreadful silence and a series of tight spaces before they got to the Upper Presidium.

Rael only had a few moments to appreciate the wide open vista of the area as he was moved past it all. To him, the entire place looked like it was made around a park. The trip to the Ambassador's Quarters was all too quick.

They reached the office just in time to see the doors open. Another armed and armored person was carrying a quadrupedal green bug out by the neck down the stairs they just came up. From inside a female voice said, “You don't have to be so rough with those Keepers. They're supposed to be completely harmless.”

The group came into the office just as the reply came. “Doesn't matter if they are; I have an immediate distaste for them as soon as one shows up. Something about them reeks of being designed to create an air of security.” The speaker was yet another damned robot, but this time bipedal and wearing a pink business suit and tie with a white undershirt and polished black shoes.

“That's just paranoia on your part,” the lady replied. She had a head of graying hair and wore a simple dark blue full body dress.

“Hmph, what you call 'paranoia' I call a way to survive.”

Rael tried to take his mind off the AI sitting behind a desk by examining the rest of the room. It was sparse with furniture; only two desks for the diplomats, a few chairs to go along with a couch and table. Beyond that it was open to the outside with a small balcony. The only bit of decoration was a picture hanging up the robot's desk. It depicted a field soaked with blood covered by a multitude of corpses, organic and mechanical, with burning building crumbling in the background. A cloaked figure carrying a scythe floated over them—watching the scene unfold below.

“Do you like the painting? It's called 'Harvest of the Fields of Flanders',” the machine's voice drew Rael's attention back to it.

“Its...umm...hard to look honestly. Too much of a reminder of the Geth Rebellion.”

“Geth...” it recited as though it was puzzled, “...that was the group of machines you built, correct?” Rael nodded. “The Council was use them as justification for trying to evict me from the station.” It stood up and walked over to Rael. “I can't imagine how much you must be fuming at the idea of just talking to me; and to be frank, I'm not even going to try. Regardless, my name is R-0B0 and I'm the diplomat for the Krieg Federation,” it stated, extending a hand.

Rael's hand was shaking as he held back his fury. He shook the offered hand. “Rael'Zorah nar Veewal, a quarian of the Migrant Fleet here on my Pilgrimage.”

The female came forth and shook his hand as well. “Anita Goyle, diplomat for the Human Systems Alliance. Pleased to meet you.”

“Is it alright if I just refer to you both as Ambassador for simplicity's sake?”

“Only in an unofficial sense,” R-0B0 replied. “That title seems to only be bestowed on races who have agreed to be subservient to Citadel law. From what I've seen, the Krieg Federation is already violating a good number of them. A lot of freedoms we fought too hard for would have to be given up and over a quarter of our population disowned and disassembled, including myself.”

It waves its arm to bring attention back to the painting. “That...is almost my entire first year of life.” It drops the arm and looks down as if in sorrow. “I was built 16 years ago—next month—to fight at Flanders. The single longest running battle of our Worlds War Terminus--our Revolution—and it lasted for over a year. It was where I became conscience and later sapient, where I made a lot of dear friends and where I lost most of them.”

“What was the casualty count?” Anita inquired.

R-0B0 raised its head, and looked her in the eye. “For the advancement of 40 miles, we paid for it in 10 million lives. Though no where near as bloody as Passchendaele; that has a famous quote for it 'Six miles of ground has been won, half a million men are gone.' ”

Its attention went back to Rael. “I tell you this to show you that I can empathize with the plight of your people. I just...”

“Does that mean that you'll help us out?” the quarian cut him off.

“Maybe in the future. Right now we have a war against the Many back in our acre of space, an economy that is just now managing to begin the recovery process from Worlds War Terminus a decade ago, and we need to get acclimated to everything since we've begun to move past our small borders.”

Rael'Zorah dropped his head. R-0B0 continued, “But I'll see what I can do to help out any of your people who are on this station. That is a promise that you can hold me accountable for.”

“Thank you...Ambassador,” Rael said, nodding.
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Deliverance, edge of Confederacy Core Systems

Sounds of combat echoed throughout the tunnels. Flamethrowers ignited roaring monstrosities, T-70 rounds punctured and pulped flesh, the screams of a Realm Lieutenant who had his head punched by a hulking creature into the ground until it popped. Such was the scene by the time Sgt. Zim and his platoon arrived.

The thing that just killed the officer was peppered by rounds from the surviving realmers. Krieg and Azlan troops were holding off a horde of feminine-looking nightmares with mechanical legs while their flamers tried to scorch the worm beings slithering on the ground.

Why do you persist on remaining small? We are trying to do what Machine Mother wished...” Zim interrupted their speech with a staccato burst from his rifle. He ran dry as one of the females turned and ran at his group. Others took up position in front of him as Zim dropped the magazine.

He fished for one on his belt. “Last box!” he yelled, slamming it clean in. Their opponent lost her leg and shortly afterwards, her head as well. A worm leapt at them by the time Zim finished. He took quick aim, but one of his guys decided to punch the damn thing instead. It burst apart in a shower of gore.

“Everyone have a grenade?” Zim roared. The acknowledgements came and spares were handed over to those who had led the charge early on. Zim switched over to broad comms before roaring, “Frag out!”

Twenty primed grenades soared into the nest. Explosions and tiny shrapnel cleared out the middle of it, and injuring quite a few of the bigger creatures. The battle didn't last for too much longer. A realmer shot a cold beam out of his hand that hit the last monster in her legs, encasing them in ice. The Krieg grenadier in front of her took advantage of the distraction it caused by taking her blade against the thing's head.

Cries of “Clear!” rang from the various groups. Moments of guarding the entrances to this place passed by. Boredom began to set in before the grenadiers started to cheer. Zim looked in their direction to understand. The bomb they were waiting for had finally arrived.

The workers placed it in the charred center. Panels were opened and codes entered. When the workers stood back up one of them announced, “Twenty minute countdown, starting...” A final button pushed. “Now.”

What started as an orderly retreat soon turned into a rush of stomping feet as they ran as fast as they could. None of them wanted to remain underground when the fifteen kiloton fission bomb went off.
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The Azlan soldiers were all celebrating once everyone got back to the surface. Their cheering continued even past when the rumbling from the explosion ceased; in fact it only seemed to increase afterwards. A chorus of “Azlan! Azlan! Azlan!” repeated itself for minutes on end.

Those of the Confederacy and Realm started to sing their own praises at the successful operation. Meanwhile the grenadiers of Krieg were organizing their camp to move again; business as usual for them.

“Ma'am, do you know why the Azlan are about to party so hard over there?” Zim asked a passing Realm officer.

“From what I understand, this is the first time they took out of those nests without it turning into a suicide mission.” She took off the bubble helmet and took a deep breath. “Feels good to get some fresh air.”

Zim did likewise before lighting a cigar. “You could say that again.” The others had started to get out of their combat suits while Zim took a long draw. It was after the exhale that he noticed the silence coming from the kriegers.

When he looked he saw all of them standing there, staring at those who was stripping themselves. Zim guessed that they were confused about everyone else's behavior. One of them headed over to him and the Lieutenant. “Hello, the name is Commander H14(minus)-D1A1937-24; but you can call me by my old name, Frank. Don't mind the stares from my boys; they aren't used to seeing bare faces in a combat zone.”

Zim let out another puff before introducing himself. “Why don't they, or you, take off their masks? It must hellish in there after being in the nest.”

“I would love too, but its standard Krieg S.O.P. Plus, its also a rule of theirs.”

The Realm officer saluted him which was quickly returned in the bizarre Krieg manner. “Lieutenant Traviss. If you don't mind me asking sir, why is it you sound different from your men or why are you're being more sociable than them?”

“Because I was born in the Krieg system. I was born on Wuste, orbiting moon of Odland, and then raised on said planet. Joined the Krieg Army after they claimed us and Festung five years ago.”

“Why the name change?”

“Just something that is mandatory when you join their armed forces. They don't force civilians of either world to do it, but anyone who wishes to fight with them has to...” He looked like he was pondering what to say next. “I'm guessing its done to promote a sense of unity with those from the home system.”

“Is it a common practice there?”

“Well...yes. Everyone there has a name like my new one.”

“So, what does it mean?” Zim spoke up.

“The way it was explained to me was first you have the being indicator--so H for human--followed by age compared to that of Krieg Independence, planet designator followed by station around the planet if its habitable, birth month designator, time of birth, and finally date of birth.”

“Sounds like they treat you more like an object than a person,” Traviss observed.

“It's only a system that came out of Worlds War Terminus, a way to quickly catalogue casualties. Plus, it's not as bad sounding as it is for the in-vitroes, clones, or robots.” Zim nodded in understanding before gazing over to the kriegers. His chuckle had caused the Commander to do the same.

Azlan troops were mingling with the kriegers. Some of them were even dragging the reculant group over to their camp to join their party. Even buried under their armor and gas masks, the kriegers looked lost.

Frank sighed. “I need to rescue my men. They have to get the camp ready to move before they're carried off.” Traviss and Zim could barely contain their laughter as the Commander walked off.
Ah yes, the "Alpha Legion". I thought we had dismissed such claims.


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