The World of The Gunny

The Wasted World of Gunnery Sergeant DeShane
It is currently 09 Jul 2020 10:25

All times are UTC - 6 hours [ DST ]




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 8 posts ] 
Author Message
 Post subject: Tales of Roma Mater: Assault of the IV Ala
PostPosted: 05 Dec 2005 15:10 
Offline
Sergeant Major of the USMC
Sergeant Major of the USMC
User avatar

Joined: 23 May 2005 16:49
Posts: 5244
Location: Wandering the Wastes
Centurio Decimus Flavius spit onto the sand as he walked to his Loricas. "Damn all Command officers anyway, you can take all they know about Lorica warfare and fit it in a fly's belly button and still have room for their brains".

His men were gathered expectantly around their machines as he walked up. They could tell by the look on his face the news wasn't good. No one wanted to be the first to ask but Flavius knew what the question on their mind was. "We are saddling up boys and girls, High Command needs the Ala to pull their chestnuts out of the fire again."

Flavius knew the Eques of 3rd Century wouldn't be too pleased, most had been happy here on Apulia IV. Heck he thought, most of the Denevans were kind and polite. Many had gotten used to the laid back attitude of sun, sand and beach that had been the lot of IV Ala Consular Army since it landed and crushed the defenders in a textbook planetary assault. The very perfection of that assault was probably the reason IV Ala Consular Army got tapped for this mission in the first place.

"O.K. troops, first I'm gonna tell you what High Command is telling us and then I'll tell you what I found out from a friend of mine in Communications. First: High Command wants us to pack up everything, I mean everything down to the rolls of toilet paper in the latrines because we won't be back anytime in the near future, if ever."

"Second: We are to ready all vehicles for transport to the assembly area and make sure they are completely combat ready. That means unauthorized 'sound systems' and external speakers are to be removed before loading, do you understand me Bruttius?" He said staring at number two Lorica's commander and crew.

"Third: All personnel are to make sure all their personal information is up to date before we load the transports." This last caused a stir among the troopers, since the only time that kind of order came down was when High Command thought a lot of next of kin were going to have to be informed.

"Alright, so much for High Commands load of garum, now the straight scoop." Flavius looked around to make sure no command level officers were in earshot and motioned his men to gather tight. "We are not going to be attacking the Edomites, so you can put that rumor to bed."

Flavius let them go on a bit before dropping the big shoe. "Quiet down ladies, quiet down and listen up." Flavius waited until they all tapered off and let them in on the bad news. "We have been at war with the Arachnids for five years now and things could be better for the Republic."

Flavius did not want to let things get totally out of hand so shouted them down with 'The Voice' that could be heard over the roar of Lorica guns and engines. "PIPE DOWN AND PAY ATTENTION ." The troops shut up so quick that he heard teeth click together. "I know we have had the threat of them hanging over our heads for years, but according to my cousin who is in Research and Development, our weapons and ships have finally passed theirs in capability and numbers, so High Command decided to take them out of the picture since our war with the Denevans has ended and freed up a lot of ships and troops."

"According to my friend in Communications the Classis had a rough time of it breaking into their system but they have smashed all the fleets that the Arachnids had, including their reserves, so the system is as clear as they can make it. The bad news is that Consular Group Centauri has thrown every Legionarii they had into the assault on the planet but have been unable to establish a beachead anywhere on the planet."

Eques Camillus raised his hand in the inevitable question. "Centurio, why don't they just bomb it flat like we did to the Rockhead's worlds." Referring to the silicon lifeforms the Republic had wiped out.

Flavius had wondered the same thing himself but had to at least tell them High Commands reasoning behind it. "The reason Camillus is that Command thinks that those spider-like scumbags might be hiding important information about their original intents for the Republic or about certain techs that could be important to our future so we have to take the planet intact."

The next question was from an unexpected direction. Normally if Principale Varius said three words in a day, he seemed to think he was exceeding his quota. "Centurio, any word on the losses in the Classis? My brother is aboard the Carrier Peregrine."

Flavius knew how bad it had been among the Classis but did not want his troopers too discouraged when there was work to be done. "I know that the losses were real high among the Principe and Veles class ships, but lower among the other groups so he probably has a better than average chance Varius, thats the best I can give you but I'll ask some people I know about his ship." Varius just nodded his thanks and went on listening.

Once again Camillus had to ask another question. "Centurio why aren't all the combat walkers that they kept going on and on about being used on this assault?"

This was the one question Flavius was not looking forward to answering. "Consular Group Centauri got all ten Combat walker equipped Armies that were combat ready wiped out and there are no more left that are trained up to standard for an assault this important."

Before he could continue Camillus burst out, "You mean Command lost all ten ARMIES and didn't get a toehold on the surface!?!?" Flavius just nodded and looked at the now very sober faces around him.

"Now lets get the machines checked out and ready for transport, and no one forget to update your personal data before we load out."

_________________
Benno the Mad Wrote:
man, you gotta realise that thor and bos fell out of the patriot tree (like the ugly tree, but instills patriotism instead of ugly) and hit every branch on the way down.


"Gone now, dispersed by the brutal destruction of this one day, was the belief that the Darkman and his army of the dead were so superior as to be invincible. By attempting to destroy the morale of the Marines, the Darkman had restored it to full vigor. Dia De La Muerto had failed in its objectives."
The Gunny: Stand of the 300

Si vis pacem, para bellum
If you want peace, prepare for war

Gunny's color #FF2400


Last edited by Þórgrímr on 12 Nov 2007 12:13, edited 10 times in total.

Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: 05 Dec 2005 16:52 
Offline
Sergeant Major of the USMC
Sergeant Major of the USMC
User avatar

Joined: 23 May 2005 16:49
Posts: 5244
Location: Wandering the Wastes
Eques Galenus ran his hand down her smooth flank and gently laid his cheek against her side. He softly whispered to her, "Soon baby, soon I can untie you and then we can have some real fun."
He reached down and checked the fasteners that held her firmly to the rings in the floor. "I know you hate this baby but it's for your own good and it won't be for too long." He gently checked to make sure the clasps weren't chafing her too badly.

A harsh voice behind him startled him. "Everything OK Galenus?" A familiar voice asked.

His face flushed crimson as he wondered how much his Centurio had heard. "Sure thing Centurio, just checking the tie-downs on the Lorica and making sure that those nautae didn't mess anything up when they fastened her to the deck."

Flavius just nodded at his driver and motioned a thumb over his shoulder. "The pre-invasion briefing starts in ten minutes so get a move on." Galenus all but ran out of the cargo bay and out from under his Lorica commanders glare. Flavius shook his head as the Eques disappeared through the hatch. Galenus had an affinity with machines that even the Mede mechanics in the Motor Pool had remarked on once, but whispering sweet nothings to the Lorica was a bit much.

Flavius headed for the hatch since it would not do for him to be late for the briefing. He paused a moment and slowly walked back to his Lorica and placed his hand gently on the cool side for a moment. In a voice so low it could barely be heard over the humming of the air circulators, "Just one more battle old girl, just keep us safe for one more." He shook his head a moment and strode out the hatch without looking back.

The messhall/briefing chamber was packed with more people than Flavius had ever seen at one time this whole voyage. At least the Consular Army could be transported as a whole on this new class of troop transports, Flavius thought. He remembered the old days packed in like sardines in those old slow buckets that were more akin to spacegoing coffins than proper spacecraft. You made six drops in those buckets 'old man' and you came through better than most of the guys that you went through Lorica school with. He said to himself.

Flavius found the rest of Third Century by just looking for Principale Iunius, easily the tallest man in the room. He wondered for the one hundredth time what kind of deal he had made with the Personnel Department to get assigned to Loricas even though he was clearly at least 6 inches too tall and 50 lbs over the maximum allowable for Lorica asignment.

Principale Iunius was arguing with his gunner Bruttius again. Flavius wondered what it was THIS time. As he got close enough to hear he rolled his eyes when he got the gist of this conversation. "I'm not kidding, I got this from a friend of mine and I checked the code out Iunius, this code upgrade will give us a forty percent increase in target aquisition speed and cut through the ECM noise sixty percent better than what we have uploaded now. It's the genuine code out of the Terran Labs but it just hasn't been approved for use yet but it's the real deal, I checked it line by line and it'll work perfectly."

Flavius came up behind them and decided to end this before the whole Century found themselves with unauthorized code in their hardware. "I am telling you once and once only Bruttius, no unaproved code on any machine in this Century, are we crystal clear on that?"

Bruttius spun around and nodded quickly to his Century Commander. "Sure Centurio, I was just trying to get us ahead of the curve on this drop."

They were interrupted by the Consular's Command Primus Pilus bellow, "ATTENTION ON DECK. " All sound stopped as all of the troopers in the room came to attention, the Consul had arrived.

Consul Sempronius Longinus stepped to the podium and glared at the assembled Ala troopers. The Consul was shorter than most of the soldiers looking up at him, but his troops knew that small frame contained a commander that did not accept anything except victory and expected nothing less than one hundred and ten percent from all of his units during battle. His image carried by the transports holo system was transmitted to all the other transports carrying his command, and his voice had an edge of anger in it that caused a slight apprehension in his troops. "Alright IV Consular Army we have a change in Battle Plans and you all need to pay close attention or the whole Army is going to be hip deep in garum." There was a murmer among the gathered Eques.

A change of the Battle Plan? Flavius thought. "The day before the drop, they must be crazy. All of Third Century looked at Flavius as if to ask if he had known of this. The stricken look on his face told them the truth.

Consul Sempronius let the mumbling go on for only a few seconds before growling out, "Alright quit acting like a bunch of Legionarii and get your heads in the game!" He looked around as the insult hit home and the troopers shut right up. "Military Intelligence has informed us that the Arachnids had a spy in High Command that passed our Battle Plans and drop zones back to the Home Hive and I was given the options to abort the attack or land in the planned drop zones if I thought it was possible. Well I didn't like either of those options so I told High Command that if they gave me discretion as to drop location, that IV Ala could carve a drop zone for the other units to land in."

He looked at all of his soldiers before telling them the rest. "The Pro-Consul in command of Consular Group Centauri wanted to abort the whole invasion until the Emperor told him that if any unit could do it, IV Ala could. So the Emperor thinks we can do it, I think we can do it, but it won't work unless YOU think we can do it. So IV Ala, can we do this or do I send the abort code to High Command?" The massive "AVE IMPERATOR" that echoed off the walls was all the answer he needed.

He turned on the holoprojector behind him and began to sketch out the new plan, "Alright boys and girls, this is what we are going to do."

_________________
Benno the Mad Wrote:
man, you gotta realise that thor and bos fell out of the patriot tree (like the ugly tree, but instills patriotism instead of ugly) and hit every branch on the way down.


"Gone now, dispersed by the brutal destruction of this one day, was the belief that the Darkman and his army of the dead were so superior as to be invincible. By attempting to destroy the morale of the Marines, the Darkman had restored it to full vigor. Dia De La Muerto had failed in its objectives."
The Gunny: Stand of the 300

Si vis pacem, para bellum
If you want peace, prepare for war

Gunny's color #FF2400


Last edited by Þórgrímr on 13 Nov 2007 11:03, edited 3 times in total.

Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: 06 Dec 2005 14:35 
Offline
Sergeant Major of the USMC
Sergeant Major of the USMC
User avatar

Joined: 23 May 2005 16:49
Posts: 5244
Location: Wandering the Wastes
Flavius tightened his harness as the ship gave a massive lurch. He checked the readouts on the vehicle tiedowns and made sure they were still all green. A little more of this and things are going to start breaking loose in the cargo bay. He thought to himself.

"ONE MINUTE TO LANDING." The computers synthesized voice was normaly soothing, but during emergencies it got shrill enough to remind Flavius of his ex-wife.

First Turmae's commander's voice cut through the noise of landing into everyones headphones "All First Turmae vehicles be ready, remember we have to get to that south ridge before they can mount a serious counterattack."

Flavius's gunner Drusus looked over his shoulder and rolled his eyes at Flavius. Yeah Flavius thought to himself, Decurio Lucullus was an ok guy most of the time and kept his nose out of what went on in Third Century, but he has a tendency to remind you of stuff he reminded you of ten minutes ago.

The blast of the landing retros caught Flavius by surprise. The sleet of weapon impacts that he heard on the outside of the ships hull did not. "Well we are gonna know in an hour whether the Consul is a genius or if he just sentenced the whole Army to death." Flavius muttered. "Although, after three years in his command, smart money is on genius." Or so the units in the IV Ala Consular Army was hoping.

The impact of landing was not as bad as some landings he had experienced. "Seeing as where we landed, I guess the Classis guys can't complain too much." Flavius chuckled.

Flavius shook his head and chuckled at the thought of the uproar from the Classis when Consul Longinus first revealed his plan for the initial landing zone. With the Arachnids having our original Battle Plan, I guess the best place to land was also the craziest. He thought shaking his head

The bang of the loading ramps hitting the ground was drowned out by the explosion of all the tiedowns cutting loose at once. Flavius looked down and saw that all four tiedown indicators had red markers showing proper separation. The sound of all the vehicles in the I Ala Cohors, Equites Augusti Singulares, starting up simultaneously was felt even through all the layers of Duranium between him and the outside world.

Consul Longinus's voice cut in on the Command channel with just four words. "IV ALA MOVE OUT". As Flavius had expected, Eques Galenus had them moving as soon as that word was given.

When the Lorica hit the landing ramp Flavius looked around and just chuckled to himself. Yup, he has got to be a genius to do something this stupid. The sound of his laughter was drowned out as the tracks of his Lorica hit the surface of the Main Starport in the Arachnid Capitol.

Flavius saw what appeared to be a weapon emplacement off to his left and targeted it. "Gunner. Target. Gauss Cannon."

Drusus immediately replied "Identified"

Flavius's command of "Fire" was nearly simultaneous with Drusus firing the main gun. The Arachnid weapon and the crew that was trying to bring it to bear on his Lorica were engulfed in raw plasma and incinerated.

His driver just rolled over the charred area and headed for the ridge to the south. Decurio Lucullus cut in. "First Century, keep moving, you are falling behind, I need you on the left side of that ridge. Thirrd Century, as soon as you get in place on the right get those sensors out. And Second thorugh Tenth Centuries, if not assigned, stick tight to me, we are gonna roll right over those troops dead ahead of us."

Flavius saw over the command board that there seemed to be a small group of light infantry in front of the Turmae. They should not be much threat to the one hundred and twenty Loricas of the rest of the Turmae and the five Legati APC's of the command section.

But something in the most primitve part of Flavius's brain was screaming But they are Arachnids! They are the masters of the ambush, it shouldn't be this easy to kill them.

Flavius was just about to cut in on the Command channel to say something when multiple bolts erupted from the Arachnid infantry and engulfed four of Second Centurys Loricas and hammered them to a halt. The other one hundred and sixteen Loricas flayed the defensive line with plasma and in a few seconds they were rolling through ash and glazed sand where a moment ago one thousand Arachnid infantry had been.

Well thats what happens when Legionarii mess with the Ala. Flavius thought.

Before he could comm the Loricas that had been hit Principale Vinicius, commanding the Loricas hit, voice came over the comm system, "We are ok Decurio, they just blew the tracks on the vehicles, we can get it put together in ten mikes if we can get some protection."

The Decurio did not take but a moment before sending the Executive officers Lorica back to cover Vinicius and the others while they repaired the tracks on their vehicles, all the while the Decurio continued to roll to the ridge with the rest of First Turmae.

As Third Century rolled forward Flavius looked back at the transport ship they had landed in and was amazed at all the damage that showed on the hull of the ship. Man her Trierachus is gonna be pissed at the Consul for making him put down in the middle of a hornets nest like this.

Flavius laughed as he pictured the nautae in spacesuits scouring all the carbon marks off of their nice pretty ship. He also noticed that all the combat units seemed to be off loaded and the support units were beginning to roll off now.

"The sooner we get Operations and Control running one hundred percent, the happier I will be." Flavius hated fighting half blind and only seeing part of the big picture. Drusus just nodded his head in agreement.

A series of explosions and roars behind him pulled Flavius' attention to the center of the starport, but it was only the troopships cutting loose the cargo pods and heading for orbit.

Ave, Flavius thought, They put us all down in one piece and weren't too bad for a bunch of Classis types, I hope they make it off planet. I guess the Consul is making a statement by telling our rides home to take off. We rip a beachead out of the guts of the enemy or we die trying, just the way it should be. he thought with a feral grin on his face.

His Loricas beginning their climb up the ridge brought Flavius' attention back to where it should have been. You are getting old Decimus, letting your mind wander like that. Besides, he thought, it's bad luck to watch your ride fly away.

The Turmae had reached the top of the ridge and Flavius got a good look at the terrain on the other side. "You can't ask for a better field of fire than a desert with no vegetation. I guess thats why so few units were assigned to this area. The one hundred and forty six Loricas of the Turmae, one hundred and fifty, if Vicinius and the others can get their Loricas fixed and on line, should be able to hold this sector against a lot of nasties for a long time." Galenus, Camillus, and Drusus fervently hope their Centurio was correct. Other indicators on the command board showed that the outer perimeter was in place and the inner circle was clear of live enemy units.

A series of hollow thumps reminded Flavius of something important and he coded in the ok to deploy his Loricas remote sensors. A dozen small rockets arced out from his turret and deployed a set of independent sensor packages to give Operations and Control all the data they needed to coordinate the coming battle.

From the data coming in from the other units remotes, it looked like all the Arachnids major units were squatting on our planned drop zones and not in position for an immediate counterattack. A long series of fires and counterfires to the east showed that units from the city were beginning to try and make their presence felt.

A beep on his command board told Flavius that Ops and Control was online and transmitting data to all units. Flavius saw with a snort that the enemy units skirmishing to the east were marked as police units. Flavius laughed out loud and when questions came from his crew he just said "Vigiles, Arachnid Vigiles are trying to push us off this field." The crew joined in the laughter and as soon as he pulsed the feed to the rest of the Century, the sound of laughter echoed throughout the Century's frequency.

"Umm Centurio I got a question."

Flavius rolled his eyes and replied "So what else is new Camillus, whats your question?"

There was a moment of silence and then Eques Camillus's confused voice came over again "If these Arachnids are supposed to be the perfect warriors and all, you know so far above us, why do they need vigiles in the first place. I mean since they have vigiles, wouldn't that mean they have prisoners to watch and all?"

There was a long moment of silence over the comm system as what Camillus had said sunk in and Flavius was only saved from answering by Consul Longinus's voice cutting into all channels.

"Heads up troops, we have detected a large group of mechanized forces incoming, probably quadruped combat walkers so lets show those overpriced four-legged machines what happens when you mess with the Ala!"

_________________
Benno the Mad Wrote:
man, you gotta realise that thor and bos fell out of the patriot tree (like the ugly tree, but instills patriotism instead of ugly) and hit every branch on the way down.


"Gone now, dispersed by the brutal destruction of this one day, was the belief that the Darkman and his army of the dead were so superior as to be invincible. By attempting to destroy the morale of the Marines, the Darkman had restored it to full vigor. Dia De La Muerto had failed in its objectives."
The Gunny: Stand of the 300

Si vis pacem, para bellum
If you want peace, prepare for war

Gunny's color #FF2400


Last edited by Þórgrímr on 14 Nov 2007 09:59, edited 4 times in total.

Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: 07 Dec 2005 11:16 
Offline
Sergeant Major of the USMC
Sergeant Major of the USMC
User avatar

Joined: 23 May 2005 16:49
Posts: 5244
Location: Wandering the Wastes
Flavius felt the impact of several hits on the turret, but the readouts showed no armor breaches. He highlighted the units firing at him and fed them to the gunners station. He then checked the status of the rest of the Century. All indicators showed green on the other fourteen Loricas so Flavius went back to finding more targets for his gunner.

Flavius felt his Loricas Plasma Gun fire and grabbed the targeting feed to check Drusus' aim. He saw the bolt of plasma strike dead center on an Arachnid combat walker and when the smoke of the impact cleared all that was left was a glowing melted lump on top of a set of chicken looking legs.

Flavius smiled and thought, Drusus may be a complete pain in the ass 95% of the time, but at least the kid knew how to shoot. I guess thats why I haven't dropped a grenade in his sleeping bag, no matter how many times he deserved it.

The main gun rocked the Lorica again and Flavius saw a combat walker completly vaporize as its reactor went up. Flavius looked down at the gunners station and saw shocks of red hair sticking out of the bottom of Drusus' helmet. Being a Hibernian, Drusus always tried to wear his hair longer than regulations allowed. Flavius smiled and thought, Keep making shots like that kid and I won't give you hell about getting a haircut.

Flavius saw the last combat walker to his front go down and watched his gunner start raking the wreckage with his secondary weapons. Automatic laser fire reached out across the battlefield seeking the surviving combat walker pilots and the infantry that were supporting them in this attack.

Looking over the debris strewn desert he saw the Arachnids starting to pull back out of range. I guess the Arachnid Legionarii do not want to take us on without their combat walkers. By Mars' bloody balls, he thought, even the infantry can learn if you smack them on the nose hard enough, and often enough.

Checking the Turmae status he saw that only one First Century Lorica was showing red across the board. Flavius closed his eyes and leaned his helmet against his command board when he saw which Lorica it was. He keyed his comm mike," First Century, this is Flavius, number one Lorica shows red across the board, any chance of survivors?"

There was a brief pause before a reply came, "Negative Flavius, they took a gauss round under the turret and their fusion bottle must have ruptured, at least it was quick."

Flavius thought of Centurio Tzu, who was from his home provincae, First Century's commander and realized that with Tzu gone he was now the only original member of the Turmae left. "Time to mourn him later Decimus." He said to himself. He keyed his mike and just replied, "Yeah, may we all go just as quick when it's our time."

***

Sempronius stared at the holo image of his commander and wished he could rip his throat out. Even through the holo projector Pro-Consul Metilius the commander of Consular Group Centauri could feel his rage.

"It was an unfortunate occurence Longinus, it could not be forseen. you can't blame the Classis for what happened so we have to mark it down as one of the 'fortunes of war', we are doing what we can to correct the situation." There was a silent pause and Pro-Consul Metilius thought the color tint on his holo was going out of sync until he realized that Sempronius's face was actually turning that shade of red.

"FORTUNES OF WAR!! Sir, the change of battle plans at the last minute was a 'fortune of war'. The ability of the Arachnids to throw up a few orbital defenses was a 'fortune of war'. The Arachnids launching pilas off those platforms before the Classis destroyed them was a 'fortune of war'. But Pro-Consul," he paused for a deep breath, "THE CLASSIS FAILING TO ENGAGE THOSE PILAS WITH POINT DEFENSE BEFORE THEY DESTROYED THE FOLLOW ON TRANSPORTS WAS INEXCUSABLE!" Pro-Consul Metilius barely nodded as though too much motion would draw another attack from the son of the Emperor.

Sempronius realized that further screaming would not be productive and took a few deep breaths. "If I can ask Pro-Consul, when can we expect follow on forces to help expand the beachhead we took and continue to hold as ordered?"

Pro-Consul Metilius pretended to look at some files on his desk and gathered himself to say the words he knew would set off another tirade. "The Classis says they can land a Manipularii Legio in twenty four hours by combining all the Manipularii detatchments on their warships in system."

The calmness of Sempronius's reply was more disconcerting than another explosion would have been, "Yes sir, the Manipularii will be very useful for digging graves for all of my Eques that have died so far." He continued on with words as cold as ice. "And when can we expect support and follow on forces from the rest of the ARMY, Sir?" When he saw Pro-Consul Metilius grab a file and fail to meet his eyes he knew the news was bad.

"The second troop waves were forced to retreat when the pilas fired on them and it will be a little while before they can turn around and return. We have pulled all the reserve Lorica formations and have them headed your way, along with the newest combat walker armies."

The power of Sempronius's next words hit him harder than a round from a gauss rifle. "The truth Sir, how soon?" Meeting Sempronius's eyes was the bravest thing he had ever done in his whole career, but saying the next four words felt like he was pronouncing a death sentence on the son of the Emperor and his troops. "Three weeks, no sooner." There was a pause as Metilius's words sunk in.

He could not read the look on Sempronius's face as he replied. "Three weeks sir, I will hold you to that. IV Ala will be here when you get back. Longinus out." Sempronius stared at the wall of his Command Post and thought for a moment. He strode into the Operations area of his CP and placed his hand on the shoulder of the nearest Communications specialist. "Son, patch me in to all of the units frequencies, I need to talk with the troops."

Flavius wanted to punch something but he knew that would just upset his crew. "Damn all command officers to the lowest depths of Hades anyway. Here we take a beachhead, fight off a major attack, and now we can't exploit it because the Classis screwed up and we are left hanging here with no support until High Command can figure out how to find their asses with a roadmap and a flashlight!"

Drusus looked up over his shoulder and just smiled. "Don't sugar coat it Centurio, tell us how you really feel."

The hum on the comm channel told Flavius Galenus was transmiting from his driving compartment. "Don't worry about it Centurio, Calpurnia here will look after us until the rest get here."

Flavius wondered once again where Galenus had come up with the name he painted on the front slope of the Lorica. Flavius could not ever remember seeing Galenus with any girl named Calpurnia, heck with any girl as a matter of fact.

Decurio Lucullus cut in on the Turmae's comm freq. "All loricas stand to. We have movement in our sector. Lets whip them back to their kennels where they belong, once again."

Right, Flavius thought in bitterness, again... and again and again and again until we kill them all or they kill us. He saw motion in his fire zone and highlighted it "Gunner. Target combat walker." And so another day began.

_________________
Benno the Mad Wrote:
man, you gotta realise that thor and bos fell out of the patriot tree (like the ugly tree, but instills patriotism instead of ugly) and hit every branch on the way down.


"Gone now, dispersed by the brutal destruction of this one day, was the belief that the Darkman and his army of the dead were so superior as to be invincible. By attempting to destroy the morale of the Marines, the Darkman had restored it to full vigor. Dia De La Muerto had failed in its objectives."
The Gunny: Stand of the 300

Si vis pacem, para bellum
If you want peace, prepare for war

Gunny's color #FF2400


Last edited by Þórgrímr on 15 Nov 2007 09:40, edited 1 time in total.

Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: 08 Dec 2005 13:09 
Offline
Sergeant Major of the USMC
Sergeant Major of the USMC
User avatar

Joined: 23 May 2005 16:49
Posts: 5244
Location: Wandering the Wastes
Flavius knew he had to let his people know about the news he had just received before the rumors started flying. Keying the mike on the Century frequency he gave them the bad news. "Third Century listen up. The Consul has decided to pull in the perimeter on the north and west sides so if you see movement thats what it is. The eastern edge is to remain dug in along the city line and we are staying put along this ridge so do not get itchy trigger fingers."

Flavius silently counted to himself 5... 4... 3... 2..

"Ummm Centurio." A voice popped in on the comm.

At least there is one constant in the Universe, Flavius thought to himself with a chuckle. "Yeah Camillus, what's your question?"

There was a long pause before Eques Camillus replied. "Is it true we are pulling in because we don't have enough troops to hold the outer perimeter anymore?"

Flavius's jaw clenched a moment, and he wished that Camillus would someday ask an easy question. Flavius never lied to his people and this time would be no exception."Yeah Camillus, the Consul wants a bigger reserve force inside the perimeter in case the Arachnids try another breakthrough like last week. The only way thats gonna happen is if he shrinks the outer perimeter enough to free up some more units for the reserve."

Flavius hoped that would be enough to shut Camillus up, but the speaker popped one more time. "Centurio, are we gonna get anymore help on this ridge if they pull in the other areas?"

Flavius had asked the same question of Decurio Lucullus, so he could not blame Camillus for asking the same thing."The word we got from Command is that since we have done such a great job of defending this ridge, they think that the Arachnids won't make a major push from this direction again." Flavius did not blame the men for their silence since he knew it was a load of garum when he heard it from the Decurio fifteen minutes ago.

Flavius saw a warning light on his command board as he scanned the horizon. "All Loricas check your hull integrity." He transmitted. "Looks like they are trying out a new bio or chem agent on us."

Flavius shook his head as the A.I. sampled the agent and posted an evaluation. A self replicating blood crystalization agent, very nasty, He thought. Oh yes, these bastards need to be exterminated from the galaxy if they can think up stuff like this every few days.

Decurio Lucullus came over the Turmae's comm freq, "Stand to First Turmae, we are under biochemical attack and you know that means a ground attack will follow up right behind it."

Flavius heard Drusus snort and mutter."Tell us something we don't know Dec."

Flavius keyed his mike."Third Century, status check." The replies came back quickly. Principale Iunius' drawl always made him sound like he was talking in slow motion. "Two Lorica: status board straight green Centurio, when are you gonna send us some more targets?"

Principale Gratus' voice sang out "Three Lorica: status online but Livius thinks the turret traverse controls need to be checked out."

Flavius frowned as he heard that. If things got bad enough for Livius to complain, they must be pretty awful. "After this attack wave, report to the maintenance point and see if they can do anything about it."

The a reply came a moment later from Principale Aufidius "Four Lorica: status green, we are ready Flavius." The rest of the Century continued to report their status, all showing green across the board.

The command board started to light up as enemy units started moving in on the Armys perimeter. Where in the name of Hades are they all coming from? Flavius thought for the fourteenth time in as many days.

***

Sempronius checked the numbers for the fifth time and came up with the same answer. Not enough left. He said to himself. Just too much perimeter and too few troops left.

All he had learned in sixty five years of military service could not help him conjure troops out of thin air to fill the gaps that were starting to show up. If I pull the perimeter in much more, the enemy tormentum will be able to hit the support troops that were holding the Army together by a thread. He thought dismally.

He looked over the status reports and all the enemy attack evaluations."If we demolish a few of the buildings on the eastern perimeter, the Manipularii there should be able to hold the rubble with only half the Loricas they have now."

He looked at the map again and his finger came down on a ridge along the south edge of the spaceport. "So the Arachnids do not like attacking through the desert anymore. I don't blame them after the way they have been chewed up by the Loricas there, no cover all the way to the ridge."

He called up the status of the units assigned there."First Turmae, almost full strength. Good well we will leave First Century, no wait they are short a Lorica. Well then Third Century, looks like you get the easy job of guarding that ridge all by yourself while the rest of your Turmae goes into my reserve to plug some holes." He punched in the orders on his command board and smiled as units began moving.

***

The crew of Flavius' Lorica were ready for the explosion and it did not disappoint them when it came. "The Consul must have lost his freaking mind! He expects FIFTEEN Loricas to hold a section of perimeter we were barely holding with one hundred and forty nine, and he expects us to be grateful that he left us with the easy assignment?"

"If this section falls, the Arachnids are going to gut the whole spaceport area before we can blink and then the whole Army is gonna be wiped out." The crew let him wind down as he always did and expected him to begin planning how they were going to defend the ridge with just the fifteen Loricas of the Century.

When nothing more came from Flavius Drusus looked up over his shoulder and was shocked at what he saw. The Centurio seemed to have aged ten years since he looked back a few minutes ago. "Centurio, you ok?" Drusus asked quietly.

A set of empty eyes looked back at him and Drusus barely heard the reply, "I'm just tired kid. I am just too worn out and used up. You know how many combat drops I made?"

Drusus could hear Camillus and Galenus listening in on the comm system as he said gently."No Centurio how many, we always were afraid to ask."

The shrill laugh raised the hairs on the back of Drusus, Galenus and Camillus's neck."You were afraid to ask and I was afraid to remember." There was a pause and then Flavius started in a monotone "Murus, Agger, Velitrae, Suessa Pometia, Norba, Sigma, Antium, Ardea, Circen, Satricum, Sutrium, Tarracina, Apulia IV, and now, the Home Hive."

Drusus whispered "Fourteen... this makes fourteen assaults for you Centurio?"

The voice seemed to come from miles away. "Did you know that First Turmae was mustered in my home province? There were almost fifty of my friends in the original Turmae and we were all volunteers, no conscription in those days. We were so proud marching down the street heading for the starport on our way off planet for training. I still remember the cheering and my schools band playing us aboard the transport. I never saw Nova Londinium again after that."

Drusus felt like he was going to throw up and he heard Camillus say "No one knew you were from Nova Londinium Centurio, how soon after you left..."

Flavius cut in. "Did the Rockheads invade? Two months later Camillus, I was still in training when they told us. The whole Turmae tried to get assigned to try and retake Nova Londinium back but the decision was made to sterilize all worlds that the Rocks controlled. The Turmae fought over and over and one by one the last of us from Nova Londinium were killed, and we kept getting replacements and we kept fighting. Now that Tzu is gone I am the only one left who remembers that day."

Drusus had heard of troops that had red-lined before but the Centurio always seemed too strong for that and he wondered how the Century was going to survive if the Centurio went totally 'around the bend'.

Drusus chose his words carefully, "Centurio we only have to hold on for five more days before the other troops get here then we will all have a nice long rest. Maybe we will get sent back to Tarracina and we can all just hang out on the beach for the rest of the war."

The gunner saw this was not having any effect on Flavius when Camillus' voice spoke up "Centurio, I know we aren't as good as the guys you had in the original Turmae, but we all try hard to be good enough for you and we really need you to help us make it through this fight. Centurio, we want to live so we can go home, can you help us do that?"

Drusus saw something in Flavius' eyes flicker and he saw a long shudder go through his Centurio's body and in a voice that still sounded far away, "Home? Sure kid, I'll make sure you get home then I can rest a while."

_________________
Benno the Mad Wrote:
man, you gotta realise that thor and bos fell out of the patriot tree (like the ugly tree, but instills patriotism instead of ugly) and hit every branch on the way down.


"Gone now, dispersed by the brutal destruction of this one day, was the belief that the Darkman and his army of the dead were so superior as to be invincible. By attempting to destroy the morale of the Marines, the Darkman had restored it to full vigor. Dia De La Muerto had failed in its objectives."
The Gunny: Stand of the 300

Si vis pacem, para bellum
If you want peace, prepare for war

Gunny's color #FF2400


Last edited by Þórgrímr on 16 Nov 2007 10:41, edited 3 times in total.

Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: 09 Dec 2005 11:08 
Offline
Sergeant Major of the USMC
Sergeant Major of the USMC
User avatar

Joined: 23 May 2005 16:49
Posts: 5244
Location: Wandering the Wastes
Principlae Aufidius's voice on the comm woke Flavius from his semi sleep state. "Centurio, are you seeing anything strange out to our front?"

Flavius quickly ran through the sensor data and the camera views one by one and replied harshly. "Aufidius, I am not seeing anything wierd from here, what's the problem?"

The rest of the Century had picked up on the fact over the past few days that all was not well with Flavius, so Aufidius chose his next words carefully. "I dont know, but even though I am not picking up anything visually, the ground in the desert is looking real strange."

Flavius learned a long time ago to trust his peoples instincts and ran through his vids again. There DID seem to be a disturbance along some of the dunes which looked like sand being kicked up, but both his vids and the feeds from all the remote sensors showed nothing.

Flavius wanted to pop the hatch and look around but after checking his command board his jaw clenched, the whole area was recently covered with a class IV Nerve Agent. Flavius thought a moment, "Now why do you want us to keep buttoned up you bastards?" Flavius smiled as he remembered the one piece of equipment that every generation of Eques had insisted remain on even the newest Loricas.

He reached down and unscrewed the armored cap on the end of his ancient optical sight. "You can fool the hardware but the Mark One Eyeball Detector is still the hardest thing to spoof." Drusus just chuckled at his commander's attempt at wry humor.

Flavius began hearing small arms fire break out from the direction of the eastern edge of the perimeter as he leaned down and peered through the archaic aiming device. He didn't realise his mike was still keyed when he saw what was truly out there. A chill went through the unit at the bleak voice they heard.

"May the Gods protect us."

***

Sempronius cursed as he read the message from the Bio/Chem Decontamination Maniple. They had taken heavy losses in the last Arachnid attack and doubted their ability to keep the Army Command/Maintenance areas clear of contamination. He keyed back a message to the Praefectus Fabrum of the Fabrum Auxilia. "If you can't keep this area deconned then we might as well just roll over and die, so deal with it."

Sempronius realised that his reply wasn't going to help him clean the equipment of contaminants. "You are authorized to grab anyone you can find out of the following sections: Personnel, Psy Ops and Food Services." He paused a moment and smiled as he removed the food service people from the list. "I may need them on the perimeter soon so the cooks are mine."

He was interrupted by his Comm Officer. "Consul, we have something strange happening out there, the commanding officer of the Manipularii Legio says he needs to speak to you ASAP.

Sempronius sighed as he entered the Ops area then grabbed a mike. "Yes Legatus what's the problem?"

There was the sound of massive fire overlaying the next transmision. "Consul we are getting slaughtered out here and your Loricas are not providing supporting fire on these combat walkers! They tell me they have no targets in range but they are right on top of us, we need help from those machines of yours, NOW GODS DAMN YOU, NOW!"

The Consul walked to a console and went through the vid feeds. He saw nothing on most of the perimeter but did see some sort of explosions coming from the eastern edge where the Manipularii and a Cohors of his Loricas were dug in. As he looked carefully he noticed some fire was coming from an unusual angle and the area just didn't look quite right. Sempronius blanched as he realised what was happening. "Hacked! They hacked our vids and sensor systems and are masking their units."

The senior Electronics Counter Measure Team Officer spoke up. "Consul its impossible, we would have seen some sign of them trying and its impossible to hide that many moving units at once."

Sempronius grabbed the Decurio by the scruff of his neck and dragged him to the vid. "Then tell me what is killing my troops!"

Sempronius keyed his mike and sent out an all units bulletin, "All units, this is the Consul, our sensors and vids have been hacked. Switch to MANUAL, I say again, switch to MANUAL targeting control and report all enemy sightings in your area."

Sempronius walked over to his holographic map table and waited for his staff to manually update enemy unit locations. As markers showing Arachnid combat walker and Legionarii units started flooding in Sempronius closed his eyes for a moment. "Very well played." He thought to his unknown counterpart. "Full assault with all your forces and we are blind while our Loricas are only 10% effective without their targeting systems."

Sempronius turned to his still whitefaced E.C.M Team Decurio and pointed his finger at him. "If your people can't write some counter code to this in the next 15 minutes, your whole unit may as well grab rifles and head for the line as you are of no use to me here!" Sempronius looked again at the board and shook his head, "Very well played indeed."

***

Number one Loricas plasma gun fired. Flavius heard Drusus curse as he missed, again. Flavius looked down at his gunner, "Drusus if you don't start putting some plasma on target I am gonna shave your freakin' head."

Drusus just grunted and muttered "Maybe they used to use this primitive targeting garum when you started Centurio but I had ONE class on this during my training and we all thought it was a joke."

Flavius just leaned down and whispered in to Drusus' ear. "If you can't kill enough of them the joke is gonna be on us, and it's not gonna be a nice one."

The gunner bent over his sight and fired again. "HIT. That got him Centurio."

Flavius nodded, "just do that another fifty or sixty times and we will be ok." The sound of the gun firing and his gunners curse told him of another miss. He checked the status of his Century and cursed as he saw a few red indicators on his board.

Number Four Lorica showed as a mobility disable and number Three Lorica was showing all secondary armaments disabled and ECM systems offline. He figured that with their ECM systems down, number three Lorica would be the main focus of the enemies push.

"Century provide cover fire for number three Lorica, they are unmasked and things might be getting hot for them. Number four Lorica I show you as immobile, whats the problem?"

In a moment Principale Aufidius replied, "We took a pair of plasma missiles through the front slope Flavius, Marcius is fried and the whole drivers compartment with him, and I have burnout creepage eating up my movement controls so we are going nowhere." There was pause then Aufidius spoke again, "You know they are getting close and we aren't killing them fast enough Centurio."

Flavius checked his sight again "Yeah but I'm not gonna just roll over and die."

Before they could say anything else there was a tremendous explosion from the ridge. Flavius saw number three Lorica's indicators go straight red. Flavius closed his eyes and added four more names to his List. "Gratus, Marcus, Livius, Calvinus." He said softly. "See you soon Liv, Hades is gonna be crowded so save me a seat buddy."

Iunius broke in on the comm and Flavius heard what sounded like an argument going on in number Two Lorica. "One sec Bruttius, I am gonna check with the Centurio, NO don't do anything till I tell you. Centurio, you read me?"

Flavius waited till the main gun fired again before replying. "What do you need Iunius?"

The Principale of number two Lorica sounded uncertain. "Bruttius thinks he has a way to get us online Centurio, he still has that data cube with Terran Labs new fire control system and he thinks that if we upload it we will be at 100% or near enough. But Centurio, if the Army ECM Team comes up with a program fix and we have the wrong fire control version uploaded when they transmit the bug fix..."

Flavius broke in, "They could crash the entire software package for all of the Centurys Loricas." A series of impacts and near misses on his Lorica made his decision for him." Tell Bruttius to upload it to all of us."

***

Sempronius was watching his staff try to keep updates on the main map board as far too many of his units were marked as disabled or killed and far too few Arachnids were winking out in the return fire. A sudden change on the plot board drew his attention as the situation on the ridge south of the Spaceport became crystal clear.

Marks showing every enemy unit in that area were appearing with a perfection they hadn't in weeks. And they were dying, fast. The thirteen operational Loricas shown there were engaging and destroying enemies faster than he thought possible.

Sempronius looked over at the ECM Team furiously hammering away at their keyboards. "You did it! But why did you only upload your code to those units?"

Their Decurio looked at the board, "It wasn't us Consul, we are still trying to find their worm."

Sempronius looked at the board in amazement, "Get me in contact with those units NOW!"

A moment later Sempronius heard a tired voice on his comm system, "Flavius here, what do you want?"

Sempronius's voice was deceptively calm, "Well Centurio, this is your Consul here and what we in Ops would like to know is why YOU are the only combat capable unit in the whole damn Army?"

There was a pause, "Consul, one of my people... ummm... 'aquired' a copy of the newest fire control program from the Terran Labs and we figured..."

Sempronius heard an exclamation behind him from the ECM Decurio, "But that code is Top Secret and hasn't even been approved for limited testing!"

Sempronius looked at his mapboard again as units attacking the ridge melted away before the firestorm. "Looks tested and I approve!" He keyed his mike, "Centurio, pulse Ops and Control a copy of this new software for upload to all units."

***

Hive-Master Wolf watched as the last of his warriors died in the hellish fire from the human positions. He felt shame as he stood in the Circle of Judgment, but did not know how his plan had failed. The other Hive-Masters looked upon him with contempt.

Senior Hive-Master Black Widow pointed a manipulation appendage in his direction "They drew you in like a Zantar is drawn to the slaughter pens. Your plans reliance on disabling their machines was foolish, costly and in the end fatal. You are FLAWED and your DNA HELIX is to be purged! You and your seed will not contaminate our Hives any longer."

There was a bright glow as the Circle consumed Wolf and burned him to less than ash. Senior Hive-Master Black Widow looked upon the others, "Who will step forward to cleanse this infection that stains our Hive?"

Without pause Hive-Master Recluse stepped forward. "I will eliminate the contamination upon our Hive and bring an end to this!"

Senior Hive-Master Black Widow gave the Arachnid equvilent to a nod, "You must do so quickly. We have detected more of their ships coming to bring a greater infestation to our Hive."

Hive-Master Recluse flared his pedipalps in assent. "I will use no more tricks to kill them, I will order all warriors to assault as I lead the Special Attack Units in a strike on their Hive-Master, this Zantar, I will kill him myself and take our revenge on his seed!" The other Hive-Masters indicated their assent, the plan was good.

Senior Hive-Master Black Widow held up one of his manipulation apendages as a sign of warning, "Make haste Hive-Master, if you can not eliminate them in Ten Time Units you know what we must do."

_________________
Benno the Mad Wrote:
man, you gotta realise that thor and bos fell out of the patriot tree (like the ugly tree, but instills patriotism instead of ugly) and hit every branch on the way down.


"Gone now, dispersed by the brutal destruction of this one day, was the belief that the Darkman and his army of the dead were so superior as to be invincible. By attempting to destroy the morale of the Marines, the Darkman had restored it to full vigor. Dia De La Muerto had failed in its objectives."
The Gunny: Stand of the 300

Si vis pacem, para bellum
If you want peace, prepare for war

Gunny's color #FF2400


Last edited by Þórgrímr on 19 Nov 2007 09:18, edited 5 times in total.

Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: 10 Dec 2005 10:53 
Offline
Sergeant Major of the USMC
Sergeant Major of the USMC
User avatar

Joined: 23 May 2005 16:49
Posts: 5244
Location: Wandering the Wastes
Sempronius was startled when an unexpected image appeared on his holo-projector, "Legatus Augusti! I was expecting Pro-Consul Metilius."

Legatus Agricola gave a wry smile, "Pro-Consul Metilius has been... reassigned by the Lictors. I took personal command to ensure that nothing goes wrong this time."

Sempronius felt a sense of relief since he knew the reinforcement units were in competent hands. "May I ask your ETA. sir?"

Agricola didn't need to look at his chrono, "Six hours, sooner if I can put the fear of the Lictors and ME into the Classis. After the job you have done so far, that shouldn't be too hard for your Army."

Sempronius just nodded. "IV Ala will be here. But Sir..." The holo image shook as a series of nearby explosions rocked his Command Post. Sempronius looked straight into Agricola's eyes, "Sooner would be better."

The Legatus Augusti just nodded. "Sooner it is."

***

Flavius saw yet another combat walker crumple in on itself as the plasma bolt from his Lorica melted it. Drusus was back on top of his game once again.

Iunius' voice had a note of amusement in it as number two Lorica fired again. "Is it me Centurio or do they not seem to be pushing this attack very hard?"

Flavius smiled a bit at that."Nothing like running over hundreds of your buddies bodies to ruin your whole day." He frowned as he realized how many friends of his lay dead on the perimeter. "Ruins your whole day." He muttered.

***

Sempronius's map board showed units assaulting along the whole perimeter, but a huge mass of Arachnids were hitting the weakest part of his defenses along the north. Sempronius looked at what he had in reserve. One battered Turmae of Loricas and a Century of Manipularii.

"If they punch through in the north then we are in deep garum." He checked the long range sensors again. "There are no other large enemy formations that can attack anywhere else on the perimeter before help gets here." Sempronius's finger slashed down on the northern edge. "Get all the reserves moving there now! We have to stop them there before they break through."

***

The Tech Drone turned to it's Hive-Master, Recluse. "They have commited the last of their reserves to the main attack area Great One, the way to their Hive-Master is now clear."

The Hive-Master turned to his Pilot Drone, "Travel to the coordinates and deploy all pods." He closed the faceplate on his Battlearmor and scuttled to his drop pod. "Kill all his Drones, but the Hive-Master is mine." Fifty voices spoke as one, "YES GREAT ONE!"

***

Cooks apprentice Second class Florens tried to stay near his guard post as explosions rained down near the maintenance and repair bay. "I'm supposed to be using a spatula not a plasma rifle." He said to himself for the twenty-first time today.

He looked around muttering, "If that Manipularii Principale catches me away from my post again though there's no telling what he's gonna do. I can't figure if all Manipularii are that mean or he's just nasty cause he's lost an arm."

The sound of the air defense anti aircraft artillery (or known as triple A) firing caused him to look up. Just in time he saw some sort of aircraft pounded to slag then explode in mid air. Debris rained down around him along with several large spherical objects that hit nearby. By the Gods, BOMBS! was the first thought he had.

But when they merely bounced off the ferrocrete surface he breathed a sigh of relief. He assumed they were duds until he saw a seam open in the nearest sphere. Curiosity overcame his fear as he moved to one and looked in the opening. An armored apendage reached out and snapped Florens' neck before he could move an inch.

***

Hive-Master Recluse unfolded himself from the drop pod and checked his display. He saw that twenty nine of his Special Attack Units had survived the landing. "More than enough to cleanse the infection."

He renumbered them and assigned them to their tasks. "One through nine destroy their air defense weapons then keep all the humans away from this area. Ten through 19 kill every Drone you see and destroy any equipment you find. Twenty through 29 follow me to their Hive-Master's lair."

***

Principale Horatius circled the flaming debris as he stamped across the repair area. "If that damned Army puke is away from his post again I am gonna rip off his arm and see if the Medicus can sew it on my shoulder. Thats why the Army always needs us to save their..." His tirade ceased when he saw Florens' body and what looked like a re-entry pod of some sort. He keyed his comm. "This is Principale Horatius, we have Frumentarii in the Headquarters area."

A Vigiles Centurio answered. "You sure Principale? We have had no other reports of enemy troops inside the perimeter."

Horatius just shook his head. "Sir, I have some sort of landing pods all over the area and they look big enough for powered armor so we better get some REAL help here soon or we ain't gonna have nothin left."

He heard a snap and gurgle from a nearby Lorica repair shelter. Horatius realized his plasma pistol wouldn't scratch powered armor so looked for Florens' weapon. He found it lying nearby, bent into a U shape. "Gotta be powered armor." He muttered.

Horatius looked into the shelter and saw two dead Mede mechanics and an Arachnid in powered armor tearing a third Mede to pieces. He dropped the carcass and turned towards Horatius. The faceless armored form moved towards the one armed Manipularii. Horatius just nodded and drew his force Pugio.

***

Sempronius was trying to coordinate the defense of his perimeter when reports of Arachnids attacking from within started coming in. He turned to his comm officer. "Son get on a command channel and contact the three nearest units and tell them to get what units they can spare rolling here to assist us before these damned Frumentarii rip up the Army's rear area."

He then began to furiously type a set of Operations orders and handed it to his comm officer. "If I am not back in one hour, send that out to all units."

The young Centurio's eyes widened as he looked at the message. He looked down at him and touched his shoulder. "It will be OK son, just send it in one hour."

Sempronius looked around his Headquarters and took a deep breath. "ALRIGHT EVERYONE, LISTEN UP." All motion and noise in Ops ceased and everyone looked at their Consul. "Anyone that isn't doing an absolutely essential job at the moment, grab your helmets and rifles and assemble outside the Command Building in five minutes. Anyone who stays behind that doesn't belong will get a bullet from me as soon as I get my weapons."

There was silence and a frantic movement as the headquarters personnel scurried to find their weapons. Sempronius started to strip his clothes off as he headed for his office. He was nearly naked before he got the door closed.

His orderly helped him on with his interface jumpsuit. "You haven't been doing your exercises, and that armor is gonna hurt when it locks in around your butt."

Sempronius smiled at his orderly of 40 years. "Why do I keep you around anyway Saturninus?"

He shook his head at Sempronius."Near as I can tell Consul, I must have done some great wrong in a past life and you are my punishment."

Sempronius climbed into his Powered Armor and suppressed a howl as the armor locked down. He spoke through gritted teeth. "See a perfect fit."

Saturninus just nodded sadly. "You keep out of the line of fire, remember you are a Consul not a Legionarii." Sempronius nodded and walked out the door to defend his Headquarters.

Primus Pilus Saturninus waited till the Consul was out of sight. He checked the power source on his artificial leg and grabbed his helmet and rifle. The Consul would blow a gasket if he thought he was out there fighting. So like many things he did to take care of him... he just wouldn't tell him.

***

It had been so long since Flavius had gotten a secure text transmission from Ops that he almost didn't notice it. When he read it his gut went cold. Checking all his sensors he made a decision. "Number four Lorica we got a big problem."

Aufidius sounded puzzled. "What's up Centurio, looks like we have them under control here. Unless they try a lot harder the fourteen of us can hold 'em off forever."

Flavius replied bleakly. "Ops and the maintenance areas have Frumentarii tearing them up and there is nothing but Vigiles there to slow 'em down. We are the closest unit, which means either we head over there and help out or the Army support units are all dead men."

Aufidius took a while to reply. "And since we are immobile I have to take command and defend this ridge while you and most of the Century roll and save Ops." There was a long pause before Aufidius spoke again. "What are you still doing on my ridge Flavius? Don't you need to rescue the Colonia from the Barbarii or something?"

Aufidius saw Flavius's and nine other Loricas back off the ridge and start rolling towards the Ops area at top speed. He then noticed the Arachnids south of the ridge gathering together. "They must have seen the Loricas leave and want to have another go Paratus." His gunner just looked up at Aufidius knowing the Centurio was heading into the underworld itself.

Aufidius knew that Flavius must have seen the Arachnids grouping up to attack the ridge again. Aufidius heard the comm pop, "Aufidius, Paratus... I'll see you when I see you."

Paratus answered first. "Don't worry Centurio, we'll save you a seat near the fire."

***

Legatus Augusti Agricola stood on the flag bridge of the Hepteres Class ship, Mars, with two Power Armored figures flanking him. "Praefectus if you don't get this operation in gear NOW I am going to have these two Lictors stuff you out the airlock."

The Praefectus Classis sputtered. "We have established procedures that we have to follow..."

Agricola didn't let him finish, he just pointed his finger. "Praefectus, because of the Classis's 'procedures' I have had one Army on that world for three weeks holding off an entire PLANET! I don't care what 'shortcuts' you have to make in procedures. But if I don't start seeing some action from YOU then I will see if your replacement is more cooperative."

***

Flavius and most of the Century were rolling across the spaceport as fast as they dared push their engines. Flavius saw some of the distant buildings of the Headquarters and maintenance area billowing smoke and flames. Even with maximum magnification on his command sight he still couldn't see any Arachnids yet.

Iunius was slowly falling behind for some reason, "Galenus slow up a hair, "I don't want to get seperated from number two Lorica." Galenus sounded disappointed but slowed down just enough for number two Lorica to come alongside.

Flavius saw a strange looking object on the side of number two Lorica's turret. "Iunius, is that what I think it is welded to your Lorica?"

There was a pause, "Well Centurio you know how busy we were loading on Tarracina? So we didn't get a chance to take it off." Flavius heard Drusus, Galenus and Camillus laughing.

"Does it still work? Or did it take too much fire?"

Iunius came back on "Renatus thinks it is still good, one speaker is blown but the other 5 are intact. Why Centurio?"

Flavius had grown up on the tales of the Equites and the Turmae had always kept the old traditions. "Let 'em know we are coming, full volume."

Iunius' gunner Bruttius looked up at him. "He wants 'The Song'?" Iunius rolled his eyes and smiled. "What else."

The song was old when the Equites were mounted on horses. But Equites traditions die hard. So no one but the Arachnids were surprised when the command section of Thirrd Century charged into the Headquarters area to the strains of the Hibernian Drinking song adopted by the Equites so long ago, the 'Galerius Oranius'.

_________________
Benno the Mad Wrote:
man, you gotta realise that thor and bos fell out of the patriot tree (like the ugly tree, but instills patriotism instead of ugly) and hit every branch on the way down.


"Gone now, dispersed by the brutal destruction of this one day, was the belief that the Darkman and his army of the dead were so superior as to be invincible. By attempting to destroy the morale of the Marines, the Darkman had restored it to full vigor. Dia De La Muerto had failed in its objectives."
The Gunny: Stand of the 300

Si vis pacem, para bellum
If you want peace, prepare for war

Gunny's color #FF2400


Last edited by Þórgrímr on 20 Nov 2007 10:40, edited 3 times in total.

Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: 11 Dec 2005 10:55 
Offline
Sergeant Major of the USMC
Sergeant Major of the USMC
User avatar

Joined: 23 May 2005 16:49
Posts: 5244
Location: Wandering the Wastes
Hive-Master Recluse screeched in anger as his Warriors again took cover from the weapons fire pouring from the Command Lair of the human Hive-Master. "They are like Zantar guarding their eggs. The humans are only animals though, so they fight not from a sense of duty, and this must merely be instinct by the Drones of their Hive-Master."

He saw that he only had five Special Attackers left with him. "Units one through nine continue keeping the humans at bay. Units ten through nineteen, cease destruction of the Drones and equipment and come to me to cleanse the human infection. "

A perfect chorus answered. "YES GREAT ONE!"

***

Sempronius had been firing his plasma rifle when he saw the body of his ECM Team Decurio flung back as a gauss round penetrated right through the command car he had taken shelter behind. His Vigiles units were dug in on the left. He saw a group of Data Entry Specialists behind a sandbagged checkpoint furiously reading the manual on the heavy plasma repeater they were attempting to assemble.

He smiled briefly as he heard them fumble with the weapon. "NO NO NO Lentullus place the dual pronged power feeder cable (A) into the NEGATIVE reciever socket (B) and rotate COUNTERclockwise. How in the name of Pluto do the combat guys figure this stuff out! NO, ground it with the BLUE cable!" He wished he could tell his staff at how proud he was of them, holding off troops as well armed and trained as the Frumentarii that were attacking them, but he knew anything he said would be a distraction.

He saw an Arachnid that was advancing against the plasma rifles suddenly torn apart by a heavy plasma weapon. Sempronius looked to his right and saw a very surprised group of Data Entry people looking at what their weapon had done. He almost laughed out loud at the chorus from the three Specialists. "WOW! COOL!"

He frowned as his heads up display showed a new group of Arachnid Frumentarii heading towards his position. He did a quick count. "We can't hold against ten more of these armored bastards."

He was about to order a complete evacuation of the headquarters area when a nearby Legionarii turned towards him. "Do you hear something Consul?" Sempronius upped the volume on his powered armor's sound sensors. What he heard brought an evil grin to his face.

***

Flavius saw a power armored Arachnid aiming a heavy gauss weapon at number six Lorica. Before he could fire number two Lorica fired their secondary weapons. Automatic Laser fire blew three of the Frumentarii's legs off and before the Arachnid could topple to the ground, number two Lorica swerved to the left and crushed the Warrior under their treads.

Third Century rolled into the outer areas of the maintenance bays hunting targets. Flavius heard a series of impacts on the left side of his Lorica. Minor penetrations were being recorded as he slewed the turret to bear on another Frumentarii. Drusus didn't wait for an order before firing. The Arachnid simply vanished along with the cargo boxes he was sheltered behind.

Flavius was searching for a new target when the comm popped. "Centurio get this guy off of us!" He saw a pair of Arachnids on top of number two Lorica. One was attempting to rip the top hatch off as the other was placing an object on the Loricas back deck. Flavius knew as he tried to bring the turret to bear on them that he would be too late.

The top hatch peeled way and the Arachnid dropped a thermal charge inside and as he and his partner dove off the Lorica, a huge explosion rocked the engine deck and plasma fire leapt out of the top hatch.

Flavius heard Drusus cursing while he killed both Arachnids with a single main gun blast. Flavius looked at number two Lorica, the rear hull started to glow from the heat of the thermal charge eating away at the Lorica from the inside. Flavius closed his eyes and added to the List, "Iunius, Bruttius, Lepidus, Antony."

A voice cut in on his comm, "CENTURIO, my hatch is jammed and it's getting real hot in here please get me out."

The color drained from Flavius's face, how Lepidus' driving compartment had survived he didn't know. Flavius looked at number two Loricas hull glowing with enough heat to fry anyone that approached.

Lepidus's voice was near panic, "Centurio, I am burning up in here, can you help me please?"

Flavius's hand moved without conscious control as he brought the turret to bear on number two Loricas front slope. His voice cracked as he spoke "Gunner. Target. Number two Lorica."

Drusus's voice was a whisper, "identified." Drusus looked up over his shoulder with tears in his eyes. " I can't Centurio." Flavius just nodded to him.

Lepidus came back over the comm, his voice weak, "Centurio are you gonna be able to help me?"

Flavius grabbed his command override, "From my position, fire."

With the sound of the main gun firing, Flavius gave Lepidus the only answer he had. The men of Third Century stared at the remains of number two Lorica for a moment. Flavius keyed his comm with a voice that was as cold as death itself. "Galenus get us moving, Drusus find your own targets and kill everything that doesn't belong here.

He then switched to the Centurys Frequency, 3rd Century move out and scour the area of any hostile troops." Number one Lorica moved on leaving behind a burning wreck and another piece of their souls.

***

Hive-Master Recluse looked at all his remaining Special Attack Warriors. "All Units we will assault as one, I will lead to kill their Hive-Master. We will not stop until they are all dead. Fire all weapons as we charge and cleanse the infection."

Twelve voices spoke as one."YES GREAT ONE!"

***

Centurio Cenaeus looked at his chrono for the 10th time as he listened to the sounds of battle outside intensify. One hour the Consul had said. He sent out the orders to all perimeter units and then he keyed the button to transmit the Consul's message to the Legatus Augusti. As Cenaeus was turning to grab his rifle to join the defense a flurry of gauss projectiles shredded the building and killed him before he could take cover.

***

Sempronius took cover behind a wrecked truck as the Arachnid fire flayed his troops. He felt gauss rounds glancing off his armor and a small explosion as one wrecked his plasma rifle. He saw the nearest troops flung back as they were hit. The elation he had felt earlier when he heard the music was gone now. "They must have run into and ambush and were destroyed."

He saw a movement to his right and he saw an Arachnid looking his way. He seemed to be looking at him and then moved on to kill a nearby Vigile. "What in the name of Pluto? He had me 'dead to rights'." He said aloud confused by the turn of events.

He saw another Frumentarii nearby aiming a gauss rifle at him who seemed startled. He lowered his rifle and moved down the line killing some of his fabrii. "What is going on here. Why aren't they shooting?"

He moved over to some nearby bodies looking for a weapon. He pulled a body away and grabbed up a plasma rifle. As he straightened up, he was face to face with an Arachnid in an elaborate suit of battle armor. A mechanical voice came from the figure. "Your DNA HELIX is weak and you will be cleansed."

***

Senior Hive-Master Black Widow turned to the Tech Drone, "Carry your out your orders. " The Tech Drone began keying in the required commands.

Hive-Master Orb Weaver scuttled forward. "With respect Senior Hive-Master but it has not been ten Time Units."

Senior Hive-Master Black Widow pointed at the ships shown on the system detection screen. "The humans are swifter than expected. We must prepare for their assaults now. We have no more time to give Hive-Master Recluse."

***

Flavius rolled up on the Ops building and swiftly targeted all the detected Arachnids. "Drusus start punching some tickets. Use secondary weapons only, there are still some friendlies around."

Flavius heard the auto Lasers firing as he tried to find if there was a defensive line left anywhere. He saw Arachnids falling as Drusus fired controled bursts amongst the wreckage. Frumentarii fell one by one to the cool precise bursts of his fire.

Flavius detected something to his left and saw an Arachnid aiming his rifle to shoot a human in powered armor. Flavius knew he couldn't fire without killing them both. A limping figure ran in from a nearby building towards the two power armored figures. He covered the distance in a moment and he impacted the Arachnid low and drove the surprised Frumentarii back and they both fell in a tangle. Flavius saw the gray-haired figure shouting.

The Loricas pickups made sense of his words "Shoot NOW save the Consul! "Hive-Master Recluse was getting to his feet when a plasma bolt from number one Lorica vaporized him and Primus Pilus Saturninus.

Flavius could not detect any other Arachnids in the area. He was surprised to see the power armored figure of the Consul raise his helmets visor and walk over to the glazed area and lay his hand gently on the still hot surface. As he walked towards number one Lorica Flavius saw tears streaking down his face.

He climbed up the front slope of the Lorica and sat a moment on the turret. "Looks like this is twice your Century has saved the Army Centurio."

Flavius saw the pain in his eyes and knew it matched his own. A roar from overhead approached from the west. The Consul looked up for a moment. "If they are sending more Frumentarii you are going to have to stop them Centurio, because as I see it, you and whats left of your Century are the Armys entire reserve."

Flavius nodded. "Can do Consul we will hold them until help gets here." He looked at him as the roar came overhead and smiled. Flavius couldn't believe how bright his smile was. It was too bright to look on and he...

***

Aufidius saw the Arachnids streaming away from the four Loricas remaining on the ridge. "This makes no sense Paratus, they were almost on top of us and now they are running awa..." A brilliant light from behind number four Lorica lit up the entire area. Aufidius popped the hatch and looked to the north, he slammed his hatch shut when he saw the huge mushroom cloud.

Holding his head in his hands he moaned, "ahhhhh no." His tears fell as the track rocked in the shockwave. He whispered, "Flavius, Iuinus, Drusus, Bruttius, Camillus, Lepidus," his List grew as he continued to add the rest of the Century.

***

To Flavius the light filled everything. He saw figures up ahead, Tzu, Livius, Iuinus, Bruttius, Magnus, Gracchus, Lunaris, Crispin, everyone from the List, everyone from Nova Londinium. He heard his schools band playing as they all reached out to welcome him home.

***

An officer turned to the Praefectus Classis, "We have detected a large fusion explosion on the surface sir, impact point is the targeted drop zone."

The Praefectus turned to his communications officer, "Abort the landing all transports regroup according to Landing plan Alpha."

The Praefectus felt something cold behind his ear and he heard a voice colder than deep space. "Praefectus, if you order those transports back I will pull this trigger."

The Praefectus whispered. " We can't land in an area that..."

Legatus Augusti Agricola didn't give him a chance to finish. "The landing zones will be hot, but the troops will have their protective armor and will survive. That is more than can be said for you if you try and recall those ships."

The Praefectus choked out an order. "Execute landing plan Omega." The Praefectus didn't hear the Legatus Augusti leave the bridge but he saw a crumpled printout that Agricola had left on his chair. He smoothed it out and began to read it.

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

To: Legatus Augusti Agricola ( Supreme Commander Roman Ground Forces )
From: Consul S. Longinus ( Commander IV Ala Consular Army )

Situation Report: Have repelled all enemy attacks on perimeter, Frumentarii attacking headquarters, expect enemy to attempt to destroy Ops and Control with nuclear weapons to collapse perimeter before reinforcements arrive. Ordering a full scale assault of all remaining IV Ala units to expand perimeter outside the projected blast area. If Ops destroyed, IV Ala will need command and control from follow on units to expand the beachhead. IV Ala will continue to attack until relieved or ammunition runs out.

IV Ala will be here, always.

Consul S. Longinus
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

The Praefectus's hand shook as he finished reading the printout and looked at the update of the troop landing operations. He picked up his mike and keyed the All Classis freq, "Praefectus Classis Vespasianus to all transport units. Any Trierarchus whose ship hasn't landed in that drop zone in the next 15 minutes will be relieved and shot. If you don't have the guts to do it, turn your ships over to an officer who does. Vespasianus out." The Admiral gently folded the paper and placed it in his jacket.

.......................................Epilogue..................................


"This is your shuttle pilot, welcome to the Consul Sempronius Longinus Starport. Please wait until the shuttle has stopped motion before unfastening your restraint straps." The sound of restraint clasps being unsnapped echoed throughout the shuttles passenger compartment. The door of the shuttle opened on a beautiful Nova Roma day.

He hesitated before stepping off the last stair onto the starports surface. An Arachnid advanced towards him and bowed. "I have a vehicle waiting Great One. Your luggage will be brought to the hotel once it is unloaded."

He looked towards the Arachnid baggage handlers working hard to empty the shuttles belly. "Send the luggage in the vehicle , I will walk to the hotel later."

The Arachnid bowed again. "Yes Great One." He glanced to the south to a barely seen ridge in the distance before walking towards an object outside the starports main building.

The Monument sat on a piece of untended grass. It was larger than it looked in the holo vids. The 3 foot tall letters capping the Monument, IV, shone in the sun as their gold plating remained untarnished. He read the plaque at the top.

Dedicated to all the Noble Romans of the IV Ala Consular Army who held the line.
................IV Ala will be here, always.................

All the names were here. As his finger touched a name their holo image appeared in front of him. He touched the topmost name. Consul Longinus was smaller than he remembered, but the holo caught the determined look in his eye perfectly. "I wonder if he ever smiled," he chuckled sadly.

He started searching for the names. He circled the Monument until he found the Equites Augusti Singulares. "By the Gods, so many names." His height worked against him as he found the section he was looking for almost obscured by the overgrown grass. His large hands ripped the offending vegetation away and revealed the names.

1st Ala Cohors
1st Turmae
3rd Century
Centurio Decimus Flavius
Principlae Marcus Iunius
Principale Lucius Gracchus
Eques Titus Drusus
Eques Gnaeus Bruttius
Eques Publius Lunaris
Eques Appius Camillus
Eques Quintus Livius

He touched each name starting with Livius. When he got to Flavius's name he hesitated a moment before touching it. Thirty years melted away from his memories as he saw Flavius appear. He knew the image would remain as long as he continued looking at it.

"Hey Centurio, been a long time. I am sorry I never came to visit you before today but I swore I would never set foot on this damned planet again. Well they go and decide to have a session of the Imperial Senate here to celebrate the 30th anniversary of us beating the Arachinds and attendance was mandatory. I guess the powers that be are still telling us what to do whether we care or not." He said with a sad smile.

He paused a moment before continuing. "Paratus is living on Apulia IV now and has his own software company, no surprise there. He has grandkids for cripes sake. After I got out I became part of the recolonization of the outer arm worlds that were slagged in the war with the Rockheads."

He glanced at his chrono a moment. "Gotta run Centurio, I have a committee meeting in fifteen minutes. I don't think I will be back, but I just needed to tell you we made it and... it mattered." The image of Centurio Decimus Flavius remained for a few more moments as if watching a distant figure walking away before vanishing.

Senator Tiberius Aufidius, Centurio Roman Ground Forces retired and Equestrian Representative for the planet Longinus IV, walked away leaving his Centurio and the last of his demons behind.

_________________
Benno the Mad Wrote:
man, you gotta realise that thor and bos fell out of the patriot tree (like the ugly tree, but instills patriotism instead of ugly) and hit every branch on the way down.


"Gone now, dispersed by the brutal destruction of this one day, was the belief that the Darkman and his army of the dead were so superior as to be invincible. By attempting to destroy the morale of the Marines, the Darkman had restored it to full vigor. Dia De La Muerto had failed in its objectives."
The Gunny: Stand of the 300

Si vis pacem, para bellum
If you want peace, prepare for war

Gunny's color #FF2400


Top
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 8 posts ] 

All times are UTC - 6 hours [ DST ]


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
cron
Powered by phpBB © 2000, 2002, 2005, 2007 phpBB Group