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Thread: The Home Front - IC [M]

  1. #31
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    [*Cadian 1010th Field Army;*]
    [*2451st, 2nd Armoured Company*]
    [*Captain, Antheia*]

    +++Three Days Prior to Reclaimation+++


    Colonel Quirinus and Captain Antheia stood around a stack of crates hastily prepared into a table in 2nd companies section of the motor pool. Maps were strewn about its top, some had fallen to the floor after being cast aside for being outdated by recent intelligence.

    Gathered around them were many of the 2nd company tankers. The platoon lieutenants stood by their Captain, Marcellus was jotting down all the notes while they were going through their advance preparation. Ennius and Linus were whispering quietly to themselves and pointing, no doubt Ennius was explaining the finer details to his counterpart. Linus was a good soldier, with great instincts and initiative, but came off as more of a blunt instrument.

    Across the makeshift table was the Colonel and the regiments attached commissar Heinold. Flanked around him were his four underlings, all junior commissars undergoing their trial-by-fire. Learning the particulars on dealing with more experienced and battle-hardened Guardsmen. Solon Remus was the juniors exemplar, he graduated top of his class at the Progenium.

    "Reconnaissance elements have advised heavy resistance around the area leading to and surrounding the starport. The railhead has known active triple A and at least a hundred foot mobiles, infantry AT is unknown but expect handheld rockets or melta weapons." Colonel Quirinus briefed.

    "What about the starport?" Antheia asked.

    "The starport has been turned into a fortress, we've received word of minefields, old maps show weapon emplacements, at least another hundred foot mobiles, artillery both SPG and SPAA variants. Expect fierce resistance." Colonel Quirinus returned.

    "Any info on enemy armoured assets. Tanks? Hellhound or Russ variants?" Antheia questioned.

    "Unknown. The traitors have whatever they managed to retain from Imperial stores or produce locally after their revolution. Prepare for the worst. Rely on your attached infantry and mechanised assets, you'll be buttoned down through those streets." Advised Quirinus.

    "Nothing against our vehicle up-armouring?" Antheia jested over to My Fair Lady and the portions of scavenged armour plates welded onto Ladies own hull.

    "Do what you..." Quirinus began, before commissar Heinold cut him off by patting his hand on his shoulder.

    "We will use this as a learning experience." Heinold glanced over to his juniors. "Remember this."

    "As a representative of the department munitorum, I must mention that His holy weapons and armour are built to particular standards. For both your protection and their intended purposes. As such, each of these modifications are against regulation. You run the risk of making your suspension front heavy putting additional strain on foremost roller. The additional weight can tax the engine beyond its advised limits." Heinold's voice was cold and matter-of-fact.

    He drew his gaze to each of the 2nd company tankers. His dark brown eyes stared sternly, analysing each of their reactions. Heinold unfurled his crossed arms and straightened his belt.

    "Yet," he continued his voice becoming suddenly warm and his gaze kinder. "I am also the bridge between our two organisations. Whilst His vehicles are explicitly built to their intended purposes they must still be able to meet certain distance requirements before parts need repairs or replacing. Our life in His service can often make these thresholds impossible, so your applique could very well extend the service life of your machines. It could save your life. Then there's the psychological aspect to it, if this additional armour fills your bellies with mettle and keeps you performing in this metal then who am I to question you?"

    Heinold chuckled lightly to himself. Before he turned back to face Colonel Quirinus.

    "We've had this conversation in quiet before Colonel, but I'll make this loud and clear. I have no issue with your men and women outfitting their vehicles as they see fit. Provided it's not overly detrimental to the vehicles performance or malicious tampering to avoid doing your duties. Those caught doing so will be punished." Heinold finished.

    * * * * *

    Captain Antheia and company tech priest Maximilian verbal confrontation on un-sanctioned vehicle modifications.

    Saruians at their FOB. Prior to command meeting.
    Last edited by Jarms48; 02-16-2021 at 08:44 AM.

  2. #32
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  3. #33
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    [*Adrantis Republic;*]
    [*Propaganda Tour*]
    [*HERO OF THE REPUBLIC, Colonel Fenerentinus Klemens*]


    Tranch
    Patriot hive world


    From the outside, hive Fornax was a squat, ugly place. Its spires stood less tall than most, and instead of wearing the smoggy clouds around its shoulders like a cloak it merely seemed to brood under them, curled inward to avoid the freezing rain. It almost looked like it had been hammered into the ground like a vast spike, the ground cracking away from its curtain wall in a spiderweb of quarries, dumps and drainage channels that traced the arteries of its underground Soot Warrens. The Warrens comprised nearly half of the hive’s extent, or so Klemens had read; its population of mutant labourers toiling away to feed the city’s furnaces just as they had in the Imperium’s day. Here and there he could see vents and chimneys rising from the ground, their dark smoke struggling to climb against the battering rain.

    The landing pads were as dark and gloomy as the rest of the hive; caked in dark soot and chem-stains, stubbornly resisting the rain’s attempts to wash them clean. But as the rust-streaked docking claws closed over their heads and pulled the lander down into the midspire hanger, hive Fornax was transformed. Beneath the shielding canopy, endless ranks of floodlights illuminated a sprawl of hab-stacks, transit rings and buttressed towers, laid out in elegant looping patterns. Fornax shunned the grid-iron arrangement of many older hive streets, its imperial designatiae having learned millenia ago that such layouts were much harder to defend against an invading force. For once, humanity’s preoccupation with warfare had lent its cities a pleasing aesthetic.

    The descending lander platform shuddered to a halt at ground level, revealing twin ranks of honour guards and a glossy-black presidential motorcade waiting by the tunnel that led down into the hive proper. It had been governor Tierce’s idea to begin their morale-boosting tour with a procession up through the midhive, allowing ordinary workers to catch a glimpse of their heroic leader before meeting with the spire nobles. The oligarchs of Fornax had assured them that the route had been carefully barriered off, and that it was overflown along its length by eagle-eyed skull drones.

    "I promise you Governor Tierce, Colonel Tarquinius and I have thought of everything. We've seen the oligarchs’ security plans and given it the tick of approval. We have some of our own men out there too. Combat dress so polished and clean you could eat off it. I just hope the men haven't spread word of the Ferny drinking game."

    The subsector governor quirked a snowy eyebrow. “You have a drinking game, now?”

    Klemens smirked, as he moved to Tierce's flank. "They say take a shot every time old Ferny mentions one of his medals or knowing a Saint. I've heard it could be quite dangerous. Honestly, I'm flattered to get the attention." He said, his smirk turning into a warm smile as they began down the ramp and headed to the motorcade.

    Tarquinius chuckled as they walked, the smile pulling at the scars of his old soldier’s face. “I wonder if they have another drinking game for captain Tarran.”

    “Let’s hope not.” Tierce replied archly. “I need your men sober enough to actually win this war.”

    Deep down Klemens knew he was no Alicia Tarran, but he was a veteran, his decades of service earned him promotions and prestige. The once child labourer on the manufactorum line, turned guardsmen, then grenadier corporal and vox-operator, rising through the ranks to where he was now. He was humbled.

    “This old dog has many more tricks up his sleeve,” Klemens reassured his companions. “And many of these old Imperial medals need to be replaced with Adrantean ones.”

    “Take a shot.” Tarquinius noted.

    "Hey, hey," Klemens smirked. "What did we just say about being sober? We'll get our chance to play the medals game once the war is over."

    Though many of his war medals still felt heavy on him, each in Klemens’ eyes stained with the blood of friends and subordinates. The iron aquila still reminded him of Millar. The three eagle ordinary's brought him back to his sergeant and lieutenant days, drawing up his survivor’s guilt.

    The old colonel suppressed the thoughts and instead waved to the cameras. Reflection could come later; there was a populace to charm, manpower to be mustered, and a revolution to bring about. Tierce and Tarquinius stood stiffly as the flashbulbs strobed, and then allowed themselves to be ushered into the motorcade.

    “You have a way with the pictographers.” Tierce observed as the door closed, the armoured bubble of the motorcade muting all noise from outside.

    That was, Klemens supposed, true - and a point of difference between himself and both the governor and Tarquinius. And, from what he had heard, captain Tarran, who apparently never enjoyed the endless propo reels she was cajoled into starring in.

    “Heroes on the front are good, but they can die.” Tarquinius put in as he sat back. Perhaps he was worried that Klemens would take the governor’s comment as a criticism. “Heroes back home can tell stories, and they can train recruits. If anything we need more of them.”

    "You can't deny that, soldiers win wars. Not heroes. Heroes on the front tend to get themselves killed, I completely agree. While a heroic officer could be the best tactician in the galaxy, without men and women to fight for them they'll achieve nothing. Don't worry Tarquinius I understand our situation. We need support, we need men and women with lasguns in hand." Klemens returned, his smile fell away and he turned his head to look out of the motorcade's window. The smog clouds reminded him of his childhood.

    "Governor, what do you plan to do with the materials saved now we no longer need to pay the tithe? If you proposed some of the agri-goods was re-directed to the hive labourers and lower classes we could find ourselves with an influx of fresh recruits. If we show them that their lives will be better after our independence than they were under the Imperium's they'd thank us for it." Klemens stated, his gaze falling to Tierce.

    "Ultimately that's for the oligarchs to decide." Tierce replied, stroking his beard. The sub-governor had a tendency to demur to his subordinates on matters that weren't strictly military.

    "The Imperium always relied on a certain amount of poverty to attract people to the Guard." Tarquinius put in. "They might not have actively engineered it but I'm sure they were happy with the state of affairs."

    Tierce frowned. "Time for a little more carrot, perhaps, and a little less stick."

    "I know Tranch has its issues with mutants and gene purists." Klemens admitted. "To be honest, I'm not sure what we do there. We don't need another uprising to detract us from the war effort. I'm sure our propagandists have something well prepared for that."

    He knew what the Imperium would do but didn't have the heart to say it. The Imperium wasn't well known for its civil rights, even Klemens held some hatred for mutants. Like many citizens it had been drilled into him at an early age.

    "We must hope so." Tierce answered, with a non-committal frown. Announcements and morale tours he could stomach, though his view of the Adrantean propaganda department as more of a necessary evil was well known. Perhaps that was why he kept them at arms length, allowing chancellor Souvage and his ilk to put their own spin on the public discourse. The governor turned his head towards Klemens. "Say your piece, colonel, and we shall see what needs to be done next."

    * * * * *

    Klemens had given speeches before, mainly to soldiers to help put a little fire in their bellies before a major engagement. Talking to civilians was different, it required a certain subtlety. They needed recognition, needed assurance, hope to cling to. The old Colonel waited from behind the proceedings as he listened to the announcer list through Klemens achievements.

    "Iron Aquila recipient, three time Eagle Ordinary recipient, two time Bronze Imperatoris Protectus recipient, five time Infantry Assault Ribbon recipient, the Order of St. Kark recipient, his unit receiving the Ribbon Intrinsic, and double Valoris Imperator holder for his years of service. Please welcome hero of the Republic, "Uncle Ferny" Klemens!" The announcer pulled away from the podium and began clapping with the crowd.

    The announcer looked to Klemens. Fenerentinus quickly brushed his hair with his hands and adjusted his formal uniforms tie. He took a step out towards the podium, his warm smile quickly returning to his face. He waved as he approached the stand, and then wrapped his hands around the podium.

    "You know, I'd be lying if I said I wasn't happy to be here. Tranch, our first stop on our campaign tour and what a world you live on. Your importance hasn't been forgotten, your recognition of the Adrantis Republic has been recognised.

    Your forges provide weapons, munitions, and tools for our war effort. Your skills, sweat and hearts show in your work. I too, know what it's like working in the manufactorum lines, I was just like you when I was a child. I left my world, joined the PDF and was then drafted into the Guard.

    I still remember where I'm from, I'm proud of my background. The work was hard, the hours gruelling, but I knew I was serving a better purpose. You may think I'm just trying to pull the wool over your eyes, that I'm brushing the real issues of Tranch under the rug, but I guarantee you under the Republics rule your lives will be better. From a manufactorum worker to another, I won't forget the people who are truly responsible for fuelling this revolution. But then, why should you care what I say? Let me tell you why.

    My career spanning decades took me across segmentums. I knew an Imperial Saint, saw him die and be resurrected to fight with us once again. Saint Lehner, that beautiful soul now belongs with the Emperor. Because of him, I and the men I served with are still here today.

    His memory kept me sane after coming so close to seeing the horrors of the warp. Duty kept me going. After being in his company my life changed. I fought with distinction, earned medals and rank. Shortly afterwards my heroics were rewarded with the iron aquila, my first eagle ordinary and the rank of sergeant.

    My next campaign I was pulled out of my unit and reshuffled into another regiment. There I earned my second eagle ordinary, first and second infantry assault ribbon, and my promotion to Lieutenant. For decades the cycle continued, I never stopped fighting. The Imperium used me up, always expecting more and more. There was no right of settlement, no promise of retirement, two valoris Imperators I earned for forty years of service and no end in sight.

    My transfer to Adrantis was no accident, it's a medal I'm not proud of; the Triple Skull for a unit that has suffered at least 66% of casualties. Those brave men and women died fighting for an uncaring Imperium. An Imperium that expected me to raise a regiment of Adranteans, and also perform an audit on your worlds.

    An Imperium that expected me to keep fighting for it for decades more. I'd be earning my third Valoris Imperator shortly, and for what? Nothing.

    That's why I said no.

    I lived my life on Tephaine. I had a modest apartment, a desk job, I made friends, saw how the people of Adrantis lived their lives. I envied you, I had spent so long killing with no end in sight. I wanted to earn my place here, to earn the right for everyone to accept me as one of them.

    That's why I support the people of the Adrantis sector, the people of the Adrantis Republic. We need your support, more than ever. The Imperium wants our blood, wants revenge on our defiance. I ask for anyone to join us in the good fight, fight for freedom, fight for your home. If you can't fight, keep doing your good work in the forges, the fields, the mines. Each of you is doing your part in your own way.

    For that you have my thanks, and my blessing. From a man who served with a saint, from a man who wants to serve for the people. Ave. Ave to the Republic."
    Last edited by Jarms48; 06-10-2021 at 10:37 PM.

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