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Author Topic: Merry Christmas, star colonel  (Read 619 times)

Nav_Alpha

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Merry Christmas, star colonel
« on: 25 December 2019, 02:53:10 »
This goes out to all of us working Christmas...

December 22, 3079
Capolla
Terran Protectorate


“It is a... religious festival, quaff?” the star colonel asked, looking around at the officers gathered at the plas-steel conference table.
Saskia Weaver, CO of Clan Nova Cat’s 100th Striker Cluster was afraid of little - she’d weathered Operation Bulldog, her capture and bondshood at the hands of the Nova Cat, the expulsion of her new clan and even the Jihad without fear.
Nor was she often confused - she was generally considered a cool headed, cunning combat leader.

But right now, she was very puzzled.

Across the table, Lieutenant Colonel Maxwell Duvall-St. Claire frowned and shifted nervously. He opened his mouth and then closed it again.
“Not exactly, star colonel. It’s more a day for people to take stock and spend time with their families,” he said, ignoring the sudden awkward looks the Clanners suddenly sported at the word “families”.

“While, Christmas is a religious holiday, most of our troops are just keen to have a few days off to spend with loved ones.”

If the mood had started awkward, it was positivity ludicrous now as Clanners and FedSuns citizens avoided eye contact.

It had been a year since 1st battalion of the 17th Chirikof Rifles had occupied Capolla to keep the peace and ensure the bubbling violence didn’t turn into full on revolt in the wake of the Word of Blake’s removal. A month ago, the 100th Striker - Nova Cat veterans of the Jihad who had pledged themselves to Devlin Stone - has arrived to bolster them.

Duval-St. Claire had expected to rotate back to the FedSuns months ago, only to receive word the first princess had officially signed them over to Devlin Stone, making them citizens of whatever state he seemed to be forming in the charred skeleton that was the Word of Blake Protectorate.

Now, with Christmas looming that left a lot of Chirikoffians far from home and wondering what happened next. Most of their families had already arrived, with the last batch due around new year’s eve.
But the troops needed a break.

“What do you propose then, then colonel?” Weaver asked.

She looked around: her four trinary leaders had stopped squirming, The six from the garrison unit still shifted with unease in their Davison fatigues.

“Well, star colonel, we were thinking of cutting back to a skeleton staff over Christmas Day. And we hoped that maybe your Nova Cats could take up the slack. Give the men a chance to spend some time with their families.”

The star colonel pushed herself back from the conference table and stood, flicking her long black hair away from her face. Saskia Weaver was 46, old for a clan warrior, but her alabaster skin and spare frame hardly betrayed her age. The last young ristar who had made an issue of her Smoke Jaguar origins and her age had died slowly in a circle of equals: first she’d sliced off an ear, then left him gasping from the deep gut slash and only then finished him.
There had been no further issues and she’d tested to cluster command near the end of the Jihad without any complaint.

Peering Out the floor length glass window on the capital below, she grimaced. Dark, oily smoke trickled up from at least three places across the city: a testimony to the pro-Blake and pro-Liao insurgents that still plagued them.

“Capolla is hardly pacified, but the troops should be with... their families,” she said.
“My command supernova will personally pull watch on Christmas Day.”

She smiled at the assembled officers. Unfortunately, it came out more as a crooked leer. That cocky ristar had managed to get in one slice before he died.

As the assembled troops stood, hard steel chairs groaning and sliding along the floor, one man came forward.

“Ah, sirs.. ma’am,” he began.

He was one of the largest men in the room, towering over those around him and almost rivalling Star Captain Deiter, the Elemental, for bulk.
He was also the only non officer, the infantry battalion’s senior non commissioned officer.

“Sir, I just wanted to say, not all of us have families here. We could volunteer to help the 100th during the holidays, it seems only right,” he said.

Duvall-St Claire nodded. “Thank you Sergeant Bostock. You can take charge of the volunteers who are willing to work on with the Cats over Christmas Day.”

December 25, 3079
Capolla
Terran Protectorate


Sergeant Major Hank Bostock frantically pulled back the slide on the FB-60 semi portable machine gun, letting it snap back with a loud click.
Through the bunker’s vision slit he could seen dark figures moving through the smoke.
Firing a long burst, he swung the machine gun to purse the now fleeing figures.
Two shorter bursts followed.
The NCO caught a glimpse of running figures as the smoke cleared and cut them down with another burst.

The Cappie insurgents had started the attack with a string of car bombs detonated outside the main government building and spaceport. Then infantry, supported by light armour seized key points across the city.
The skeleton staff of defenders had been quickly overwhelmed by the Liao attackers.

Peering through the viewport, Bostock could barely make the streetscape out through the smoke. Only the flickering flames from the adjacent bunker could be seen.
He didn’t need to look at his feet to see the three dead troopers, killed in the first mad rush of attackers.

Shifting the FB, Bostock stopped firing, just in time to hear the distinctive whine of an engine and clink of tracks.
Tanks!
As the first Po rolled into view it opened up with its heavy machine gun almost immediately, shells hammering the bunker and spraying sparks and concrete dust into Bostock’s eyes.
The sergeant threw himself backwards away from the view port, just as a burst hit the pintel mounted machine gun.
Crouched on the floor, Bostock watched as the lead tank spun its turret until the auto cannon’s barrel was pointed directly at him.

Suddenly the place lit up, a blaze of multicoloured lights that left Bostock’s eyes seeing spots.
Clambering out the bunker’s rear hatch, the big Davion NCO found the Po now a flaming wreck and standing almost astride the bunker was the hulking form of a Sphinx.

Later...

Saskia Weaver pulled her neurohelmet off, tossing her sweat soaked hair over her shoulder.
A knot of Davion riflemen stood nearby, watching a group of their comrades herd half a dozen insurgent POWs.
As she approached, the big NCO she’d met at the conference detached from the group, approached and snapped a salute.
The sergeant’s left wrist and hand was bandaged, his uniform torn and smudged with soot and there was a fresh bruise on his right cheek.

“Thanks for the assist, ma’am,” Bostock said.
The Nova Cat returned the salute.
“You are welcome, sergeant-major.”
Pulling at the toggles of her cooling vest, Weaver surveys the devastated scene: combat had left the city block a blackened ruin.
“Sergeant, why is it that you do not have a family here, but many of your troops do?”

Flushing at her directness, Bostock swallowed before answering.
“I’ve not always been with the Rifles. I’m a New Avalonite and previously I was with the 3rd Davion Guard,” he said.
“When the Word hit Avalon City, my wife and daughter were among the first casualties.”

There was a long pause as both soldiers stood awkwardly.
“I am sorry, sergeant. Forgive me for prying.”

Bostock nodded, waving it off.

“Well, Merry Christmas star colonel,” he said, turning to go.

“Merry Christmas, sergeant major.”


"Hold your position, conserve ammo... and wait for the Dragoons to go Feral"
- last words of unknown merc, Harlech, 3067
Avatar by Drewbacca

EAGLE 7

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Re: Merry Christmas, star colonel
« Reply #1 on: 26 December 2019, 08:52:53 »
Thanks for sharing your story.
“ My Clan honor is bigger than your Dragon honor, and comes in 18 clan flavors.”

DOC_Agren

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Re: Merry Christmas, star colonel
« Reply #2 on: 26 December 2019, 19:35:41 »
Interesting
"For the Angel of Death spread his wings on the blast, And breathed in the face of the foe as he passed:And the eyes of the sleepers waxed deadly and chill, And their hearts but once heaved, and for ever grew still!"