Crimson Steel Ltd

Conclusion: Operation White Noise

There was something comforting about the wheezing of the drop ship’s engine as it rocked through the atmosphere. For a few tense moments, the group did nothing but listen to the sound of the starboard engine as it coughed and choked through the repairs that had just been made, but eventually their flight began to stabilize and everyone felt a wash or relief.

They had held their lines at the landing platform as long as they could; beaten back only by the arrival of the planetary military’s armored divisions that rolled through their guerrilla defenses at the last moment. It had been close, but their last desperate fight had given Dicer and the repair team enough time to get the vessel back into operation leading to the panicked escape.

Nobody spoke as the ship blasted across the planet’s skies, racing for the atmosphere. Outside the viewports, they could see the capital city; gouged as though a giant hand had torn something out of the planet’s very surface. In the distance, the bright flares of light could only have been the sporadic fighting between the remaining mercenaries and the locals.

Various voices managed to come through the static of the dropship’s communication systems, fading in and out as the dropship passed over various parts of the city. Despite complete communication failure, it appeared the mercenary army was still hoping their cries would be heard.

Through the static and confusion, the panicked voices of soldiers who were left to rot filled the cabin of the dropship; screeching hard over the sound of the engines. While most belonged to voices they did not recognize, there were a few they did recognize…

As they heard the bitter screams of their former comrades, Dicer reached out and shut down the links causing the entire cabin to go quiet. Soon there was nothing but the cold vacuum of space; and the shrinking image of the planet they had been successful in fleeing.

“Stand by for the jump to light speed…” said a particularly somber Dicer as he grabbed a lever on his console that would shoot them all into the history books.

The trip through hyperspace was an uneventful one that ended with news of Komsta Prime already ahead of them. Their defense of their homeworld had won the people of Komsta Prime the right to hold their heads high and cry victory over the conquered mercenary army. Within an hour; the group had broadcast their intention to declare open rebellion against the Empire, their words emboldened by their victory that made them feel invincible.

It was a show of strength that they had hoped would be echoed by others, and through collected strength they would show that they could not be simply swept away into the night. But they were wrong; and the Empire responded before anyone else could hear the rallying cry. The Empire arrived dozens of vessels and rather than risk a full scale invasion through the devastating effect of the quickening; the Empire executed their orders to purge all life from the surface of the world.

Every square mile of Komsta prime was razed over two days of continuous bombardment. By the third day there was nothing left and the Empire withdrew; sending the message to all who would listen that any opposition would meet with swift Imperial justice.

But their message was heard and interpreted differently by those around… Fear may have struck the hearts of many, but the bravery of Komsta Prime in the face of inevitability was sung from planet to planet; bringing about the war cry that they would not let the Empire get away with this. Families of the once proud community who were fortunate enough to have been off world throw in their lot with the rebellion, the names of lost souls clinging to their lips as they launch themselves into a dangerous war with little hope of success.

In less dramatic terms, the prices of galactic energy take a step up; especially in the outer rim where Komsta prime had been a major supplier of portable gaseous energy. Men are made millionaires over night; while others come crashing down after resting their hopes and financial futures on the delicate galactic market.

The balance of power is rapidly shifting, and only time will tell what the future holds and what part Omega squad will play.

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JSpiegel

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