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Approx. 2100 words

All Rights Reserved

Copyright 2015   SJ


A Little Back Up


written by  SJ



    The civilian militia of Louvain sat inside their underground recreational facilities and listen to the General on their video screens as he raved on, giving them high praises for their performance against the Chaos Marines. Yarrick came on a little later to give them a hearty thumbs-up, and, if for nothing else, hoping to drum up a little business where the Corporate level was very low, telling them he had obtained approval to send them four lascannons, free of charge.
    As for training, the General continued his speech telling them that a Cheyenne Ranger Space Marine Special Ops team commanded by Lieutenant LaFong would be there shortly and was bringing with them a lascannon support team expert.
    After thanking Yarrick for his generous donation, the General concluded, “those lascannons are not top-of-line, but are good enough to easily punch a hole though any battle suit at as far away as four kilometers. And they should arrive the same time as the Space Marines do. I’ve been told that you’ll be defending the town on the north side, and like before divided into two major groups commanded by Sergeants Petrovsky and Koufax. Captain Dion and Officer Yngvild will be in reserve as a back up in case any more of those damn demonettes show up. I’ve also heard that the remaining members of Captain Wayne’s Planetary Guard will be divided into two mobile groups on each side of the town, protecting the flanks with their Chimera APCs. I’ve also, authorized the sending of two heavy bolters so the Chimeras can have hull mounted guns, arriving with lascannons. Finally, I think all of you are doing an exemplary job. Keep up the good work.”
    Shortly after the General went off line, Captain Melinda Dion and Officer Jennifer Dakota sat in their Federal HQ and watched as he came back on line again, wanting to talk only to them. Officer Helga Yngvild was asked to join them. Koufax listened with his mobile device.
    The General got right down to business. “Marcellus has asked me to tell you to not destroy that mansion for the time being. He seems to believe that destroying the mansion will not necessarily eliminate the WARP teleportation point that seems to be there. He and his team are still analyzing the data your team have sent him, and, from what I’ve heard, you’ve placed a scanner in a strategic location so that if the teleportation point is used again, it’ll transmit any data it picks up even if the scanner itself is destroyed.”
    “Yes, that’s already been done,” Captain Dion confirmed.
    “In theory, I should be able to close any WARP opening almost as soon as it opens.” Jennifer spoke up.
    “But, you’d have to be in very close proximity to do that, right?” The General assumed.
    The Librarian felt frustrated. “Yes...and if something came out during that time, I could be...”
    “Very rudely interrupted.” The General finished her statement jokingly with a grin.
    She sighed. “Yes...unfortunately. And that wouldn’t account for an act of a full teleportation, where the entire group would arrive at once.”
    “But, even that’s an assumption.” Captain Dion stated clearly. “Sergeant Boz’s camera in the mansion’s basement was knocked out BEFORE the teleportation even took place, something that leads us to believe that there’s a surge of energy even before the actual teleportation occurs. The next time something uses that teleportation point, we’ll know what it is.” She sighed. “But, of course, that’ll also mean we’ll have another battle on our hands.”
    Officer Dakota remained firm. “Still...if Melancholia placed a Krootox right there at the teleportation point, there had to be a reason; it must be possible that the teleportation could be interrupted somehow, right there at the source.”
    Everyone sat silent for awhile, unable to disagree...
    Then the General resumed. “I’m hoping that if anymore Chaos forces appear, you’ll be able to handle it.” He addressed the Librarian. “Jennifer, when you talked to that demonette Herald, she told you that Lucius was: hiding? Have you been able to figure out what she meant by that? And who is this, Lucius?”
    “It’s my belief that he’s the leader of the Emperor’s Children.” Jennifer began explaining the best she could. “In the same way as Ahriman is the leader of Tzeentch and the Thousand Sons, Lucius must be the leader of Slaanesh and the Emperor’s Children, and like Ahriman, we have to assume he’s a powerful Chaos Lord. As for where he’s hiding, I have no idea.”
    “Could it mean he’s in the WARP--waiting to make his move?” The General guessed.
    “That could be said for all the Chaos Lords.” Jennifer made a point. “But, we don’t see them popping up anywhere and everywhere, bringing demons with them.”
    “At this time, we’re making our move based on the assumption he’s hiding someplace in our Universe, somewhere around our current area.” Dion began explaining their plans to find the elusive, Lucius. “There’s an extensive cavern system in and around the town of Louvain. The parts of the cavern system that are currently under the town have been, long ago, turned into the many underground living and recreational facilities. Outside the town, the cavern system is unstable. However, even as we speak, the Tau are using drones to check them out. So far, they’ve found nothing.”
    “Because of the massacre of his Chaos Marines, is it possible, he’s gone...returned to the WARP?” The General asked, hoping.
    “Possible...” Captain Dion mused. “Once LuLu, I mean, Lieutenant LaFong gets here, we should have the cavern system fully checked out. At that time, we’ll be better equipped to return to the mansion and give it and the surrounding area a better examination.” She hesitated, then had to ask, “didn’t LaFong get wounded on a mission for the Tau a couple weeks ago? I heard she got shot in the stomach, again?”
    The General responded clearly. “Yes, she did get wounded, but, it wasn’t as bad as it sounded, nothing like her previous injury. She’s fully recovered. And, I’m sure once the two of you get together you should be able to solve this Lucius problem. She’s bringing her whole team with her, so you should have enough firepower. The only thing I’m concerned about is this demonette problem.” He addressed the leader of the Sisters of Battle. “Officer Yngvild, I knew your father when he was a Mega Marine training officer over on New Terra. I think he’s retired, now, but he was very good at what he did.”
    She nodded and smiled. “I think he still teaches a class from time to time over there.”
    “You and your Sisters of Battle are our ace in the hole against these demonettes. I’m glad you were there and available just when we needed you. Good, Job.”
    “Thank you, General.”
    “I guess that’s it for now.” General wrapped up. “LaFong should be there sometime tomorrow. Keep up the good work.”
    The General signed off.
    Melinda Dion was there to meet her as soon as LaFong had landed her shuttle right along side Federal Headquarters. Right after Melinda had given Lana a hug, she got a call saying the Chaos teleportation point had been used, the data already sent to a computer shortly before the scanner had gone offline.
    There had been numerous cameras (those given some kind of protection from WARP energy pulses) placed in and around the mansion. Lana quickly followed Melinda back inside Federal HQ to look at the monitors. Melinda had tried placing two well-protected cameras in the basement as well, hoping they would survive the WARP pulse. Much to her surprised, they did survive, and began recording after a short blackout; even the basement scanner came back online. However, nothing was seen or recorded after the initial pulse...almost as if the teleportation was just a bluff, nothing there.
    Captain Wayne’s satellite team had remained available even after the Planetary Guard Company had been defeated, staying in contact with Sergeant First Class T’au Boz, who now remained at the warehouse with a small HQ staff. He had also been notified about the pulse. He called Captain Dion, “that was a WARP pulse, at the mansion, right?”
    “Yes.” Dion answered promptly. “My cameras and scanners are picking up nothing there. How about your satellites?”
    He delayed while listening to the satellite team. After almost a minute, he responded, “our satellite team says they are picking up nothing at the mansion at all...and nothing even nearby, within one kilometer.”
    Melinda and Lana stood and looked at each other, not knowing what to make of it. Then the Federal Captain spoke. “I guess it’s possible nothing was teleported to the mansion at all.”
    “Just a faint...hoping to knock out the cameras and scanners?” Lana suggested.
    Melinda brought up a map of the mansion and the area south between it and the town. She began pointing out places, small groups of buildings where she had scanners and cameras, all of them covering a four kilometer area. Before anyone suggested using their shuttles as observation aircraft, she warned, “the last group of Chaos Marines had these sound weapons. They knocked out my shuttle with one hit. Before we send up our shuttles, I think we should wait and see. It’s possible there might be another teleportation attempt in a short while.”
    Lana’s team (all who had been given rank increases) were Gunnery Sergeant Hank Ramcke, Staff Sergeant Sammy Burns, Gunnery Sergeant Archibald “Gannon” Shannon, Staff Sergeant John “Bull” Hodge, and Sergeant Rodman Zane.
    Lana then suggested, “I have two Scout bikes.” She pointed at the map, the area on each side of the mansion outside the four kilometer area. “I can send one bike each, here and here, on each side. That’ll leave our shuttles as a ready reserve.” She pointed at her team. “I have Zane with a Mark I bolter, and for the two big guys, I have Mark I bolters and missile launchers.”
    Sergeant Boz was listening and suggested, “I have two Chimeras, one on each flank, each loaded with six Guardsmen each, not counting the crew. I can use those to back up your Scout bikes.”
    Lana smiled. “Yes, that’s good. And they have multi-lasers and heavy bolters, right?”
    “I’m sorry.” Boz had to explain. “We received those heavy bolters for our Chimeras, but, we haven’t had time to install them or train anyone to use them.”
    “I understand.” Lana said, then noticed Burns and Ramcke readying their bikes. I’m going to send Sergeant Burns to the west, and Sergeant Ramcke to the east. They’ll link their communications up with your Chimeras and you can stay in contact.”
    “Good.” Boz responded, then added, “both Chimeras are being operated by two women each, Sergeant Amanda Hale is in command of the Chimera on the west, and Corporal Lupe Diaz on the east.” He continued to explain. “I don’t want anymore problems with those damn demonettes. All the men are INSIDE the vehicles; I’m assuming if they can’t SEE the demonettes, they won’t be affected. Either way, if demonettes are spotted, they have orders to fall back until you ladies can be deployed.”
    “That’s good.” Lana answered, then asked, “can you follow each of my bikes with a satellite?”
    “Oh, yeah--absolutely.” Boz like the idea. “If they pick up the same 'life sign indeterminate' signature they got before, they’ll let your Scout bikes know right away.”
    Lana stepped outside the Federal HQ and began talking to Burns and Ramcke, explaining to each of them their mission and who they would be in contact with.” As they left, she updated Boz about the bikes and their crews: “Both bikes have twin-linked bolters. Burns has a plasma gun, Ramcke has a sniper rifle.”
    “Good.” Boz replied, then made sure. “I hear the Sisters of Battle are going to be using the Federal shuttle as transport.”
    “Yes.” Yngvild verified. “That damn sound weapon knocked out our twin-link bolter and we’re still having problems with the Rhino’s electrical system because of it. But, we’ll be there to shoot-to-pieces anymore demonettes if they dare to show up again.”


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