War Without End: Part 1: Wolves on the Hunt

The thundering of artillery and the constant clatter of small arms fire filled the night air. The chirping and howling of wildlife overwhelmed by the sounds that permeated the battlefield. Nimble fighters and dropships roared just above the jungle canopy, discharging their lethal cargo at irregular intervals. Korluv VII, A sparsely inhabited jungle world where temperature rarely dipped below 120 degrees. It's endless jungles home to a variety of flora and fauna. Beneath the stifling heat lies a metallic core, ready to be unearthed by whoever can seize the pristine world.

The men and women of the 47th Sapper Platoon, The Wolves as they were simply known, moved through the undergrowth with a surprising mixture of speed and stealth, seemingly unimpeded by their distinctive battle armor. The enemy patrol never saw them coming. Bursting from the tree line the elite commandos went to work, razor sharp blades concealed in gauntlets severing spines and slashing throats in a lethal dance of death. Less than thirty seconds later bodies were being drug into the bushes and hidden from sight.

One mile later a clenched fist was raised, signaling them to halt, as one they stopped and took a knee. Their target in sight, a communications hub coordinating all enemy troop movement in a 1,000 mile radius. Their orders were to capture or destroy it by any means necessary.

The squad leader raised two fingers, signaling for his marksmen to spread out, a man and a woman, both with ghillie suits covering their armor moved out in separate directions, high powered rifles cradled in their arms. Sixty seconds later the signal was received. Two distinct beeps indicating they were ready.

It wasn't much, a few prefabricated buildings with a semi-permanent fence line. Two guard towers, one to the north and one to the south, a narrow dirt road entering from the east. The leader looked back and signaled one of his men to go cover the road alerting the snipers, telling them to hit the towers first.

Another 30 seconds and they were set, the unit's leader softly speaking into his throat mic.

"Move..."

In a blur of motion the two tower sentries went down, the rest of the guards none the wiser. The only sound they made was the slight rattling of the fence as they vaulted the eight foot fence with minimal effort.

Perimeter sentries falling prey to blades and bursts of silenced rifle fire as the wraiths made their way through the compound, those sound asleep in the barracks met their end in a hail of gunfire. No survivors remained, the only thing left to clear was the communications center. Leaving a small team outside for security the six man team moved inside, specially made boots impacting the metal floor without a sound.

A wary technician exited a room just ahead of them, his scream muffled by a throwing knife perforating his neck, the body falling to the floor, the nearest commando catching it and slowly easing the fallen enemy to the floor to avoid detection.

The outer rooms were cleared, the one hapless technician their only victim. All that remained was the central control room, the heavy blast door left open to ventilate the room. They staked up outside, listening closely to what was being said.

*Translated

"Fighting the Keresh, How did we end up like this? I thought they were three systems away!"

"Stow it and watch you monitors soldier!"

"Ya know... I heard those Keresh soldiers aren't even men, their all machines, like Mech's but smaller."

"That's a load of it, They bleed just like we do."

"Not those Commandos of theirs, They say they can bump into you and you won't even know it..."

"Why is that?"

"... Because you'd be dead."

Behind their infamous 'T' shaped visors the ghosts grinned as they checked their weapons.

Three fingers were raised, the men closest to the door readying stun grenades for the breach. One dropped, the next bringing their weapons to bare, aimed at the open doorway. One finger remained... their minds readied for what was next...

The signal, without warning the two men closest chucked a pair of stun grenades into the gathering of technicians in the center, the reptilian alien's eyes not lacking enough time to adjust to the intensely bright light, their hearing destroyed by the high pitched noise the followed the detonation. They came by two's, black and gray armored soldiers, the head of a Keresh'navan Frost Wolf emblazoned on their shoulder pauldron in red. They were Vanguard, the elite of the elite. Master's of any type of combat, experts with every weapon. The unflinching, uncaring gods of combat.

The technicians could do nothing to stop them, only armed with sidearms they didn't stand a chance so they did what they thought was the only plausible option, they surrendered, but as they dropped to the floor they were gunned down mercilessly, Vanguard never took prisons unless ordered. Standard procedure.

"All Secure"

The hardened veterans lowering their weapons, knowing what they had to do the six spread out, searching for anything of use.

Ten minutes later the exited the building, regrouping with their teammates, all accounted for. Their job was done.

They moved out through the main gate, stealthily entering the thick brush again. No pleas for help had gone out, no distress signals activated, the comm relay simply went quiet. Days later the station would be discovered by a passing patrol. It's personnel scattered about with no signs of struggle.

The stations hard drive was a wreck, it's information stolen and memory gutted by a virus. Everything of value sabotaged.

'What should we do with it sir?' A lowly private questioned, surveying the scene, his brethren burying the bodies of their fallen comrades.

"Bury the dead and leave it for the jungle, There's nothing here but ghosts..."

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Prelude to Change

 

To most of the galaxy, the politics of the Keresh Empire are seldom a top of discussion. Some believe them to be a Military Dictatorship of sorts due to having no interaction with any Keresh not affiliated the Imperial Military. Others think them as nothing more than savages and terrorists who've managed to acquire advanced technology from the various races they've waged war with. The People of Earth seem to be under the impression that Fleet Commander Ravek Val'Chan is their leader... none of these theories and musings are correct however...
 
Since it's inception following the Keresh's war for independence, the Keresh Empire has been ruled by an elected congress, consisting of three representatives from every Keresh colony, no matter how large the population. Residing above them are seven senior congressmen referred to as 'The Council', the council has near absolute control over the Empire, the Congress exists to overrule council decisions, but must have at least a 75% vote against to over throw a council ruling. The congress also serves to raise matters of importance to the councils attention.

 
But the reason this has been brought to your attention is this; The Council maintains control of the massive Keresh War Machine, deciding where Imperial Forces will strike next. For hundreds of years the council has sent thousands of Keresh soldiers to their deaths attack worlds of little to no value to the Empire and left distant colony worlds to die due to their own supposed unimportance, this has no gone unnoticed, but no one has acted out against these crimes for fear of being branded a traitor to the Empire, an irredeemable crime punishable by death. One man is willing to take the risk, to free his people from the councils short sighted rule, and he is not alone... 

 

Briefing Room Aboard the Keresh Dreadnaught Imperial Fist, One Month From the Current Date

  
Eight Keresh Officers, from across the Empire, sit in the mission briefing room aboard the massive Dreadnaught, they all know why their here, they plan to over throw their government and replace it with one more concerned with the well being of it's citizens and not seeking personal gain. If they failed they would be executed, their family names dishonored and their gains for the Empire forgotten. The oldest man in the room, General Avaros Gar'kos, nearly 800 years old and a veteran of nearly every war the Keresh had participated in for the last 700 years, broke the silence.

"So how in Chal'konen's name do you plan on accomplishing this little suicide mission of yours Ravek?" sitting calmly in a chair at the front on the room, compared the others, aside from Ravek he was obviously the most relaxed.
 
The Fist of the Keresh looked to the General "Deception" looking to a holographic display of Keresh'nava, the Keresh Homeworld and Capitol of their Empire. The Defenses appeared in red, dozens of ships and space stations surrounded the blue and green world, bristling with guns, the men in the room knowing that more gun batteries were concealed on the planet below. "We all know a direct assault on Keresh'nava is impossible, so we're going in with only a handful of men." raising three fingers "Three drop ships, 30 personnel each and equipment, we strike quickly, an don't give them time to react." 
 
"Your crazy man! There's no way that will be enough to accomplish the mission!" said a Major across the room, before Ravek could respond someone else spoke up from the doorway. "Fast, lethal, and with maximum impact... the Vanguard way... I like it" 
 
Ravek smiles at the new arrival "Ah Kayle... nice of you to join us" teasing his oldest friend. She retorted with characteristic sarcasm. "A Guardsmans work is never done." winking at him before taking her place leaning against the wall near the door next to Lieutenant Commander Far'kos, the leader of Ravek's Vanguard Commando detachment, the two nodding to each other in a silent greeting. The major returned to his seat, mumbling something about the Vanguard being a bunch of trigger happy lunatics.
 
Ravek continued where he'd left off "The Homeworld's defenses are designed to repel an enemy assault, not to keep out friendly drop ships. The strike force will simply pass right through the defense grid and begin the attack on the Council Building." an overhead view of the Council Complex appeared "One ship will land in the front and it's occupants, myself included will enter through the main entrance, making their way to the Council Chamber while the second will drop it's occupants here to assault the Council Guards Barracks..." The men gathered looked some what perplexed "Who will lead that attack? The Council Guard are all Guardsmen..." 
 
"Guardsman Auorez" Gesturing to Kayle "Lieutenant Commander Far'kos" gesturing to the man beside the Guardsman "and-" being cut off again by another woman standing in the doorway before he could finish.
 
"Me of course" said Azrael, who leaned against the door frame smiling sinisterly. 
 
"Can't any of you get here on time?" Shaking his head, smiling at the two women. Kayle respond with a shrug and her trademark belligerency, "I don't like to be predictable" before returning to a conversation she was having with the Lieutenant Commander
 
Azrael made her way over to Ravek, once she was close enough he wrapped an arm around her waist, kissing the Daemoness on the cheek. "You can catch me up to speed later love... when we're alone." winking up at him before sweetly kissing him. 
 
He sighs, "Very well" smiling down at her, Azrael then moves to a chair near Kayle, taking a seat. "Well get on with it." she says with an innocent smile on her face. 
 
"Yes... Azra will be the third leader. The rest of the unit will be made up of Veteran Vanguard Commandos. The third ship will be loaded with Drop Troopers, it'll be the only one filled to max capacity, they'll set up a perimeter and eliminate or capture anyone who tries to escape." 
 
He looks to the three would be leading the attack on the Guard's barracks "Once you've eliminated the Guard half of you will link up with my team and the other half will reinforce the third team on the perimeter."
 
They all nodded understandingly "Any Questions?" he asked looking around the room.
  
An Admiral in the back of the room spoke up "What if we fail?" 
 
"Then we die" being blunt, never one to 'beat around the bush' as the humans said. 
 
The other nodded in agreement, they knew the risks. This was treason at the highest levels if they did not succeed. 
 
"That's why we aren't going to fail, we'll get this over with and get back to what we were doing as fast as we can." 
 
He reaches over and shuts off the hologram projector, looking back to the those gathered. "We have units already in place, we attack in three days. Dismissed!" The officers stood and came to attention before filling out, Kayle, Azrael and Ravek not far behind.
 

Later... 


The two stood looking out the large window that the took up one of the walls of Ravek's private quarters, the lights down low. His arms were wrapped around her from behind, her head leaned back, resting against his chest. 
 

"What if we don't all comeback?" the petite Daemoness questions, looking up at him. 
 
He kisses her forehead lovingly, "Are you worried?" he smiles down at her "That's not like you at all..." teasing her
 

She grinned "I do occasionally develop feelings" turning and wrapping her arms around him, her head still resting on his chest "Just don't tell anyone or I'll gut you" looking up at him, smiling sweetly, despite the innocent look he knew all to well she meant every word.
 
The two walk to the nearby bed, laying down, with him holding her in his arms.
"We'll succeed Azra, we have the element of surprise... and we have you, they won't know what hit them" kissing the top of her head, in response she wrapped her arms around him and squeezed affectionately "Sweet talker..." she grinned "If you die I swear I'll make your afterlife miserable." 
 
He chuckled "I expect nothing less" 
 
Eventually the two drifted off to sleep as the massive warship sped towards the Keresh Home System, everything was almost ready... soon they would strike, change had been a long time coming but soon events would take place that would change the galaxy forever... 
 
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RP Coming Soon!

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