The Scouring

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The Scouring

Postby Dumanum » Sun Nov 13, 2016 7:47 pm

Legio XX Umbrata Forward Listening Post
Tyrus, Yehud
Present Day

The soft humming of the electronic equipment that packed the room was only occasionally interrupted by the clatter of distant small arms fire. The occasional explosion caused the entire room to gently shake. The past week had been an interesting- if disconcerting -one. The Cani tribe had made unprecedented gains against the Amorii- allies of the Dumani Republic -successfully overrunning a number of hamlets on the outskirts on Tyrus and securing the main easterly highway into the city. It was, as a whole, quite unexpected: the Cani had never displayed any particular talent towards large, well-coordinated operations, but what little information filtered back from the fallen positions indicated that the enemy was now performing well-executed multi-pronged offensive supported by accurate indirect fire. It was, to say the least, worrying- and it fit a trend the Legion was seeing throughout the Yehud. Various smaller tribal militias, considered for years to be bottom-tier threats to the point of being mere afterthoughts, were making gains all along the Segyna, and the fairly well-trained Dumani-backed tribes had been forced to retreat from positions they'd held comfortably for decades.

Even with its vast network of informants and frequent drone patrols, the Republic only had the fuzziest idea of what was really going on the ground, but the more the current trend held, the more it became increasingly obvious that the dynamic had shifted dramatically. Tribes with long-standing blood feuds were suddenly working together and defeating much larger, supposedly better-equipped formations. Analysts back across the border were floating several theories, none of them comfortable. Indeed, Tribune Caius Aemilius Gannicus was now thumbing through a recent report submitted by another of XIII Cohort's teams to the north, presently embedded with the Hittii in Sepherum who were now in full retreat in the face of a joint Cullaecae-Hibornii assault. During a firefight in one of the hamlets, Lancea XIX and their Hittii allies took a captive- an Angli captive. After a particular grueling interrogation, the man had revealed himself as a former soldier in Hood's syndicalist army, who most curiously found himself fighting alongside the Cullaecae- a tribe that, until that day, had never revealed any particular syndicalist leanings.

8NOV16 - 1950- Begin interrogation of prisoner. Uncooperative at present.
8NOV16 - 2213 - Prisoner refuses to reveal true name, instead using suspected nom-de-guerre 'Smith.' Prisoner no longer speaking Iehudic; interrogation to proceed in Anglic.
8NOV16 - 2305 - Prisoner remains uncooperative. M.Tr. G. Atrius Gravus orders Dec. M. Cassius Nasica to fetch his flaying knives. Excruciation of prisoner to commence forthwith.
9NOV16 - 0200 - Prisoner name confirmed as Michael Harrison, 1st Lieutenant, People's Congressional Forces, S/N 4312-5782-1121. M.Tr. G. Atrius Gravus orders termination of interrogation, prisoner to be forwarded to NIDUM for further questioning.

addendum- Prisoner in stable condition. Will require extensive skin grafts.

Gannicus had spoken with Gravus subsequent to receiving the report- it was his belief, as of the morning of the 9th, that the Cullaecae and Hibornii had enlisted a number of former Syndicalist soldiers as mercenaries in their forces. However, more recent developments indicated that this was either a very widespread occurrence, or there was something larger at play. After all, it was one thing if it were a few Questarians fleeing west and fighting for the tribes in exchange for safe haven, but another thing entirely for this to occur in sync with larger, coordinated offensives along the Segyna frontier.

"Boss. Listen here,"

Gannicus looked up from the file at Decurion Titus Livius Ruso, who held in his hands an extra set of ear phones. Seated in front of a laptop computer that controlled the team's electronic intelligence gathering systems, the man was a decade Gannicus' junior, though it was difficult to tell save the grey hairs that streaked Gannicus' beard and mane. The men of Lancea VI, I Centuria, XIII Cohors, Leg. XX Umbrata, along with most XX Legion operatives, had adopted the local custom of growing out one's beard and hair. Indeed, the dark hair and olive skin of the Dumani meant that they blended right in with the locals.

For the past century, the XX Legion's XIII Cohort had operated covertly on the western side of the Segyna- though this was tacitly denied by the Senate. XIII Cohort's presence had become something of a normality for those tribes that were counted as allies of the Dumani Republic, and a good deal of effort was made on the part of the Legionnaires to mesh with the local populace. Indeed, Gannicus had lived in Tyrus among the Amorii for the better part of twenty years. Per tradition, he'd wed one of the daughters of Parsontorix, Chieftain of the Amorii, upon his arrival in country, and had three sons of his own by her. Though Parsontorix had died ten years earlier, Gannicus was now brother-in-law to the current chieftain, Parsongetorix.

This was how the Dumani operated in Yehud since the signing of the Shiloh Agreement with the Freeholders- ingratiating themselves among their allies, binding themselves to the tribes with coin and blood. The local custom demanded that kinsmen fight to the death for kinsmen, and so it had been since time immemorial. Thus, the Dumani had made themselves kin to the most powerful tribes. Though one could never truly call Yehud stable, it was none the less under control. Only rarely did a tribe fall out of lockstep and attempt to interrupt the status quo- these were crushed completely and utterly, and thus the eastern frontier of Dumanum remained safe.

Gannicus was a powerfully built man standing over six foot, quite tall for Dumani stock. His long grey-streaked black hair hanging across his left shoulder in an elaborate braid; per the local custom, it hung precisely 2 inches longer than his subordinates, marking him a chieftain of the Dumani contingent. This sort of grooming would get one flogged in another legion, but was a matter of necessity for the Twentieth's covert operations.
Gannicus took the headset from the decurion, sliding it on and looking back down at the tablet. A moment later, he looked back up at Ruso, his face impassive save for a raised eyebrow.

"Get me Nidum. We have a problem."

He stood but continued to listen, making his way to the rack of carbines that hung on the wall.

Battery Two-Eight, this is Forward One-One.

One-One, Two-Eight. Go ahead.

Fire for effect, shift point 6, over.

One-One, Two-Eight, shift point 6, over.

Two-Eight, One-One, 3-story concrete structure, enemy listening post. Destruction, HE, quick fuse.

Gannicus ripped the headset from his head and grabbed his carbine from the rack, pulling Ruso from his seat,

"We're compromised. Time to leave."

As the pair of Dumani special operators bolted from the room, they could hear the words "shot, over" crackle from the hanging headset.

This was going to be a long day.

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Re: The Scouring

Postby Questers » Sun Nov 13, 2016 8:28 pm

Somewhere in Uiri's Mountains

He splashed tepid water on to his face, twice. Drew his razor, went to work on the expanding stubble. Brushed his hair back with a service comb, the same one he'd had for years. There was no wax or oil, and he made a mental note to find some when they came to a settlement again. He opened the window and the smell of fresh coffee wafted in; he lit a cigarette with a faded zippo and coughed sharply.

The mountain air was meant to do him good. From the window he could see the unrolling expanse of that great mountain range that straddled the whole of a continent. Miles upon miles of total desolation; not a single person but lone goat herders and estranged mountain people. Snowy tops, as far as the eye could see, and many, many times further.

He got dressed. There were no pressed pants or bemedalled uniforms. Tough mountain boots, cargo trousers, a shirt—a very old shirt—and his leather bomber jacket with the faded chuj woolen collar. His peaked cap lay on the hook, soaking up dust. How times have changed. He paused at the door, and went back for the cap, dusting it down a bit and carrying it under his arm.

Outside, there was a courtyard, formed by two dozen encircled trailers. Wires ran between them; clothes hung on them, and at night they often used sheets to put up a makeshift marquee. Coffee cooked over the fire. Jeeps and one or two tracked vehicles lay by the side, seemingly long forgotten. We have been in this place for too long, he thought.

"Morning, all," he said, strolling to the fire. A man offered him coffee. "Vincent, your report please," he said, and another man got up and went over to a table with him. A series of maps lay in cases. It did not take long to find the right one.

"Anokh Singh's battalion is causing a minor upset in the major Segina area. "

"And the Dumani?"

"Hmm. No concrete sign, or proof. Some of the responses we've been getting are, shall we say, closer to what we'd expect of a real Army than whatever militia the tribes have in place. But there's no distinct evidence they're there."

"Back in the day-"

Vincent cut him off. "Yes, back in the day. But those were only suspicions. And we've not been able to confirm them from our agents in the field, or our exercises. If there are Dumani forces in the Yehud, they're keeping quiet. If they're not there, the rumour is almost just as useful as if they were, for them."

"I don't agree, but it's not important. How far did Ano get? What's the response been like?"

"Ano's an expert, a professional. You know that. He's good at hiding himself. Everyone must know he's there, but they can't act. He's always on the move."

He grunted. "Right. Vincent, we've been here for too long."

"Comrade Marshal, we came here for your health."

He smiled. "And now my health is good. Vincent, we're leaving this place. Contact the Brigades, and get in touch with Ano." Gerald Hood fixed his cap. The five gold stars and the laurel wreath on the insignia shone. "We're back."
Continent of Dreams - Official Questers Canon Compendium

[Tue 22:53:29] <colo> holy shit you are the fucking worst guy

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