Viridian Able Company Command

“Captain, I’ve got an incoming transmission from General Latimer on the sub-ether relay,” said Comms Officer Pullman. “Patching him through now.”

Doyle rezzed up an image of the General’s head and shoulders on the Direwolf APC’s holographic dashboard. The ghostly blue glow from the projection underlit Doyle’s face, making the young woman appear cadaverous and sinister. She saluted the hologram, which stuttered and momentarily broke up as a nearby artillery strike rocked the vehicle.

“Doyle, HQ requires a swift and aggressive conclusion to this action. The folks back home need something decisive, that shows us sticking it to those bastards, so make sure the optics are streaming for this one. I know you won’t let me down, Latimer out.”

“Copy that, Sir. I got just the thing, over and out.”

Pullman looked expectantly at her, waiting for Doyle’s orders. Able Infantry Company was bogged down at this dead-end desert town for three days now, fighting a battle of attrition against Junkers backed by artillery located behind the sandy ridge. Time to send the Senate a message.

“Specialist Pullman, Attack Pattern Alpha-Niner to Jacks, McKeever, and Sanderson. Go!”

While Pullman relayed the order to the three sergeants, Doyle swiped and grabbed elements of the dashboard display, to send a live feed of the action to the General. She settled back to watch the mayhem.

Out on the battlefield Doyle’s order percolated down through the command strata. Alpha Teams renewed their suppression of enemy lines within the rubble and confusion of the town, keeping the Junkers’ infantry busy. A team of snipers received their mission from Sergeant Jacks and silently abandoned their overwatch positions on the left flank. They used the broken, rocky terrain as cover on their ascent of the ridge. Meanwhile on the right, McKeever’s support tank, a battle scarred Broadsword armed with a colossal Redactor Cannon, peeled off and crawled up the ridge on the other side. Last but not least, Sergeant Sanderson ordered the reserve unit of Inderdict Marines forward, to a position just behind the Alpha Teams holding the line.

Doyle’s eyes raced over the images being fed to her dashboard console from the snipers and the tank. There, behind the ridge on the dusty valley floor, was the troublemaker. A Draco mobile rocket platform, equipped with racks of long-range Inferno rockets for pounding the Viridian defences. It had a guard of Legionaries, but they wouldn’t be too much trouble. She waited for the next volley of rockets to streak up from the Draco, sending the Alpha Teams back in town scrambling for cover and shaking the ground beneath her Direwolf.

Now it was a sitting duck.

“This is Able Leader Actual,” she said into her headset. “Light ’em up.”

On the left, an anti-materiel round zipped down from the sniper position, leaving a contrail. The burrowing round drilled through the tough plating on the Draco’s crew compartment, and detonated in the cabin with a satisfying blue flash. On the right the Broadsword’s Redactor Cannon emitted an ear splitting whine as it span into life, then round after ferromagnetic round, thousands of them, raked it. The broken vehicle sagged on its suspension before ultimately collapsing and catching fire. As this occurred the Interdict Marines activated their jump packs. The bulky, power armoured troops instantly shrank to dots against the clear, pink sky, then disappeared over the ridge in one view. In the next, they slammed down to earth in the midst of the Legionaries and went to work, mowing down the stunned Junkers with Gauss Carbines.