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Federated Suns Reborn (Chapter Cover)

The Federated Suns Reborn
- Chapter 231

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December 3071
Interlude: Fukushū!

HPG Compound, Deber City
Benjamin, Benjamin District
Draconis Combine

With a slow stride Acolyte Graham Zhou marched his patrol of the perimeter wall of the HPG Compound. Sweating despite the chill night air he was sweating under the body armor as he adjusted the strap on his Mauser 1200 and tried to find an better angle at which to carry the heavy weight rifle. Or at least one that wouldn't have the weight all resting on the ceramic shoulder Armor pad so that it dug into his flesh and caused him to lean to the left in a way that would have his neck and back spasm and ache by the time his shift ended - as it had every other time he had had to lug this damn thing around the compound again and again on seemingly never ending patrols. Glancing at his wrist as he shifted the rifle for the umpteenth time he realized he still had at least another three hours of torturous hell to go before he could finally go off duty and head to the barracks and try and get some sleep. Which would be difficult given that his body clock never seemed to entirely adjust to being on the night watch and sleeping during the day. Compared to this hell recall to help defend Sacred Terra from the Devil Davions seemed a positive pleasure trip Graham mused darkly as he adjusted the rifle strap again and again as he walked.

Entirely disgruntled and with the rifle strap marginally more comfortable the tired Acolyte continued on his steady patrol one foot in front of the other as he marched along the perimeter of the compound wall. Within half a dozen steps the Mauser had shifted back to the exact spot that seemed to cause him the most intense discomfort and drew a whispered snarl of frustration from Zhou. At the next defense turret he paused at the doorway to properly adjust it before he opened the Armored hatch to make his way through the turret and out the other side. Finally twisting the strap so that it lay across the groove between two of the ceramic plates he hoped that would spread the weight and so mean he didn't cause himself lower back pain from a twisted spine! Opening the Armored door using the combination lock on the door he waited till the light flashed to indicate he had the right code before reaching for the hatch handle.

Behind him appearing as though from the shadow a black clad figure in a DEST Infiltration Suit reached out and grabbed him, one hand closing on his opening mouth while the other drove a short vibro-blade into his kidney's in a single fluid motion. Even as Graham's whole body convulsed with the pain of the strike to his kidney which was bleeding him out in seconds, a second shadow holding a full vibro-Katana at it's side appeared and took his hated rifle from his shoulder before it could fall and clatter. A third and fourth DEST team member appeared, each carrying a KA-23 sub-machinegun fitted with silencers. Opening the door the two blade armed shadows flowed into the room, followed by their sub-machine gun equipped comrades.

Hearing the door open Acolyte Joseph Lopez looked up from his screen that was monitoring the dozens of camera's around this stretch of perimeter to allow him to target any attacking forces with the LB-10X autocannon mounted in the turret and snapped. "Zhou, you are running a full minute..."

Before he could complete the sentence a thrown shuriken from the DEST member with the shorter bladed vibro-knife sunk deep into his neck, cutting the right carotid artery with life ending accuracy, leaving him to fall back into his chair with a gurgle. The other two acolytes survived only a few seconds longer as the two blade armed DEST troopers swept swept into the room and slashed them down. The two following gun armed operatives didn't have to fire a shot.

Keying a heavily encrypted communications channel the most senior of the operatives, one of those carrying guns, clicked his tongue in a rapid series of seemingly meaningless noises to indicate that the turret had been taken. Already two of the others were moving to guard both the east and west doors into the turret while the third was sliding the corpse of Acolyte Lopez to the ground and taking his place at the controls of the turret, which was already swiveling around to target the barracks inside the compound in which the rest of the Level II of infantry were sleeping. The hangers for the Battlemechs and tanks were too well Armored and their MechWarriors and crews sleeping quarters were beside them.

Just out of sensor range the fifth member of the DEST team who had been on over watch with a Sairentosutomu sniper rifle keyed her own communication channel to the private comm channel of Chu-sa Minori Adami, commanding officer of the Minori's Vanguards infantry unit attached to the 2nd Benjamin. Well what was left of it. After the suicidal explosion of the Blakist DropShip that had brought the assassin who killed Hohiro Kurita to Benjamin, the Vanguard had been reduced from nearly two full battalions to little more than a company. However the very dishonourable slaughter of the men under the officer's command had left Adami with a desire for vengeance. A desire shared by his remaining troops. "The way is clear. Redeem your honor, Chu-sa. Avenge your dead. Kill them all."

Clad in Kage light Battle Armor, Minori Adami raised his arm and then swept it down towards the compound. Keying his own communicator to his units general channel he said a single word as he ignited his jump jets to lead his men against the enemy. "Fukushū!"

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