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This is the way world ends (Chapter art)

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Chapter 2 - This is the Way the World Ends - Wolf Skinners (3024)[]


The wreck of the Ex-FWLDS Condottieri''
Astrokaszy
1203 - Local Time
21st July, 3024


Packrat (Driving on desert road - Oswald)

Packrat Scout Vehicle

Meanwhile, 300 km away...

It didn't require the barely functional sensors of the crashed Dropship to know something was having a rough time in the upper atmosphere, but they certainly confirmed the tale told by the huge smoke trail in the sky. The ship's general alarm still functioned, and it quickly brought Captain Renzi to the bridge. The Captain said a silent prayer of thanks and started barking orders to get the unit's faster elements mounted up and heading toward the crash site. It had been nearly a decade since the Condottieri had crashed on this god-forsaken rock, and almost three years since they had seen off the last of the raiders making their lives miserable. Any new resources would be welcome, and the first truly good luck they'd had since they seized the Condottieri on New Delos all those years ago. He still wasn't sure what had turned Wolf's Dragoons against Duke Anton, but he and a number of other small unit commanders in the First Ducal Guard knew they didn't want to face the only mercenaries that had done the revolt any good. The news of the Duke's death had followed them into orbit, and it was a long run out of the League from there.

Locust (Unseen version in field)

Locust Light 'Mech

Looking out the side window of the bridge, he could see the Spider and Locust forming up next to the Swiftwind and Packrat as hastily geared up infantry piled into them. The squealing of the Buccaneers' one functioning cargo door told him the Attack Lance wouldn't be far behind. In the event, the four fastest units left over a minute before the first 'mech, the Phoenix Hawk, emerged from its cubicle. The Firestarter, Stinger, and Wasp followed quickly, and the huge door began grinding closed. The P-Hawk threw a smart salute toward the bridge and sprinted off, the other three in its wake. Renzi returned the salute, though he knew the pilot, his wife, couldn't see it.

Turning back to the ship's shattered holo-table and the paper map spread over it, he started planning for the defense of his... settlement. He still hesitated to think of it as more than a ship, even after all these years. Calling it "home" would be giving up the faint glimmer of hope that they could all get off this rock, and he just wasn't ready to do that. The struggling crops that meant life or death here did as little to make it feel like home as the native "rats", which at least provided a little more protein than the beans. The half-dozen children, though. They made it hard to avoid "home" in his thoughts.


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