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Chronicles of The 47th Legion - Part 4

Guest Bonetti

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Guest Bonetti

Chronicles of The 47th Legion - A Defiance Clan

Chapter 1 - Training

Bonetti – April 2046

Getting a promotion so quickly was certainly unexpected. I really did not know where to begin. I was given a crash course on the 47th SOP. I hope that would be enough when I had to give tactical orders to the squad. To make the squad as effective as possible I needed to learn more about each member of my squad. I wanted to know their background, their strengths, and their weaknesses. I tried to have a short conversation with each member of the squad. Vichus was a solid soldier. He had prior experience and I felt that I could depend on him to perform well. Doc, our medic, would be a real asset to the team, not every squad had a medic with real field experience. Jenkins was going to be a thorn in my side. Telling me to “Fuck-off†was unexpected. Not one to be startled by boldness I took Jenkins’s reaction with ease. He seemed to have acted as though he was a deer hearing the shot from a gun, and ready to flee for its life. His quick negative reaction and fleeing away did not form a positive first impression. I am sure there is something going on with Jenkins; I just had no idea yet what it could be. I will have to deal with it; I’m sure he’ll come around.

There is a lot of information that you have to know before you go into a firefight. Our Platoon Leader called the section leaders into a briefing to explain the operational parameters for our mission. We were going to attack a group of Raiders that had decided to make the farm their local base of operations. We reviewed maps of the Kenn Farm; we looked at the terrain and elevations. I found out something new looking at the maps. We had always heard the area called Mount Tam; I saw on the map that the real name, at least originally, had been Mount Tamalpais. We discussed our intelligence and what assets the Raiders may have present. Being new, I mostly listened. Tesserarian Buzinator divided the operational plan for the different squads and gave us our orders. Since Beta Section was still a man down, we were assigned to hold the right flank and would not actually participate in securing the buildings. The terrain was relatively flat near the farm; there was no high ground to speak of. There were some hill behind our squads position, so we thought that the Raiders were less likely to try flank us or to exit the area in our direction. Raiders were, after all, disorganized individuals; we figured at least a few would head our way. We then spent a few minutes discussing Arkfall tactics, which were simple enough; we would deploy one squad per quadrant, Beta was assigned the Northeast Quadrant.

We had about 10 minutes to get our teams ready to move out. I got everybody in the travel formation and we mounted up on our ATVs. It was only a few minutes before we got the command to move-out. It was pretty impressive to see so many of us riding down the road together; 25 ATVs going down the road in ranks of two. I could just imagine us on horseback flying pennons on lances as we rode off to battle during the middle ages. That made me think of my grandfather; he did always love those stories based on the middle ages.

The distance to the farm was about 20 miles; it took us about 30 minutes to get there. We dismounted and went the last half mile on foot. By then, our squad was in our assigned attack positions in a line on the right. We heard the signal to begin the attack over the comm. We were slowly moving forward leap frogging in two fire teams. We noticed that the sky was getting darker, and suddenly three Raiders came running around the corner of the barn in front of us. Jenkins noticed them just before the rest of us and she was already firing when the rest of us caught on and opened fire on them as well. They did not even get a chance to bring their weapons to bear before they were dead. We realized that a nearby Arkfall was imminent; our EGOs confirmed that, and we could already see some falling debris. Our squad was almost up to the building. I had the squad take up defensive positions and wait for the rest of the platoon to clear out the buildings per our orders. We only had one more Raider try to sneak out by us, and I do mean sneak. This guys was crawling so low to the ground you would have thought he was part snake. Fortunately, Vichus had a decent line of sight on him and was able to take him out with a single shot to the head. We were almost done at the farm; we rushed through the cleanup process and made sure the farmers were ok.

We had no time for any sort of celebration or even a chance to tell the troops they had done a good job; that would have to wait. TSR Buzzinator gave us the order to mount up. We double timed it back to our vehicles. The platoon was going to try and hit the Arkfall. We hoped that we would get there in time and get some decent alien technology. We had been were tearing down road at near reckless speeds when we arrived at the Arkfall; it was not a huge one; still, I knew that we were going to have bugs soon. I led the squad to the Northeast quadrant, and quickly surveyed the terrain. There was some higher ground behind our area of responsibility. So, I ordered the squad to deploy in a line formation and to concentrate on the larger bugs.

I took my sniper rifle and headed to the rise behind us. From there, I could take advantage of the high ground and take out the smaller bugs. The rest of the squad would be able to concentrate fire on the larger ones, the hellbugs. Things were going well; we were holding our position and destroying anything that came into our quadrant. The larger bugs had tough skin. They were particularly vulnerable in two places. The first one was the mouth or maw. That was typically where you shot at them when they were coming toward you. The other place was a spot where they had some vents or breathing holes in the back of their bodies. You rarely got an opportunity to hit them in the back. We had a lull where we had few skitterlings and just one larger bug in our quadrant. I noticed that Jenkins was moving forward and out of our line formation. I assumed he was trying to get to that spot in the rear of the hellbug. The problem was that if the hellbug burrowed and came up behind him he would get caught in the crossfire from our team and possibly from the team covering the quadrant on our left.

I got on the squad channel and yelled at him, “Jenkins! What the hell are you doing? Are you trying to get us all killed?†I paused for a moment to see if he was moving back. He was moving but doing it slowly, attacking the hellbug the whole time. “Dammit Jenkins, Get your ass back in that line! NOW!â€

We were lucky; that was the last of the hellbugs. We finished off the few remaining skitterlings and started to search through the wreckage for any usable technology. Doc managed to find one of those healing ray guns. We got back on our bikes and headed back to base.

Once we were back and had been dismissed by TSN Buzzinator, I poked my head in our barracks and ordered, “Jenkins, in my office.†I stepped into my small room with its small desk and chair.

“What the hell did you think you were doing out there, a fucking fun run?†I yelled!

And the conversation went downhill after that. Jenkins had real potential. He had great eyes and spatial awareness. It was obvious to me that he had been a loner and not used to working in a group setting, and he sure as hell had issues with taking orders. I just did not have enough experience as a green squad leader to know what to do about it at that moment, so I did the only think that came to mind. I said, “You are to report to MGS Kalimist in supply after your training and missions to help them every day until I instruct you otherwise. I better receive a message from him tonight telling me that you were there tonight and that you were pleasant and helpful. Or so help me, I will shove my boot so far up your ass it’s going to come out of your throat. Understood Miles Gregarious?†Dammit he was not a lowly Tiro, he should have known better.

He provided a weak yet defiant “Understood. Decanus.†then left my office.

He was walking that fine line, being belligerent but not so much that I would take drastic disciplinary action. Hopefully I would figure out how to approach the problem and get him straightened out. While I pondered what to do, we still had jobs to do. We had weapons and equipment to clean and maintain. I got out one of the cleaning kits and started to break down my sniper rifle. My family had always been meticulous when it came to weapon maintenance. It was something I had done so many times that I did not have to concentrate on the task. It gave me time to think. If we could just get Jenkins on board he would be an awesome member of the Legion. I had to find a way to reach through the shell, but I had no clue how to do that. My initial attempt to get to know him had been a disaster. Maybe I could learn something from Bean or Doc.

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