Legends and Myths Twenty Seven

Crossroads Landing Field
Crossroads, Ashton
0816 hours 21 April 3080

  Colonel Tinney was in the field operations center conference room when the alert sounded. Looking up, he got up from the seat and left the room and entered Operations.  “What the hell?” He called out to the operations chief who was fielding reports coming at him from various personnel.

  “Sir, there has been an interruption of an attempt on the Ghost Bear officers at the hospital,” He replied.  “Dusal Elementals have engaged and are securing the area along with the Reaction Force.  Initial reports are two assailants, both in custody, and the rest of the buildings are being secured.  A warning was received just before the attempt; neither officer was taken under fire and are secure.”

  Tinney walked up to the officer.  “Where did the warning come from?” He asked after a few moments of listening to the report flying around the center.  He knew better than to press; the answer would come when more data was to be had- the incident was ongoing and initial reports were always….  Suspect.

The operations officer, a Captain by the name of DeMare, fielded more information then looked at het Colonel.  “Right now, all I have is the warning came in direct to Krog Dusal and he acted on it right away.  According to him the two assailants were moving to a window as the Officers were about to exit the hospital.  Working on warning source- Krog and his people are busy securing the area.  Reaction Force is moving an APC up to cart the Visitors to the field.”

  “Sir- report from site- Dusal confirms only two assailants and area appears secure.”  A comms tech called out as he reached up to hold the earpiece against his ear a bit more securely.  “He indicates he will call in shortly.”

  DeMare acknowledged the information.  “Good…  Inform Krog to call in when he can…”  Looking over to the Colonel, he said, “As soon as I have that answer, I will let you know soonest, Colonel.”

  Tinney nodded.  “Very good…  I will meet the Ghost Bears when they get here.”


  Tinney departed Operations; the folks here knew their job and he’d only be in the way… Right now, he’d be a poor commander if he wasn’t on location when the Ghost Bear officers arrived here at the field.

Some ten minutes later, Tinney’s com chimed.  “Go ahead,” He answered as he waited by the Clan Shuttle, Colonel Hollister nearby. The Wolverine leader was present to wish his opponents a safe journey.

 [Its Krog…] Came the craggy voice over his earpiece. [No body is hurt but some want-to-be hitmen; the residents of the apartment they were in had been tied up and put in a closet.  They are alive too.]

  A breath of air was let out in relief.  “Good work,” The Lancer commander replied. “Who warned you?”

  A laugh. [Your mate…  direct com-call to my suit.  Got Operations to override my order for no outside calls,] The Elemental’s laugh was a deep one.  [Thought it was one of my children at first…  Caught me by surprise a bit, getting a warning from her; but knowing who she runs with I took it face value. Glad I did- haven’t had that much fun since cleaning out the Jihadists over on Johnson six years ago.]

  Tinney blinked.  “I’m surprised too- Kris doesn’t normally get involved in McCormack’s Spectre operations… and you have a warped sense of fun, Krog,” He replied, his mind whirring.  “Thanks for the call in…  Have the Visitors departed yet?”

 [They should be arriving at the field in two minutes or so,] Came the response.  [Made sure NOTHING else was even in eyesight…]

  “Excellent.  Thanks again, Krog,” Tinney said.

 [No problem.  Let me know when you need me again.  This was entertaining…] The elemental leader said and hung up.

  Tinney looked over to Hollister. “My wife was the one who warned them,” he said. “Peculiar…”

  Hollister shrugged. “Perhaps your wife is bored, which would be odd.  She still practices veterinary medicine in Landing, yes?”

  “Yes… and she has said many times it keeps her from being bored.”  Tinney replied as he spotted the trio of APCs coming in their direction.  “I’ll have to call her later.”

Lancer Commander’s Residence
Phoenix Lancer Main Compound
Auburn Mountains, Cromwell
1031hrs (GMT+2), 21 April 3080

  Entering the residence, Brooke Gregory carried a shopping bag and her comm-unit in her hands as she bumped the door closed.  The woman, the daughter of Kris from her prior marriage, had been shopping at the local market for some stuff to surprise her mom with lunch.  Knowing Mom had been out with Aunt Leslie at a party, Brooke was pretty sure her mom would want *something* to eat when she got up.  It wasn’t often she cooked for her (actually, damn rare) but she figured a surprise was needed.  And hopefully a nice one.

  “Hey, listen… I’ll call you later,” she said into her comm.  “I’m at mom’s and I need to make some food.  Talk later?”  After a reply was heard, she hung up and put her device away.  As she walked into the kitchen, Brooke almost tripped over her mom on the floor.

  “MOM!!”  She exclaimed and dropped the bags she carried.  Kneeling next to the unconscious woman, Brooke checked for a pulse as she’d been taught and after finding one, she grabbed her comm.  Tapping a contact, she waited for the person called to pick up, the comm unit set to speakerphone.  Knowing her Stepdad was going to be busy with the clan visitors, she had called the next best person…. And hoped she would answer.

 Calling Emergency Services to Quarters One would cause questions… and as a Professional Influencer, Brooke knew causing that sort of distraction right now was a bad idea.  Her stepdad had been working super hard trying to make sure as much as possible went right with the Clan Trial and their visit… and people digging into things none of their business would cause shit no one needed…

  Her stepdad was popular with most here on Centaurus… but not everyone.  There was always someone who would want to cause problems.  He’d always said this- and Brooke had learned how right he was as her Influencer career took off. Some people were just plain jerks…. Among other things.


  “Aunt Leslie!!  Its Brooke…  I need help-“

Crossroads Landing Field
Crossroads, Ashton
0839 hours 21 April 3080

  The two Ghost Bear officers stood outside the shuttle opposite the Lancer and Wolverine commanders.  All of them were relaxed as the last checks were performed by Lancer technicians.  Glancing at Hollister then to the two Clanners, Tinney spoke.  “Star Colonel, Loremaster…  I sincerely hope your trip back to the Dominion is far less eventful than your stay here…”

  Loremaster Tseng smiled. “I should hope so… it is a long journey back to Alshain and one looked forward to, strangely enough.”

 Star Colonel Lebowski echoed his clan-mate. “I agree.  I look forward to returning home,” he said. “Despite the results of the Trial and the attempt at the hospital, there is no animosity in our leaving.  You have been very accommodating with everything, Colonel… and the reputation of your Phoenix Lancers remains.  May we never face each other across a battlefield.”  Turning to Hollister, he continued. “Khan Hollister… it was an honor.  You and your men fought well, and I commend them.”

  Hollister nodded. “My thanks and I will relay the compliment to them. The gifts of equipment and items from the old Home Worlds are gladly accepted; space is being made within the Museum we have been creating will have space for some of them.” He said.  “And I have something for you to take with you home.”

  Reaching into a pocket, he produced a data drive.  “Complete schematic plans for the original Pulverizer and the Stag II. Based on the records the Lancers have, neither design is still in service anywhere within the Clans.  Perhaps with this rapprochement, we can return the help given to us with something that can benefit the Ghost Bear military.”

 A pause.  “Also on there is a full copy of the Wolverine Remembrance, updated as of two days ago.  I am fairly certain that none of the Wolverine versions remain within Clan Space so having it there once more… may be something of a full circle.”

  Lebowski accepted the drive from the Wolverine Khan and handed it to Tseng. “Khan Hollister, I accept this gift on behalf of Ghost Bear… and may the prospect of rapprochement be realized, and old friendships rekindled.” He spoke. “While I do not think it will come easy, it will happen.”

 Tinney chuckled. “Nothing worth the effort is ever easy.”

 Hollister agreed. “He is quite correct.  This is an important event… and having it accepted will not be easy.  I surmise the other Clans may have a thing or two to say about it all as they learn of it.”

 Tseng nodded.  “I am certain they will.  And Khan Kabrinski was looking forward to explaining the error of their thinking on a personal level.”

  With that, the two Clan officers came to attention and saluted.  The Lancer and Wolverine commanders responded in kind… and with that, the two visitors boarded their shuttle.  Tinney and Hollister backed away as the shuttle powered up and began backing away from the hangar.

  The shuttle then taxied to a strip and, with a roar of engines, raced down the line and lifted off, Lancer Fighters taking up station around the craft as it burned for space.

  Tinney watched it climb as his comm chimed.  Glancing to Hollister, he answered the device.  “Tinney…”

 [Sir, Operations…  you are needed back in Landing]

 “What’s up?”

 [Colonel McCormack is requesting your presence. Apparently there has been an incident at Quarters One. No details… just that you are needed back there as soon as able. No Alert has been raised.]

 A long pause.  “Let her know I am on my way…  And will call for details once I am in the air.”

 [Understood sir.  Operations clear.] The call ended.

  Tinney cursed and looked at his companion. “John, I have to get back to Landing.”

  Hollister looked back at him. “What’s wrong?”

 “Something at my home…  I’ll find out more as soon as I am in the air.”

 “Go.  I can finish here and will meet you back in Landing.”

  With that, Tinney turned and headed for an aircar to take him to the courier shuttles.  Time to see how fast those damn things could fly…

Lancer Commander’s Residence
Phoenix Lancer Main Compound
Auburn Mountains, Cromwell
1231hrs (GMT+2), 21 April 3080

 Some ninety minutes after being called, Tinney arrived at his residence to find Leslie’s vehicle parked in the drive as well as her exec’s beater and the stepdaughter’s car.  Getting out of the duty aircar, he hurried up the way to the house and entered.  “I’m here…”

 He had contacted Leslie after some fifteen minutes in the air and got a synopsis.  Brooke had found Kris on the floor unconscious and had called Les for help.  Les had determined, with the smell of incense in the house, that Kris might have done some digging related to last night’s party… and had likely overdone it.  She was ok as near as could be determined… but it was likely a good idea he was on his way, for reasons she would not get into over the comms.

  So, finding the Coven here at the house (if Shan was here, Maggie likely was too) told him exactly what sort of digging had been done.  John knew of the ritual Kris had… and knew she almost never used it without someone present.  That she had…. Well, it ended well this time, as the warning to Krog helped avert an Incident. But if she had hurt herself, the positive ending would be a bit…. Tainted.

  From the kitchen came Maggie’s voice. “She’s in the den with the others, John…”

 Tinney didn’t answer but simply went to the den where he found Kris, dressed in her sweats, seated in the big chair he usually used for reading in and saw that Shan had the other large chair occupied. Brooke was in here on a folding chair and Leslie stood off to the side, arms folded with her poker face present. “Ok… what happened?  And Kris, Krog says thank you- he got ‘em no problem.”

 Kris looked at her husband sheepishly.  “I had an itch I needed to scratch… and boy did I.” She replied. “Glad he got them…”

 A lifted eyebrow.  “Spirit Walk?”

 A nod. “Yes… In the process I met one of the Loremaster’s ancestors…  the First Khan or so she said. Whomever she was, she is the one who clued me into the attempted assassination.”

 Les joined in.  “The name given to Kris matches the information I have on the tablet I was given last night by Tseng.  And if that’s the case… and if the spirit was speaking true… it would seem their founders are judging the actions of Kabrinski as appropriate.”

 Kris nodded emphatically.  “Yes!  They are happy with events… the sense I got was of shame over their role in the original act… and relief over efforts to atone for it.  Even if it’s been forever as far as we mortals are concerned.”

 John shook his head.  “Wild…” He spoke.  “If you are right, then the Ancestors who were there support all this.  How others from that time view it… well, we may never know.  And No- don’t you go looking.”  Looking over at Brooke, he commented.  “Good to see you, squirt…  you alright?”

 Brooke made a face at the old nickname but it lasted only a second.  “I’m fine… and glad Mom is ok.  Sorry I didn’t call you… figured you were busy.”

 “I was… but that’s ok.  Wasn’t much I could do from where I was,” he answered. “Good thinking, in any event…”  A sigh.  “So now what?”

  Kris answered the question.  “What I need is a pint of ice cream… and a cleanup of the ritual room.  The incense burned out and I don’t know if I can get more anytime soon.” A frown.  “I think it is the last of the stuff I got on New Avalon when we visited your mom.”

 “Oh no worries,” Maggie commented as she entered the room with a tray of coffee cups.  “I have a cousin who is crew on the jumpship Wyomissing; they go through New Avalon on a regular basis.”

Shan looked at her friend. “Do you have a cousin everywhere?” She asked.  “Last week, you mentioned a cousin over on Tharkad who was getting the Lyran tequila I was looking for.”

  Maggie smiled sweetly.  “Oh you know…  I came from a really big family.  I got cousins all over… even in the Marik Guards.  My family should have been Irish, in how we are everywhere…”

Ukraine shite… now Seventy Seven days in.

Who knew?

Who knew the Russians would be so damn inept… and woefully ill-prepared for a foe that could offer any true resistance?  I didn’t.  None of the experts did either, as like 90% of them had the Russians either taking Kyiv in four to six days or the country in a week to two weeks.

I know I was a lonely voice among my analyst friends in saying the Ukrainians would not roll over and collapse, that they would give a serious fight…. And that the Russians had nowhere near enough assets for their plans/goals.

 But this level of fight?  It damn sure exceeded my expectations.

Yeah, yeah… the Russian army performance has been crap and their plan has obviously been proven to be crap too… but the initial weight of their assault was no joke.  I mean, the initial successes *were* successes- unfortunately for them, they were not able to capitalize on the first few hours of successful gains.

  And as the last six weeks or so have shown, Russian combat doctrine and training- along with equipment and Logistical Ability-  have NOT lived up to any sort of previous expectations.  Between inadequately trained troops (conscripts!?!), poorly maintained gear, a garbage logistics plan and zero cohesion in battle plans…  it boggles the mind how bad they have shown themselves.   Worse performance is yet to come, I think… how much worse, is a damn good question.

What my nerdy, armchair-quarterbacking self is seeing and thinking…

  The Ukrainian Resistance has done far better than expected…… and over the last two weeks, has managed to push Russians along out of places they were abandoning… and give non-retreating Russian Forces something to think about in other places. This includes giving defending Russian troops a drubbing in spots, gaining territory back from them.  This is going to snowball a bit, as the West/NATO continue to up-arm the Ukrainians.  And that up-arming is a interesting thing….

I figure the AFV deliveries should really start to be felt soon- its all tanks they know how to use and stuff that is Upgraded and Maintained…  Might be Soviet Era tanks… but they have modern Western weapon sights, updated reliable engines and electronics.   And they are not conscript troops…

  We have seen how well the Javelins work, along with so much other light and medium Anti-Armor systems.  Some say that the Era of the Tank is over because of how well they are working… I disagree.  And I disagree for a couple reasons.

  1. Armor is not a be-all/end-all martial component.  Tanks can help you in the Assault, using their weight to shove an opponent back.  But they require SUPPORT… because of the prospect of a brave defender with aforementioned Javelin or other Anti-Armor weapon who is not suppressed…
  2. Proper doctrine for their use.  As stated, armor needs to be supported on the offensive.  Motorized Infantry, tactical air elements…  all things that can be utilized to assist armor to survive and deliver its fire against a foe. Without it, you get what you get so far… and this was proven three times in the last five or so years, with both Soviet style and Western Style equipment; in Syria for purely Soviet style and Iraq twice- early on with Soviet Style armor and later with Iraqi western-style armor getting stomped by ISIS.

In my opinion, if you have properly trained crews and a good doctrine for armor use… plus supporting arms, the Tank remains very viable. The US proved this ad-nauseum (granted, twice it was against the Iraqi’s) over the years… and the Ukrainians are trying to do same to the Russians.  And they seem to have had *some* success with the same gear.
 It is a bit harder, truth to tell, with being outnumbered but they are managing.  And its going to improve, I think, as the better equipment comes into play.  The Ukrainians are better trained… and have morale on their side.  Both help immensely.

Speaking of supporting arms…  The Ukrainian Air Force apparently STILL exists and is STILL flying missions.

  Russian propaganda claims the Ukrainians have no craft left…  Considering that Mariupol resistance was being supplied by helicopter until recently… and that two SU-27’s recently hammered the occupied Snake Island (of “Russian Warship- go Fuck Yourself” fame) with a sortie…  Wow.

Now, given what both sides claim to have killed/destroyed is most likely inaccurate by a lot (or massively in the Russian case), one can draw a few conclusions as to the health of both side’s armor and air assets.

  And its not looking good for the Russians. 

Putin’s Army started out with a massive advantage in Air, Armor and Artillery.  Over the last several weeks, those advantages have been reduced greatly or worse for all but their Artillery.  And its not going to get any better.

There is plenty of concern for the possible use of nuclear weapons or Chemical Weapons.  And these are damn valid concerns.  That they have not, is a good sign.  That there has been saber rattling on their being used… Dude.  Not surprised… but using them NOW is a tacit admission to having lost/being in a losing position.

  I still expect gas to be used in the Azovstal Steelworks plant…  as Chemical Weapons can get into places that explosives cannot… It’s part of their old doctrine, as I recall… and Russia has lots of experience in using chemicals.  That it is regarded as a line that should not be crossed… well, I’m not sure Vlad cares at this point.  So much has gone wrong with this entire “Special Military Operation”, between Intelligence Failures, Doctrinal failures and the incredibly poor performance of his vaunted Military… that nothing really is off the table.  But it is a line that crossing would show exactly how desperate He is for something resembling a success.

  That it HASN’T yet, is surprising.  But either there is concern for gassing their own or there is concern over their delivery systems even being of viable function (remember the poor maintenance issue?) which makes employing them problematic.  If you are gonna use that stuff, you want to be sure the delivery systems work….

  Same goes for the Strategic Rocket Forces.  Given the 40% or so failure rate of their CONVENTIONAL missiles, it makes one wonder if the Strategic systems have the same potential problem.  40% failure is abysmal…. And that is on systems that should be far easier to maintain.  So in my opinion, despite the saber rattling, there *could* be hesitancy on using for both reliability issues… and that Red Line.

I think more the former than the latter…  I mean, the sanctions are biting Russia hard and its become apparent how much of their ability to do things or make equipment relies on Western parts. Add in the previously discussed Kleptocracy issues that undercut everything else’s capabilities… so why would *that* one facet of their forces be immune?

Pretty scary, eh?

The other thing going on… is the Home Front morale of the Russians.  With attacks on mobilization sites, mysterious fires and explosions at places FAR from the border show issues in his backfield.
  When you add in the reported VPN downloads allowing civilians to bypass the Internet Blocks the Kremlin had put up, the façade Putin has thrown up to delude his populace…. Has developed more than a few holes in it.

  That May Day parade speech…  some delusional wording that will only be believed by those without a means to access outside information.  And that number, that percentage of his populous… is going down daily.

This war is going to drag on through the Summer unless Ukraine’s counter offensive really does kick them out or something happens to Vlad to cause a pullback.  Because Vlad is not gonna back down- because he can’t.

And that the west is STILL more or less on the same page… makes it that much worse for him.

New stories to post within the next few days. Possibly by Saturday.

Legends and Myths Twenty Six

Lancer Commander’s Residence
Phoenix Lancer Main Compound
Auburn Mountains, Cromwell
0931hrs (GMT+2), 21 April 3080

 Kris had entered the house not long after sunrise, having been at the Promotion Party till the end.  The unexpected guest had been a wrinkle, to be sure, but what she had sensed following her was intriguing.  She would have noticed without looking for any, its energy that potent.  But when Les had asked her to look, she made a point to see without being blatant about it.

  And what she saw… was what she told Leslie.  At least in the basics.

  Finer details… the entity that was following the Clanswoman who was with them was an OLD spirit.  A powerful one too, to be sure, if it was following Tseng all the way out here.  Kris got the sense the spirit was proud of the Loremaster and Kris could guess why.  At least, if the spirit approved of the actions of the Clan.  No way to know, really… unless she tried a Spirit Walk Ritual in order to speak with it.  And those rituals… she hated doing alone. 

  She was going to need someone here when she did it though.  The level and depth of concentration and requirement to be in a meditative state…  the universe could blow up and she’d not know.  Which is what made doing it so damn dangerous.  And she had a limited selection of people to ask…

 The Coven, to be sure, was the best option for that and after them, her Husband.  John was well aware of her talents… and while not completely a believer in such abilities, he knew enough to know he didn’t know everything and somethings…. Could not and cannot be explained by science.  Unfortunately, he was not home at this time, with the Clan visitors still on planet and scheduled to leave sometime in the next three days, his time was pretty much not his own until they left.

 The girls were not an option right now- all of them having just gotten home after the party and likely not awake.  Kris looked at a clock on the wall and thought about when she should try.  Deciding on giving it a shot later, she slipped off shoes and clothes… and went to bed.

 Two hours later, she got up.  Like an itch she could not reach to scratch, the question of what was following the Lore Master had her brain running.  Going to the coffee machine in the kitchen, she padded through the house in her robe and pondered trying anyway.  “I need my head examined,” she said to herself as she entered the room she used for her books on Occult and other sundry items… and ritual space. “But I gotta find out…”

  Setting out candles, she pulled the proper incense and sandalwood from a bin on a shelf.  Kris then set out a small blanket and bowl to which she placed a prized Dragon’s Blood candle and then lit it.  The scent of the candle would help drive out anything negative in the area before she began her ritual.

  Opening her grimoire, she turned to the pages that detailed the rite she was about to do.  A rare one, the ritual was one that was difficult to perform in either form, as the entity that was wished to be contacted via one version, had to be willing to talk and the spirit walk to speak to those entities when they were not present, with the other use of the rite, usually resulted in extreme exhaustion at a minimum because of the personal energy expended to travel in that realm.  It was not an easy ritual to cast… which is why she rarely did it.

  That she even had it, Kris wasn’t even sure why… but she did.  And there was something compelling her  to pull it out and go looking.

After the candle had been burning for a few minutes, she made sure she had an electrolyte drink and some snacks in the room.  Satisfied she had enough here, she settled in before the casting space in the middle of the room and began the incantation.  Calming her breathing as she chanted, she closed her eyes and concentrated on reaching into the spirit plane…


 Kris opened her eyes after what seemed like an hour…. To find herself looking at everything around her as if through a thin fabric.  :Well that worked…: She thought and flew through the space of the residence, passing through walls as if they were not there at the speed of thought.

  Looking around, she glanced at her body and noted she wore nothing here and internally giggled.  A thought and her form was instantly clad in that of a Lancer pilot… the garb she felt appropriate.  A pause to think on where to look…. And she launched herself for the area around Crossroads.


Crossroads Military Hospital
Crossroads, Ashton
0745hrs GMT

  Loremaster Tseng, yawning a bit, entered the hospital and after clearing security, made her way up to Star Colonel Lebowski’s room.  Entering it, she noted he was up and dressed.  “So they are clearing you to leave, then?” She asked.

 “Aff,” He replied. “Clean bill of health.  As near as the doctor can determine, I should have no ill effects going forward and the handful of lacerations will be healed in a few days.”

 A nod.  “Very good…” She commented. “I have had an interesting evening.  I was able to go and visit with Lt Colonel McCormack out at the Lancer main compound.”

  Lebowki glanced at Tseng as he bent down to secure his boots. “Oh?  How was it and how is their security?”

  Tseng moved to a chair and sat.  “Very solid, as near as I can tell.  The walls are solid and internal security patrols are common though not at set times.  Fairly random, actually… but not haphazard.  I am impressed.  I was nowhere near their mech hangars, of course, but in the non-military areas, it does appear they are fairly wise to the possibility of troublemakers.  At the very least while we are here.”

  A grunt.  “Hmph.  Not a normal state of affairs then.  But one they can run with no great issues,” Lebowski mused.  “They either have a large security force or are used to over-manning.  I had opportunity to speak with the Elemental detachment guarding me and patrolling the town.  He mentioned this is all not normal.  I did counter with that this entire situation was peculiar.  He did laugh at that.”

 Tseng nodded. “Colonel McCormack was very accommodating, and her command group an eclectic bunch.  While meeting with them, I discovered I may have opportunity to help our Science Caste on the question of the Ghost Bear transplanting.”


 A nod. “Yes.  The spouse of Colonel Tinney is also an animal physician.  Has been doing it for over twenty years and may be willing to assist.  I spent a good hour discussing our totem with her,” she advised. “She said she is intrigued by coming to see one.  Perhaps a future invitation to examine may be in the offing…. Provided we are able to return to Dominion Space and actually be able to host such a thing, quaff?”

A chuckle. “Aff. Let us get home first and find out how the winds of politics are.  Khan only knows how much fall out there is going to be over this,” Lebowski said. “As soon as the other clans get wind of what we did, it is going to be a right mess.”


Kris arrived at the Crossroads Hospital quickly and noted the low number of spirits in the area.  This struck her as a good thing, as it would make finding the one she sought that much easier.  Flitting about, she quickly searched the area and within in almost no time at all, she found her quarry…

  She was a powerful looking woman, clad in what only could be the ceremonial garb of a Clan Khan and she looked bemused as Kris appeared before her.

My you are the strange one,” she said. “Bold too.. for you are not of this world…” The woman turned to look directly at Kris as a sword manifested in her hands “Speak now… and give me reasons to not strike you down.. ”

Kris held up her hands in a way as if to say Wait-A-Minute.  “Whoa!!  Hold up…  I’m here only to find out who YOU are… that’s all. Really!!” she exclaimed. “You’re the oddest spirit attachment I’ve ever seen and I had to find out what you were…”

 The woman stared at her for a good ten seconds and then put away the blade, the weapon dissipating away into nothing. “I am most curious…  I sense you are not a spirit and yet here you are,” the woman said, her voice laden with curiosity. “So I ask… who are you?”

 Kris let loose the breath she had been holding (not that It matter in the spirit realm…) and replied. “I am Kristina, Wife of John and a member of the Phoenix Lancers…” She began, eyeing the woman before her.  Remembering details about how the Clans tended to view mercenaries, she continued… “a unit descended from Star League commands who stayed behind to help guard civilians from harm as best they could.…  Like the Eridani Light Horse.” She said a silent thank you to Leslie and Sean; the lessons on other units like theirs who had similar lineage might help keep her from being thrashed here…

A nod. “I believe I recognize you… you were at that party my blood descendant was at,” the woman looked over at the two Ghost Bear warriors on the other side of the Veil.  “I am Khan Sandra Tseng, founder of the both the Blood line and a founder of the Clan….”

Oh shit, Kris thought.  “Well… met, Khan Tseng?” she offered. “Is there something I can offer you as assistance then?” A mental smack.  If this was who she said she was, it was highly unlikely Kris was going to offer much of any help here.

The Khan shook her head.  “I do not know; unless you have a means of preventing harm to my descendant from those who wish to kill her here… I am unsure of anything you might be able to assist with- “ A pause.  Even Spirits can have epiphanies… ”There is something; should she survive, please tell my Descendant she has done well to correct a great wrong… as Khan Merrill would also say were she here..”

Kris followed the words being spoken, still jazzed about this entire exchange when the comment about those wanting to kill Loremaster Tseng registered.  “Who is wanting to kill her?  And do you know where?” Of course, it was probably a rhetorical question- that the threat was mentioned likely meant the Khan knew.  But was unable to do anything about it.

  Which was not unusual with those of the Sprit world; not many were able to manifest corporeally to affect the Real World.  Obviously, Khan Tseng could not… otherwise it would not have come up.

Tseng motioned to Kris to follow- which she did.  The Ghostly Khan led her to a building opposite of the hospital and to an upper floor where two men sat assembling what looked like to the Lancer woman a fairly powerful sniper rifle.  What kind, she didn’t know… what she did though was she didn’t have much time.

  Kris looked at the Khan. “These men are not ours, I assure you… and I have a means to stop them but must leave fast…” She said quickly.  “I will pass word to Loremaster your words….”

 The Khan nodded.  “My thanks to you…  As much as I want further conversation, you must act fast…”

  Kris nodded.  “Fast is not the word I’d use… If I can, I will be back”  With that, the Lancer willed her return to her home and back into her body, repeating to her self that she had to get up and make a call…

Get Up and call…. Get up and Call…  Get U-“


A groan as she slumped forward, catching herself with her hands on the floor of the room. “-p and call…” She said aloud.  Bleary-eyed, Kris looked around the room and noticed no communicator was present.  “Shit… what a time to not have the damn thing…”

Levering herself up, she staggered from the room to the kitchen, where she knew the house vidcom was.  Stumbling to the counter next to it, she stabbed at the activation button.  After a two second pause, a person from Communications answered.

[Comm Center, Lt Rodriguez.]

“Lieutenant, Kris Tinney…  I need a link to Krog Dusal.  Now please…”

A pause.  [One moment…  Ma’am, he’s on diversion for anything but priority calls.]

A mental curse. Of course he would be- last thing he needs is one of the clan kids calling him. “Lieutenant…  This is a priority call- there is an assassin after the Loremaster and I know where he is…  Put the call through” Kris hoped she sounded authoritative and not frantic.  “I’ll take the grief and tell them I said to; there is no time to go get permissions…”

Rodriguez looked at the Commander’s wife through the screen.  Given her state of dress and well, the weirdness of the request, he could say he couldn’t.  But given HOW unusual the request was, something said to him a connection was a smart idea.  Christ on a crutch, far too much weird happened on his shifts…  [Ok ma’am,] he said as he tapped in the appropriate commands.  [It will be voice only; elemental suits don’t come with Video Conference capability.]

  Kris breathed out.  “That’s fine, Lieutenant…”

  [Connecting now.]


  Krog stood at the entryway to the hospital and was just looking around when his comm chimed.  “Speak or get hung up on,” He said; he was slightly tense as too much had gone right lately for his liking. Granted, busting heads on a Drunk Patrol was fun but still…

 [Krog?  Kris Tinney, Colonel Tinney’s wife…  You have an assassin across the street!] She blurted out.

 The head of the Dusal blinked as his brain processed the word Assassin.  Then his mouth caught up. “Where?” He hissed.  That a warning came from the Lancer Commander’s wife was crazy unusual enough… but given who she worked for, if he remembered right (too much political shit to remember sometimes), this could be information from her boss. And the universe seems to be having more than a few fits of crazy lately…

 [Building across the street, fourth floor roughly a half-left turn looking from the hospital.  Two men with a big sniper rifle.]

  Krog took a step forward to see the general area she said and spotted the slightly open window.  Not an unusual thing for the weather but with this warning from an unusual source….  Just then he heard the doors of the hospital open as Mongo’s voice was heard. “Colonel Lebowski and the Loremaster left the elevator.”

 To Kris, he said. “Noted and dealing with it.” Killing the channel, he called out to Mongo. “Hold them inside…  Dealing with a problem- fourth floor and three over…”  Stepping forward into the street from out under the carport, Krog broke into a Run and after vaulting on to the low wall in front of him, he activated his suit’s jumpjets.

 A normal elemental suit could manage to jump to the third floor of a building without too much issue.  Being it was the fourth he needed; the suit was going to need some help.  That they were about a half floor above ground level helped a lot… but the low wall would help more.  The fact he was not carrying an SRM Pack today- damn thing was a pain in the arse some days- was a bigger help.

 All these factors combined allowed him to get the lift and airtime needed to make that window.  As he closed in on it, he could see the figures of two men coming to the window and their facial shock of seeing a Clan Elemental suit rocketing at their room…

  Crashing through the glass, Krog turned his landing into a tumble, using the martial arts falls he had been learning the last few months to help him both enter the room and act when he stopped.  Several panicked shots from the one of the two men, who had a sidearm to hand, ricocheted off him as he came up to a knee.

  “Stupid…” he said as he triggered his auto-shotgun anti-personnel weapon at one man, clipping legs in the process.  Lifting the heavy Machinegun he favored for Anti-Mech work, he pointed at the other man and fired, the rounds ripping past his target and sounding incredibly loud in the space.

  The remaining would-be assassin shifted to his left and fired the sniper rifle in his hands at Krog.  The round from the heavy rifle failed to penetrate the armor of the Elemental- but it definitely tore a chunk of armor from it….


 Down below, the chaos that Krog’s action triggered was controlled.  Mongo and two other Elementals, clad in the same Head Hunter armor as their boss, took up positions around the visiting Ghost Bear officers and scanned for additional threats.

 One of the Elementals tapped Lebowski on a shoulder and handed him an autoshotgun he had just removed from his own armor.  “Just in case…” the trooper said to him.

  Hospital Security also sprung into action as a call went out for the Reaction force down the street as more weapons fire was heard from the room Krog entered.

 Krog’s mate, Bonita, came sprinting from the far side of the Hospital and launched on her own jets for the room.  That Krog had not called an all clear yet six seconds into the fracas meant either these guys were good or he was slipping.  Either way, a second Elemental would make sure the job was done.  As she reached the room, Krog called over the coms that Targets were down.  Landing in the room she scolded.  “You could have saved me one…”

Krog laughed as he advanced on the two downed men, a harjel sprayer deployed. “Next time.  There is still the rest of the building to clear… and two prisoners to see to.  Choose…”


 Kris put her head down and then slowly sank to the floor of the kitchen, controlling her descent as best she could.  Hoping like hell her warning was in time, she lay down on the cool floor, her robe partially flopped open as she closed her eyes.   So tired, she thought.  Should have had the drink before I did that…

Within ten seconds of her setting her head down on the floor, she was out cold.