09/08/2017 at 21:09 #69568
So I’m really into backstories. I’ve got this character called Xeg Proxim who I’ve used on and off since I was about 15, I think in his first iteration he was a pseudo-Roman soldier. His fundamental personality doesn’t really change from setting to setting but everything else about him does and it’s always fun to see how he’ll turn out and what choices he’ll make depending on where he is in space and time.
I knew I wanted to use him for a fairly “hard sci-fi” Five Parsecs campaign, but knowing him like I do after 15 years of adventures and misadventures, I wanted to know how he’d find find himself on the fringes of the galaxy and, more importantly, why. So I got the basic idea of the universe in my head, put Xeg in the most likely position he’d find himself in within that universe and let the narrative unfold.
I’ve got one more game to play in this prologue before Xeg actually finds himself at the start of the actual game, I hope you enjoy reading about his journey as much as I do and yes, I’ll be adding photos soon.
"You will NOT call me sir! I actually WORK for a living"
- Every drill-sergeant ever09/08/2017 at 21:10 #69569
The year is 5430. Humanity has reached the stars and colonised them, terraforming resource-rich worlds and mining asteroid belts. The Empire of Humanity claims total jurisdiction over every world it surveys and every inhabitant who dwells on them. The Emperor is far removed from his subjects, bureaucracy invades almost every aspect of life, the lack of FTL communications leave the Outer Rim Territories scrambling for resources, both human and material, while the Core Worlds are bursting at the seams from overpopulation. Rebellions, insurgencies and military mutinies are all too common, rogue Admirals from the Imperial Navy and Generals from the Imperial Army establish themselves as Warlords of mini-empires and Planetary Defence Forces, loyal first to their planet, abuse and oppress the very people they’re sworn to protect. Only the Terran Marine Corps remain stalwart and incorruptible, their elite training and loyalty to the Emperor make them soldier for soldier the most formidable fighting force in the Empire’s arsenal. The Marines are constantly sent to where the fighting is fiercest, to where the situation is most desperate and to where victory is the only conceivable option. They operate with the surgical precision of a scalpel, and the brute force of a sledgehammer!
New Vesta, Core Worlds, 5430
The corporate government of New Vesta faces outright rebellion. Its employees, technically everyone on the planet, have endured one pay-cut and food price increase too many and are now in open revolt! The Terran Marine Corps were sent in once the shit hit the fan to restore law and order and ensure that the Imperially Approved government remained in control of the planet. That was 7 months ago.
The Terran Marine Corps Company known as Hayeson’s Hammers have been fighting an increasingly desperate rearguard action. Ambushes and suicidal raids as well as open battles had slowly forced the Marines to abandon the whole planet apart from Bothu, the capital city. The order to evacuate has finally come down from Imperial Command and the Marines have been tasked with holding the spaceport until all the corporate VIPs have been evacuated, only then will they be able to board the last transports and leave New Vesta to rip itself apart.
Squad Secundus of Second Platoon drew the short straw and moved into position around the perimeter of the spaceport as the last of the Marines board the Hawk Marine transport that will take them to the orbiting space station. Sergeant Xeg Proxim and the men and women under his command must hold the line at all costs until the order to cut and run is given, then they have to run like hell for the transport!
Their battle line is silent for once, there is none of the easy banter that usually marks the tense moments before battle is joined. Corporal Jenna Dersand and her Fireteam hold the western line while Corporal’s Avis Ales and Arthis Mason hold the east with the Sergeant among them, leading as always from the front.
“Steady Marines”, says Xeg into the silence, “Ten more minutes and it’s our turn to board”.
As he says this the street ahead erupts with a roar as an armed mob beyond counting thunders towards the spaceport, intents on its destruction…
Defence of Bothu Spaceport
Their line held, barely. Wave after wave of Rebels came pouring through the streets into the killzone in front of the spaceport, firing madly as they advanced. Their lack of training meant that all but the luckiest of shots went wide or merely pinged off the Marines’ armour. After five minutes of heavy fighting, during which Rebels dropped like flies, one of the Rebel snipers got lucky and Sgt Xeg Proxim went down with blood pouring from his head. Corporal Mason was the next to go down, a high-velocity round ripping his left leg away at the hip. Rifleman Bellee took a shot right to the head which by some miracle didn’t penetrate his armour and only briefly knocked him to the ground. Rezal wasn’t so lucky, a bullet found the weak spot in her armour at the elbow just as the order came through from Captain Hayeson to retreat. Fireteam Alpha raced around to the eastern side of the starport to the entrance, firing from the hip at the oncoming horde. Rifleman Micha Damsen takes a shot directly to the front of her helmet and her face is smashed apart. As she falls, Corporal Avis Ales is there to catch her before she hits the ground. He heaves her onto his shoulders and the two of them disappear into the starport and the awaiting dropship. As yet another wave of howling Rebels storm up the streets, Riflemen Arymo Righte, Patry Bellee and Johne Paray each gather a fallen comrade and dash for safety. Paray carries the Sergeant in through the door and right into the Hawk. Outside, Corporal Jenna Dersand comes off second best in a brutal hand to hand with a massive local and barely escapes into the building before the Rebel falls to fire from Righte and Bellee as they haul Mason and Rezal to safety. Covering her brothers and sisters in arms to the last, Rifleman Heria Coley brings up the rear, unleashing a spray of fire that keeps the mob back just long enough for her to see the last of her comrades board the dropship. Coley then sprints for the transport herself, making a leap up onto the ramp as the Hawk takes off, leaving the ruin of Bothu far behind…
New Vesta is deemed Fallen by Imperial Command, a deadly virus is unleashed on the planet from orbit. It will kill every last human being and leave the planets’ infrastructure and biosphere intact, it will not be a quick death.
Sergeant Xeg Proxim watches from the observation lounge in the sickbay of the I.N.S Justicar as New Vesta dies. Beside him, Corporal Dersand and her Fireteam stand witness, stony faced. Mason and Damsen are in the hands of the surgeons, Mason is having a cloned leg attached while Micha Damsen needs a full facial reconstruction. The rest of his squad enter, the colour finally returning to Rezal’s face after the massive blood loss she suffered during the bloody retreat. Xeg looks Paray in the eyes, “Thanks Johne”, he says quietly, “That’s two I owe you now”. Johne smiles his tight smile, “Actually Sarge, I think you’ll find that squares us up”. Xeg returns the smile and turns to Arymo, “The Lieutenant got word back from the Old Man, you’re cleared to start the Heavy Weapons Specialist course next rotation”. “Thanks Sarge”, says Right, “Gimme something to do on this bucket besides sittin on my ass between now and next deployment”. “Yeah, cos that’s all the rest of us’ll be doing”, Jane puts in sarcastically. “It’s double-shift training once we’re all out of sickbay”, Xeg confirms, “We’ll be getting our next deployment orders in the next few days, it’d be sooner if the Captain didn’t have to wait for word from the Admiral to transfer us all to the Poignant”. T.M.C.S Poignant was a Marine cruiser that served as Hayeson’s Hammers command ship, but Admiral Vequez didn’t want the Marines to leave his ship, and his jurisdiction, until he’d found someone to pin the blame for the fall of New Vesta on. It had been intelligence from the Admirals’ operatives that had assured Imperial Command that one Company of Marines would be sufficient to quell the planets’ population, when in reality a full battalion would not have sufficed. The Company had lost too many good Marines and Captain Hayeson was by all reports all too ready to “discuss” matters with the Admiral. At the mention of the Admiral Squad Secundus fell silent, each thinking thoughts that couldn’t be voiced as they looked down below on the choking world…
Volp III, Mid-Rim, 5430
Hayeson’s Hammers have been deployed to Volp III to combat yet another rogue Imperial Army General. General Yu has taken control of the planet, subverted the PDF and established herself as military dictator, daring the Empire to try and retake a world that has skilled technicians as its primary export. It is far too valuable to virus bomb. There is a resistance movement that is fighting a guerilla insurgency against the Generals’ forces and the Marines have been sent in to link up with them, train them and assist in any way to liberate Volp III.
The leader of the resistance, Luisa Haeg, has been captured in a raid and must be recovered, her inspiring presence motivates all those who fight for her and she holds together the disparate factions within the organisation that might otherwise fragment into smaller, less effective movements. Marine Intelligence has learned of a cave system the PDF use as an emergency base, this is thought to be the most likely place they would keep Haeg. Captain Hayeson decides a frontal assault is too risky. Instead, he sends in Squad Secundus of Second Platoon to retrieve the leader and extract her to a waiting Hawk which will circle high above. Sergeant Xeg Proxim tells his squad to suit up for stealth, equip silencers and prepare for the mission.
Extract the Resistance Leader
They entered the cave system quickly and silently. Sgt Xeg Proxim had given the orders already, he and Fireteam Alpha would circle to the south, Fireteam Beta would circle to the north and Fireteam Czerka would form a defensive line near the mouth of the cave, covering their escape route and taking out guards when the opportunity presented itself. The PDF guards were sloppy, patrolling in an utterly predictable circle. It was easy for Xeg and Alpha to slip past them to the south and for Corporal Jenna Dersand to silently take one out with a headshot. Rifleman Micha Damsen held back as Cpl Ales and Rfm Paray circled north and started searching the huts for Luisa Haeg, finding only empty rooms. With Fireteam Alpha covering him, Xeg cracked open the door of a hut and peered inside. There, tied to a chair but looking unharmed, sat Luisa. He slipped into the room and was in front of Luisa before she knew he was there. “Wait!”, Luisa whispered urgently, “There’s an alarm trigger in the ropes. If you untie me, the alarm goes off!”. “I need you to be able to move”, says Proxim in a low voice, “We’ve taken out most of the guards but we still need to get out of here as quickly as possible before reinforcements arrive” “I overheard the guards saying the General Yu sent a squad of Delta Force to escort me to the capital”, Haeg said, “They could get here any minute” “Shit!”, Xeg thought hard then keyed his radio, “Marines be advised, I have found Haeg but releasing her will trigger the alarm”, he sub-vocalised, “We also have a squad of traitor Delta Force incoming. Beta, get back to the entrance double-time. Czerka, hold your position. Alpha, get ready to cover us, we’re coming out!”. He sliced through the bonds and the alarm immediately went off in a deafening cacophony of noise. Xeg and the Resistance leader dashed from the hut and right into the sights of Delta Force, the Imperial Army’s elite troops, who had arrived that very second. Arymo Righte opened fire, cutting a trooper down with his LMG. Cpl Dersand, with Heria Coley in support, also opened fire taking out one and causing another to retreat in panic. To the northern side of the cavern, Cpl Ales and Rfm Paray are boxed in by the two remaining PDF guards. Paray takes out one of them but is then shot down at point blank range by the second. Unthinking, Ales rushes to Paray, firing from the hip as he ran and completely intimidating the guard who turned and ran, Ales then shouldered his brother in arms and carried him to the cave entrance. Meanwhile, the rescue of Haeg continued. Sgt Proxim shoved Luisa behind him as he took a shot at a trooper who poked his head up from behind cover, the trooper flinched back and the duo moved further westward toward safety. Alpha were resolute in their defence, laying down a wall of fire to cover the Sgt and Haeg. A bullet smashed into Dersand’s helmet and knocked her to the ground but she got straight back up, threw off the shattered headgear and put a round neatly through the head of of the Delta trooper who’d shot her. The last remaining Delta trooper wisely broke contact and Squad Secundus fell back to the waiting Hawk, their prize in tow…
“I’m sorry about your man Sergeant, but we need to move now!”, Luisa Haeg was insisting. She claimed to have knowledge of a meeting between General Yu and an Imperial Intelligence agent who wanted to turn traitor. “Rifleman Paray is in a critical condition from wounds he sustained in the operation to recover you”, Xeg answered calmly, “Until he receives medical attention I cannot redeploy my squad”. “It’s a 50km detour! He’ll arrive at the facility 20 minutes later, maximum!”, Luisa was shrill in her urgency, “If we can get to Halo Base we have a chance of taking the General out! With her gone, the regime will teeter and we can push them till they fall!”. Xeg considered the situation, a dictator for a Marine? The freedom of an entire planet or the potential death of one of his soldiers? He knew he could send it up the chain of command and let one of his superiors make the choice for him, but Marines didn’t think like that. The ranking officer on the ground had broad latitude to make command decisions, knowing that his or her superiors would back them to the hilt. Sergeant Xeg Proxim felt the full weight of command fall on his shoulders. “Pilot. Change course”…
Halo Base, Volp III, Mid-Rim, 5430
“There she is”, Rifleman Micha Damsen sub-vocalised into her communicator, “General Yu has entered the building”. Xeg Proxim assessed the situation, Halo Base was defended by 10 Imperial Army troopers, 10 PDF troopers and a concrete wall. General Yu and the traitor Imperial Intelligence operative were inside the administration building. Squad Secundus were one Marine short, Xeg hoped fervently that Paray made it to the medical facility on time. Micha was positioned on a nearby roof with the TMC Sniper Rifle she had exchanged her Marine Assault Rifle for on the Hawk, ready to wreak havoc on the enemy below and take out the General and the operative when they appeared. The rest of the squad got ready to assault the base. “Explosive charges planted Sergeant”, the word from Corporal Ales came through, “Ready to breach on your command”. “Ales, you will breach when Damsen takes the shot. Damsen, call it”. “Yes sir”, said Damsen, “Taking the shot”…
Assault On Halo Base
The shot rings out and the concrete wall explodes outward in two places. As the IA soldiers guarding the building containing the General and the II operative get splattered with the blood of their comrade and duck for cover, the Marines enter the base. There is no attempt at stealth as Proxim’s soldiers storm the base from the north and south. Righte unleashes a hail of fire from his LMG, taking out a handful of PDF and drawing the fire of many more until their return fire finally knocks him to the ground, his armour locking up as the bullets hit a vital point. Proxim moves steadily towards the target building, squeezing off shots as targets present themselves. He and Alpha assault the IA lines just as General Yu and the operative emerge. Upon hearing the explosion, General Yu started to don the Powered Combat Armour she had brought along as insurance, now she and the operative started to sprint for the gates and outside to safety. “Bring them down!”, Xeg snapped into his communicator, “Alive if possible but do it now!”. Yu strode forward, bullets pinging off her armour as the operative shadowed her closely. Heria Coley drew a bead on the operative and put a bullet in his back just as a shot rang out from across the street and the General went down hard. Almost as one, the PDF who remained threw their hands up in surrender. The IA soon followed once Damsen had thinned their ranks a little more. Dersand checked the targets, “General Yu is very much alive sir”, she said, “The operative, not so much”. “Never mind”, Xeg replied tiredly, “I’m sure the hangman will be happy enough with a General. Is Righte still with us?” “Yes sir”, came Righte’s voice, “Fucking armour locked up on me Sarge, I’m fine”. “Good to hear it. Ok, Czerka’s on guard duty, Beta’s on perimeter watch and Alpha’s going to search the base for anything useful while I get on to command. Good work Marines”…
The General’s mini-empire quickly crumbled to dust. Yu, it turned out, was ill-prepared for being a prisoner of war and with only a little “persuasion” was all too keen to spill all the knowledge she had. Base after base fell, cities and whole regions were retaken and soon there was only one stronghold left, Landing City. Civilian presence was minimal and the infrastructure replaceable, Captain Hayeson petitioned for an orbital bombardment of the city, after which the Marines would mop up. This was denied. The newly appointed Imperial Governor had arrived in orbit and was vehemently opposed to the “Pointless destruction of my capital city! Send the Marines in to do it”. The Governor wouldn’t budge, even when the projected Marine casualties were put in front of him. “It’s what they’re paid for”, he said dismissively. And so, seething with rage, Captain Hayeson deployed his platoons and squads to key parts of the city and prepared for the carnage ahead…
Squad Secundus were silent. Not due to the needs of stealth, purely because they had nothing left to say. They all knew they were being fed into the meat grinder, that their lives had been deemed less important than the ugly buildings they crept amongst. Somewhere in this area were the last of the Imperial Army Delta Force and Xeg Proxim had been tasked with taking them out. He knew they’d be wearing PCA, that they’d be pissed and that they had nothing to lose. Xeg knew, they all knew, that not all of Squad Secundus, Second Platoon, Hayeson’s Hammers would make it out of this one alive. There was movement up head, the rumble of PCA on the move. “Beta north, Czerka south, Alpha centre on me. This is it Marines, if we have to sell our lives then let’s fucking sell em for what they’re worth!”…
The Battle of Landing City
As expected, all hell breaks loose. The Marines throw themselves forward into cover and start to rain fire on Delta Force, largely ineffectually. Fireteam Czerka target an armoured trooper who is making his inexorable way towards them, ignoring the ping of small arms fire bouncing off the PCA. The Delta trooper fires his shoulder-mounted rocket launcher at Czerka, the smoke clears and Rifleman Jane Rezal lies dead, blown apart with no hope of salvation. Corporal Mason stares in shock, he and Bellee are clearly shellshocked and can do nothing but gaze stupidly at the remains of their comrade. Rifleman Arymo Righte gave a deep bellow of rage and charged ahead, his LMG spitting death. One armoured trooper fell to his wrath, another turned and ran back to cover, yet another fell backward and held up his hands for mercy. Righte did not oblige him. His armoured foot came down on the Delta troopers head and crushed it, helmet and all. Fireteam Alpha had their advance halted by another Delta trooper, the bastards just kept coming! He opened fire with both his rocket launcher and wrist-mounted autogun which left Heria Coley and Jenna Dersand on the deck. As Righte swung around to cover the rest of his Fireteam, the trooper he’d chased away came charging around the corner at full combat speed. Arymo Righte doesn’t have time to bring his LMG to bear on the Delta trooper before he’s ripped apart by autogun fire, his lifeless body hits the ground with a dull thud. Xeg Proxim is maddened by the carnage but he channels his rage into efficiency, as he was trained to do. Xeg and Fireteam Beta methodically take down trooper after trooper, Micha Damsen putting round after high-calibre round into the weak points in the PCA of Delta Force. An autogun round smashes into Sgt Proxim just below his collarbone but he barely feels it, an icy calm keeps him firing until Corporal Avis Ales puts down the final trooper. It is over. They have won, but they have paid a high price for victory…
A Marine Company comprises 3 Platoons of Terran Marines. Each Platoon is made up of 3 Squads and a Support element. Each Squad is made up of 3 Fireteams. Each Fireteam is made up of 3 Marines. Together, they add up to a Company of 54 Riflemen, 27 Corporals, 9 Lieutenants and a Captain. About 100 fighting men and women including Support elements. 32 of Hayeson’s Hammers were still alive at battles end, the rest had perished in a pointless attack on a tactically unimportant location. Captain Hayeson was among the survivors, his post battle meeting with the Imperial Governor was broadcast on all Marine channels so his remaining brothers and sisters could hear him face down the Governor and the representatives of Imperial Command. Captain Hayeson shook with rage as he related the details of the battle and its aftermath to the impassive Governor. Once Hayeson had finished talking, the Governor smiled a beautific smile at him and said “Admiral Vequez sends his regards”. Hayeson stared at him for a long moment, then spun on his heel and left the briefing room with the Governors’ snide chuckles following him…
“He’s gone Sarge”, Ales said to Xeg, “There’s no other option”. Xeg sighed, feeling more tired than he’d felt in his life. Corporal Avis Ales was right, Corporal Arthis Mason was beyond saving. Watching Rezal get blown apart was more than Mason’s mind could take, there was no option for him but Medical Discharge, in the Corps this meant being treated in comfort on Hell, the Marine training world, surrounded by his own people. The Terran Marine Corps took care of its own. Xeg had just presided over the memorial services of Arymo Righte and Jane Rezal, and he was utterly spent. They hadn’t needed to die. The only thing he had to be grateful for was that Jenna Dersand was expected to make a full recovery, pending a new arm and some replacement organs. Just then every screen flicked on, showing the exchange between Captain Hayeson and the Governor. At the mention of Admiral Vequez, every Marine still alive and able unslung their rifles and made ready. They had been betrayed. Betrayed by the Empire they served and protected, had bled for, lost comrades for, suffered for. The line had been crossed. Hayeson’s voice sounded over the Marine communications network, “Briefing suite 6, C deck, 5 minutes”…
“He will hang and I will do the hanging”, Captain Hayeson said, his voice trembling with barely controlled rage. “We have 20 Combat Effectives, more than enough to deal with the shitheels who call themselves soldiers on this tub. We enter Officer Country, take the bridge, secure Governor Handok and hang the fucker from the nearest bulkhead. Any questions?” “Exit strategy?”, asked Lieutenant Doka of First Platoon. “Depends”, the Captain answered, “Does anyone think we can do this and remain in the employ of the Empire?”, silence greeted his words, “Does anyone want to stay behind?”, more silence, “Then our exit strategy is to exchange this ship for the Poignant, run for the Phase Limit and head out to the Outer Rim. I don’t see the crew of this ship being too excited about stopping us somehow”. No one objected. “Right. Two teams of ten, myself and what remains of Sergeant Proxim’s Squad will go fetch the Governor while the rest of you, under Lieutenant Doka, secure the bridge. Hard and fast Marines! This one’s for our fallen comrades, for our brothers and sisters whose lives were wasted for the petty revenge of a petty man”…
The Hanging of Governor Handok
- This reply was modified 1 week ago by Bozz Connelly. Reason: Formatting
"You will NOT call me sir! I actually WORK for a living"
- Every drill-sergeant ever10/08/2017 at 01:52 #69584
Very cool !!10/08/2017 at 09:54 #69603
MikeKeymaster11/08/2017 at 21:13 #69710
That’s some write up. I do like to read a bit of fluff me.
Will read over the weekend.12/08/2017 at 15:32 #69761
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