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Operation Gauntlet
Freetown, Sierra Leone, Parliament. 1430 hrs Greenwich Mean Time (GMT)

Jacques guards saw him dutifully to a cell. One shoved him in almost halfheartedly, then slammed the door of the interior-walled small office behind him. It was an awkward choice of cell, as the door didn't actually lock from the outside, and as amusing as the thought of locking it from his side was, Jacques opted against. Instead, he scanned the small office briefly before helping himself to the uncomfortable looking chair behind the tiny desk. It was made even more awkward to sit in for the heavy FELIN Mk2 kevlar armour he wore, and the chair creaked alarming beneath him as he settled into its wooden frame.

Without his Landwarriors and Wallet, he was entirely out of touch with the events in Freetown, but despite that he was oddly calm. Confident, even. He knew the competence of his men, and had no fear of Wallace-Johnson's chances of success with Operation Rien N'Empeche in full swing. Likely, with the aid of his Legionnaires, the police and their supporters had already taken much of the city back from the mad-man and his thugs.

And of course, Commandant Tuft would have already issued the orders for Operation Gauntlet. Captain Zhou Ah Sung's Baadi Qasriga was just outside of Sierra Leonean waters, and likely already navigating towards Freetown, the Captain's much preferred docking point considering the questionable legality of his cargo.

Major Curtis Freeman, commander of the skeleton garrison of the Lungi International Airport, former base of General Wallace-Johnson's troops before he had taken control of Freetown, would already have been forced to deploy troops to secure the coastguard vessels needed to transport his Legionaries to the Baadi Qasriga and back to mount the assault on the General's headquarters, and of course his own rescue.

And the relief convoy from Casablanca was barely an hour from the city, ready to assault Wallace-Johnson's perimeter forces, catching the last bodies of his loyal troops between his Legionnaires in the city and their convoy of armoured vehicles and mounted troops. Everything seemed to have been going to plan.

He was only seated a few minutes before the sound of movement outside the office door drew his attention. A moment of heated discussion in the hallway was followed by the flimsy presswood door of his 'jail cell' being barged open. Three men, one wearing the markings of a Lieutenant, barged into the office.

"Stand up!"
The two non-coms barged into the office past the officer, and all three's faces were screwed with rage. Jacques remained seated as they closed on him, and couldn't help but grin at their wasted display. He wasn't so easily intimidated, even as the officer pulled a machete from his belt, and his two men dragged Jacques to his feet, a task made comical for the fact that he simply stood before they could actually drag him up.

"And what, exactly, do you expect this to accomplish, Lieutenant?"
Jacques stood to his full height, which was actually somewhat dwarfed by one of the two non-coms holding his arms, but physical height paled compared to personality.

"Shut up!"
Already enraged by how arrogantly Jacques had barged into their headquarters, and how close he had come to being able to simply shoot the General in his own command center, the Lt lashed out with his machete, chopping at Jacques' kevlar shielded chest. The machete bit into the armoured plate, part of the blade leaving a cut along his chin and stopping shy of his neck.

Jacques staggered slightly from the blow, and the flanking non-coms jerked him straight, but after the initial shock of the blow he settled once more and tilted his head down to eye the machete, careful to keep his throat free of the blade. "Ah, well then. It shall be like that, shall it?"

He barely had time to notice the Lt's fist before it caught him in the jaw, tearing the machete free of his chest plate. The two non-coms began tearing at the straps and buckles of his FELIN Mk2 armour.


Freetown, Sierra Leone, 1500hrs GMT

Barely half an hour after Jacques parted ways with Legionnaire Vanders, the first of the M777's 155mm high explosive shells crashed into Freetown. The seven howitzers were based 25km outside of the city, towards the edge of their effective range, and the crews manning them were not so well trained as to guarantee where those shells would land even if they had cared.

The Methodist Boys High School had been serving as a refugee center in the past few weeks of violence. Its doors had been closed due to lack of funding only a year previous, so the structure had been intact enough to serve; the water pipes and electricity still worked, and the classrooms and gymnasium had easily been converted to house the hundreds of refugees that had found shelter there.

The first shell to land on the city tore a hole in the old football field, a small miracle that saw no one killed. The field was empty, as refugees sought the perceived safety of the school's walls as city police, backed by Legionnaires, worked swiftly through the city to capture our oust the General's troops.

The second shell struck the gymnasium.


Legion HQ, Outskirts of Casablanca, Morocco. 1440hrs GMT

Commandant Tuft stood in the rapidly collapsing Legion headquarters, overseeing the opening moves of Operation Rien N'Empeche when the first of some two dozen Contact Reports began flooding the comms lines. Legionnaires on the ground in Freetown were reporting the same thing across the city; some readily identified the source of the explosions, others sited possible IEDs. But, it was easy to identify in short order. The city was being shelled.

And the forces within were in no position to do anything about it. With General Wallace-Johnson's forces being over run across the city by the Legion, city police, and their associated allies, and the Legionnaires themselves embroiled in the task of retaking the city, there were no forces in place to sortie against the shelling, even if they knew where exactly it was coming from.

"Get Provost Boipelo on the horn. The convoy should be close enough to Freetown now that we should be able to triangulate the artillery's position. And get a link to Bombardier Iweala. Between the city and the convoy, we should be able to find these guns."
Commandant Tuft walked over to one of the few screens still mounted in the room; many had already been removed for shipping to the Legion's new facility in the ghost-city of Sidi Bel Abbès, Algeria.

Within moments of his order, the comm tech seated there had Bombardier Iweala and Bombardier Iweala were on two separate screens. The Provost was seated in the gunner's chair of one of the convoy Panhards, while the Bombardier was kneeling in the streets of Freetown with the sounds of artillery screaming over head.

"Alright Bombardier. What do you need to find these guns?"
The Commandant seemed unmoved by the imagery behind the Bombardier; a hotel half a block down was a quickly turning into a raging inferno, much of the buildings face already collapsed into the street. Smoke and dust obscured much of the image feeds background, but it was clear there were plenty of wounded in the street.

"Sir? I need a source outside the city, we're all too close to get a good picture."
The Bombardier was briefly accosted by one of his team mates, who after a few back-and-forth hand swatting started digging through Iweala's pouches for his bandages and first aid kit.

"Provost Boipello here. The convoy is an hour out, and we can hear the guns from here. That going to be enough?"
Boipello cracked the roof hatch on the Panhard and popped his head outside, and the image feed switched from the in-vehicle camera to his Landwarrior mounted camera, showing deserted, jungle-lined highway ahead of the armoured vehicle's weapon system.

"Three's better, but this'll do Sir. Synch the feeds to my glasses and I'll give you an estimate."
He dug out a map and compass next, kneeling in the rubble-strewn street and laying them both out on the ground before him, quickly orientating himself to the north.

The comms tech did as requested, and within moments the Bombardier was marking positions on his map and drawing lines off the compass. Aided by the programs and HUD of his Landwarriors, within a few moments he had an area singled out to the east of the city.

"Between 15 and 30 km east of Freetown, Sir. Maybe. That's the best I can do."
With the Commandant's permission, the Bombardier was dropped from the conversation, and the Commandant's attention shifted to Provost Boipello.

"You are passing Port Loko. Split the escort, send the trucks on to Lungi airport, take the escort to that area. Find those guns and take them. Understood, Provost?"

"Sir. We can be there in two hours."


Wari, Sierra Leone. 1450hrs GMT

Wari, Sierra Leone

The village was abandoned before Warlord Shakespeare and his men arrived. They had taken the ford to the north that morning, and were making steady progress south into the unprotected in-lands of Sierra Leone. An occasional militia would try to resist them, but most were smart enough to scatter before the Guineans could arrive.

With no sport to be had, Shakespear pushed his men south; they would avoid the international airport, knowing there was a military garrison there. But the town of Port Loko would be easy pickings, surely.

Dozens of trucks armed with anti-tank recoilless rifles and .50 machineguns rolled south towards Porto Loko road and an unfortunate run-in with a very lightly guarded Legion supply convoy.


Freetown, Sierra Leone. 1500hrs GMT

A platoon of Major Freeman's troops from Lungi airport, aboard three Sierra Leonean coast guard vessels, stormed the ferry crossing in northern Freetown. The fighting was brief and some of the most violent in the city to that point.

The troops guarding the ferry were taken offguard; they had assumed the approaching coast guard ships had reinforcements. By that point, it was known that there was an uprising in the city against the General, but particulars were still being figured out.

The troops holding the ferry crossing didn't realize what was going on until it was too late, but even then they refused to simply surrender. Not to 'traitors to the cause', at least. It was over in minutes, with dozens dead on both sides, but Major Freeman's men were succesful in the end, sending the last of the General's troops fleeing back into the city and leaving them to occupy the ferry crossing, awaiting the arrival of the Legionnaires that would be bound to the Baadi Qasriga and the weapons waiting aboard the transport.

Edited by Jacques, May 11 2016, 09:01 PM.
Freetown, Sierra Leone. 1520hrs GMT

The first of the Legionnaires tasked to Operation Gauntlet arrived at the ferry crossing and the waiting coastguard vessels shortly after Major Freeman's Sierra Leonean soldiers secured the dock. Armoured Legion SUVs rolled into parking lots crowded with abandoned vehicles and passed fallen fighters loyal to General Wallace-Johnson. They were received with mixed feelings by Major Freeman's forces; they were loyal to their immediate commander, the Major, but the idea of fighting former friends and allies for a foreign force did not sit well with them. Even if it was to protect the people and nation they had sworn to serve.

Some two dozen Legionnaires from across the city of Freetown had received the new orders; they were mostly of CCD, US, and Australian backgrounds; countries with long-standing usage of powered armour technologies. Luckily, the Legion focused heavily on cross training and an intense focus on Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs); every section of Legionnaires tended to do things the same way. The same lingo, the same drills, the same basic tactics. It would allow the men, having been drawn from various different squads and platoons, to function together.

SUVs unloaded their squad members that had been given the task, before the vehicles and their remaining crews spun off back into the city and other awaiting tasks. With the onset of the shelling, and the spreading realization of the bold move by 'insurgent' forces throughout the city (backed by the Legion), the forces loyal to Interim-President General Wallace-Johnson had begun falling back to Parliament or towards the city's outer security perimeter to the south-east.

Columns of smoke once again clawed at the mid-afternoon skies above Freetown; General Katlego's M777 had wreaked havoc across the city with their opening salvo of high explosive shells, and while they had been blessedly reserved in their usage, the barrage had been devastating to the over-crowded city.

Freelance reporters throughout the city were already reporting on the day's activities, and many were finding their recorded broadcasts being snapped up by news agencies around the world for live broadcasts. Images were being streamed to televisions around the world of the fighting in Freetown.

But putting those reports to shame was a constant live-stream from Legion soldiers. Each soldier wore their Landwarrior glasses, and the devices came standard with wireless routers and cameras capable of taking video. Legion techs in Casablanca were hard at work streaming that imagery; there was heavy editing, and some feeds would cut out as the source came upon situations deemed too sensitive even for the Legion's purposes.

Triage points were being set up throughout the city for those wounded by the shelling and fighting. Dozens of Wallace-Johnson's soldiers were taken prisoner, disarmed and incarcerated in whatever building might serve the purpose at their time of capture. The Legion had nothing to hide; they would face their 'crimes' openly, and let the people of the world judge for themselves, rather then relying on governments to filter and twist it to their own agendas.

Mabasi, Legion strike force. 1530Hrs GMT.

14 Panhards and seven out-dated ex-Moroccan military APCs rolled south from Port Loko and through the sprawling slums of Mabasi. The roads were crowded with abandoned civilian vehicles; people from the northern regions who had thought to flee from the Guinean warlords by running to Freetown, mixed with people from Freetown and the outlying regions who had once thought to flee north away from the fighting between General Wallace-Johnson and General Katlego.

The lead Panhard, equiped with a heavily reinforced bumper, rocked violently as it slammed an abandoned van out of the way, the lighter civilian vehicle flipping violently into the ditch lining the west side of the road.

“I dunno know how much more she can take, Cap'n!”
A Scottish Legionnaire, and apparently an avid Star Trek fan, held the Panhard's steering wheel in an iron-fisted grip, fighting to keep the thing on the road. Mid-bounce from the impact with the van, the Panhard crushed over the bumper and trunk of an old car, and again the vehicle rocked violently as its thick rubber tires rolled over the flimsy aluminum framed car.

“Damn it Jim, I'm a rifleman not a fucking Captain...”
Seated next to him and holding the catch bar mounted to the vehicle's dash infront of him, was an American Legionnaire who was, apparently, also well versed on the lingo. He was eyeing the nav system monitor mounted between his hands, which showed their surroundings and possible secondary routes in grey. Their current trail along the highway was a blue line which was being devoured by the tiny black triangle that was their vehicle. Markers indicated the other vehicles of the strike force at their rear, and vanishing off the edge of the top right of the screen were the markers of the convoy's supply trucks, guarded by only two damaged Panhards.

Three vehicles back from the lead Panhard sat Provost Boipello and Sergeant Jackson. The Sergeant sat at the controls of the Remote Weapon System mounted on the vehicle's roof. A pair of .50 machine guns were mounted into the remote controlled turret, and the system's stabilizer fought vailantly to keep both the weapons and the associated cameras steady.

“This shithole is going to slow us down, you know.”
Jackson glanced at Boipello before returning his focus to the RWS monitor, routinely switching between the day cameras and the thermals.

“That's why I said two hours. If the roads were open, we could be there in one.”
Boipello was studying an old-fashioned paper map produced from the glovebox. Their GPS system had been shorted out days ago while passing through Guinea, the system's antennas ripped off during a firefight with Guinean rebels.

“Good call.”

Edited by Jacques, May 16 2016, 10:56 PM.
The road to Lungi Airport, west of Port Loko, Sierra Leone. 1540Hrs GMT.

Lieutenant Baisieli sat shotgun in the lead Panhard escorting the Legion supply trucks and support vehicles. The young man sat stiffly in the seat, held in place by the rarely worn safety harness, a system he had never really appreciated until he'd broken both his legs when his vehicle rolled over while still rolling through the failed-state of Guinea.

Injured as he was, he had been given the command of the skeleton escort for the supply convoy. So close to Lungi Airport, they were out of reach of General Katlego or Wallace-Johnson's forces, and with both the danger and tactical value of the M777s located so far ahead of Katlego's ability to properly defend, the opportunity to capture the guns had been deemed well worth the risk of stripping the convoy of its protection. They were confident there was nothing in the region that would actually threaten the kilometer long line of vehicles.

“Lieutenant? I have a thermal reading in the jungle to our north...looks like a few trucks.” An equally wounded Legionnaire sat at the controls of the Panhard's RWS, which mounted only a single .50 machine gun, its sister having been pulled to be mounted onto one of the second-hand APCs purchased from the Moroccan military, which had departed with the strike force.

Baisieli swiped the screen on his dash-mounted monitor, dismissing the map with a view of the RWS's monitor. Indeed, barely seen through the thick foliage of the jungle on the north side of the highway, there were the heat signatures of what were likely two or three civilian-pattern trucks. “Probably locals, trying to hide from the fighting.”

Baisieli had made an educated decision; there only expected threats so close to Freetown, and the military garrison at the Lungi International airport, where military in nature. Most likely, Wallace-Johnson's troops, as General Katlego's forces were mostly focused in the country's eastern provinces, minus the force which had approached the capital with the artillery, of course.

With the information at his disposal, he had no way of knowing to whom those trucks and their passengers belonged.

ShakeSpear was a guerrilla fighter by trade. His years of rule in his little kingdom of the failed-state of Guinea's southern region had taught him to avoid head on fights. Ambush and surprise were the way he waged war. So when his scouts, driving a stolen civilian car with Sierra Leonean plates had spotted the thinly protected convoy of trucks headed west on the highway, he had responded quickly.

His force was laying in wait in the jungle on either side of the highway; at his signal they struck, RPG teams emerging with the first sounds of weapons fire. Six rockets were fired at Baisieli's Panhard. Only two struck; one, fired from far too close, hadn't even managed to arm itself before striking the hardened armour of the Legion vehicle. One RPG detonated the moment it was launched; a common result of inexperienced operators trying to disarm the projectile's self-destruct mechanism. A standard feature in such rounds, they automatically detonated after 900 meters of flight.

The second RPG which hit Baisieli's Panhard functioned perfectly. Striking the vehicles passenger side front tire. The shaped charge punched through the thick rubber tire and struck into the armoured wall protecting the engine block.

“Contact right!” Baisieli's voice was wracked with pain as the Panhard was rocked both by the explosion and as it nosed heavily into the asphalt of the highway. The declaration was useless; the vehicle's radios died with the RPG strike.

With the engine hit, the vehicle lost all power, rendering the RWS useless. The crew responded quickly, throwing open the roof hatch and disengaging the gyros that operated the RWS, switching it to manual control. One Legionnaire stood out of the protective hull of the vehicle, grabbing the handles of the .50 machine gun and swinging the RWS to face to the north and the offending Guinean rebels. The bark of the .50 was a a mere growl compared to the fire being returned by Shakespear's fighters.

Panicked by the attack, the supply truck behind Baisieli's Panhard, driven by a very well payed civilian contractor, put petal to metal and rammed the Panhard, which sat disabled across the highway, blocking the way to the believed safety of the distant airport. Even with it's hastily added armour plates, the civilian truck's engine was crushed by the impact with the comparatively smaller, but heavy Panhard.

Other vehicles along the line suffered similar fates; tires or engines disabled by weapons fire, drivers killed as rounds punched through the already battle-worn armor plates protecting the cabs. Others simply slammed on the brakes and tried leaping out to the south, fleeing into the jungle on that side of the highway.

Freetown, Sierra Leone, 1550Hrs GMT.

The last of the Legionnaires tasked to Operation Gauntlet arrived at the northern ferry crossing and the waiting coastguard patrol boats. Section members said their farewells, as tasked members mounted the waiting deep-water boats, and their teams returned to tasks around the city.

For the moment, at least, the shelling seemed to have stopped; Katlego and Wallace-Johnson were in open discussions over the recent turn of events, the two men threatening each other like two school-yard bullies. Neither seemed to care about the repercussions of their actions, only of how their reputation may have been damaged if either were to back down.

Word had already spread along the Legionnaires that Jacques Danjou was out of contact, last known to having walked into Wallace-Johnson's command center, alone. Of course, with his apparent 'surrender' to the Interim-President, Wallace-Johnson's soldiers throughout the city had lowered their guard, allowing Operation Rien N'Empeche to go off without a hitch.

20 Legionnaires made up the task force for Operation Gauntlet; Americans, Chinese, CCD, Australians. All former military of those nations, all with at least passing experience with military grade powered suits. The F3LIN system would be outdated from what ever hardware they had trained with, but they were some of the most advanced such tech to be found in Africa.

As the last of the Legionnaires boarded the coastguard vessels, the ships were heaved-too and pulled away from port, heading for the ocean and the waiting Baadi Qasriga.
A small but very tiny fist clutched Jay's stomach when he heard Danjou got himself captured. Oh if there was some master plan at play, a peon like Jay wasn't in on it. The man that shared the news, a Legionnare named Sanjay was tight lipped as he scanned the watery horizon. The nearest officer had nothing to add, but Jay glanced his way anyway. The boat heaved away from Freetown, leaving behind their leader, Natalie, the kitten, and a bunch of dead people. It didn't exactly feel like a victory. But the rock of the waves was soothing. He tried to focus on them. It didn't work.

Jay pulled his sunglasses to his eyes and waited quietly beside Sanjay, trying to ignore that voice in the back of his mind. That he should have done something else. That there was something he was suppose to do. He'd forgotten something. The pull was so tempting, he almost jumped into the water and swam back to shore, full kit and all.

"Damn it." He muttered.

Sanjay looked over. "I know what you mean." He said.

"No you don't," Jay replied, wincing at the sharpness in his voice he'd not intended to unleash. Sanjay didn't respond, but as Freetown grew smaller, Jay's fists clenched until his nails dug sweet pain into his palms.
Only darkness shows you the light.

The powder keg had exploded and the battle was beginning. Several Legionnaires, including himself and Carpenter, were on a boat for the beginning of the Operation.

Jacques had gotten captured. It wasn't surprising given he went in without any back up. Jared had no idea why the Commander had sent them away. Perhaps there was some sort of plan there.

It wasn't often that Vanders questioned orders, but he wondered if he had been there if things would have been different. Jared looked out over the sea towards the land that was the continent of Africa. The smell of salt water helped calm him down.

Jared went through the familiar motions of checking his equipment. They would get the Commander back. Jared was ready.
The trip from the ferry crossing to the waiting Baadi Qasriga, the 'Somalian' transport ship, took less then an hour. Once the coastguard ships hit open water, they were able to open the engines to full throttle, easily cutting through the rough waters off the Ivory Coast.

The ship was waiting for them, and as the first of the Sierra Leonean coastguard vessels pulled along-side, lifts and ladders were dropped over the side to allow the Legionnaires to board quickly. It was, perhaps, the first time in Zhou Ah Sung's life where he was not annoyed to see coast guard vessels alongside his ship. As an arms dealer with some years of experience under his belt, he had long since learned how to bribe such officials.

Captain Zhou Ah Sung awaited the Legionnaires as they came clambering onto the deck of his ship, where his crew were ready to direct them towards various parts of the ship where the F3LIN suits were unpacked and ready to be worn.

The suits were a decade behind the times, technology wise, compared to those used by major world powers. But they were decades ahead of the times for military power in Africa.

The crates the suits came, while on the surface little more then large wooden boxes, were standing equipment stations, meant to assist a soldier in equipping the otherwise ungainly suits of armour. Video instructions were relayed via monitors built into the crate, including how to customize the suits to fit better, how to use the suits operating system.

Other crates sat open and waiting; weapons. The standard assault rifle of the Legion, the FAMAS F3, while certainly a fine weapon, would fail to fully utilize the capabilities the F3LIN suits offered.

Waiting in the crate were a variety of heavier weapon systems. .50 caliber M4 Browning machineguns had been modified to function as belt-fed rifle systems. At 70lbs (far lighter then the traditionally designed M2s used by the Legion as vehicle-mounted weapons), the M4 would be the service weapon of the F3LIN equipped troops. Support weapons, ranging from automatic grenade launchers to 20mm anti-tank rifles would give the F3LIN troops the punch they would need to overpower most conventional African forces, under the right circumstances of course.

For the Legionnaires aboard the Baadi Qasriga, it would be readily evident that the weapons aboard the ship had been paid for months ago, long before the events in Sierra Leone or even the Battle of Jeddah. To some, it would arise uncomfortable questions; had the events playing out in Sierra Leone been planned in some fashion? Had Jacques always sought to gain control of a country?

The truth of it was that the F3LIN suits had been years in the making, an acquisition long in the works for Jacques and Legion Premiere. They would have given the company a leg up over its competition, especially with the recently opened CCD market. As for the tanks and vehicles held in the ship's hold, those had been a far more recent purchase.

Once the Legionnaires of Operation Gauntlet were geared up and had a chance to at least browse the user interface of the F3LIN systems, they would receive orders on the operations second phase. The return via coastguard vessel to the mainland, hitting instead at the sea-ward commercial docks rather then the inlet ferry crossing, and proceed to Wallace-Johnson's base of operations, the Sierra Leonean parliament.

In the aftermath of Operation Rien N'Empeche's success, what remained of his forces in the city were already entrenching around the government sector, supported by a handful of armoured vehicles. The Legionnaires would have their work cut out for them, but the General's troops weren't near so well trained or experienced.
Jay didn't stare across the ocean for long. Their commander waved them over and they drew close to hear new orders. There was just enough waiting time before drawing up to the cargo ship to ask whether all this was orchestrated by LP in some grand master plan or if it was all a happy coincidence.
"Armor suits waiting off shore at the exact right moment?" Jay asked of one buddy who only shrugged and inquired as to whether the former marine had experience with them. This one? No. Even when Jay enlisted this suit had been five years outdated in the States. But the concept was the same.

After a quick shimmy up rope ladders to the larger cargo ship, he made a fast inspection of the deck and its workers.

The suit earned a rather long measuring look of respect. For LP this was an expensive purchase. Repeated twenty times over. He wondered again whether Jacque planned the whole operation. Maybe even planted the seeds of coup to start with.

But the more harrowing question came as he powered up the OS and logged in with his Legion ID.

If Jacque did plan the coup. If he did escalate the tension. If he was captured on purpose. Did Jay care? And if so. What was he going to do about it? Confront Danjou? Force him to admit to the crimes? What then? LP would be in chaos. And Sierra Leone would fall back into worse conditions than it was when they arrived.

But complacency from a lack of better options didn't sit well on Jay's shoulders. He joined LP because he believed in their mission - and they kicked ass at the same time. Was that still the case?

Natalie would think they were monsters if she knew what was happening. If she was still alive.


The suit breathed well. The head gear shaded his eyes. The weight was substantial but nothing he couldn't handle - especially with a healed up knee.

He waited alongside Vanders to arrive back on shore. The city was quiet so far. But all that was about to change. Katlego was still out there for instance. And a familiar mix of nerves and excitement stirred in his gut.

"Suppose we are off to rescue the Damsel in Distress. This might be fun." He said, smirking at Vanders. "So if you're the resident Mage, what am I?"
Only darkness shows you the light.

The Captain waved them over and gave them new instructions. The mention of armor suits made Jared smirk. Those were always fun even if they were a little old. Jared followed the other Legionnaires to the cargo ship and suited up.

The armor was a little bulky and heavy, but it was like riding a bike. The Operating System powered on and he was ready to go. Most Legionnaires had no issues with the equipment, although some of the FNGs needed a little more assistance.

As the boat headed towards shore, Jared stood next to Carpenter and he had to admit, it was nice seeing the other Legionnaire next to him and in good working condition. In his previous state of being, Hollywood wouldn't have been able to work with the armor suit as it would cause to much stress on his wound, but his leg was as good as new now.

Jared smirked back at Jay. "Resident Accident Victim or Resident Smart Ass - take your pick."

The banter felt good and relieved the tension that often came before a battle. Perhaps that is why Jay had started it. Either way, the end was coming.
"I'll lean toward resident Good Looks or maybe accept resident Comic Relief. Smart ass has such a negative tone to it." A smirk smothered any other expression threatening to filter to the surface as the boat labored on toward shore.

The rest of the way there, Jay studied maps of the area and layout of the mission protocol until he had it memorized. Suits like this tended to fail more often than one thought, and being without an OS was a major problem if the soldier depended upon it too heavily.

Vanders and the rest of their team filtered onto land with surprising speed given the bulkiness of what they carried. Five teams of four men worked together to secure the terrain and make way to the capital building where Jacque was being held.

They met little resistance despite everyone being on high alert, and for every civilian they passed, Jay kept an eye out for golden hair glinting in the sun.

Half way to their target the first shells dropped.
Only darkness shows you the light.

Jared smirked and was going to respond to Jay's comment, but didn't as the boat landed on shore. Like Jay, Jared studied the topography before him, preparing himself in case the OS went out.

Having been a Marine, he had used the suits before and knew how to move in them, despite these being an older and bulkier model. He moved in formation, keeping his spot next to the man beside him, knowing that person had his back as much as he did.

The shell dropped and Jared barely flinched. It's difficult to not flinch when you are being shelled. He moved enough to keep himself from getting injured from debris. The suit would mostly protect them from shrapnel, but not from an actual missile.

The first blast was over, and dust had flown into the air. Jared was thankful for the filter on the suit that allowed him to still breathe. As they continued to move forward, Jared summoned his mana to prepare a shield spell.

Only, something was wrong. The spell - it wasn't there. No - it was. The pieces fell together quickly. He had done shielding spells before, this wasn't a new skill. He could feel the mana flowing, and could sense the side effects of it. His vision was keener and his hearing more acute.

It was the goddamn cameras. He couldn't see his spells through the cameras. Before a mistake could happen, Jared stopped the flows of his spell. "Fucking cameras,
Jared said, under his breath. "Jay, I need to get this helmet off. No wizardly wiles with it on."
He said as he raised his arm to block off debris from a second shell.

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