General Janar surveyed the Camp. Squad Xenac had come across it whilst trailing the Isorian forces that shot down their Drop Capsules mere days ago.
The same squad had recovered Janar from the Battlefield, dressed his wounds and pulled together the survivors of surrounding Capsule drops. He was thankful for their decision to leave the Isorians be that day, and cursed his own foolishness and pride for failing to do the same.
But here they were, with a stroke of luck for once.
An abandoned Concord Transmat facility. Under construction, but almost complete. No trace of any Concord bodies, just a few Carbines strewn around the area and blood stains. A little worrying but Janar wasn’t going to pass up this opportunity due to a bad feeling.
Squad Xenac returned hurriedly from patrol, reporting signs of Ghar converging on the camp. The hated enemy, and at least a foe Janar could understand.
The Infiltrators deployed mines and fell back to the Camp. Janar would not risk stragglers and concentrated every soul on directly defending the Transmat. If the Ghar wanted it, they would pay a high cost.
The AI takes the opportunity to prepare several squads in Ambush as the Ghar advance slowly through the Xilos Jungle. But before the Ghar are even spotted, a small group of Snappers pounces upon General Janar. Two are felled by defensive fire, with the third failing to penetrate Janar’s thick chest plate. Alone and outnumbered, the creature retreats back into the undergrowth.
Noting the distraction, a group of Black Guard advances on the south flank. It immediately comes under fire from Assault Squad Pheral, suffering minor casualties and returning fire. Two Black guard fall, then one Pheral member.
Squad Xenac spot another Black Guard Squad emerging from the north. They snap fire onto the squad, causing casualties and unsettling them. The Black Gard return ineffectual fire.
AI Squad Taval Tor decide to soften up the Souther Flank Ghar a little more but find their volleys more than effective, slaying a number of the Black Guard and forcing the remainder to flee the field.
The Xilos wildlife once again springs into action, with a lone Drummer charging the Northern Black Guard. It is cut down by defensive fire, but not before it can further unsettle the squad with it’s bizarre drumming noises.
A Disruptor Bomber Squad emerges on the East flank and fires at the Assault Squad. The Bomber shot sails over the squad and lands on the X Launcher, blowing up the support weapon.
At this point, the AI discover what befell the Concord forces as a Gulper emerges in the centre of the camp, it’s chitinous armour bearing the burn marks of Plasma fire. It focuses on Medic team Ras who promptly react by legging it from the compound. Their survival celebrations are shortlived, however, as Fartok and this Retinue emerge from the jungle on the West flank and mercilessly gun down the hapless Medics.
Repair drones begin work on the Transmat and complete 25% of the remaining costruction – a solid start.
Squad Xenac continue to prove their value to the General, turning and peppering the Gulper with Solar grenades. A penetrating hit knocks the creature unconscious, and the AI stand a little steadier at their posts.
Ghar reinforcments enter the field on the South, West and North flanks. The Bomb Flitters cause the greatest concern, but Janar orders them left alone to concentrate on other forces. The Disruptor Bomber once again sends a shot sailing over the walls, this time hitting squad Taval Tor. A Ghar support team with a looted Mag Light also advance on, but their shots through jungle and shields cannot find their target.
The Black Guard on the north flank choose to rally, with the Outcast gang beside firing on Squad Xenac but unable to inflict any casualties.
The AI pour shots onto the advancing suits, unable to inflict any casualties but hoping to pin the suits in place.
Several Ghar teams decide that ‘it’s not the right time’ to support the great Fartok, and hang back from the battlefield waiting for a moment of glory.
The construction continues well, with progress reaching 55% completion.
The Flitter Bombs pounce into the compound, with 5 out of 6 immediately detonating. Miraculously (and aided by Medic Team Dao), when the smoke clears not a single casualty has been caused. But the AI are now heavily pinned and showing signs of distress.
Fartok howls with rage and advances again, slaying a crew member of the Mag Light team. Through the superior mettle of Janar, not a single AI team flinches and all continue to stand strong.
Further shots are exchanged with minor casualties. It’s beginning to look like the AI can actually do this..
Once again, several members of Fartok’s forces decide to ‘wait for the right moment’, failing to realise that the moment should be right about now…
Construction slows a little, and reaches 70% completion.
Janar orders Transmat Construction be stepped up. Completion reaches 90%, and the generators of the Transmat begin to spin up.
Infiltrator Squad Xaltu go to work on the advancing Bomber squad, peppering them with fire. Somehow, a double tap manages to fell the squad leader! Shocked by his sudden demise (double 0!) the rest of his team turns tail and flees the field (0!). Xenac Squad also find their shots landing true, managing to fell one of Fartok’s retinue. The AI let out a cheer…
Fartok, incensed by impending defeat and the lack of staying power in his troops, charges down AI Squad Taval Tor. It is short and bloody, and Fartok barely breaks pace as he activates his Plasma Amp and charges straight onto the Transmat Pad, slaying the lone X Launcher crew member.
Janar orders the Assault squad into combat, but they are unable to penetrate the suit’s armour and are destroyed utterly for their efforts.
Medic Team Dao uses the distraction to sneak around Fartok and back onto the pad, throwing off their pins and firing snaps with their mags as they circle around. Miraculously, they land both shots and Fartok narrowly avoids being wounded. His compatriot is not so lucky, falling to a single mag shot under the arm armour. Guess those medics know where to shoot…
General Janar runs around Fartok and reinforces the pad, ensuring Fartok cannot destroy it.
Squad Xenac decide to once again prove their worth, charging into Fartok with Solar Grenades. Wounding him grievously, Fartok chooses to abandon his suit. In the celebrations the AI fail to spot little Fartok darting into the burrow left by the Gulper. Revenge will be his…
Janar orders the construction of the Transmat completed and the pads burst into life. The AI have held and succeeded, but the loss of life on both sides is high.
General Janar received the word from Squad Xenac. The tracks had gone cold, Fartok had given them the slip. They had found the remains of the Concord Commander, however, along with a holomap of the surrounding area. Several co-ordinates were highlighted.
Builder Relics. The AI needed these. More than the Concord, and certainly more that the Isorians. He punched the nearest co-ordinates into the Vertex Mace and transmitted them to all AI units within range. As the last of the AI reinforcements arrived, he ordered the teams to move out.
Perhaps the AI would salvage something from this cursed campaign after all…