This is my first attempt at writing fiction. I was so captured by the world that was created by matt, that i decided to give it a go. My aim was to keep the Tec reasonably simple. I think I succeeded in that, unfortunately I saw that i actually spend more time on details of the corporation than actually describing technologies as was asked from Matt in the video. So I trimmed it down a little. Still it was a bit longer than intended. I have marked where it actually start with the techie bits in bold if you are not interested in the "back story". My look on the corporation is that they might act more like a current day profit seeking company than a military or a government. And so have instead of generals they would have Managers, and instead of recruiting or buying they would call it procuring. Please let me know your thoughts on my first attempt
TL Palmer was anxious. He was about to meet the “resources” that have been provided for his First command. This meant he was expected to be the embodiment of the corporation, at least for the men he was going to lead. This meant displaying order and upholding the philosophy that the corporation held in so high regard.
Now being a TL there was no slacking off, no downtime. Even when he was of duty he was still an officer. Team Leader was the lowest officer rank, but it was still a higher class than the “commoners” . So Palmer straitened his back and checked his apparel in the mirror for the last time. With a firm face he marched into the meeting room where the “resources” waited to be introduced to the company representative, there new leader.
The men were waiting for some time and were startled when the quartermaster and the new TL walked in. The men immediately got up and stood in attention. In basic training they have been brought to a level of psychical fitness that the corporation found acceptable for new recruits. Besides that they were thought some basic skills like shooting and some basic survival skills. The most important thing that the corporate consultants have thought the men in the previous weeks was chain of command and corporate jargon. This way of talking set the “employees” apart from the rest of the humans. A true “corparator” would never use words like “problem” and “evolving” or even describing themselves as” people”. They would say “issue” and “development” and see themselves as “resources”.
This does not mean that they thought they were expendable commodities, just that they knew there place in the command structure and would strive to develop themselves into more precious and rare commodities. The price of an average person was low in these troubled times, but a trained, indoctrinate and loyal employee was valued as much as any rare technologies. When supply and demand of either Tec or employees would shift so would the value of these resources. The executives would closely monitor the values and inform the procurement officers of the need and priorities of acquisition of new resources and the risk management of men and equipment they already had at their disposal to regional managers. Any employee that seemed to squander corporate property risked a heavy reprimand, even if the property that they risked or damaged was the employee himself.
This meant that by the time that TL Palmer finally met his team for the first time they knew that he had a responsibility to not “waste” them. Besides that they knew he was worth more them them based solely on his rank, experience and time with the company. This was supposed to make them loyal and respectful to their superior. Further synergy between the TL and his team would be achieved by the advanced training that would now commence. The corporate consultants only introduced new joiners to the basics of being a corporator and get them fit enough for further training. The Corporate propaganda that is displayed all around the offices and barracks would further brainwash them into the “team spirit” that the corporation strived for. The poster that Palmer was standing next to in particular really annoyed him. He had seen it on most walls of most corporate basses and offices he visited in his long career. It was part of a series aimed to motivate employees. It had the catchphrase that managers had used since the very founding of the company. It said:” There are no issues, only opportunities” . These posters would then display a situation that seemed impossible like a scouting team surrounded by an enemy that heavily outnumbered them. Or an engineer with a small box of parts with a huge pile of damaged equipment. This specific poster was so overexposed to the light generators that flanked it on both sided that the situation itself could not be seen, just some vague uniformed shapes underlined by the slogan.
Palmer had read the assessment of his men by the procurement officers and the consultants. He knew the name, origin, look and estimated strength and weaknesses. Nevertheless it was a new experience and the TL was nervous. To state his superiority and the state of the economy, he first inspected the equipment that his team was issued with.
These where freshly sourced resources. When it came to the men they were only part of the firm for a short while. This meant that his team would be sent on low importance recon and patrol missions with mostly low Tec equipment. As soon as Palmer finished the indoctrinating they could be sent out into the field. Prior to the first mission but after the approvment of the team members, his team would be supplemented with A field patcher who has been trained in the art of healing, and a field-flexer who has been trained to use dark energy.
2 months of hard training followed the initial meeting. Several of the men had been deemed unfit for open duty. This meant that they were not trusted to travel freely out of the offices and complexes controlled by the corporation. So these individuals are only aloud to work and live in controlled environments like production, administration and any other role that would allow him to stay behind secured walls and other protected structures and so that the risk of flight would diminish. The corporation understood that it’s not very cost effective to send out trained and equipped troops that would desert when the opportunity presented itself.
Now Palmers team with the patcher and flexer included in the ranks embarked on their first patrol. 2 men ventured forward to scout ahead. The office from which they started their patrol and which was going to be their base for the time being, was a newly opened office. So most of the terrain was scouted before, but not secured and accurately mapped.
For this reason the 2 forward scouts had generators that created an energy field were a vacuum was created starting at their waste and engulfing both their legs. Since there was no air around their feet it meant that their movement did not create any sound waves since those waves need air to flow trough. They still needed to keep their breathing down, and try to avoid talking as much as possible. But any possible hostile would not be likely to hear them coming before they themselves had been spotted by the 2 most forward men.
This advanced warning would give the TL time to assess the situation and decide the appropriate action. In sharp contrast to the scouts, the flexer was bulky and loud due to the equipment that he was carrying on his body. The flexer could generate dark energy fields that affected an enemy negatively or friendly troops positively. This required a series of antennae from which the energy and the matter could be “flexed”. The corporate facilities stood out because of the huge antennae from which defensive gravity and energy fields could be formed in case of an attack. When it came to antennae it was accepted that bigger was better.
So positioned on his metallic shoulder pieces where different sized and different collared antennae. The 2 shoulder pieces where linked together to give the illusion of one big metallic machine that divided the operators head from his lower abdomen. Different material affected certain fields differently, so this metallic metal chunk that covered his upper torso had different substances from which it was made, but it was for the greater part shiny metal which could be seen from far and wide.
Although this apparel made any scouting mission in which they were part of stand out, their value in combat was so valuable that lack of camouflage was mostly traded by TL`s for the great offensive en defensive capabilities of the flexers. Some flexers had crude camouflage in the form of paint, but in general this dampened the effectiveness of the field that they could cast. So most flexers remained to be a big twinkling arrow pointing out the position of their teams to any that were in line of sight.
The troopers themselves had fairly low Tec weaponry. They had rifles or guns that where basically the same as the design that was present on earth for the last centuries. A small amount of explosive material would propel a bullet down a rifled barrel, but each of those guns had an extension on its barrel. A cylinder was screwed on the barrel which was the most advanced piece of equipment the fresh troops where aloud to have according to corporate procedure. When you looked at it, it seemed simple enough, even if you would take the cylinder apart you would not find anything interesting. These barrel extensions where however charged on the inside with dark energy. This energy would dramatically affect the velocity of the bullet that traveled through it. Where conventional bullets could go at the speed of sound and beyond, this ammunition was thought to go at near light speed. This was never proven, and many officers including Palmer thought this was just corporate propaganda designed to impress both friend and foe with their Tec.
The fact remained that this relatively simple peace of Tec enhances the speed of the ammo which is fired through it. Besides changing the velocity the cylinder also silenced the sound. This made a simple gun a rifle extremely powerful yet deadly silent. A team in cover could fire on foe`s and finish them off before they even heard the first volley. The bullets themselves would travel much faster than sound, but as a dark energy side effect they would not break the sound barrier. This meant the enemy wouldn`t hear a sonic boom which would enable them to pinpoint the direction from which the projectiles came. They would have only bullet holes to give them any indication of the direction from which they were being shot.
The patcher mostly had bandages, painkillers and other conventional healing supplies. The only unique Tec they had on them where field casters that could hold any heavily wounded trooper in a stasis field. This would enable them to treat wounds without them filling up with blood or just keeping them alive until they could be moved to a clinic. Not just anybody could cast such a field. Just like medicine the strength which was needed differed from person to person. It was mostly based on body mass, but other factors did change the strength of the field that was needed. The patcher was trained to determine this, and was rarely wrong in is diagnosis.
Palmer Himself had the last piece of valuable Tec. To anyone who hasn`t seen it before it would seem like just a stick or staff. Straight and narrow about 2/3rd of a man’s body length. It was a hollow shaft that was charged with potential energy. Al it did was strengthen the force that was applied to it. Meaning that when Palmer swung it, the force would have been multiplied by ten or more depending how fully it had been charged. With this crude but effective weapon he could break bones and smach most small objects. The weapon was limited however on the wielder. If Palmer would have swung it full force and hold on to the staff he would tear his muscles and break his bones. So he was required to use huge restraint when using this weapon. However there was a failsafe. Around his elbows, shoulders and neck there where dampeners. These where simple shock breakers that would deal with some of the energy that recoiled into his arms. Eventually these dampeners would break. At this point the user would have to use even more restrained or simply use all his power to throw the staff at the enemy instead of hanging on.
Palmer’s team advanced through what was once a suburban area. Now overgrown with long grass and numerous plants it was hard to seen any features of the buildings other than the outline. He received a message on his com link accompanied by images sent by his scout.
The scouts where looking down from what looked like a highway judging by the railings that where at the bottom of the images. It showed a building with the old corporation logo on it. And some movement around it which Palmer could not identify until the scout zoomed in on them. They were small wheeled an tracked vehicles. Moving in and out of the structure. Some of them where towing small trailers that were full of circuits and other hardware.
His scouts had stumbled upon a small group of salvagers harvesting abandoned corporate office. They had received intell of possible untouched offices in the area, but the long grass and other flora made it hard to determine what the use of the buildings where without cutting down the overgrowth. In more secure areas corporate procurers had simply burnt the unwanted flora off. This technique would however draw attention since the plumes could be seen from far away, and you would never know what it might attract. So Palmer was not at all surprised that the previous scouting runs had overlooked this building.
The salvagers did not use anything as simple as looking for a logo a looking for a particular building type. They used magnetic tracking to find large concentrations of metal objects as well as other sensor data. So for them it was easy to find 1 small building that had the potential of housing precious Tec among a landscape of similar sized houses and office buildings.
Palmer now had 2 choices. Pull back and report to the head-office of this sector, or engage the enemy and recover as much Tec as possible and call for the procurers to hurry in and take the rest before the salvagers would come back in strength if they deemed the Tec housed in this building important enough to send out their heavier armored and armed vehicles.
The team which he commanded had not seen any combat, at least not in the name of the corporation. Who knows what they did before they signed up. At the other hand the return of rare and precious Tec, or other supplies on their very first mission would surely impress the district manager. And the reclamation of offices that where marked with the corporate logo was worthy of a commendation itself. Sooner or later the firm would claim what was rightfully theirs, so better that Palmer take this opportunity himself than letting others do it later on.
From the highway they had a perfect vantage point. They could see the building entrance. The salvagers had cut down most of the flora around the structure. This enabled them to move faster and more directly to the path that they had already cut trough the grass. If wou would follow this path you would surely find the salvegers strongpoint in this area. Local intel had not determend if this was just a hub or a massive reclamation site. It mattered little.
Since salvagers where small (about 1 meter high and 2 meters long on average) it was logical to assume that they only had light armor if any. These where just small transports without any fighting or defensive capability. It was possible that they did not have any armed escort, but unlikely. Salvagers had been known to completely ignore hostiles or just flee at the sight of them. Either way Palmers next move was predetermend. His men would strike first. This would result in 1 of 2 things. Either the salvagers would flee and so limiting their losses, or any escorts they might have would show themselves and counterattack.
Even if they counterattacked Palmer could retreat himself with minimum casualties, since Salvagers rarely gave chase when their enemy was routed. The risk of damaging or losing corporate property seemed acceptable whencompared to what they could gain.
On his command the flexer created a EMP field, this happened gradually to save power. The salvagers did not seem to realize what was happening until it was too late. The EMP field encased most of them and most movement inside the field came to a standstill. Some seemed to be shielded from the EMP. These salvagers all increased speed and made a dash for the path that would lead them to their “home”. The troopers shot a couple of the others whom where outside the field and not effected by the EMP. This way the salvagers would have to calculate these losses as well when they determined their response.
Their response came quickly. From hidden positions around the corporate building small airborne craft scanned the area in order to find the attackers. It did not take them long to find them. And all the craft homed in on the position of palmer and his men. He ordered the flexer to help them out, but he knew that he needed time before his field would take effect.
In the in the meantime it was up to him and his men to hold them off. The airborne enemy was small. This again meant that they had minimum armor. But thay were hard to hit as well. They were armed with short range energy weapons. To make up for their short range, they were fast and agile. And they attack a single enemy at once. It looked like a swarm of bees defending their hive. 2 troopers fell without any loss on the enemy side. This was because the troopers could only hit them when they were very close. However by that time they were so close to the trooper that they attacked that the troopers risked to hit their comrades. When the 3rd trooper was attacked the TL ordered all of his men to open fire on them regardless to the fact that they would risk hitting a friendly.
Several salvagers plummeted to the ground, or at least seemed to be lightly damaged from the attack. The trooper that they where attacking however could not have been saved. And it was unclear who actually made the lethal shot.
The salvagers regrouped and took up a different tactic. They attacked 1 by 1. Whoever was the target had no chance of defending himself since as soon as 1 salvager retreated, another one would attack. The single enemy also made it much harder to target them.
Another trooper fell, never to get up again. The salvagers monitored the defense style of the troopers, and saw that all of the men were taking orders from 1 individual. The next target was Palmer himself.
His weapon of choice however was much more effective against the salvagers attack. He swung his staff and propelled the airborne craft far away, almost hitting another one.
By this time the salvagers had noticeably lowerd the hight on which the hovered. At first Palmer thought this was a tactic. But he had felt more strain on his body. When he saw the discrete smile of the flexer who was hiding behind a burnt out vehicle, he knew it was his doing. The gravity was slowely becoming more intense. The men could move recently freely, but the salvagers who relied on speed instead of power where succumbing to the force which lowered their altitude. Slowly the troopers picked a few of them of, until the flying swarm retreated.
The counter attack had given the unarmed salvagers time to collect the Tec they deemed most useful and even drag some of their damaged kin to safety.
Only after they had inspected the abandoned structure could palmer see the extent of is victory.