There was a slight breeze northbound as Lieutenant Mark Richards of the Second Ranger Battalion took a deep breath, "Ready gents?" he muttered; his voice barely audible over the local voice communications line. There was a series of green lights on the Lieutenant's Heads Up Display. The Lieutenant scanned the horizon. "Six crawlers, two chargers." the Lieutenant bit his lip. The soldiers of the Second Ranger Battalion had been thrown to this god forsaken planet without any knowledge or Intelligence gathering, so the troops began resorting to calling the creatures they had been facing different names. The Lieutenant felt a bit of worry befall him, he and his squad hadn't heard from The Bastion for almost 24 hours now, the squad was running low on food and ammunition, among other essentials that would keep the unit combat efficient; with no real exfiltration plan in sight.
The Lieutenant hummed, "On my mark, I want this clean." turning towards the twelve men in his squad, who all nodded in unison.
The squad advanced across the urban cityscape, emerging from their camouflaged positions, rifles shouldered and fixed in front of them. A series of hand signals and gentle shoulder taps kept the unit moving across the city street in a neat, cohesive fashion. Lieutenant Richards found himself a neat foxhole nearly fifteen feet from his position, and pressed his rifle against the nearby debris formation. "Infareds, Mark your targets, wait for my go."
Suddenly, twelve, luminescent, red lasers shined in the daylight, each laser crossing one another and fixating on one of the undead monsters that were standing in the middle of the street, clueless to their position.
"Three, I've got eyes."
This process quickly worked it's way down the chain of command.
"This is lead, get it done."
In a neat and organized fashion, a barrage of gunfire emerged from multiple positions in the urban cityscape, quickly each round had found their marks, and each of the targets that had a laser pinned against them dropped dead immediately. Without celebration, the Lieutenant waved his hand, signaling for the squad to regroup. The Lieutenant and his squad were tired, but he was glad that they weren't getting sloppy. The Lieutenant needed to think of something. Some way to get his squad out of this hell-hole, or at least get some support. Little did he know, his squad were among the very few survivors left on this planet. His squad needed a plan, and needed one fast. The Lieutenant gave it some thought, and decided the best course of action was to search for the origin of the planetary distress signal, while dangerous, it may be the only way to get in contact with either The Bastion or link up with other elements of their unit, which were tasked with reaching the same objective. If his comrades were out there, they would be searching for the same objective.
"Five meter spread. Jacobs, Elena, you two have rear security, Blue Element, your eyes are forward. Keep it clean, keep it professional."
The Ranger Squad pressed forward down the street in an even, organized Vee formation, pushing towards their objective in the aggressive fashion typical of a well-trained Ranger unit.
Graves woke up to the sound of heavy knocking on his door. The Praetorian rolled around in his bed, checking how many hours he had been asleep for on his wrist watch. Before the Praetorian could roll himself out of his own bed, there was a second knock on his door, "Damnit Graves, get your ass out here! We've got briefing in ten minutes." The voice was muffled, but Graves didn't even need to think about who it was. Graves knew full well that there was only one person in the entire galaxy that would have the audacity to knock on his own door. The Praetorian picked himself up and out of his bed, throwing on his service uniform in the most dreary and unenthusiastic manner possible. The Praetorian sighed, pressing the airlock release on his room.
Haven began shouting a string of excessive profanities, closing her eyes in anger as she raised her foot parallel to the door, kicking outwards with the most aggressive kick she could muster. Before her foot could connect with the door, however, the door slid open, revealing her Commanding Officer. Haven opened her eyes, her foot buried in gut of her Commanding Officer. Graves, not even flinching, yawned, "Do you always kick your superior officers or are you just excited to see me?"
Haven grunted, lowering her foot from Graves. "You asshole, if I didn't wake you up, you would have been late for briefing. Again." Haven crossed her arms. "You need to make a good impression today, you're taking command of an entire squad of Praetorians, for Emperor's sake."
"Joy," Graves yawned once more.
Haven bit her lip, "You know, for one of the Empire's finest, you really are a goddamn piece of work."
"Right," Graves yawned again. "Just give me a quick run down of the files you've got on these new squadmates of ours while we head to briefing,"
"What? You mean you seriously didn't even take a look at the files?" Haven buried her face into the palm of her hand.
Graves rubbed his eyes. "I used to get paid to kill people, not read books, love."
Haven sighed, "Alright, I'll give you a crash course, but we really need to leave now or we'll be late."
The two Praetorians left the room and began heading towards the briefing room, Haven opened up the profiles of the seven Praetorians they were slated to work with, and began educating her Commanding Officer on the individual members of the squad. Graves pretended to be interested on the way there, but truth be told he already knew each of these Praetorians very well, just by their aliases. As soon as Haven mentioned a name, he was able to link them to some of their very outstanding achievements. Graves understood that he was working with a very talented and respected group of Praetorians, which cleared some reservations that he had previously. When Graves and Haven entered the briefing room a few minutes later, they found that the room was completely empty.
"Not a very punctual bunch, are they?" Graves grinned. "I might like these guys afterall."
Haven rolled her eyes, "We're five minutes early, they'll probably be here in a few."