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Chariots of Fire...

Captain Enema

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Legion Naval Shipyard


"Like it or not, the heyday of Legion being a credible power in Africa and other parts of the world are far behind us. We must now accept a more modest presence in the world. Saber rattling, rabble rousing, and foreign adventurism can't be tolerated in a world under the boot of the United Nations Security Council," Prime Minister Denard observed as he watched the newest ship in Legion's Navy being made ready for sea trials.


"I recognize that sir, I just don't like it," replied Rear Admiral Griffin White. "It's a fine ship we launch today but it reeks of compromise on too many levels."


"Look, do we have the man power and funds to support a Carrier Battle Group?"



"What we do have is an entire Indian Ocean full of potential problems that makes a smaller design like this well advised. 10 transport helicopters, 6 gunships, small boats on davits, roll off cruise missile launching system, and a 5 inch extended range turret, and a dedicated over-strength company of Legionnaires who are being trained for a variety of roles. This vessel gives Legion a presence and the ability to do something about problems as they are evolving. A carrier battle group tends to be the sort of thing that arrives far too late to be of much use," the Prime Minister replied.


"I guess sir, just not a huge fan of this design. For all its benefits it doesn't carry enough striking power to be of much use in a stand up naval engagement, meaning we'll forever be turning tail and running as soon as things get too sticky," Rear Admiral White grumbled.


"I admire your dedicate to the navy, such as it is," replied the Prime Minister as his eyes swept the few elderly looking vessels in the shipyard and the single new one, "But times are a changing."


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The Docks in Bordeaux


"So are you going to explain to me a bit more about what kind of smuggling is actually happening? Why would people be smuggling out of Aquitaine, especially to Eastern Africa and other points out there. There is no close distance or connection." Said Jeanette as she walked with Malcolm down by the shipyards in Bordeaux. Down the river, the Bay of Biscay glowed underneath the moonlight as the bells from tugboats and barges rang out, signaling nightfall. "Is there a real danger here?"


She had changed out of her waitress outfit to dress in something more suitable to moving in the darkness. A black bodysuit with the Viscountal crest emblazoned just lightly on the side of her chest. Jeanette's hair was pulled back in a tight bun as she looked to Malcolm for an answer.

Edited by Sarah Tintagyl
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"It is more like smuggling into Aquitaine, specifically, going to attempt to do so. What we are looking for here is the local contact man who is of Sudanese descent. Once we've located him we hope to trace back the smuggling routes, ships, planes, cash flow, and the people behind the scheme. Here is a picture of Dennel Chelleni, I served with one of his relatives before, distant relatives. He's ex-Legion Navy and was decorated for valor," Malcolm Reynolds replied as he handed Jeanette a picture.



Legion Shipyard


The damaged Amphibious Assault Carrier is surrounded in a maze of lights, welders, metal workers, and technicians of all sorts. The sea trials had not gone well. A minor explosion below decks had occurred on the ship's return to port. The roll off cruise missile launching system had proved a horrible concept. The naval cannon on the front of the ship malfunctioned repeatedly as the technology for the Extended Range Naval Artillery concept proved just too far out of Legion's reach. Still, despite those failures, lessons had been learned, lessons that Rear Admiral White planned to capitalize upon.


"The missile battery for the roll off cruise missiles is going to be ripped out. The two deployment hatches are just big enough to fit a crane and serve as a deployment site for a SARC. The additional room from the missile battery will be converted into a SARC storage and repair area. With it we will be able to deploy up to six SARCs. They are small, fast, and can carry 18 armed and equipped men. One of them will be an ambulance/gunboat design and the other a fully.. or.. as fully silent as we can make it. Questions?" Rear Admiral Marcus asked.


"None sir, these seem wise, what of that awful gun on the front?"


"Rip it out, we'll replace it with an 8 inch gun. You'll need to reinforce where needed, but the ship is based on a missile cruiser design, emphasis on heavily armored. Tear out the forward mounted SAM missile battery and replace them with a single 8 cell VLS system. The other SAM will be upgraded to a design which is much more modern and half the size.  This is going to call for extensive refitting and we'll need to reduce the air-wing and make adjustments to the ships overall length and beam. Can this be done?" asked the Read Admiral.


"Its going to be expensive and take time, but yes it can be done."


"Good, carry on."

Edited by Tidy Bowl Man
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She looked at the picture and studied his features. At first glance there didn't seem to be any distinguishing marks, until she noticed his eyes. One was glass. He seemed like a fairly large man, of African descent, bald, with a glass eye. "Even with that mark though," she said pointing at the picture. "He isn't going to be easy to find in Aquitaine, we're in a tourist location, where would we start looking for him? Do you have any idea if he frequents certain places or do you have a connection, somewhere that we could meet."


Jeannette walked with him along the harbor walls of the city. A few blocks away, there was a sector of the city, a red light district for sailors and their ilk. That seemed like a good place to start...

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"He'll be abiding by the very letter of the law and regulations to avoid unwanted attention. Probably a decent place to start would be your custom's office to get his arrival card from when he passed through customs. Chances are he arrived using his real passport, put a valid address on his arrival card, and checked into a room at whatever hotel he put down. More than likely he's changed into local clothing, has a forged set of local documents, and has not spent more than an hour at his hotel room. The room is there for a paper trail, he'll drop around once or twice looking suitably worst for the wear, and then depart onto his next location. Everything he'll do is to avoid looking like anything other than a tourist who is enjoying the local color," Malcolm Reynolds replied as he felt somewhat naked without his customary sidearm.

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"You know a lot about this guy, Malcolm, maybe you should be the one tracking him down." Said Jeanette with a laugh as they left the docks to begin piecing together the paper trail for Monsieur Chelleni.


Jeanette and Malcolm followed the paper trail throughout Bordeaux the next day. Because of her contacts within the government, she received official records from Chelleni's entrance to Western France relatively easy. The hard parts came when they journeyed to the hotels and had to follow various different pseudonyms that Chelleni adopted in his travels in Aquitaine. This trail led Jeanette and Malcolm to a fairy posh area of the city. A few of the hotel owners tipped them off that a dingy looking man had checked in then disappeared, only coming back at night. They said he frequented a large club a few blocks down from the hotel - Club Biscay.


Walking inside, the music making the patron jump. Glowing liquors were carried on trays and Jeanette immediately felt under dressed in her coat, jeans, and t-shirt. "So you see him anywhere?"

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"No, too early in the night. Let's leave for a bit and come back. I'm going to take you shopping for some proper clubbing attire, help you mix in a bit better, courtesy of Legion of course," Malcolm replied as he let his eyes lazily move around the room in a matter expected of someone taking in the view for the first time rather than someone looking to be deliberately searching for someone. With that being decided he offers Jeanette his arm and walks her out the door to a high end boutique where he plunks down his Legion issued credit card and informed the rather acerbic proprietor that Jeanette required proper evening wear.


He quickly left Jeanette to her own devices for a bit to give her a bit of privacy. No point in making her feel uncomfortable by lingering about like a depraved lech. While she's getting suitably fitted out for whatever she would like, he made a few requests of his own and is quickly measured and fitted for a suit that he fully intended on keeping once the mission is concluded. That wasn't his only request, he called a high end car rental establishment and rented an older model Porsche that screamed class and sophistication. From his hotel he had a courier run over a ballistic case with a few devices he believed he'll need for the evening. Once he's concluded the utter ruining of Legion's economy via the purchase of several thousand dollars of clothes and the renting of a car, he pulled on his fancy togs for the first time and rejoined Jeanette.


He gave her an admiring glance and then said, "Right, we've probably a few more hours, right across from the club there is a decent place to eat. I say we have dinner, keep an eye on the front door from there and then make a fashionable entry after our would be scoundrel makes an appearance."

Edited by Tidy Bowl Man
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This was the first time in her life Jeanette could spend on herself and not worry about the bill. When she came out of the dressing room with her new garments, she felt like a movie star. A long red gown with a slit that went to her knee graced her body. Being fairly broad from her years as an agent for Athens and now Aquitaine, she carved a beautiful but intimidating figure in the outfit. Carrying a new white purse, she applied a bit of lipstick, rouge, and ruby earring before saying that her evening wear was complete.


It felt like a date when Malcolm rented a Porsche then took her to a high end restaurant in downtown Bordeaux. They dined on imported lamb from the Balkans with wine from Italy. Throughout the entire meal, Jeanette kept her eyes glued to the club, taking out a pair of small binoculars every so often to see who waited in line and who the bouncers let in.


"I'm assuming he's a big wig in this kind of atmosphere?" then seeing him smile and chuckle, Jeanette blushed and pushed her hair behind her shoulders. "I appreciate Legion's generosity tonight. I think my loyalty to France might be called into question if your government buys me more dresses like this."

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"I think Legion's would probably go broke if we kept this up," Malcolm replied as he finished his glass of wine. "Before we go in, there is something important we have to go over. Clearly we can't take him in a crowded club, neither can we grab him off the sidewalk with a snatch team. That leaves flushing him out of the club and back to his hotel room. We could try to poison him, but that might end up with him making a visit to the local E.R. and I don't think either of us want to have to try to explain that one," Malcolm elaborated as he fished out a small black plastic box and slid it across the table to Jeannette.


"You'll find that it is a simple GPS tracker for his automobile. We get that onto his automobile and then once inside I have another little gizmo," Malcolm explained as he took out his iphone. It wasn't the new slim and fancy looking iphones but rather one that had the appearance of being a much thicker version. "This chunk of metal is what your technical experts would identify as a snooper. It detects incoming and outgoing cellphone traffic. Meaning, we get into the club, get close and any calls made to him will be collected by this device. It'll take your security service to eliminate all the other numbers we'll be collecting, but that shouldn't take more than a few minutes."


Out of his other pocket he took a final item, a pair of Legion issue brass knuckles. He slid the item across the table and whispered, "Keep it in your purse, if trouble kicks off aim for the throat," as felt the pair of knuckles in his own pocket, a lock blade knife, and a garrote. "Outside of Bordeaux, Mr. Germaine has done us the favor of leasing a very remote Chateau. Our end game is getting Chellani to the Chateau where we'll.... question him. How we get him from here to there is a question, unless you have a suggestion, but whatever we do we can't have his people find out he's missing or specifically taken by the police."



Legion Shipyard


"So this bucket of bolts is going to be ready to return to sea? New and improved?" asked Rear Admiral White.


"She'll be fit as a fiddle sir, the changes to the ship were quite extensive, but they'll be completed on schedule," replied the Naval Engineer.


"Good, how many helicopters?"


"12 to 14."




"10 pods total, 8 or so missiles a pod."




"A new single mount, better radar as well."


"The gun?"


"8 incher as promised."


"How many troops?"


"Well, 250 to 350 depending on factors."




"Standard Battlecruiser armor, she's a beast."


"Very well, as soon as the helicopters are ready, the crew is on-board, provisions loaded, and the Ligurian Gun and Rod Club are on-board, we set to sea," Rear Admiral White ordered.




"Not anymore, more of a cultural relic, probably a few 5th or 6th generation Ligurians, but nothing more recent than that. If you remember the collapse of Liguria caused a small migration of Ligurians who evacuated with Denard and Dillion and resettled in Legion. They tend to favor duty in the Navy and Marines, hence the Marines being known colloqiually as the Ligurian Gun and Rod Club."


"Oh, well you learn something new everyday," replied the Engineer.

Edited by Tidy Bowl Man
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Jeannette thought for a few moments, going over the plan Malcolm discussed. It seemed fairly flawless, but there also were a lot of 'what ifs' that remained unanswered. His plan involved a lot of tracking, a lot of chance, and a lot of passive maneuvering. Jeannette was not a passive person, she liked getting her missions done, getting them done effectively, and getting them done right. There was no room for failure and so she figured it would be to cannonball in and grab the tiger by the tail...so to speak.


"I have an idea if you're willing to cover me and help me if I get into a tight spot."


A few minutes later, they walked over to the club. Jeannette didn't have a problem getting inside. She still had her military ID and one flip of the wrists pushed the bouncers aside. Plus, she thought she was looking mighty attractive that night so they might have let her slide even without the credentials. The club felt different when she entered this time. Music made the floor vibrate and scantly clad women ran from men, like gazelles and leopards. But Jeanette had different prey in mind. She walked to the private section, staying on the lookout for their friend.


Her way put her in danger...but it would be a sure fire way to bring Chellani into their grasp. 

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Malcolm quietly followed Jeanette over to the club. It wasn't a particularly difficult leap of logic to guess what she had in mind. As he entered the club he slipped a waiter a large tip and requested a private booth in the VIP section. With the booth he ordered a bottle of Vueve Cliquot and a small tray of appropriate appetizers. Just ostentatious enough to draw the eyes of others while playing a part yet not so boorish as to give one the opinion that Malcolm Reynolds is nothing more than a common street thug. He waited for all over two minutes before he was joined by a couple club bunnies who he shared his champagne with as he watched Jeanette from the corner of his eye.


It didn't pay to stare at her like some sort of drooling neanderthal or Chellani for that matter. The hard stare radiating off Chellani as Jeanette approached was like an air raid siren in a church. To Malcolm that indicated that Jeanette was getting the right sort of response, which perhaps was all the more relieving that Chellani was even open to such an approach. Now, more than ever, Malcolm wished he had his pistols that had dangled on his sides for decades of field operations, the same pistols handed down to him by his father who in turn had used them to train Mad Dog himself in the fine art of gun fighting.


Malcolm's father was a gunfighter of the old school, Malcolm on the other hand considered himself a bit more refined in his approach and has never once felt put out by using a vast array of devices to end another person's life. Everything from a pencil sharpener used to cave in a man's skull to a large rock for crushing a man's chest. Machine guns, pistols, rifles, shotguns, poisons, garottes, knives, pencils, and so forth had all found a place in his journeys through the halls of Legion's wars and covert operations across the African continent, Austria, and Asia. The end result had found Malcolm very much willing to resort to whatever means necessary for completing a mission.


With the bottle in front of him, Malcolm scanned the VIP booths to find just the right person to instigate a fight with for the purposes of prompting Chellani to leave the club with Jeanette. After all, flying glass, tables, and people tended to take the mood for romance or casual sexual romps right out of a person, but if a man really wants to close the deal with a lady, chances are he'll gallantly steer her out of harms way. Of course, in the case of Chellani, he'd be steering Jeanette out of harms way and right into the interrogation chair. Given Malcolm's tendency to use dental drills as part of his interrogation routine, it isn't at all the kind of chair most rational people would ever want to sit in.


LNS Enterpise


The Assault Carrier dropped its anchor off the coast of Legion, well within Legion's territorial waters. For now it would content itself with running drills, practicing air operations, and air assault techniques. Small boating skills were another priority that required a special mention in the LNS Enterprise's orders.


Legion 1st Special Forces Team


"We've been given orders to set up observations posts outside these four coastal villages. Each post will consist of a onsite fire team and there will be a back up team stations farther out with vehicles enough to pull off an extraction under fire if needed, questions?"


"Extractions teams, how many vehicles?"


"We've gotten an allotment of refurbished patrol vehicles from the 1st RCT for this job. Yes I know, our own mechanics are looking at them now. Each extraction team will have five Snatches, a water truck, fuel truck, and maintenance truck. You'll be dressed in civvies and you'll have engineers proficient in oil surveying with you to carry the role being an oil survey team. Needless to say, keep your weapons out of sight until needed."


"Allah preserve us, we've got to use those damn mobile coffins."


"Calm down, they've been upgraded significantly, hardly the same vehicles."


"Air support?"


"A mixed detachment of helos and fixed winged jobs flown off a remote strip. We also have the new assault carrier to call on if needed, but it is requested we hold off on that until we get orders to move against all, some, or one of the villages."


"What exact fixed wing jobs are we getting for this?"


"OV-10M Upgrades."


"They still have those around?"


"Apparently so and they upgraded them no less. Still, for what we are doing they are ideal. They can loiter, take a beating, put out a beating, and haul a modest amount of cargo if needed. Most importantly, they aren't on the rolls as being part of any dedicated Legion Air Unit. Meaning, our own pilots and ground crews are going to be keeping them in the air. About time Legion Spec Air got something useful to do. Same can be said for the choppers, older, but highly serviceable jobs all flown and crewed by Legion Spec Air crews."


"Can't complain about that, but give me a bit, I'll find a way."


"You always do."

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  • 1 month later...

Manor House, Acquitaine


Gentleman Johnny wiped the blood off his hands as he looked over at Malcolm and said, "I think he's given us as much as he is going to give us. You know what to do."


"Yes sir," Malcolm replied as he walked over to Chellani and said, "Pursuant to the Legionnaire's Rights Act I am required to give access to legal advice in any situation that it can reasonably be given. However, the Legionnaire's Rights Act also clarifies reasonable as any situation in which an ongoing investigation and deployment will not be jeopardized. I have on me an classified Death Warrant signed by the Prime Minister allowing me to summarily execute you in order to allow this mission to proceed if I determine there is sufficient cause. Do you understand what I am saying?" asked Malcolm.


"Yes," mumbled Chellani through a mouthful of broken teeth.


"Good," replied Malcolm as he stepped behind Chellani, slid the garrote around Chellani's neck and sent him quickly to his death as the deadly piano wire bit deeply into Chellani's neck.


"Let's exfil," Germaine said as he used a solution of chemicals to destroy dna evidence as the quietly left the scene and the body.


Red Sea



To: Rear Admiral White
From: Prime Minister Suiwi Duvall (Temporary)

Your taskforce, code named Dagger, will be attached to the Special Tribal Pacification Program until otherwise notified. The STPP will be coordinate the activities of your Assault Carrier, two corvettes, and two destroyers with other Legion units. Those units being the 1st RCT, 20th Special Forces Group (reinforced), and the 111th Composite Air Wing. Overall command will be yours, though be advised the 1st RCT's mission will for the time being require it operate somewhat independently. Details contained on file attached to this message.

20th Special Forces Group (reinforced)

The teams sent out disguised as survey teams had made good time as the progressed into the Tribal Regions. Handfuls of money were distributed to smooth their passage. As the teams passed through they were able to glean copious amounts of intelligence as to which local warlords were loyal to Legion and which were merely opportunistic filth. What started as a mission to put a stop to what should have been minor problem of three villages that were involved in weapons and drug smuggling, had turned into a major operation to bring a renegade province back into the folds of Legion.

The information gathered by the survey parties demonstrated to the central government that their hold on the tribal regions had been more or less nonexistent for quite sometime. It wasn't a terribly big surprise as the economic downturn that shattered Legion's economy for the last two years had caused a massive reduction in services. Now that things were looking brighter, the time had come to solidify the central government's control over the entire country.


Luckily for the survey teams they had quite a number of former Legionnaires in the villages they rolled through who recognized the Special Forces soldiers for who they really where and acted as loyal members of Legion should. They brought out their maps and information and shared it with the Special Forces soldiers and vowed to stand with them when the time was right. What became clear was that sixty three of the local chieftains and warlords could be depended upon to swing to the side of the central government against six or seven major parties. Two of those major parties were minor nation states in their own right that were going to present serious difficulties for the future.


The information gathered was forwarded to Rear Admiral White's headquarters on the LNS Enterprise. He in turn had his staff create a clear picture of the situation and with the help of Brigader General Sovann, a crusty Cambodian expatriate and the commander of Legion's fledgling Marine corp, a viable operational plan was created. Further input was taken from Colonel Denard of the 1st RCT and Colonel Rol Mbembe of the 1st Special Forces Group (renamed to the 20th to avoid confusion). Once everyone had voiced their opinions and given their ideas the plan was finalized and distributed.


With so much of the fighting strength centered around the 1st RCT, it was thought important that an advanced logistical base be formed before any extended operation was commenced. To this end the 1st RCT was given orders to move from Fort Dengali and north and to set up a chain of supply stations along the Legion Military Coastal Highway. These supply stations would be guarded and manned by an ad hoc force of Legionnaires from the Southern Legion Military district reserves. This allowed the STPP to be reinforced without drawing away troops from the 2nd through 10th RCTs who were in the process of training and reconstituting their ranks. These supply depot units were titled Banger 1 through Banger 15 and consisted of roughly 60 to 120 men depending upon the size of the depot. 


Once the 1st RCT has established its line of supplies and security for those supply lines it will create the first of its major supply hubs to be centered around a small airfield that is roughly fifty miles south of the Tribal Zone. Once completed the 1st RCT would directly and with great speed move towards the Sheflen, the largest of the Tribes that are considered highly dangerous due to having a large number of captured weapons and vehicles from Legionnaire depots. Other operations by the 20th Special Forces and the LNS Enterprise's landing party would help to ensure the 1st RCT would not be flanked or hit in the rear by the Sheflen's Tribal Allies.


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LNS Enterprise


Malcolm Reynolds took a seat at the planning table after he made a full report on the intelligence gathered in Aquitaine. Things had definitely progressed in his absence from Legion. On departure it was a minor matter requiring at best a few dozen men to handle, now it had expanded to include a few thousand men and hundreds of vehicles. Next to him Brigadier General Sovann, a dark skin Asian, was attempting to negotiate a larger role for his new Marine Regiment and was not having much luck doing so as Rear Admiral White felt the forces at hand were sufficient to carry through with the operation from start to finish. "Sir? Might I offer a few thoughts?" asked Reynolds.


"Proceed," White ordered.


"The 1st RCT is under the command of a unbloodied officer, while he does come from excellent stock, this Denard has never tasted the whiff of battle through out his entire career. I would think it is prudent to provide for a ready mobile reserve from a coastal position that could strike inwards if the 1st RCT finds itself trapped and unable to extract itself from its position. Perhaps what Brigadier General Sovann's forces could best do would be to secure a beachhead with sufficient strength and location to allow them to strike up and down the coast and perhaps inward if needed. Should the Warlords turn to face Sovann's 1st Marines, they'd be doing so under the guns and missiles of Task Force Dagger. Not a promising state of affairs for them," Malcolm Reynold offered.


"I see your point, but I'm unconvinced that the 1st Marines has sufficient vehicular attachments to carry out such a mission," Rear Admiral White commented.


"Oh, I don't think that'll be a problem. I have it on good word that Port of Sudan Imports and Exports has enough rolling stock on hand to outfit the entire 1st Marines with light and heavy armored transports," Reynolds replied.


"Tanks included?" Sovann asked.


"They'd be T-72 models, but yes," Reynolds responded.


"T-72s aren't so bad, they'll do the job in a pinch with the appropriate upgrades," Sovann replied.

"Very well, see to it the vehicles from PoS are properly serviced, equipped, and armed before accepting delivery. Also inform Germaine that the vehicles will be requisitioned and not purchased. Damages and wear and tear will be paid for at the going rates," White informed Reynolds.


"If I may sir, perhaps it might also be best if Port of Sudan sends a long a detachment of mechanics and other specialists to assist the 1st Marines with keeping the vehicles moving? We can call them up as part of the Legionnaire's Inactive Reserve Programme and pay them standard Legionnaire rates rather than contractor rates through Port of Sudan," Reynolds advised.


"Your boss is going to scream blue murder," Sovann said as he laughed.


"Germaine is the one who suggested it," Reynolds said with a smile.


"Oh dear," White said as he wondered what Germaine was really up to.



1st RCT


Colonel Denard and his staff were busy hurtling up and down the Legion Coastal Highway as they watched and when needed directly involved themselves in the movement of the entire 4500 men of the 1st Regimental Combat Team. The 1st RCT is one of the more storied Regiments of Legion and was colloquially known to all as Denard's Bastards. The 1st Company of the 1st Battalion of the 1st RCT was named the Dengalis due to their direct lineage to the survivors of the Dengali fight. It was the 1st RCT that had smashed the way back into Austria during the fight against the Germans. It was the 1st RCT who had paved the way into Sudan, against the Kickapoo, and again had provided the cadres for Legion's foreign expansions  At times Colonel Denard felt as if he were operating under the shadow of the Mad Dog Denard.


Nearly once a day a grizzled veteran of the 1st RCT would respectfully and with great deference ask after the health of Mad Dog, which the Colonel would reply with equal deference and respect. Every now and then the entire line of march would pass in review of a group of ancient Legionnaires who turned out in their equally ancient uniforms and would stand at attention as the 1st RCT passed. These men too would ask with great deference and respect into the health of Mad Dog and Colonel Denard would reply with great deference and respect. A great many Legionnaires were measuring the Colonel against the legacy of his father.


It was noted that the Colonel rarely ever let a drop of alcohol pass his lips. The Colonel rarely ever uttered a profane word and looked somewhat scandalized when he heard profanity from another Legionnaire's lips. Where the Mad Dog was outgoing and outrageous, the Colonel was quiet and thoughtful. Not to say the Colonel was weak, far from it, as he had already proven his physical prowess long ago by completing Legion's Airborne School course. Further, he had proven himself something of an intellectual when he stopped and to the amazement of the Engineering detachment held a long and detailed consultation involving detailed calculations of the load bearing properties of a bridge they were constructing to ensure safe passage for the tanks prior to them being allowed across. The fact their Colonel could keep up with the Chief Engineer was surprising, the fact the Colonel could correct the Chief Engineer's math using a pencil and piece of paper was down right astonishing


Most who knew Mad Dog knew that he would have simply thrown his hands up in the air and ordered the whole damn column across and to hell with the possibilities of the bridge collapsing. The Colonel was not at all like this, he kept his thoughts to himself and when he revealed them they tended to be deeply insightful and highly useful. Many said the Colonel tended to chew on something till it was damn near gnawed to the bone before he spat it out, which to them was fine as even a few of the old timers could remember the disastrous occasions where Mad Dog's impulsiveness had lead them all into unintended consequences, but would the Colonel be able to act with the daring and aggressiveness required from a Legionnaire?

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  • 2 weeks later...

Council of 13 Meeting Chambers


“Please admit Colonel Denard into the Council Chambers,” number one ordered.


“Yes sir,” replied the grizzled Legionnaire Master Sergeant. The Master Sergeant stepped out into the waiting room and looked Colonel Denard over with a critical eye. There was some of his father in the man's bearing, living up to the image of Mad Dog Denard would be a tough duty for even the strongest Legionnaire. Curiously, the son while he had similar traits of the father, did little to attempt to emulate him. Some found this odd and others, like the Master Sergeant, found it comforting. There was nothing wrong with following your own path in the Master Sergeant's eyes. “Sir, they see you now,” he informed the exhausted and battered looking Colonel Jeb Denard.


The Colonel stood, entered the Council Chamber, and took a seat in the single open chair. “Colonel Denard, of the 1st RCT, reporting as ordered.”


“The Sheflen and their ilk, what news do you bring of them?” asked number one from under the deep dark folds of his council robe. A robe with a hood that did an excellent job of making the man's jovial face seem sinister and forbidding from under the heavy folds and shadows of the garment.


“I am pleased to announce the 1st RCT has lived up to its reputation and that it has completed its assignment as expected. The Sheflen and other Warlords now recognize Legion's authority and have submitted to it,” replied Colonel Denard.


“I've examined the reports, can you shed light on your strategy?” asked number four.


“Yes, the 1st RCT advanced against the Sheflen heartland to draw them out. This relieved pressure of the 20th Special Forces Group who were behind the Sheflen lines inside four village outposts. While the Special Forces platoons had been reinforced, they were in danger of being overwhelmed, which necessitated an advance by the 1st to draw away pressure on them.”


“Do you feel the 1st RCT had made adequate preparations for an advance prior to embarking upon it?” asked number two.


“I don't think we had much of a choice in the matter. The 11th RCT, the Marines, weren't going to be able to deploy fast enough to strike inland. They could only provide so much air cover. The 20th Special Forces air support were limited in their role as well. We advanced with what we had and in the end that proved enough to complete our mission.”


“Losses were light but we notice that you picked up three wounds during the final engagement. Care to explain what happened?” asked number one.


“The A Company of the 1st of the 1st was trapped inside a choke point. Things had gotten muddled and our lines were intermingled. Rather than have nearby companies try to relieve Alpha Company, I told the Battalion Commander to hold fast while I brought up a reserve company to achieve a breakthrough to their position. The Company Commander went down from sniper fire, I took command of the company and advanced with it. It was a split second decision that worked out well. In retrospect I now admit that perhaps I should have had the 2iC of relief company take over,” Denard replied.


“It worked out in the end,” replied number eleven.

“At an unacceptable cost, yes,” replied Colonel Denard.


“What of the Sheflen and the other Warlords, will they know their place?” asked number one.


“Sir, I think the Sheflen could at most put a reinforced squad in the field after the beating we gave them, they'll be rebuilding for years. As they rebuild their young will join the Legion, they'll be assimilated like every other minority group has been.”


“Very well, the Council will deliberate, you are dismissed,” replied number one.


Colonel Denard stood, saluted the council, and departed. After he left, number one solemnly intoned, “That man is nothing like his father.”


“Is that good or bad?” asked number three.


“Can he inspire the men can he get them to follow him?” asked number four.


“I'm looking at the reports from the Regimental Sergeant Major of the 1st,” replied number one. “He claims the 1st RCT would follow the Colonel into hell if needed. His solid leadership, silent deliberation, his personal touch, and other leadership qualities has captured the collective heart of the 1st. Even men who served with his father admit they find the younger Denard to be an highly admirable leader and excellent Legionnaire.”


“Did he draw blood?”


“Yes, several times in the last few engagements, things got messy after the Shefflen and their combined allies broke and it turned into a general rout. It seems that the elder Denard is not the only one with a flair for pistol work,” number one commented.


“I think we have just the thing to issue him,” replied number 13.


“You think he is ready?”


“Mad Dog left them to us to decide when his son was ready to inherit them.”


“He's definitely ready.”

“Good, it is agreed, I will have them delivered,” replied number 13.


Fort Dengali


Several days after the conclusion of the Shefflen campaign, Colonel Denard was packing up the last of personal affects. His time in command was coming to an end as word had come from the Council of 13 that he was to assume a larger role in Legion's Military Command. It seems a possible war was forming up in Gabon, a war needing a leader to oversee a wide range of diverse elements. A light footstep caused him to turn and look.


“Sir, a package for you,” his orderly said.


“Thank you, put it on my bed,” replied Denard.


“Yes sir,” replied the orderly as he placed the heavy paper wrapped package on the Colonel's bed.


“I wonder what the hell this is?” asked Denard as he tugged on the rough string that held it shut. The paper fell away and revealed an iconic pair of pearl handled .45 caliber M1911 pistols that had been highly modified to suit the tastes of a gunfighter. Polished triggers, high profile sights, and fluting to reduce the recoil of the hefty mankillers. The butts of the pistols had been widened to accept higher capacity magazines as well. The two pistols came with a pair of highly worked leather gun belts that allowed him to carry one pistol on his hip and the other in a shoulder rig, his preferred load out.


“Now, those I haven't seen in years,” said Prime Minister Suiwi Duvall who entered Denard's room.


“Sir?” asked Denard.


“Mad Dog's pistols, I thought they'd be up on the moon with him,” replied Duvall.


“Well apparently they aren't, no idea where or who had them, but they were just delivered,” replied Denard.


“Sounds like the Council and all their mysterious ways, bunch of old farts,” grumbled Duvall.


“What brings you here Mr. Prime Minister?” asked Denard.


“Your next assignment, let's talk,” replied the Prime Minister as he unrolled a map and laid it out on a nearby table.

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