14 March YC123
“Alright boys, y’all know the drill. Hit the bars, the restaurants, the shops, whatever! Just be back by 2200 hours, understood?” one transport captain said to his crew. They were gathered in the spaceport near the areas where the Ardeind convoy had docked for the day. They were transporting half of the 15000 or so civilians that would be moving to Dam Vishen.
“Yo, man, how many drinks you think you can hold this time? Five?”
“Hell, I could hold ten!”
“Yeah, right. That’s BS. You could never hold your liquor, kid.”
“Alright! Alright! Don’t get into any trouble. I’m looking at you two,” the captain added, glaring at an engineer and his janitor friend. “Y’all remember the last time these two got into hot water. Legionnaires crawling over the ship, asking questions. More trouble than it’s worth, so no bar fights, y’all!”
“Sir, yes sir!” the crew members chorused.
“And this ain’t the Legion! So don’t give me that ■■■■.” the captain joked. “Alright, alright. Get outta here! Go!”
He watched his crew run off before turning to the nearby Legionnaire officer.
“You’re staying, captain?” the officer asked. He wore the black shirt/sweatpants combo that was the de facto “civilian” uniform of the Legion. A Legion badge hung from a chain that he wore around his neck, and he had a captain’s insignia pinned to his shirt.
“Yeah, how ‘bout you?”
“We’re gonna turn the civilians loose once my lieutenant finishes going through the safety briefings, then I’ll start sending out some follow teams to make sure nobody tries anything. Don’t want to lose anyone, and don’t want anyone arrested either. As for the rest of us, we’ll stay here to babysit the ships.”
“Kay. Whatever suits you,” the captain said as he boarded his transport. The Legionnaire watched him enter before turning and walking to his senior platoon commander.
“Lieutenant, aren’t you supposed to be giving the security brief?” he asked.
“No, it’s Kasuko’s turn. He’s over by the Bountiful Fortune,” the junior officer answered.
“Alright, keep an eye on this section. I’ll go check on the civilians.”
“Stay on comms, understood?”
“Of course, captain.”
“Alright, and if y’all see anything out of place, anybody acting suspiciously, anybody looking at you one time too many, etc. etc., turn around and come back here. Better to be safe than sorry, understood? We don’t want any of you getting kidnapped, attacked, or even murdered. It was hard enough trying to find some of you when you got kidnapped the first time. None of us want to do that again, is that right?” Lieutenant Kasuko continued his security briefing. “And I think I don’t need to stress this again, but don’t get into fights, don’t get into any sort of trouble. So no bar fights, no fights on the street, no fights at all, understood? Good. Get going.” Kasuko concluded his briefing and dismissed the civilians assembled in front of him.
“Ten hut!” a nearby Legionnaire shouted as he turned and saluted. “Commander on deck!”
Captain Kyonoko walked into the hangar through a nearby door. “As you were, as you were.”
“Ah, captain!” Lieutenant Kasuko said, rushing over to his company commander as the Legionnaires dropped their salutes.
“I just finished the briefing, sir. We’re turning them loose now.”
“The follow teams?”
“They’re putting their equipment together and getting ready to go. We’ll send them out in the next … ,” Katsuko paused to check his chronometer. “ … ‘bout thirty minutes, sir.”
“Good, good. They’ll be armed?”
“Yes, sir. Standard follow loadout. Gun in concealed ankle holster and second mag in a pocket. Knife somewhere on his body, depending on where he wants to put it. Dressed in civvies, of course,” the lieutenant recited the standard surveillance/follow team loadout.
“Good, good. Carry on,” Captain Kyonoko replied, turning on his heel and walking out. As he exited the hangar, he pulled his radio off of his belt.
“Command, section 1. All good on our end. Briefing’s finished. Crew and civilians are out in the colony. Follow teams moving in thirty,” the captain said into his radio.
“Copy.” the response came over the radio.
“Well? How we doing?” Commander Sato asked his command staff.
“Everything seems good, sir. All ten sections have sent their crew and civilians out, and follow teams are moving through the colony from five of the sections,” one of the Legionnaires answered.
Suddenly, the radio squawked. “Command, 5-Foxtrot-2. Be advised, bar fight outside the Tan’s Pub. We’ve got three crew from the Resupply is at Hand watching the commotion. Hey! Hey! Be advised, one crewmember just decided to join in! Repeat, one crewmember is in the brawl!”
Commander Sato facepalmed. “You’ve gotta be kidding me. Get a second team out there! Go!”
One of the nearby Legionnaires grabbed his radio and began shouting orders into it.
“Command, 3-Fox-9. Be advised, bar fight outside Soto’s Food and Drink on Twelfth. Fight between two crew members!” a second follow team radioed in.
“Oh, God. Go! Go! Go!” the commander said. “Is it too much to ask for these crewmembers to refrain from having any goddamn bar fights for once?”
“Apparently so,” a young Legionnaire replied.
“That was supposed to be rhetorical! Go, get back to work!”
Meanwhile, in the hangar where the White Love was docked
“Come on! Come on! We haven’t got all day!” Sergeant Bard Wills shouted at his crew as they unloaded crates of top secret equipment from the Resupplier’s Hoard. Unlike the other Legionnaires assigned to the escort of the convoy, Sergeant Wills and his squad were not going to shadow the convoy all the way to Venal. Instead, they were going to insert themselves into Torrinos to begin an investigation into the recent anarchist bombings.
“That’s the last of the crates, sir,” Wills’ second in command said as two Legionaires carried the last crate down the boarding ramp.
“Alright, start loading them onto the vehicles,” Ariene Chastot ordered, walking into the hangar. The young Jin-Mei capsuleer had been ordered to oversee the survey team in her capacity as Director of Legionnaire Research Division. “Vehicles are outside. Load them up, then 2 to 4 men per vehicle. Head to 621 E 15th St. We’ve rented a small house as our safe house for this op.”
“Yes, ma’am,” the sergeant replied. “You heard the lady, move it! Move it, boys!” he added as the Legionnaires began carrying their gear out of the hangar bay.