Forging a New Partnership

“The Legion’s current orders are to raid the targets listed below. The targets are bases for pirate outfits and criminal gangs listed by Duke Shasta Ardeind as enemies of House Ardeind. We will hit the targets and shut these outfits down. We are cleared to use deadly force against any hostiles we meet. After the target is cleared of hostels, the I-team, or investigation team, will enter the target location and inspect the location. After they finish their investigation, we will leave the location. Any prisoners must be given the option to swear loyalty to the House Ardeind. Should they refuse, they will be cuffed and left in the raid target for police to apprehend. All gear and drugs will be seized by the Legion and moved to designated Legion storehouses. All recovered drugs are to be destroyed if they are not 100% pure. All weapons will be moved to Legion armories for use by the Legion. Any prisoners held by the enemy gangs are considered freed and will be given the option to also swear loyalty to House Ardeind. If they do not wish to do so, they will also be left behind for police to take care of. Slaves who are found in the raid targets will be considered as captured contraband and will become slaves owned by the House. They may be freed at the discretion of the Lord Patriarch.”

-Excerpt from Legion Directive Alpha Three Three Five One

18 December YC 122
Abandoned apartment building in the slums of the city Amarrinn on the planet Mekhios

“How’s it going out there?” Kira asked her commanders in the headquarters of the Slum Queens gang.

“Not well, ma’am,” Hyrennik said. “Slum Lords gained control over another two blocks overnight. Our territory is shrinking.”

“The Lords are still in talks with the 14th Street Bad Boys, but all indications point to an alliance being formed by tomorrow morning,” Ty West said.

“Great. Any good news?” Kira said, studying the map of the slums.

“Well, ma’am, I have found another supplier of drugs. He sells 80-95% pure product. Can I tell him that we have a deal?” Kevin asked. “The current proposal is as follows: … ”

While the Slum Queen leadership deliberated, a platoon of black-armored Legionnaires began preparing for their next raid in a dark alley a few blocks down the street. One armored figure watched as his men retrieved their equipment from the Legion’s two trucks before walking towards another group of men clustered around a table with a building blueprint pinned on it.

“The target is three blocks down that street,” he heard as he walked closer. “I want Squads Alpha and Beta to breach this door and come in through here. Squads Charlie, Delta, and Eta should come in through this door. They will then split up. Charlie and Delta will secure the basement and first floor. Eta will head for the command center, while Alpha and Beta will head for the drug lab. Any questions? No, good. Yes, Corporal?”

“The men are ready, Praetor,” Corporal Lance Hendricks said, saluting.

“Excellent. Troopers, move out!” Praetor Najir Darim ordered. The Legionnaires slammed magazines into their SMGs and began to move out of the alley in perfect formation.

“This is an excellent plan, Kevin. Good job!” Kira said after Kevin completed his presentation. “Tell this supplier that he has gotten himself a deal.”

“Yes, ma’am,” Kevin replied as he packed up his papers.

“Hyrennik, how do you think we can slow down the Slum Lords’ advance?” Kira said, unrolling another map of the slums and pinning it to the table.

“Ma’am, I think we should-” Hyrennik began before being interrupted by the sound of gunshots.

“What in the-” Kira began as the four guards in the room readied their rifles. Hyrennik was the first to react.

“I’m not sure, ma’am, but we need to move,” Hyrennik said, drawing his pistol. “Come on, let’s head to the basement.” He began leading Kira towards the door, when it was suddenly kicked in. Kira’s guards began firing at the doorway, but were cut down by the barrage of fire that erupted from the doorway.

“Ma’am, let’s go!” Hyrennik shouted, firing his pistol at the door while leading Kira towards the stairs on the other side of the room. “Let’s GO!”

Black-armored figures began to enter the room and spread out. Kevin popped out from behind an overturned chair but was shot down by a trooper standing in the doorway. Hyrennik began to lay down cover fire as Kira dashed towards the stairway.

“We’ve got to go! We’ve got to -” Hyrennik shouted before crumpling to the ground, hit by enemy fire.

“Switch to non-lethal. The duke wants prisoners,” Kira heard, before a trooper shot her with a stun gun and everything faded to black.

After the Legion had secured the building, a group of Legionnaires dressed in civilian clothes and wearing light body armor entered the building.

“Duke Shasta, the building is secure!” Praetor Darim addressed the leader of the investigative team.

“Excellent. Any prisoners?” the duke asked as the group walked up the stairs.

“12 total. 6 are lab techs and 4 are muscle. The other two are the gang leaders. The other two leaders were killed during the raid,” the praetor said. “The techs and muscle have sworn their oaths already.”

“Good. Have the captured muscle assigned to one of the in probatio squads and the techs assigned to the laboratory on the Amarr Emperor Family Academy station,” the duke said. “Which of the gang’s leaders were captured?”

“One Kira Predi, leader of the gang, and one Ty West, intelligence chief,” the praetor replied, consulting his datapad.

“Very well. I will talk to this Kira first.”

Kira woke to find herself cuffed to a chair in one of the gang’s mess halls. She could see the bodies of at least three gang members who had been shot dead by the armored figures who raided the building. She sighed. Who would have thought that this was how the gang war would end, through a sudden raid that the gang never saw coming? She saw one of the armored figures usher in another man, who was dressed in civilian clothes but wore body armor.

“Hello, Kira,” Kira heard the man say, as he pulled a chair up and sat down in front of her. “I’m Duke Shasta, Lord Patriarch of House Ardeind and commander-in-chief of the Dark Wolf Legion. I ordered the raid on this building.”

“You see, I can support pirate groups that care for the people and help them. But groups that peddle drugs that aren’t even pure? I cannot stand that,” Duke Shasta stated. “Cut drugs only hurt the users and give the drugs a bad reputation. I bet that if no one sold cut product, drugs would even be legalized throughout the empires.”

“I know that! That’s why I try to sell pure product, too! But after the CONCORD raid a few days ago, well, I haven’t been able to find a new supplier,” Kira mustered the courage to say.

“Really? Well, that’s a new one. But there’s a second reason that I ordered this raid. I support the Guristas, and I have been looking to move my people to Venal to start a new colony. The problem is, I’m not really good with handling the dark parts of piracy and crime. Also, it would be better if I keep my hands clean from that stuff. I’ve been looking to find a good gang leader to serve as my assistant on this sort of thing. I thought that you might have the expertise I need.”

“Really? But I thought that you didn’t like what I do!” Kira said, surprised. “I thought you didn’t like me selling cut product.”

“I don’t, but I can tell that you don’t like doing so either. You just couldn’t find a way to sell pure product,” Shasta replied. “I feel like you would be great as my aide. You would answer to me, but you would have more freedom to do what you want. You want the job?”

“Umm … okay. One thing, though. Ty, my intel chief, he’s really good at what he does. I think he would be of benefit to you too!” Kira said, as Shasta stood up and unlocked her cuffs.

“You mean that other leader we captured? He already agreed to work with us. I have been in need of an intel chief,” Shasta said. “Come on, we’ve got a lot of work to do.”

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