Part of USS Neptune: Mirum and Bravo Fleet: The Stormbreaker Campaign

Tempus Est Ire

Secundus's HQ, Uneta Prime
February 2400
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Secundus had been trying to adapt to the changes his army and himself had to endure. Not a day went by he didn’t wonder how his wife and child were doing and knew he may never see them again. He had been working on the plans to finally get the Legion off the planet they were on. Thanks to Uneta’s civilians being contractors for ships he was able to build ships for his Legions to go and conquer in name of the Imperator. The planet had been quiet with the continuous observation of the equites in the different areas of the planet.

He was standing over a table looking at the plans for the ships that had been built it was difficult to say if his troops were ready due to the changes that had occurred. An adaptation of technology was not easy and Secundus still was trying to understand the universe he was in. He recalled the day this had happened he was on the battlefield marching in greater numbers towards the tattered ranks of a Gaul brigade. When a weird portal opened and swallowed his entire legion bringing them to where they were. The time had flown by, but with no concept of time here Secundus could not guess how long they had been present.

He was interrupted by the clanking of his Sergeants army.

“General.” Cassius’ gruff voice spit out the commander’s title in greeting as he threw up a quick hand in salute before lowering it back to hook his thumb in its customary position at his belt. “The legion is preparing to embark, loading up the ships with supplies. As near as I can tell, we should be ready within the hour.” This unknown world with its advanced technology had set the general’s aid on edge, his discomfort betraying itself even in the awkward way he now stood, ill at ease with the procedures for these new flying ships that he was unaccustomed to.

Aquila shook his head something about this didn’t bode well, but he wasn’t sure what was going on. His thoughts were swirling when Oppius entered the room.

The swift arrival was a normal demeanor of Oppius who came in and slammed his fist down onto the table “This blasted universe does not honor Roman tradition.” He said with a glare in his eye.

Aquila stood up and looked at his Commander “Do you mind telling me what’s going on Commander?”

Oppius scowled “The men are not happy with the orders. They want more of a plan.”

Aquila laughed “If the men have any idea of what to do please let them enlighten us. Wait they aren’t in command! Tell them to do as they’re ordered.” Aquila said looking at his sergeant “Cassius please remind the men I am still in command.”

“That’s an order I can certainly handle.” The sergeant’s ominous promise did not bode well for the insubordinate legionnaires. 

Aquila looked at Oppius “Prepare the scout vessel! Make sure you pick the right men for the job and bring back any intel. We will be prepared.” Aquila said with a glare in his eyes.

(Local Uneta Pub)

Cassius Varo pulled his hood over his head before ducking through the low doorway and making his way down the narrow stairs to enter the pub. The entrance for this establishment was hidden at the end of a dark alley and therefore was not well known among the newly arrived Roman soldiers. It had taken a few broken ribs as well as stabbing his dagger through a man’s hand, but Cassius had been able to extract the location from a soldier who he heard was an associate of the group within the legion that had been questioning the general’s leadership. The more he tugged at this thread the more he realized that this insurrection within the group went far deeper than Secundus and Oppius likely suspected. 

After working his way through the usual suspects, smashing a few noses, and twisting some arms, Cassius had discovered from the low-level miscreants of the legion that a group of disgruntled soldiers had banded together in some sort of misguided attempt to form an insurrection against the general. This group had been working its way through the Roman forces, attempting to sway the majority of the legion into supporting them in a plan to overthrow the general. Cassius knew the morale among the men had been at an unsettling low of late since the realization had begun to slowly sink in that they may never be able to escape this fresh hell and return home to their families. Having no family to return home to, Cassius had remained fairly unperturbed by their change in scenery. The only thing that annoyed him about this new battleground was his own lack of knowledge concerning the natives and their flying ships with the advanced shooting machines. Cassius pushed this unusual world’s innovative weaponry to the back of his mind as he entered the pub. At least this was something he was familiar with. 

Dealing with the soldiers was a task he was intimately familiar with. Perhaps this was the reason Cassius was so loyal to the Roman army. It provided the perfect outlet for him to release his aggression. As an officer in a military force known for their ambition to conquer other nations and expand their territory, there were few moments of boredom. Even when there were no obvious enemies to fight in battle, Cassius could generally find someone in the legion who deserved a good skull cracking. Early on in his military career, he had become known as somewhat of an enforcer. Unphased by a person’s social status or wealth, he proved to be an effective attack hound for his commanding officers. His ability to jump into a fray with the reckless abandon of one who had nothing to lose had enabled him to quickly rise through the ranks despite his low social station. Now he assisted the general in ruling the legion with an iron hand, an iron hand that would not hesitate to cut down any who opposed him. 

Cassius slid behind a group of planet natives and settled himself at a discreet table in a dark corner where he could observe the ruckus group of Romans at the bar. His nose wrinkled as he recognized most of the unruly group. To even question the authority appointed by the rank of the Roman military was a thought that utterly disgusted Cassius, yet so many of these young officers who had been born to wealthy senators or plebians seemed to think they were entitled to a position of power simply due to their social station. Cassius was accustomed to putting them in their place, and in this remote location so far away from their home, he feared little repercussion from their wealthy families. 

He glanced back at the door impatiently. He had sent a messenger before making his way here. He may be notorious for rushing into battle with little thought for his own safety, but he wasn’t entirely reckless. His own safety was something he had little concern for, but one thing Cassius hated was the thought of losing, and therefore every move he made was carefully calculated to ensure he would always enjoy the sweet taste of victory. Uncertain of the size of the group he would be facing, he had planned to have backup, but watching the Roman soldiers at the bar as they laughed and bantered over their beers with little to no concern despite the villainous uprising they were planning, he could barely contain himself. His eyes narrowed as the door to the communal bath opened and a well-known legionnaire who he had dealt with in the past emerged. Caution flew to the wind as Cassius recognized this reoccurring thorn in his side and his anger flashed to a raging fire. This handful of a rogue faction should pose no problem for him. Backup be damned. These cursed dogs would learn their lesson by his hand.

The unsuspecting legionnaire at the bar did not see the wooden chair flying through the air till it struck him a direct blow to the head. The pompous Roman’s cranium made a loud crack as it was driven directly into the ground, and then with a mighty heave, Cassius swung the chair back to fling it down the bar at the remainder of the group. The soldiers fell back with a flash of fear as they recognized their attacker. One of the men in the front lifted both hands in a sign of surrender and opened his mouth to bargain.

“Sergeant, I don’t know what you’ve heard but we’re not a pa-,” but the Senator’s son never completed his sentence.

Cassius, not one to mince words, refused to halt in his charge. Within moments, one soldier lay on the ground clutching a knee that twisted at a strange angle while another howled with pain and tugged at the short blade pinning his forearm to the bar. The native occupants had scattered and cleared out of the pub with a few of the bloodied Roman soldiers beating a hasty retreat in the mad scramble. Five soldiers remained to face Cassius, swords now drawn. Cassius slowly drew his sword and dagger from his belt, shoving his left foot forward to solidify his stance as he prepared for the imminent attack. Like a swarm of bloodthirsty hellhounds, they were upon him. 

Cassius felt a searing pain in his side as one of the glowing spears of light was shot from a native device to pierce his breastplate. A deep growl rumbled up from deep within Cassius’s chest. These cowardly swine were using the pagan relics to fight their battles instead of facing him as a true Roman with naught but blade and skill. The soldier with the phaser was quickly reduced to a sniveling mass, huddling beneath the counter as he attempted to stem the flow of blood streaming from his now stump of an arm. However, the weapon of the infidels was retrieved by another soldier before Cassius could reach it. Cassius dropped his dagger to fling a table at this new threat, but as he advanced towards his enemy, grabbing at a chair along the way, the other soldiers were upon him, hacking at him with their blades. 

Oppius had been working his way through the streets looking for stragglers before entering the Uneta Pub as a chair whizzed by his face. He looked around to see Cassius putting up a fight. He fought through the enemies and saw Cassius coming towards him. “What do you think you’re doing Cassius? By Jupiter’s beard what is going on?”

“By Pluto’s thorny gallus, took you long enough!” Cassius greeted his backup with a curse.

“I didn’t expect this to be going on so that’s why it took so long Sergeant!” he said with a stern voice.

One of the soldiers Oppius had just beaten down released a low groan from his position on the ground, rolling back and forth as he clutched his side. Cassius planted his boot in the traitor’s face and the soldier was silenced. 

“The messenger I sent didn’t reach you?” Cassius swore under his breath. Perhaps the soldier hadn’t been able to find Oppius, or just maybe the soldier had purposely neglected to deliver his request for backup. Cassius would have to deal with that at a later time.

Moments later, Cassius staggered out of the pub, pausing to rest his shoulder against the stone wall of the alleyway as he wiped the blood from his face with an already soiled sleeve. 

Oppius put Cassius’s arm around him and slowly helped him back to the headquarters where Secundus looked up with a questioning look.

“The troops have been reminded who is in command,” Cassius provided this brief update before shoving away Oppius’s helping hand to stumble back towards his quarters. 

Secundus just nodded at the reaffirmation that the crew were reminded not to cross him.