Episode V: Shattered Husk
An eerie silence fell across the city, like a thick veil pulled over to concealthe darkest secrets of humanity, nothing moved for as far as the eye could see,thick trails of black smoke lazily making for the irradiated sky. Buildings stooddefiantly, though shattered, husks of their former glory, their missing partsadorning what was once the jewel of the Coalition. The scene would almost be considered serene, were it not for the grotesquedecoration of hundreds of mutilated bodies, men and women, some civilian, somesoldiers, scattered throughout the cityscape. Vehicles and tanks thrown apart, tornasunder from a cataclysmic force the likes of which man had not witnessed before.A lone, torn banner danced at the wind, signifying the last stand of the city’sdefenders, around it laid a dozen men and women that gave their final breath toprotect their homes and families. There was a low humming sound as the troop transport whizzed through thedestroyed buildings, the passengers bearing witness to the slaughter below. Theyall bore the insignia of the Coalition and underneath it a great black hawk, symbolof their detachment, perhaps the most honored among their companions, thecream of the crop, Coalition Commandos. Their commander inspected the holographic map of the city, evaluating hisoptions for a safe landing, tapping a finger instinctively on the frame of thedisplay, his scarred lips curled in a slight frown. Beside him on either side stoodtwo more men, eagerly awaiting his commands, one was barely out of his teensbut in his eyes burned a fire that one would see in grizzled veterans that marchedto battle.“We need to secure this zone”, the commander said, tracing his fingers inthe outline of a box, “this is where our objective is, but we need a clear area tobring it out to”, he followed in the same stern tone as before, lifting a hand to tapa finger against his lower lip in thought.“Crawel”, he paused, the man to his left straightened out, “I need you totake your men here and secure this perimeter, set up a post and defenses”.“Aye sir”, the man nodded sharply and turned about making towards theback of the transport.“Avers”, the younger man turned his gaze from the display to thecommander, “you’ll go in here, take point of the entry team, secure the locationand bring the damn thing out safe”.