AFTER ACTION REPORT – BLOODIED COMPANY – 9457TH INFANTRY DIVISION - OPERATION COPPERHEAD
June 4th, 620 PE
1000 NST – JADE CONNECTION forces begin extensive landing operations on planet Rok’Veru. OPERATION COPPERHEAD launched to take NIXARD MILITARY BASE, believed to be a major clone soldier production center. BLOODIED COMPANY to serve in auxiliary role for assault on base under command of Captain RYAN VELES.
9457TH INFANTRY DIVISION lands 20 kilometers from objective and begins offensive toward NMB. Lead elements include…
“HURRY UP YOU DAMNED FOOLS! FASTER, FASTER! OFFICERS, GET YOUR CLONES IN LINE! NOW!” The Colonel screamed at the column from his shiny green jeep. All the officers had one, but of course his actually had something approaching armor plating. The cars rolled down the right of the massive line of infantry stretching back to the monolithic landing craft, which still fired their massive flak cannons at the enemy fighters in the lower reaches of the atmosphere. The thousands of clones marched in lockstep, backs straight, rifles vertical, parade style. Each and every one was covered in sweat and dirt, the latter kicked up by their commanders’ transports. Above the column, evenly spaced, were small, clunky-looking hovering droids, covered in cameras.
The Colonel pulled his car back towards the end of the procession, alongside a particularly old officer’s jeep, barely-painted over bullet holes still visible on the sides, and the seats visibly stained with blood and soot. In the back, a heavyset, slovenly man lounged, eyes closed, his dark green officer’s uniform unkempt and thick blond hair and beard matted with grime from days without access to basic hygiene. Captain’s bars graced his shoulders and the left side of his chest.
“VELES YOU DAMNED FOOL! UP ON THAT HILL! OBEY YOUR DAMNED ORDERS!” The old man sped away quickly, to cajole the rest of the unit. The captain sighed heavily, and roughly shoved his driver’s shoulder, pointing up to one of the larger hills flanking the right side of the massive valley filled by the division. He then looked out to the men to his left, and called out dismissively. “Follow us up, men,” he chuckled before continuing, “Do try to keep up. Private, step on it.” The vehicle veered to the right, and took off towards the hill. The soldiers broke out of the column, sprinting after it.
June 5th, 620 PE
0300 NST – 9457TH INFANTRY DIVISION establishes perimeter around NIXARD MILITARY BASE. Forward units encounter heavy resistance from skirmishers and entrenched positions around base perimeter. BLOODIED COMPANY entrenches on HILL 256, providing minor fire support.
Captain Veles sullenly watched the basin that was the objective of Operation Copperhead, the small camera droid at his side, recording everything. Fifty thousand soldiers hunkered down in the valleys and forest below him, all looking towards the squat concrete and steel buildings that covered the surface of whatever hellhole the Jade Connection had requisitioned. Bullets, lasers, explosives, and flame poured out of the base, from pillboxes and buildings, filling the air. Just as much was poured back in from the surrounding country. Buildings melted and flesh was split and burned. Even so far back, the screams of the dying filtered to the ears of the silent company. The distant thunder of war was broken only by the occasional firing of the four large mortars the clones had carried up the steep side of the hill on their backs. The only light came from the fighting below, bright and terrible enough to illuminate the storm clouds in the sky, and serve as a surrogate for the lightning that had not yet come.
One of the soldiers trotted up to the captain, a note in hand, scribbled in pen. Further orders, to advance into the basin at 0500 hours to follow Fang Company’s spearhead into the center of the base, and replace them on the perimeter. Veles grew pale at the proposition of advancing so close to the fighting. Of course, he knew what the penalties of mutiny were. He ordered the men to pack up their gear, to ready their advance, and to get him his jeep. He looked down at his chest, with its simple synthetic fiber covering, and then to a nearby soldier, speaking quietly with another as they loaded magazines from spare bullets. Veles stormed over to the soldier, roughly pushed his shoulder, and pulled one of the elastic straps keeping the man’s flak jacket on. “The armor. Now, soldier,” barked the captain. The soldier turned quickly, first anger, then something akin to fear and forlornness in his eyes. He quickly and silently removed the vest and passed it over to his commanding officer, looking at the ground the entire time.
Veles roughly pulled the vest on. It barely fit. He spied the man’s side holster, a flash of silver mostly hidden by the fake leather. “Soldier, your sidearm, now.” The same expression as before. The man pulled out a large, polished chrome revolver, obviously bought on leave, for the majority of the soldier’s pay by the looks of it. He roughly grabbed it, examining it closely. He pulled his own sidearm from his holster, a heavy black laser pistol, and thrust it into the man’s chest. “It was my grandfather’s. Barely shoots, but don’t lose it.” He turned and walked away, a smile playing at his lips. He loved commanding clones. Too timid and too stupid to so much as squeak against him.
June 5th, 620 PE
0600 NST – 9457TH INFANTRY DIVISION has forced their way into objective. Resistance grows, and six Crimson Dawn regiments are dropped into the area. Casualties are heavy on both sides. JADE CONNECTION transports are destroyed by orbital bombardment. BLOODIED COMPANY is pushed into the southern portion of the base, barricading themselves in buildings and facing major resistance.
The barracks’ wall exploded inwards, sending the internal organs of an unlucky soldier splattering across Ryan Veles’ uniform and face. The captain screamed and fell backwards. The soldiers continued firing out the windows, fighting for their lies with grim determination. The hole in the wall was suddenly filled by two large, heavily-armored troopers, the red paint covering their Kevlar and metal armor barely distinguishable from the blood they had been covered in. They wielded heavy, short-barreled shotguns and brutal-looking axes, and fired wildly as they charged in. A soldier who had rushed to help the captain to his feet lost his arm and then was almost blown in half by the massive force of the shotguns.
The captain yelled and fired the huge chrome gun at them, most of the six rounds going wide, save one which buried itself in the chestplate of one of the monstrous men, stopping him in his tracks. The Jade soldiers turned their fire into the room, and the brilliant light from their lasrifles lit the darkened concrete room like the sun over Delsauria. The blood-covered Crimson Dawn butchers burned, their horrible screams lasting only seconds, and their remains barely resembling men. More fire streamed through the windows, and one of the soldiers fell to the floor with a massive bullet wound through his chest. The green-covered soldiers turned back to the windows and resumed the fight. It took Captain Veles two minutes to realize he was still screaming.
And then the room turned the brightest shade of white imaginable, and all inside bore witness to the sound of worlds ending.
June 5th, 620 PE
0700 NST – NOTE: All Observational Drones were disabled by this point in the battle. All following information gathered via post-operational interview with the only survivor recovered. - Fighting over NIXARD MILITARY BASE comes to a close following the detonation of a JADE CONNECTION tactical anti-bunker nuclear weapon inside the subterranean cloning facility and command post of NMB. Much of the base collapsed into subterranean cavity. Surviving personnel on both sides were minimal. Majority of survivors quickly resumed fighting, resulting in the casualties of all personnel save CAPTAIN RYAN VELES.
The rain had finally come to wash away the battle. But even it was dirty, filled with soot as it fell through the clouds of thick smoke and ash that had once been so many thousands of men. There were only nine men left alive in the confines of what had once been Nixard Military Base. By the look and sound of things, they were the only men for miles. The corpses covered the ground thicker than the grass did.
The survivors stood at the edge of the great crater that had been opened by the bomb. Captain Veles tried not to look at the great scar in the ground. He panted heavily, his revolver trained on the six Crimson Dawn clones kneeling on the ground twenty feet in front of him, having stumbled out of a supply shed just moments ealier.
They all had the same shaggy brown hair, thin, gaunt faces, medium statures, and cold grey eyes.
To either side of the captain were the only two remaining Jade Connection soldiers around, both clones, both members of Bloodied Company. One split his attention between the radio he was trying to work and the prisoners. His rifle was leveled at them shakily. The other man Veles recognized as the one he had taken his flak vest from, the barely functional black laspistol Veles had given him in-hand.
One of the Crimson Dawn clones panicked, stood and ran. The clone with the laspistol shot him, burned a hole through his chest. He fell to the ground and convulsed. Captain Veles laughed, his eyes wild with fear and stress and fatigue. “Go check him! Check him!” He yelled, his voice cracking. The clone warily advanced, keeping his eye and weapon leveled on the others. He aimed his pistol at the wounded soldier, ready to put him out of his misery. “NO!” screamed the captain. “Let him suffer in front of his friends!”
The clone looked back to his half-crazed captain. Anger flashed in his eyes, then forlornness. But there was no fear. “No,” he said, and fired. The captain quickly turned his aim to the insubordinate soldier and shot him through the heart. He died instantly. Veles laughed again, looking to the radio operator with his wild eyes. The radio operator looked up blankly, too tired to speak, and looked back to the prisoners almost in time to scream before a blast from a laser pistol burned a hole through his eye, and out the back of his skull. Veles spun to face the source before his right cheek erupted in flame and he fell to the ground, screaming. The Crimson Dawn clone stood, aiming the black laspistol at the two crumpled forms twenty feet away. He looked to the rest of the clones, and back to the radio and the corpse of the Jade officer. He smiled.
The clone pointed into the supply shed he and his brothers had spilled from just minutes before. “Mines, traps,” he said, and pointed at the two corpses. “Guns.” The others grinned and laughed, standing and cheering. They ran for the small metal shed. The man with the gun watched them run in and looked down at the corpse of the soldier who had just killed his brother. He reached down and pulled the last grenade off his bandolier, and walked to the shed. The other clones were pulling the shelves apart looking for any weaponry left. He lifted the grenade to his mouth, pulled the pin with his teeth, and tossed it in. He slammed the heavy steel door shut just as the yells began. He felt the explosion through the door.
The man pulled the door open, and aimed fired indiscriminately at the broken figures on the shed’s floor. He turned and walked towards the captain and the radio operator. Veles laid on his back. The beam had misfired, hadn’t cut all the way through his head, had simply burned the right side of his face to ash, and melted the flesh of his neck. The captain sputtered and cried with the one eye he had left. If he had still had his whole tongue, he would have cursed the clone standing over him. The clone smiled.
He fired the laspistol into Veles’ head there was no face or brain left. He pulled off his red coveralls and threw them into the fiery abyss nearby. The dogtags stamped N-CD-538256 followed them in. He walked back to Veles and pulled off the captain’s stolen flak vest, and tossed it aside. He pulled off the dirty uniform and everything underneath. He pulled off the captain’s dogtags, and put them on. The rest of the uniform followed suit, fitting the thin clone like elephant skin. He looked through the Captain’s journal, memorized his messy handwriting, the details of the operation, the radio frequencies for operational command.
He dragged the captain’s corpse to the edge of the crater, looked down into the depths of the hole the Jade Connection had torn into the world. It was awash in flame still. He threw the body down into the depths, to burn. He walked to the corpse of the radio operator and picked up the receiver. The display was on again. It looked like the operator had managed to fix it just in time. The clone put the headpiece to the side of his face, and spoke.
“This is Captain Ryan Veles. Operation Copperhead objective complete. Nixard Military Base has been destroyed. Zero survivors. I repeat, Nixard Military Base has been destroyed. Zero survivors.”