FIRE: The first day... the last year.

(A potted history)

By Morton T. Smith and Chippy Dugan

To those working outside the "Fire" organisations it would appear at first glance that they are one of the most disorganised Soft Companies that have ever challenged the might of a Successor Power. This is Fire‘s greatest strength in their fight against the repressive dominating forces of SLA Industries. Fire lull enemies into a false sense of security over numbers, tactics and effectiveness then strike at their heart with devastating results... 899 SD saw the first incident involving Fire.

At 04:35 on the 25th of January an assault took place at the "Burnish" power plant. The attack was over in eight minutes, with the resulting damage to the power station blacking out 400km of Upper Downtown for two days. The new softcompany "Fire" claimed responsibility. Initial reports from SLA tacticians suggested that it was a ‘lucky hit` on the part of Fire but were forced to rethink their report when seven days later, Fire inflicted heavy damage on the sister plant to "Burnish". At the "Glimmer" power plant, one of the Fire operatives was caught in the blast and as a result unable to retreat with the rest of her team. Unfortunately for SLA, their prisoner was dead and her equipment, including a suit of heavily converted powered armour, were almost totally destroyed and unusable for examination. These targets were of a purely symbolic nature causing little real damage to SLA Industries. The third assault by Fire took place six hours after the lightning raid on the "Glimmer" facility. This time, the target was one closer to home as far as SLA was concerned.

FEN had, in the past, only had the occasional industrial espionage attempt by Dark Night to contend with which, thanks to tight security, were dealt with easily. The tight security could not, however, stop the mortar attack that devastated a third of the research lab as shells exploded all over the complex, killing fifteen researchers, some of which held extremely important positions within SLA. No Fire operatives were ever found in or around the area of the attack. The only remains left was a burnt out truck used as fire platforms in the bombardment. At this time intelligence reports indicate a similar strength of attacks on DarkNight forces in Morts lower DownTown.

The next time Fire was to strike was not until May that year when two Shiver Units stumbled on a Fire team en route to a hit. The resulting firefight lasted 45 seconds and ended in the death of 20 Shivers and the destruction of both Shiver APCs. This started a trend, for a short while, as Fire assault teams moved their operations to Downtown where they continued to attacking Shiver Units at random. This form of action continued until September, when again, Fire activity tailed off to zero. Without the normal constant activity of the Soft Company, SLA found it almost impossible to keep track of their movements.
Now that Fire had played the first few cards of its hand, the true nature of their objective is known... all out gorilla war

Fire Hardware report 000000/0001a

”The remains of the powersuit leave us little to go on. What can be ascertained from the wreckage is that they use advanced laminate technology similar to that of the Thresher. Chassis and power frame are of a DarkNight design although heavily modified. The armour is also heavy with glyph that the department of ebb assure me are designed specifically to retard attacks by Gore Cannon. All in all this power armour is designed for war world fighting not street activity. There are however a few weak points mainly in the joints behind the knee and below the hip. These are the areas that we would suggest can Handel the least amount of battle stress and should be targeted with powered blades to topple the suit for close assault.
The rifle remains that we examined are impressive and have more that a passing resemblance to the FEN 400 Surekill, although the ammunition is heavier (25mm) and belt fed from internal ammo bins (2x50 rounds).

To give a tactical plan as to the immobilisation or destruction of these suits is difficult at best. Operative squads that have had no war world experience will be unable to even damage one of these units never mind a team of four or six. Database war games with a team of four of these suits in an inner city battle with ten shock armour resulted in a draw and the only way the computer simulation could rationalise a win for SLA squads is with direct artillery support.”

Forge (BrainWaster) SCL 2F Ministry of War

The leader of Soft Company Fire (Compiled from file: 782398247123AD(SCL 2F) by departments: Psychology and Psychosis, Investigation, Information and Head Office. To: Head Office)

Wickrin, a Kick murder operative Shaktar, worked for SLA for ten years before disappearing while on active service on Cross. He was not seen again for two years when he was reported to be on Kn‘nth in the company of none other than Lord Shahanti, chief of all Shaktar tribes. Wickrin (W‘ckr‘n) left Kn‘nth on an Ion-Drive transporter bound for Mort. It would appear from all collated data that on arrival on Mort, which was not on board the I-D ship as suspected but a small freighter that had rendezvoused with the Shaktar ship in deep space, Wickrin disappeared into Downtown.

Four years before Wickrin left the employment of SLA Industries, he, along with two strike teams from the 3rd Nitro Legion Assault Regiment, went on a recovery operation on the planet, Cross. The exact details of this operation are held by Head Office at SLA Industries‘ Headquarters. What is known is that Wickrin was to command these units on a raid on a DarkNight HQ van that had set up operations 2km from one of DarkNight‘s front lines. The team had to go in and kill all key personnel and retrieve any, or preferably all, data stored in the vans computers. The raid went according to plan apart from two of the higher ranking DarkNight officers escaped without trace after Wickrin‘s attack on one of the vehicles was unsuccessful. Later, Wickrin would be court marshalled for dereliction of duty, verdict; not guilty. Four weeks after the trial, the lieutenant from the 3rd Nitro Legion Assault Regiment, who was responsible for the accusation, was found dead in his bunk after taking an apparent drugs overdose‘. The coroner‘s report was wrongful death. Charges were never brought against Wickrin or any other party. The case was closed, unsolved. The next three years of Wickrin‘s military career were spent between two War Worlds; Dante and Charlie‘s Point, extensively the latter. Wickrin preferred the climate of what was left of the jungles on Charlie‘s Point the mud and concrete of any other War World. While on his various tours of duty, Wickrin had an exceptional amount of leave due to injuries sustained in battle‘. Injuries that would normally not have worried him in the least seemed to pre-occupy his time, constantly referring himself to various doctors and medical staff for check-ups. Wickrin soon fell from favour with his commander. The once brave warrior was now a hypochondriac. Wickrin bothered little, if at all, with the opinions of his officers and continued with his obsession until he was taken off active duty and sent to Meny on Mort as a training officer. Six months after being posted to Meny, Wickrin placed a written request with Lord Shahanti on Kn‘nth to have himself placed back on active service on Cross. Due to the political power amongst the Shaktarian race that the Shahanti held, his request to Slayer for Wickrin to be reinstated was granted without question. SLA Industries accepted, fearing that a refusal might well incite the Lord Shahanti to withdraw key personel of his race from SLA Industries. Four days later, Wickrin found himself on Cross and just as quickly disappeared until located two years later on Kn‘nth with Lord Shahanti.

During Wickrin‘s excessive amounts of convalescing after injury, it was possible to build a good biological profile of him, the results of which lead to his transfer to Meny. The profile of Wickrin read, for the most part, like most Shaktar profiles. The codes of honour that bind all Shaktars are perhaps one of the reasons that they can be such an aggressive race. This is due to the fact that to allow themselves to let go‘ when not in combat would either break part of their code or conflict with the ways of their elders. All this leaves the Shaktar with few ways to rid such things as stress, of which the most traumatic is combat stress, a thing that a great many Shaktars suffer from and will almost never admit to. Wickrin had been suffering from this form of stress for the best part of six years. When he was eventually confronted with the truth, he denied any such affliction. Further evaluation also found that Wickrin seemed to have lost a large part of his faith in SLA Industries. When asked about this, Wickrin refused to speak, in fact, he stopped speaking for six days and nights. The evaluations continued, more and more of the turmoil inside this one mind was slowly discovered. The constant medical examinations that Wickrin underwent, consultations with his doctors and an examination of his medical records led to the conclusion that Wickrin was suffering from a form of asthenophobia and, as such, was in constant fear of that one bad wound that would end his warrior lifestyle. Another disconcerting fact was that he seemed to lose faith, somewhat, in SLA Industries to the point that some of his comments could be called traitorous. In the end, they were.

”When you can‘t tell the difference between friend and enemy because of all the blood, what does it matter any more?
”You may well see the day I dread to gaze upon when the enemy, that has killed so many friends and loved ones, links arms with the glorious SLA Industries.•
Comment made by Wickrin 896-898 SD.

Wickrin had, in his ten year service with SLA, massed a fair amount of money. No one ever questioned the fact that, apart from that spent on hardware, the bulk of his wealth had been transferred to numerous civilian accounts. In total 18,368,750 Unis, enough to keep him very comfortable when he decided to retire, but instead of taking this easy option Wickrin, as most Shaktars, continued his warrior career. The only difference being Wickrin chose to fight on what would be considered the wrong side. This money would help the initial set up the Fire organisation.

”I saw all possible futures played out on one planet, Dante. The end of all things that you feel are so important will be stained by the blood of your sons lives. How can I stop this? You may ask. Join with me and fight fire with Fire.”
Translated from speech given by Wickrin to four members of a SLA squad. Three of members died as a result of not wishing to sign up with the Fire soft company. The last member is believed to be working Fire strikes against Sleeper Shiver units along the walls of the Cannibal Sectors.

From the time that Wickrin arrived on Mort, he began what could only be called a recruitment drive` as he went about tracking down and hiring on ex-SLA and drakNight operatives that had found their way into the more undesirable areas of Downtown. These fist few people that found employment with Wickrin were to form the backbone of the Fire organisation. All of this took Wickrin‘s two months. At the end of which he had acquired the services of at least 60 to 100 assorted technitions and pilots. This was thought to be due to the fact that out of all the various operatives employed by SLA Industries, pilots and technicians find it the hardest to fit into the everyday role of operatives and miss out on all the glamour and excitement normally associated will op life. Data from various sources would suggest the largest section of Fire is its technical support numbering in the region of 600 staff and support crews. The rest of the organisation is split between active operatives that pilot the Fire Powersuits. There are, at an estimate, only 100 of these very highly trained terrorists. The rest of Fire‘s core group are mainly dependants of the active members numbering almost 2000. Some of these carry out single hits on Monarch and Shiver Units from time to time others conduct scouting missions for Fire. As these individuals are members of the general public that hold legitimate SLA citizenship and jobs it is difficult to track them down.

To sum up, Wickrin is extremely unstable, possibly psychotic, but still maintains extensive tactical knowledge and great powers of leadership. His "Fire" organisation is a way for him to vent his apparent anger at SLA Industries for some imagined mister meaner. It is unlikely that it is possible to rehabilitate him and he should be removed form this possession of power as soon as possible

NB: All this information has been patched together and collated by various sources over the last couple of years and is sketchy at best. There are huge gaps SLAs knowledge of Fire which has only added to the hindrance of any investigation.

Game stuff

Warning: Attacking Fire powersuits head on will result in the death of the players

Fire has about 100 powersuits that they use for their tactical strikes on SLA. These suits are large, about 3m tall (Appleseed is a good reference for this stuff. I saw the power suits like a weird kind of Guges design. The Appleseed data book is perfect source material). They carry Glyphs, on the shell of the armour, that react to Gore Cannons. These Glyphs act like a living skin on the suit stopping the Gore Cannon striking through to the pilot inside. Although they still damage the suit itself. Despite their size the suits are incredibly agile and their speed is also surprising for their size. The one real downfall of the suits is their weight, on average 500kg. This hinders the suits mobility in built-up areas as they can not utilise walkways or fire escapes instead they become a nuisance they have to barge through.

One of the major advantages the powersuits have over most SLA units apart from being as hard a nails is the massive amount of sensory equipment, both passive and active, that they utilise. System gives the user a 360 degree field of vision in all spectrums and fields.
The storage of these suits is still a mystery to SLA because the units are held in the deepest parts of downtown in groups of four so as to limit the amount of possible captures by any SLA squads. To further secure the Fire organisation each unit of four suits, their support teams, pilots, and dependants (including scouts) do not know the location of any of the other units. All units actions are coordinated by Wickrin who contacts the units and coordinates their attacks from his own secret location deep in the heart of downtown. When moving to a target they use the underground levels of the city to evade capture.

Fire PowerSuit Stat
Str Dex PV Head ID Torso ID Arms ID Legs ID Walk Run Sprint
20 15 44 80 250 120 180 2 5 10

This rifle is deadly and will kill anything that it hits.

”FiresKiss• Assualt Gun‘
Clip Calibre ROF RCL Range
50/50 25mm 1/5 10/20 1500m

The rifle has a physical link to the powersuits HUD and other sensory systems by a chippy port in the hand of the powersuit that conects to the rear hand grip of the rifle.

25mm bullets
Damage Penetration
HEDU 65 40
DUAP 35 70