The Spear Crisis is a major conflict fought in the year 2535 between the forces of the United States Empire, the rebel group Arm of Orion and its sponsor, a mutated army of supersoldiers known as Orion's Spear.
Two weeks following the end of the Outer Rim War, many citizens of the US Empire were shocked at the level of damage the Arm of Orion, commonly thought to be a small colonial militia gone rogue, had inflicted on the feared Armored Infantry. This caused much controversy among the US Empire, such that many USIF Intelligence officers resigned from their posts and many high-ranking USIF officers bitterly argued with US Senate officials over the dramatic intelligence failure and subsequent underestimation of the Arm.
Despite the controversy, the Arm of Orion had been utterly crushed by USIF forces, and all of its leaders were either killed or captured.
Once such captured leader was Arm Commander Thorne, the Arm of Orion's second-in-command. Captured by USIF forces while trying to flee from the planet Atlas in the wake of the climactic USIF victory on the planet, his ship was found to contain over a hundred years worth of USIF intelligence. Thorne was then brought to a high security prison in the newly established Fort Solomon in the days following the Outer Rim War. There he was brutally interrogated by USIF troopers under the personal supervision of General Stone, the leader of the famed 8th Armored Infantry Division more popularly known as Section 8. Stone was later joined by Captain Corde, the leader of Section 8's elite 1st Recon Platoon who had risen rapidly through the ranks after his slaying of the infamous Arm Commander Soren. Stone, Corde, and the interrogators intended to know where the Arm of Orion managed to obtain military technology and weapons available exclusively to USIF forces, and how Thorne managed to obtain such classified military intel.
Despite their best efforts, USIF interrogators were unable to break Thorne quickly. Before they could continue their sessions, events would take a more disastrous turn.
Silent Preparations Edit
On a clear night on Atlas, a mysterious soldier clad in crimson power armor managed to position himself near the outermost perimeter of Fort Solomon. He observed that one area of the perimeter was lightly guarded, with only two USIF troopers watch the area. The soldier drew a sniper rifle and silently killed the one guard stationed on a watchtower; he then used his armor's Overdrive feature to sprint toward the remaining guard stationed at ground level. The trooper shoulder-charged the guard, knocking the guard's weapon from his hands before he could fire a shot; the guard was swiftly and silently dispatched by the soldier at melee combat shortly thereafter.
Once both USIF guards were dead, the soldier's crimson helmet folded back its visor plate, revealing a horribly scarred and mutated face. The mutated soldier radioed to his mysterious allies that he was "in position" and ready to begin. He then uploaded a virus that was especially effective against USIF systems, disrupting Fort Solomon's communication and sensor networks.
Jailbreak on Atlas Edit
The following morning, after supervising training exercises for rookie Section 8 reinforcements and testing his mettle in a new obstacle course, Captain Corde was told of recent communication and sensor problems the Fort was having. While engineers repaired the appropriate stations, Corde was ordered to investigate a strange incident in Fort Solomon's outer perimeter. The two guards stationed there had failed to report in and did not respond to radio transmissions.
Upon Captain Corde reaching the guard post and discovering the two dead USIF troopers, Arm of Orion bombers launched surprise airstrikes on Fort Solomon's anti-aircraft gun turrets and sensor stations. This was followed by surprise burn-ins of Arm soldiers that immediately attacked all USIF forces stationed on Fort Solomon, specifically the 8th Armored Infantry Division. Though the 8th Armored repulsed the surprise attack and kept Fort Solomon under USIF control, Arm forces managed to free Arm Commander Thorne and several other officers from Fort Solomon's prison. In addition, the Arm attack destroyed most of the Sky Crane dropships used by the USIF to rapidly deploy forces across the galaxy, hindering the 8th Armored's efforts to pursue the fleeing Arm forces and freed prisoners. The silent killings and subsequent surprise attack served merely as a diversion, giving Arm forces time to free their officers and flee the planet. Fortunately all prisoners were secretly implanted with tracker beacons, allowing USIF forces to track them wherever they went. Thorne and the prisoners were soon found plotting a course to the frigid planet Boreas.
Realizing this planet was where Commander Thorne and other Arm forces would attempt to hide, two members of 1st Recon Platoon, Captain Corde and Sergeant Matthews, embarked on one of the few remaining Sky Crane dropships. Their task was to track and recapture Thorne, as he held valuable information on who was supplying the Arm of Orion with advanced weaponry for their war against the US Empire. Corde and Matthews then headed for Boreas ahead of the main USIF invasion fleet, determined to strike back.
A New EnemyEdit
Harassing the ARMEdit
Having tracked Thorne's faint beacon signal to Boreas, the two 1st Recon members Captain Corde and Sergeant Matthews discovered their long-range communications with the waiting USIF fleet were being jammed. Finding that the ARM of Orion outpost contained three jamming stations that were especially effective at disrupting USIF deep space sensor systems, they were shocked to discover that the outpost overlooked a distant shipyard facility housing powerful space battlecruisers.
Deciding to assault the distant jamming outpost, Corde took up position on a ridge overlooking it while Matthews proceeded to storm the outpost by himself. With Corde providing effective sniper cover, Matthews soon disabled the jamming stations and eliminated all ARM forces in the outpost, allowing the two 1st Recon members to establish offworld communications with General Stone and the USIF fleet. General Stone also reported that deactivating the jamming stations revealed the true extent of the ARM's hidden bases, spanning several miles of arctic canyon.
General Stone then issued the two 1st Recon soldiers with objectives aimed at damaging the ARM presence on Boreas and preparing the planet for a USIF invasion, in addition to their current objective of tracking Thorne. These included destroying three Convoy vehicles heading towards a nearby ARM base with ammunition supplies, as well as eliminating all ARM troops at the base itself. General Stone then ordered Corde and Matthews to retrieve sensitive security data from the base's command station, enabling them to discover any hidden contacts Thorne may have in regards to the ARM's weapon suppliers.
The security data revealed live video footage taken from the distant shipyard facility. It showed Thorne in conversation with a towering Armored Infantry trooper clad in crimson power armor, revealed to be the one who led the jailbreak on Atlas. General Stone and Captain Corde were determined not to let either Thorne or the mysterious crimson trooper escape Boreas, and decided to destroy the entire ARM space fleet still docked at the distant shipyard facility, allowing the USIF fleet to trap Thorne and his contact on the planet.
After dispatching more ARM troops at a perimeter outpost, Corde and Matthews finally reached the shipyard facility. They were then instructed by fellow 1st Recon member Lance Corporal Graves on how to sabotage it. Graves stated that the entire shipyard was incorporated into an old USIF refinery, which also functioned as a fueling base for the docked ARM fleet ships. He further stated that the shipyard facility's cargo crane arms could be used to dislocate the safety valves connected to two smaller, secondary fueling networks. Graves would then remotely assume control of the pumping systems connected to the secondary tanks and divert all their fuel to the massive core fueling network, which directly fueled all ARM fleet ships itself with constantly-streaming fuel. A timed explosive placed on the core network's primary tank would then trigger a volatile chain reaction upon detonation, wherein the shipyard facility, the refinery, and the entire ARM fleet would be blown to bits in a series of fiery explosions.
Corde and Matthews implemented Graves' plan perfectly. While Matthews provided covering fire and focused on attacking the ARM troops, Corde hacked into the two consoles controlling the automated crane arms, allowing Graves to assume control of the cranes and dislocate the safety valves to the secondary fueling networks. Corde then hacked into the refinery's pumping systems, allowing Graves to flush all fuel from every secondary fuel network into the core fueling network. As Graves stated, "It's a ticking time bomb just waiting to happen."
Corde and Matthews then fought their way to the large primary fuel tank. After dispatching ARM forces around the tank, Corde set the timed explosive while Matthews provided covering fire. Corde and Matthews then managed to escape the facility before it was destroyed in the resulting chain explosions, using their Overdrive speed boost to outrun the expanding explosions, then leaping off a cliffside into the arctic canyons below. Their advanced USIF Powered Assault Armor easily withstood the fall from the mountainside, and the two 1st Recon members emerged unscathed.
With the efforts of only two USIF Armored Infantrymen, the ARM presence on Boreas had been severely crippled. Once the timed explosive detonated, the volatile chain reaction went into effect, with the refinery and shipyard being engulfed in flames, and the entire ARM fleet being destroyed instantly. Now that the ARM fleet was no more, the waiting USIF fleet began its invasion of Boreas.
Recapturing Thorne Edit
Having landed in a wide canyon network after they destroyed the shipyard, Corde and Matthews rejoined other USIF forces now attacking the ARM. They were met by soldiers of the 5th Elite Armored Infantry Division, who requested aid in neutralizing the last of three anti-aircraft tanks that were preventing the landing of reinforcements. After neutralizing the fortified ARM position and the AA tank it guarded, more USIF reinforcements were able to land, including Lance Corporal Graves himself.
Now regrouped, the 1st Recon Platoon was ordered to seize an improvised ARM outpost protecting a downed Griffin dropship. Thorne's beacon signal had become distorted, and General Stone assumed he was on the dropship when it was shot down. After clearing the outpost, 1st Recon discovered Thorne was not in the downed dropship, having fled deeper into the ARM's canyon bases. Captain Corde called down a Spectre hover bike to give chase, eliminating several fortified enemy positions along the way. Captain Corde and 1st Recon also destroyed numerous ARM structures, including a large fuel dump, Convoy motor pool, and two communication satellite relays.
With the USIF invasion force having routed ARM forces all across Boreas, 1st Recon and the nearby 5th Elite managed to corner Thorne to one last building in the ARM's base network, where the winding canyons ended. Though 1st Recon was unable to prevent Thorne from entering a heavily armored and shielded bunker, Thorne knew he was trapped. While 1st Recon fought off Thorne's guards and hacked into three control consoles to disable the bunker's shields, the light frigate USIS Nevada arrived to provide fire support. Eventually the constant fire from the Nevada's bombardment cannon proved too much for the bunker, and it collapsed in on itself.
Captain Corde later found a grievously wounded Thorne attempting to crawl away. Before Thorne could turn and shoot Corde with a Hammer pistol, Corde swiftly kicked the pistol out of Thorne's hand and booted him in the face, knocking Thorne out. Corde then radioed to General Stone that 1st Recon had finally secured Arm Commander Thorne.
Revenge of the Spear Edit
While 1st Recon awaited pickup with their captured target, Thorne's ego would not allow him to be taken quietly. He boasted about how "We led you here, now we're going to watch you die". Before he could explain any further, a sniper shot rang out, killing Thorne. After 1st Recon took cover, a sudden radio transmission blurted over all USIF channels. It was the mysterious trooper in crimson power armor who led the jailbreak on Atlas, and who was conversing with Thorne on the shipyard facility. The crimson trooper revealed himself to be General Salvador of the Orion's Spear. Salvador signaled all Spear forces to begin their surprise attack, catching the USIF troops completely off-guard.
Though the sudden Spear ambush inflicted horrendous casualties on the 8th Armored and its allies, General Stone managed to effectively rally the USIF troops who then held off the Spear long enough for all survivors, including 1st Recon, to safely embark on the US Imperial Navy fleet ships. Under Stone's leadership, the USIF task force was able to withdraw in good order, preventing the retreat from becoming a potentially disastrous rout.
Nevertheless, the Spear had inflicted a serious defeat on the 8th Armored and USIF task force as a whole. This left the battered USIF troops no option but to flee to a safe haven to regroup, rearm, and determine the next course of action.
From the Brink Edit
The Truth RevealedEdit
Once the USIF task force fled Boreas, they took refuge in a long-forgotten USIF base on the planet Prometheus and tended to their needs. There General Stone revealed the truth of Orion's Spear to Captain Corde (and possibly other officers), and how the Spear were genetically enhanced supersoldiers who once fought for the US Empire, vanquishing any and all threats that stood in the way of mankind's interstellar expansion, and protecting settlers as they terraformed hostile worlds. Acting on orders from a small faction of the US Senate, the Spear allowed mankind to successfully colonize and prosper on many worlds across the galaxy. However, the genetic enhancements given to every supersoldier were dangerously unstable, and began to mutate them to the point where they no longer resembled humans. The enhancements also mutated the soldiers in mind as well as body, causing them to become increasingly bloodthirsty and violent.
When the Senate finally attempted to disband the Spear, replacing them with the newly formed Armored Infantry, the Spear violently objected. They went rogue and fled beyond the outer reaches of US Imperial space, vowing to destroy the entire US Empire and all of its citizens. In response, the Senate was forced to destroy the Spear, sending a battalion of Armored Infantry soldiers to terminate them. However, the battalion was found to have failed in their mission.
Lance Corporal Graves also revealed that the Orion's Spear lay in the shadows for awhile, biding their time. They used defectors from the Armored Infantry battalion sent to destroy them, and formed the Arm of Orion as a proxy resistance force. The Arm of Orion attempted to destroy the US Empire themselves, but failed miserably during the subsequent Outer Rim War. Realizing the dismal failure of the ARM, General Salvador decided to use them to lure a large USIF task force to Boreas instead, hence the jailbreak of Thorne and other imprisoned ARM officers, with Salvador knowing the USIF would use the prisoners' implanted beacons to track the ARM officers to their canyon bases. With the USIF task force distracted by the ARM, the Spear forces would stealthily move into position, then spring their trap and annihilate the task force once they had been weakened by the ARM.
However, the Spear were not prepared for the USIF reaction to their ambush. The USIF had surprisingly managed to hold off the Spear onslaught long enough to stage a coordinated withdrawal from Boreas, preventing a potentially catastrophic rout. Thus, this brings the battered USIF task force to their present situation on Prometheus.
Defense of PrometheusEdit
General Stone and other USIF officers knew the Spear would not stop their bloodthirsty rampage until the entire US Empire was in flames and its people slaughtered, so General Stone intended to use the Prometheus base's relatively unknown location to his advantage. He ordered Captain Corde to re-establish the base's interstellar communications, and send a warning to any USIF forces that the Spear had returned.
Much of the equipment on the USIF Prometheus base was old and run down, and had to be repaired or replaced. Corde first installed a new sensor array on top of a secondary command station in order to re-establish a reliable line-of-sight around the local USIF base. Next, after heading to a nearby comm station, Corde was able to send an encrypted warning message to other USIF forces stationed across the galaxy.
Unfortunately, the Spear discovered the battered task force's new location after the interstellar warning was sent, and began their invasion of Prometheus with rapid speed and relentless aggression. All USIF positions across Prometheus were immediately besieged, with especially heavy attacks raging at Captain Corde's and Graves's position. With the help of Corde and Graves, USIF troops were able to repulse the Spear attacks at the comm station, mere miles from the command post where General Stone was located.
Though the area around the comm station and command post was secure, the battle raged across Prometheus. General Stone then redirected Corde and Graves to a Spear BM-17 Griffin dropship that had been shot down near the comm station. After the two 1st Recon troopers eliminated Spear soldiers also attempting to secure the dropship, they recovered a small data packet containing high-value Spear intelligence and transmitted its contents to General Stone and the USIF command staff. Unfortunately, the data packet's contents were highly encrypted, and the time needed to decrypt them was something not available in the heat of the Spear attack.
Corde and Graves were then ordered by General Stone to retake a power plant that powered a massive planetary communications network; they were given two Kodiak mechs to aid them in their task. With the mechs, Corde and Graves cut a swathe through attacking Spear forces and reactivated the power plants, powering up the planetary communication systems. As USIF troops moved to secure the power planets, Corde and Graves were ordered to reinforce a nearby position; two engineers were attempting to restart the massive planetary communication antenna arrays, but were having difficulty as the entire array was more than a century old and run-down.
Against the odds, Corde and Graves successfully defended the engineers and comm systems from Spear attacks on all sides. This gave the USIF combat engineers enough time to repair and reactivate the planetary comm system, allowing USIF troops to effectively coordinate their defense. General Stone then sent a Sky Crane dropship to redeploy Corde and Graves to another battlezone the was being battered by Spear forces directly led by General Salvador himself. This zone contained generators that powered the planetary defense cannons, and if they were to fall, all USIF positions would be vulnerable to devastating orbital bombardment.
Defense of Prometheus, Part Two Edit
Once deployed to the next battlezone, Corde and Graves were told to report to several field commanders and assist them in holding the line against the relentless Spear forces. The duo first met up with Major Blackburn who ordered Corde to man the USIF trenchlines and fight off attacking Spear troops, then rush to repair the minigun turrets that were rendered nonfunctional in an earlier attack. Corde managed to repair the minigun turrets, who once activated caught the remaining Spear troops in a crossfire and killed them off.
Corde and Graves then headed off to another sector, this time meeting up with Sergeant Matthews. Matthews instructed Corde to help him and other USIF troops hold the line against the relentless Spear assaults. Despite several waves of Spear attacks, including waves that included formidable Silverback mechs, the Spear were forced to retreat when faced with the stalwart USIF defense. With the area secured for the moment, Corde and Graves headed to their next objective.
The pair then received a distress call from another Recon unit, the 2nd Recon Platoon. They radioed that a generator that powered the planetary network of anti-orbital guns had been recaptured, though two other generators were still in enemy hands. They were also under heavy attack from Spear forces, and requested immediate assistance. After taking a detour through an industrial park, and eliminating enemy forces there, the pair reinforced the beleaguered remainder of 2nd Recon and fought off attacking Spear forces, securing the remaining USIF-held power generator.
While Graves and the remaining members of 2nd Recon secured the remaining generator, Corde made his way to the firing facility that controlled the entire planetary gun network, avoiding a large concentration of enemy troops by detouring through a subterranean passageway. Though Corde single-handedly dispatched the defending Spear troops in the facility and activated the gun network, Graves and 2nd Recon were overrun by a Spear counterattack and the remaining primary generator was destroyed; Graves himself was personally killed by General Salvador.
With Spear warships beginning to ominously hover over USIF defensive positions, mere minutes remained before they annihilated all USIF forces on Prometheus. Fortunately, Captain Corde was able to reach a facility that housed a remaining backup generator, fighting off a Griffin dropship that attempted to destroy it, and activate the backup generator. The planetary defense guns finally went back online, and the Spear ships that thought they were about to have the USIF watch their own demise were themselves now caught in the killzone. All Spear ships that had held an unsettling position over the USIF defenses, confident that the planetary guns wouldn't fire, suddenly found themselves at point-blank range to the activating defenses, and were obliterated almost immediately, forcing the few remaining Spear ships to retreat. Against all odds, the battered USIF troops had repelled the vicious Spear assault.
With Prometheus secure and the Spear in retreat, the USIF took the time to decrypt and analyze a data disk Corde and the now-deceased Graves had captured from a downed Griffin dropship. The intelligence led them to a secret Spear facility on the frontier planet of New Madrid. The reinforced, reinvigorated USIF battlegroup headed to the planet, determined to take the fight to the Spear.
Heroes Once More Edit
Return to New MadridEdit
Holding orbit over New Madrid, the USIF dispatched a small force of 8th Armored Infantry Division (or Section 8) troops to secure the Spear facility and the area surrounding it. Corde and two 8th Armored troopers managed to destroy all enemy Anti-Aircraft turrets, allowing Sky Crane dropships to deploy turret defenses and a portable Outpost that would act as a staging area.
Corde, now leading a reconstituted 1st Recon Platoon composed of former leader Blackburn and constant comrade Matthews, attacked and captured the secret Spear facility. After Corde hacked a command console, 1st Recon successfully defended the facility from Spear troops trying to destroy the console to prevent any data from being decrypted by the USIF.
The data revealed that the secret facility was a chemical/biological weapons research and development facility, and the Spear were planning to use stores of a niacin-derivative toxin (which has no effect on Armored Infantry troops due to their sealed USIF Powered Assault Armor) on the innocent civilian population of New Madrid by using a captured Terraforming Tower to disperse the toxin planetwide, killing the entire planet's civilians.
With the toxin stores already prepared for shipping, Corde and Blackburn moved quickly to destroy them. They used captured Silverback mechs to cut a swath through defending Spear troops, destroying toxin barrels and a Convoy hovertruck as they went. They eventually intercepted the leader of the shipping process, Decimus Priscus, and killed him, putting a halt to the Spear's genocidal plan.
However, General Salvador had one more plan: to destroy the Terraforming Tower outright and disrupt the vital supply of oxygen to the planet. Section 8 and the USIF battlegroup moved quickly to stop this insane plan, knowing full well that the lives of millions were at stake.
The Final BattleEdit
The USIF began their attack on the captured Terraforming Tower, the last stronghold of Spear forces. 1st Recon Platoon spearheaded the attack, using a Marauder tank to destroy three generators that powered a unified AA gun network. With the AA defenses down, Section 8 and the 5th Elite Armored Infantry Division moved to secure the Tower even as Spear combat engineers were slowly but methodically dismantling it. Fortunately, the Spear combat engineers were all killed in the fighting, preventing further dismantling. Finally, after fighting their way to the entrance of the Tower, 1st Recon and the USIF provided cover for Captain Corde as he entered the building.
Corde discovered that the Tower was mostly intact, and only the coolant system had been deactivated. He quickly moved to prime the generators powering the coolant system and stabilize the Tower, but was stopped by General Salvador himself before the cooling system itself could be reactivated. Corde finally killed General Salvador in a climactic battle and primed the coolant system mere seconds before the Tower overloaded, saving the Tower and the planet itself.
With New Madrid secure and all Spear forces neutralized, General Stone went to personally congratulate 1st Recon for their vital efforts. Emerging triumphant from the Tower, Corde and 1st Recon humbly accepted the commendation and embarked on a waiting Sky Crane while other USIF troops secured the area. The United States Empire had won the Spear Crisis.
With Orion's Spear and the Arm of Orion finally vanquished once and for all, the United States Empire could rest easy knowing that a dark chapter had finally been laid to rest. Though questions and controversy still remained, the people of the Empire were safe in the thought that the mighty USIF would always be there to protect them from anything and everything.
And through it all, the 8th Armored Infantry Division, Section 8, would stand at the forefront of humanity's defense. No matter the cost. No matter the prejudice.