“Our objective is simple. Get in the gulags, bust our guys out, and kick some Srav ass on the way. Sound good?”—Haveer Jarn
The Mission to Kyros was a mission in the Cruentusian War. It occurred not too long after a battle on Selonia, when Askar Invado, leader of the Necasians, was growing concerned about the rising popularity of Haveer Jarn, a prominent hero. Feeling insecure about his power, Askar decided to send Jarn on a suicide mission to the Srav-controlled planet of Kyros, an icy world, to rescue Necasian POWs from a Srav gulag. Using infiltration, stealth and disguise to get into the camp, the squad's presence was nonetheless revealed. In the process, Jarn had a fight and then a conversation with his rival Vergulva, before managing to escape with some of the POWs. Askar's plan backfired, leaving Jarn more popular.
“Make sure that dog dies! I want to see no more of him!”—Askar Invado.
A short time after the Battle of Selonia, Askar had achieved near total confidence in his position, and most were now regarding him as default leader of the Necasians, when he heard that there was also popular support for Haveer Jarn, hero of the Necasians who had served in several battles and had made himself as one of the faction's greatest warriors. Askar decided that he would not tolerate any threats to his power, no matter how small. He studied intelligence to think of a way to get rid of Jarn, and hit on it when he found word that the Sravs had placed a number of mildly important Necasian POWs in their gulags on the ice world of Kyros. After formulating a plan, he briefed Jarn on a mission to free said prisoners, and told him that this would be a stealth mission, and thus he would be accompanied with just five SpecOps troops. Jarn was slightly disturbed at the prospect of such a small squad, but nonetheless complied. He and the selected SpecOps troops—all of whom were opponents of Jarn—were briefed, equipped and prepared, with Askar seeing to it that all their preparation was inadequate.
Jarn and his team were inserted into a stealth transit pod, which was deployed from a SkyBull-class transport not too far from the planet. After a bumpy ride through the atmosphere, the pod impacted into a snow dune several miles away from the target gulag, with the entire planet in the grip of a massive blizzard. Exiting the pod, the team realized that their armor had inadequate heating, and the cold was starting to get to them.
Fortunately for them, after making their way through the snow, they stumbled across a patrol of Srav soldiers, all of whom were wearing heavy winter uniforms. Killing the squad, the team took their uniforms, which provided satisfactory warmth, and the ability to cross the ice plains without feeling the effects of hypothermia or other conditions brought about by the cold. It also provided the Necasians with a camouflage system, as they now resembled soldiers from the Srav Federation.
Infiltrating the gulagEdit
Now that they were semi-disguised as Srav soldiers, with the volume of the blizzard making it difficult to spot their faces under the thick winter clothes, the team was able to calmly make its way up to the gulag entrance without any opposition. Putting on his best Srav accent, Jarn managed to get them through the gates, noting the large amount of guard towers and auto-guns on the fence surrounding the camp. The team split up, scouting the camp, communicating via hushed radio channels. One SpecOps trooper discovered the power generator, but Jarn advised him not to touch it, as to avoid attention. After discovering a landing pad with a Klasnost-class transport waiting there, Jarn decided he had a plan.
Using a knife, he took out the guard in front of the hut where the target POWs were being held, and then unlocked the door. He guided the prisoners, all of whom were weak with exhaustion and ill-treatment, to the transport, using his knife to slit the throats of the weakest ones, viewing it as an act of euthanasia. Soon, the prisoners were aboard the transport, and Jarn headed over to the central part of the camp to meet with the others.
However, he had failed to take one factor into account. As he met up with the others, a nearby Srav guard hound sensed that he was a stranger, and began barking at him. Srav guards came to investigate, and demanded that he show his face. When Jarn refused, they took off the fur hat he was wearing, revealing the helmet of his combat armor. Jarn quickly gunned him down, but had failed to put a silencer on, and within seconds alarms were blaring all over the gulag.
“Dogs! Filthy Sravs, keeping their own men on a leash!”—Jarn trying to make light of the situation
Immediately, Srav guards were pouring into the central part of the gulag, and the SpecOps team immediately took combat positions, firing at them, but the snow and the confusion of the situation destroyed their focus. One SpecOp soldier was gunned down, and Jarn ordered them to split up. Two more SpecOps headed towards the gulag fence, intending to escape, but were cut down by the guard towers. Jarn blew open some prison huts, releasing the prisoners there, to provide a distraction.
As the Srav guards turned their attention to the rioting prisoners, Jarn and the two remaining SpecOps soldier headed towards the gate. Jarn used the grenade launcher built into his rifle to destroy a guard tower, then cut open the fence with an acetylene torch built into his armor, and then both escaped into the icy wastes, pursued by Srav guards with snow-hounds.
However, as they ran away from the gulag, the sound of engines came from behind them. Srav guards were chasing them on snowmobiles, firing at them with bullets and grenades. One of the SpecOps soldiers blasted down two snowmobiles before being cut down himself. However, Jarn and the last SpecOps soldier had escaped into the blizzard, feeling that they had lost their pursuers.
Suddenly, a bullet came out of nowhere, killing the last SpecOps soldier. Out of the snow came a snowmobile, ridden by none other than Nataska Vergulva, whom Jarn had met several months before during a battle on Tandankin. Jarn blasted down the snowmobile, but Vergulva leapt off it, and opened fire at him with her rifle. Jarn fired back, with the thickness of the blizzard confusing both of them, but soon the cold froze the barrels of their weapons, making them useless. The two engaged to hand-to-hand combat, but soon the cold and the stress wore them both down, and within minutes they were both lying paralyzed in the snow.
There, they had a brief conversation, denouncing each other's factions and cause, before starting to realize that they had some in common. Before long, however, Srav guards discovered them, helping up Vergulva and dragging Jarn away back to the camp.
“Ha ha! Freedom!”—Jarns cry of success.
Jarn was feeling somewhat resigned to his fate as he was taken back to the gulag, and was losing the will to fight. However, they took him in via the rear entrance, taking him past the landed transport. Jarn suddenly realized that the effects of the cold had worn off, and immediately began beating up his captors. As they tried to punch back at him, he threw a flash grenade down on the floor, blinding them, his visor protecting him.
Taking the opportunity, Jarn ran up into the Klasnost, to find that the prisoners had already readied for take off. Starting up the engines, Jarn immediately lifted off, trying to avoid fire from below. Lifting away from the gulag and through the atmosphere, he prepared the hyperdrive, and as soon as he was clear he jumped to hyperspace. The mission had been a success, despite the fact that the rest of the team was dead and not of all the prisoners had been freed.
“The filthy man survived! How is this possible?”—Askar after Jarns safe return.
Jarn returned to Havez, and was immediately trumpeted as a hero by the Necasian media, and soon his face was all over Necasian propaganda feeds and posters. Although Askar was still firmly in charge, he was furious that his plan had backfired, and was no longer as confident in his own abilities. Despite the fact that there was no talk of replacing him as Jarn as leader, he still felt that he needed to prove that he was the one to lead the Necasians. Studying recent events, he decided that the Sravs were growing overconfident, and that something needed to be done to curb their spreading.
Meanwhile, both Jarn and Vergulva had been affected by their encounter with one another; both were now starting to feel a sense of respect for one another, having finally heard one another's views on their respective causes.