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[Pentium] - Developments

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Callahan's Office - a week after the revocation of the Sunhaven treaty

Callahan and Lysander sat in the president's office, alone.  Two members of the 77th Presidential Highlanders guarded the office, armed with old ceremonial Bolt action Loughcaster no.2 rifles.  Relics of the Great Wars with the southern invaders, bayonets fixed.  It was a rifle that had, easily seen a century of service, and while it was no longer the typical rifle their group carried.  They hadn't the time to pick up and use their, newer but old storm rifles from stockpiles.  No moves had been made directly by the oligarchs in industry, yet.  They would still need time to fully gather their strength and any parts of the armed forces loyal to the companies.  The gates of Whedon's old fortress had been shut and barred, with the full strength of the 82nd Infantry Regiment, most of the 187th Special Operations Group, the 1st Armoured Hussars Tank Battalion, all twenty-eight tanks of the two companies had formed up inside the city walls.  12 Outlaws, 8 Silverhands, 6 Noble Widow Tank Destroyers, and Two Flood Juggernauts had rolled into the town, flying the flag of the republic.  

Despite this, Callahan felt that it wasn't enough.  This was going to be a scene from the southern invasion itself, and while the invaders never made it so close to Whedon's Row the city had not been prepared for a siege since the 1500s.  What could be transported in, was a rapid ingress of ancient small arms and archaic artillery pieces, citizens loyal to Callahan and the Republic had been issued the plentiful Loughcaster and Clancy-Cinder rifles, and citizen militias had begun forming in the first few days.  Sitting on Callahan's desk, was a rifle unknown to him entirely and befuddled him if not a little.  On its side, the rifle was designated as the AGP-210 a box of which, was found in a corporate hardpoint within the city itself.  While a small cache of weapons, they seemed to dwarf anything the military had in stockpile.

"Why hadn't we known about this?  We are using rifles from the worst of our history, and relics of the great wars.  This is light, ergonomic, and fires a round comparable to our old rifles." Callahan mused, taking the rifle up and shouldering it "Are we that far behind?"

Lysander sighed, and look at the rifle in Callahan's hands "I don't know, defense wasn't really in our book of needs.  The corporations just kept expanding their industrial bases, a good amount of which is for military development and arms creation but mostly for producing technology.  This is, no doubt of foreign design and crafted well to the needs of an army.  But compared to us, if this is the basic rifle of an infantryman.  What chance to we stand elsewhere?"

The question hung in the room for a time, both men thinking about different things.  Lysander spoke first.  "Perhaps we need to start importing things again, of this brand."  He looked over the weapon again 

"No.. it is far too late to begin importing arms, and we need to start producing something that isn't decades old, period wasted equipment.  Gather what designers you can in the city, we will have some time to discuss the creation and domestic production of what we can get while we still have the time to do so."

A month would pass, with little communication between the two men.  Callahan noted the signing out of many confiscated rifles from the armory down in the castle's keep.  More loyalist elements had arrived at the fortress, with the noted elements of small privately funded PMCs showing up outside of the walls.  Their camps had already been set up near the foot of the hill the city was nestled on and between.  Intermittent artillery fire from Whedon's Row had started to disrupt their operations, but there were more and more PMCs showing up each day.  Shells rained down on the PMCs outside, and so did the rain.  A welcome development to fill the reserves of the city.  Callahan's door opened, he drew his Ahti-2 pistol.  It was just Lysander, with an excited look on his face.

"We got something you need to see."

In the keep, was a prototyped rifle, a mess of parts and disassembled rifles on the table and floor.  It was a boxy thing, heavier than the rifle he had held a month ago.  But, it was something new and more modern than anything in Pentium's domestic arsenal.  Callahan nodded to Lysander, speaking simply.  "Start production, get me a test run, and see how it operates.  "Quickly."

The camps had gotten closer and closer, three weeks had drawn by.  Resources have been cut off entirely, and very few airdrops could manage themselves past the air defenses, what little got in wasn't enough to sustain the siege.  Thankfully, the stockpiles had been filled up with the essentials and outside forces loyal to the government had started their march from Blemish and Jade Cove.  It would take time, however for these forces to arrive in earnest and in force.  

Lysander walked in, holding a rifle.  Callahan looked up at him, a small smile crept across his face.  The variant of this rifle was unrefined and heavy.  But it was something that could be fixed in time, for now.  The designated "Aalto Battle Rifle 25" (ABR-25, basically just a FN SCAR) was, at least ready for small-scale production in the city.  Lysander had sent the blueprints off to the local manufacturing centers, as well as the individual components that were not readily available from existing stockpiles within the city.  The rifle had been mostly configured from old designs or adaptations of older equipment, allowing for the cannibalization of unused equipment.

As sudden as this development was, there was a larger problem.  The sirens had started to blare, shouting, and rifle fire rang out from the walls.  Machineguns affixed to tank hulls and mounted on the walls joined in.  Evidently, the first offensive had begun.  Time would tell if the walls could withstand the initial assault.

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