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T42 Pt. 15 | "Scars of Xailiv"

Tales of the 42nd: Scars of Xailiv


+++42ND CALEDONIAN BARRACKS, STAGING GROUNDS, APODIS IV+++

+++201.000.M42 / 1100 HRS 13 MAR 41000+++


Cecilia strolls across the central area of the barracks compound, past one of the vehicle pools and the rows of Chimeras. Every so often she would wince when she takes a step, the wounds she received from the Broodlord still healing, even with advanced medical care there are still some wounds that require time to heal. She nods lightly to the guards outside the headquarters building when she steps inside and makes her way to the room that has been assigned as her office. Cecilia has just gotten inside and sat down at her desk when Rayna steps in with two mugs of Caledonian tea, offering one to Cecilia before she sinks into the seat on the other side of the office.

The two of them sigh softly when they take a sip, even though they are not currently deployed, it has still been all stations go in the staging grounds with preparations for the next offensive.


"Needed that Rayna, been going over the fun quartermaster lists this morning."


"Oh, that is painful. Don't know how our quartermasters seem to be always on top of all that."


"No idea, I thought the paperwork for running a company could be bad but the amount of stuff they have..."


Rayna is cut off by a knock on the office door.


"Yes?"


Cecilia's aide pokes her head through the door.


"Major, apologies for the interruption but we have received a message from the palace, requesting your attendance ASAP. I grav car is being made ready for you now."


"Thanks, Gracia. I'll be there in a moment."


"Aye, Major."


With that, Gracia ducks back out of the door while Cecilia stands, lifting her beret and tucking it into her shoulder strap so that she has it on her.


"Seems like I am needed, will have to have our catch up later it seems Rayna."


Rayna stands with a slight shrug while Cecilia steps out of her office.


"It's not a bother at all, Major. Will have my aide rearrange it for us."


Rayna nods to Cecilia while she places her commissar cap on her head and moves into the main HQ area to speak to the Battalions commissar who had just walked past.

Cecilia steps out of the HQ building, nodding to the guards again before stepping into the grav staff car that Gracia has readied and is holding a door open for Cecilia. Settling into the back of the staff car while Gracia hops into the driver's seat, Cecilia takes a moment to make herself comfortable. Adjusting her belt holster with her bolt pistol before she pulls out her data-slate to go over some reports that she received last night. The journey to the palace is a short one, the staging grounds being arranged around and spreading out from the palace. The moment the staff car sets down Gracia has hopped out and is holding the door open for Cecilia while Cecilia steps out, pocketing her data-slate while taking a moment to look up at the grey walls of the palace.

The outside of the palace would be mainly utilitarian in nature with only a few signs of it being the residence for nobility. Cecilia would smile slightly at the feeling that comes from the exterior design with it being a similar design intention to the noble houses back on Caledonia IX. Gracia would fall in a couple steps behind Cecilia while they start moving towards the palace, the palace guards they pass barely spare them a glance from their unblinking expressions. Only when they reach the entrance, do the guards look at them to stop them from entering.


"Halt! Who goes there."


Cecilia is about to respond when a familiar voice from inside the palace cuts in ahead of her.


"Stand down. She is Major Cecilia Skye, Defender of Bastion, Hero of the 22nd."


Cecilia smiles slightly while the guards step back to let her enter, an appreciative nod to Alexandra Aloy who was standing just in the doorway to take her hand in a firm handshake.


"How you doing, Captain Aloy. Do you know why I was requested?"


"Not bad, still getting used to being a captain now and officially being in command of my company. And I do, but it's easier if you find out for yourself."


Cecilia shrugs lightly while they walk through the halls, past a couple guards from an array of regiments and worlds.


"It does take a while to sink in, but you have been in command of your company for a while now so its not that big a surprise. And if you say so..."


Alex nods before she stops in front of a door leading off to the side of the corridor, with a Guardswomen from the 22nd Xailiv on either side of it.


"And here we are."


Alex slowly opens the door before she leads Cecilia in, with Gracia waiting outside with the other guards. Cecilia takes in the room with its trappings of nobility before her eyes settle on the woman looking out the window opposite the door.


"Ahh, Major Skye or is it Lady Skye? And please take a seat."


The woman turns around, fixing Cecilia with a friendly smile while gesturing to the seats around a small table set out with two pots and mugs for the three of them. Cecilia nods while she moves over, waiting for the woman to sit down before she did.


"It's Major Skye when in uniform. And you seem to have me at a disadvantage..."


"I'm Lady Leana Biscari when not in uniform, or Colonel Biscari when in. Formally, First daughter Leana Fengar of Xailiv."


Cecilia tenses for a moment as the face clicks in her memory from the data-slate package they had received before landing on Xailiv.


"I had been informed that there was a possibility you were being held against your will by the traitors."


"Which I was, the governor...dear old step-dad, had me under guard in my families estate, well mine at that point. Until a team of Caledonian Rangers got me out before it was overrun by Tyranids."


Cecilia nods slightly, still watching her though.


"That was lucky, still surprised that you are now a Colonel."


"Not that a big a surprise when you think about it, the step-daughter of a lord that turned traitor and who doesn't have a planet anymore. Easier to throw me to a regiment and forget about than deal with."


"When you put it like that...but then why the 22nd?"


"Well I was the one that managed to argue for the raising for the female units, and I was given the honorary position of Colonel-in-Chief of a few of them. The 22nd is one of the few that is still around and is without a doubt one of the best surviving regiments, plus I was told I would have to be shadowed by another Regiment for a while and since I knew the 22nd had good links with the 42nd and both are in the Corps..."


Cecilia sighs softly while looking at Alex with a slight shake of her head and smile.


"So the 42nd and 22nd are going to be thrown into the wringer again it seems."


"It does seem like our fate."


"I am glad you don't seem to have any problem with our regiments continuing to work together as we will be receiving our orders from the operation shortly."


"Thank you for letting me know, but you do know it is not my regiment. I am just a company commander."


Leana smiles slightly while she sips her drink.


"It might not be your regiment, but the veterans in 22nd would follow you through the warp if you ordered it and I can see your company and a fair part of the 42nd would as well."


Cecilia shrugs slightly, looking slightly awkward at Leana's words.


"I...I am just a soldier, I follow orders and lead those I command where I am ordered to. Nothing more."


Leana grins at Cecilia's response.


"I was told your response would be something like that, you are far too humble and self-deprecating. You are more than a soldier, and I'm not just talking about also being a noble, you have a fire inside of you that seems to be fuelled by war and fighting. Oh yes, before you go, I would like to offer an invitation to the ball tonight here in the palace. Nobles from the other planets are coming to hold a ball in honour of Lord Militant Marbray before he moves on. I was invited as I was in the palace and requested that you be given one as well."


Leana would slide a small card over the table to Cecilia.


"Please do come, even soldiers need time to relax and let go. If you do come, its not military dress so if you need a dress I am sure I will have something you like as we look about the same size wouldn't you say."


Cecilia sighs softly before she stands up.


"Fine, already got told about it yesterday, when I tried to decline at least this way I can say I got invited via a military connection...not much of an argument, but it sits better with me."


Leana laughs softly while she stands and gestures to the side room, assumingly her bedroom.


"Whatever makes it easier for you. Thank you, Alex, for bringing the Major to me, but I don't want to impose on any more of your time."


Alex nods while she stands.


"It is fine, Colonel, happy to help. And got a few things to run the company through to get ready for the next operation. Good day to you both."


With that Alex turns and heads out of the room while Cecilia and Leana step into the bedroom and Leana opens a closet with a few stylish dresses and outfits in, not as many as could be expected from a high ranking noble.

Leana leans into it before pulling one and hanging it up on the back of the door before pulling others out and comparing them to the first one, some she puts back in and some she hangs upon the other door. After going through a few and with a final nod, Leana turns back to Cecilia who had been watching the entire thing with a slightly amused look on her face. Leana unhooks the two dresses she had put on the other door before offering them to Cecilia.


"Either of these should look good and be fit for the occasion, give them a try and we will see won't we!"


Cecilia shakes her head slightly, trying to hide her smile while she steps behind the changing screen, hooking the two dresses on it before she starts getting changed into the first one.


"You know I was expecting you to have more."


"Normally you would be right, didn't have many packed before the fighting started and the evacuation. Still, more than you have at the moment I bet."


"Fair, I will give you that one. Had quite a few back on Caledonia though. And here we go."


"I can imagine and let us see."


Cecilia steps out from behind the screen, Leana had been correct about them being a similar size as the dress fit Cecilia almost perfectly and just needed a few adjustments here and there. The dresses straps were sitting just off her shoulder and the top of the dress coming down across her chest to reveal a fair bit of her top. Before the rest of the dress comes down to reach her ankles with an opening on her left leg starting about mid outer thigh of that leg with the dressing flowing back towards her right ankle. In terms of colour, the dress was a rich burgundy colour.

Leana looks over Cecilia for a moment.


"You look good, but I am not sure if that one is you..."


"Yeah, I didn't think so either to be fair. Now for the other."


Cecilia quickly ducks behind the screen before she starts to get changed into the other quickly and steps out in the other dress. This one had a small bit of fabric that went around her neck before the two straps came down her front, with lace trim on the inside of the almost triangle they form with the actual top of the dress across her chest, accenting her chest well with the scars across Cecilia's chest being an eye draw. The thicker and fabric gives way to a sheerer and lace finished fabric across her stomach before returning to a thicker material down to just below mid-thigh where the dress ends. This dress would almost be black in colour, and the bodycon nature of the dress would hug Cecilia's body and seem to have almost been made for her.


"Now this...this one seems to have been made for you, it looks stunning."


Cecilia blushes slightly, no matter how cool she is underfire a well-placed compliment still manages to catch her off guard.


"I like it, you have excellent taste and an eye for style."


"Why thank you, Major. Also since you are attending the ball tonight, you are welcome to wait here with me as there does not seem to be much point in you travelling back to your camp to just return unless you have a business to attend to."


Cecilia shakes her head slightly.


"Thank you for your offer, I will take you up on it as my second can deal with anything that comes up until tomorrow. I will get my aide to let them know, though. And please, call me Cecilia."


Leana smiles slightly at that.


"It would be my pleasure, Cecilia."

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