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Ernst 'Mule' Templeton

Every unit needs its mule, someone to shoulder the big guns, the field suppliers, the LMGs, the rocket launchers and grenade launchers. At 6'8" Ernst Templeton more than fulfils this role on behalf of Shadow Strike. He's a solid soldier. Wears big boots, good for kicking in doors. Shoots a mean sniper rifle. His fists are the size of watermelons -- perfect for busting ribs and snapping necks. Stands to reason that he packs a mean right cross, too. This one time, he actually knocked out a pack llama for refusing to carry his gear up some oxygen-starved mountain in Peru. He insisted they leave the obstinate son of bitch there, and carried the whole load by himself.

"Let the pumas have him", he told the squad, "I'm hungry, and we've got two clicks still to do."

They laughed the incident off as a "family dispute." Didn't stop laughing till they were at the top.

Fuck it, Templeton thinks. They can laugh at the big man all they want. They'd be lost without him and they know it. He's the ballast that holds their whole operation on course. The immovable object.

Doesn't matter where you go in the merc trade, sit still long enough and bad habits are sure to form. When they do, they take hold, fast. Rip a crew apart piecemeal. Templeton is resolved never to let that happen to Shadow Strike. Especially not here in the vapid, crime-ridden streets of San Paro, where the worst traits of human existence - celebrity, greed, vanity - are flaunted as if they are virtues.

It's easy to fixate on how you look in this San Paro, the car you drive, the tunes you play. The media message plays havoc with the principles of discipline. The bottom line is this, though: enforcement is all about the group play. Doesn't matter how cool you look when you go out there, do it without a team to back you up and you're fucked. Everyone needs back-up. Hell, the GKings figured that out a long time ago.

Templeton watches the city and doubts it will ever change. He's not sure if he wants it to. More likely it's Shadow Strike that will change. The influence of corporate money runs through it like weeds through cement. Only a matter of time before the cracks begin to show. He voices his fears to Grissom and LaRocha. Grissom sees it, too. La Rocha doesn't. He's too busy playing poster-boy. Too distracted by rock and roll and pussy. Handsome he might be, but handsome will probably end up getting him killed. La Rocha's a target now, a face worth putting to a message; and that works both ways. It's only a matter of time before he appears on some news report as part of a new message: your poster-boy is dead; the criminals are winning. Long live the G-Kings.

Templeton wonders how to solve this problem. Maybe a broken nose'll bring LaRocha back in line. Remind him of the focus they once shared. Easy to forget they are in a war. A mission that never stops. Forget the money and the fame; it's the squad that keeps you breathing. Everything else is irrelevant.

These days Danko has the 'Mule' stabled down on the Waterfront, operating out of Baylan Shipping and Storage. From here, Templeton controls the supply of everything: ammo, vehicles, you name it. The whole shebang passes through his hands and his hands alone. One of these days, LaRocha's gonna wonder why his patrol car looks crappier than everyone else's, and when he comes to find out, he and Templeton are gonna have themselves a little chat.

STANDING & REWARDS

STANDING REQUIRED: 0

No Unlocks for this level.

STANDING REQUIRED: 26,000

Unlocks the following items: Category Cost Rating Faction
Field Supplier - Wide Radius Modifications $60,000 195

STANDING REQUIRED: 27,300

Unlocks the following items: Category Cost Rating Faction
Spotter Modifications $60,000 195

STANDING REQUIRED: 28,600

Unlocks the following items: Category Cost Rating Faction
Macchina Calabria 527 Vehicles $50,000 40

STANDING REQUIRED: 29,900

Unlocks the following items: Category Cost Rating Faction
+1 Outfits Capacity $999,999,999 0

STANDING REQUIRED: 31,200

Unlocks the following items: Category Cost Rating Faction
+2 Clothing Inventory Space Capacity $400,000 0

STANDING REQUIRED: 32,500

Unlocks the following items: Category Cost Rating Faction
Car Surfer Modifications $60,000 195

STANDING REQUIRED: 33,800

Unlocks the following items: Category Cost Rating Faction
Macchina Cosenza FTV4 Vehicles $50,000 85

STANDING REQUIRED: 35,100

Unlocks the following items: Category Cost Rating Faction
+1 Themes Inventory Space Capacity $200,000 0

STANDING REQUIRED: 36,400

Unlocks the following items: Category Cost Rating Faction
Half-Brick Weapons $0 0
Eight-Ball Weapons $0 0

STANDING REQUIRED: 37,700

Unlocks the following items: Category Cost Rating Faction
+1 Songs Inventory Space Capacity $200,000 0

STANDING REQUIRED: 39,000

Unlocks the following items: Category Cost Rating Faction
Han Veo 420LX Vehicles $50,000 85

STANDING REQUIRED: 40,300

Unlocks the following items: Category Cost Rating Faction
Flak Jacket Modifications $60,000 195

STANDING REQUIRED: 41,600

Unlocks the following items: Category Cost Rating Faction
OSCAR NFCP 2 Weapons $18,900 30

STANDING REQUIRED: 42,900

Unlocks the following items: Category Cost Rating Faction
Fragile Modifications $60,000 195

STANDING REQUIRED: 44,200

Unlocks the following items: Category Cost Rating Faction
+1 Vehicles Inventory Space Capacity $200,000 0

STANDING REQUIRED: 45,500

Unlocks the following items: Category Cost Rating Faction
Packer Vaquero V141A3 Vehicles $400,000 85

STANDING REQUIRED: 46,800

Unlocks the following items: Category Cost Rating Faction
High-Magnification Scope Modifications $60,000 195

STANDING REQUIRED: 48,100

Unlocks the following items: Category Cost Rating Faction
Patriot Vegas G23 Vehicles $400,000 85

STANDING REQUIRED: 49,400

Unlocks the following items: Category Cost Rating Faction
"Defender" Combat Helmet Clothing $1,000 0
"Defender" Armored Armpads Clothing $500 0
"Defender" Armored Shoulderpads Clothing $500 0
"Defender" Armored Vest Collar Clothing $500 0
"Defender" Balaclava (Half Face) Clothing $500 0
"Defender" Tactical Elbowpads Clothing $500 0
"Defender" Tactical Kneepads Clothing $500 0
"Defender" Armored Vest Clothing $1,000 0
"Defender" Backpack, Radio Clothing $1,000 0
"Defender" Rifleman Config Clothing $500 0
"Defender" Combat Helmet Clothing $1,000 0
"Defender" Armored Armpads Clothing $500 0
"Defender" Armored Shoulderpads Clothing $500 0
"Defender" Armored Vest Collar Clothing $500 0
"Defender" Balaclava (Half Face) Clothing $500 0
"Defender" Rifleman Config Clothing $500 0
"Defender" Tactical Elbowpads Clothing $500 0
"Defender" Tactical Kneepads Clothing $500 0
"Defender" Armored Vest Clothing $1,000 0
"Defender" Backpack, Radio Clothing $1,000 0
"Defender" Citadel Vehicles $150,000 195
Level Activity
20

Tactical information requested. Investigate Criminals operating in your AO. Spot 5 Criminals using your spotter mod.

Spot 5 Criminals.

20

Oh hey, I get it. Because I'm a big guy, I have to be the one with the rocket and grenade launchers? How creative of you. Kill 5 Criminals with explosive weapons. Not grenades, just rocket launchers and grenade launchers.

Kill 5 Criminals with Demolition weapons.

20

Humiliating and enemy is almost as important as killing them. You've got to show his buddies that you're not above rubbing salt into the wounds. Kill 25 Criminals with a Snub Nose Revolver.

Kill 25 Criminals with a Snub Nose Revolver

Subject Unlock Level
Operation Urban Firestorm

My name's Ernst Templeton and I'm with the Shadow Strike Logistics Team. I've been deployed to San Paro under the charge of Operation Urban Firestorm to get supply lines opened and try to bring a little order to what is fast becoming an uncivilized brawl. You've been handed over to me on the good word of Kaspar Danko and Grissom. Those guys say you're good which means you're probably outstanding by Praetorian standards. Don't do anything stupid, do what I tell you and listen to what I have to say and we'll get along just fine.

Don't get me wrong I've heard a lot of good things about you. I read through your file on the boat over here - thick as a trauma surgeon's field-book and twice as blood soaked. You're an operator in a war unlike anything we've ever seen and you've been sent to me because enough people think you need to start getting more equipment and proper guidance. Or someone thinks that you're good enough for Shadow Strike. You're a badass, sure, but Shadow Strike has always been about more than being the biggest and meanest dog in the yard. You've put a lot of boot-to-ass but I need to know if there's more to you than that.

Let's get you started. I'm going to outfit you with the new Field Supplier - Wide Radius modification. This one's got twice the range of your current one and it'll set you and your buddies up with ammo at ten meters instead of the five of a regular Field Supplier. Means they can keep watching their corners when they're restocking.

Damn useful piece of gear and a flat upgrade over what you have right now.

Run some more missions and slap a tag on a scumbag or twelve for me and I'll see about getting you some more equipment. This on-site-procurement bullshit's gone on long enough and you boys and girls out there need some proper equipment.

Vae Victis.

Ernst Templeton, Shadow Strike Chief Logistical Officer, Master at Arms and Ground Supply Officer.

2
Invoices are a soldier's best friend

Hi,

I'm looking over Praetorian inventory listings for the last year and it looks like they've got you guys out there using tech that was out of date three years ago. We're gonna get to work on fixing that right now: I'm sending you a Spotter modification - It's an active piece of gear so equip it, point at an enemy and switch it on. You'll flag your target for up to twenty seconds. They'll appear on radar and anywhere else you care to mention. Use it while you're in a group to make sure everyone can keep track of assholes in cover or people setting up camp.

There are two kind of procurement form in the world: Single Line Item Requisition forms and Emergency Requisition forms. Your SLIR forms are typically used before you deploy for action or before you open a long term engagement - think 'fifty thousand woodland print pants,' that type of thing. Your ERF's are typically used when someone's dropped the ball on procurement or your situation has changed and your current equipment is no longer sufficient for the task at hand. That's your 'there was a snowstorm and now our woodland camo is about as useful as a screen door on a submarine' type of thing.

I'm going through the Praetorian ERF's from the last twelve months and I'd say about a quarter of them are going straight to consumables - consumables, in this situation, meaning fine dining and VIP trips to the races. This is not an acceptable situation to me.

What makes this situation even more unacceptable is that every single one of these questionable consumable requests was signed off by either Justin Teng or LaRocha. Every single one of them was submitted by either Justin Teng or LaRocha.

I'm gonna swing by the Breakwater Marina later today. See if I can find out just where the fuck we're leaking resources from and stop it.

To be continued.

3
Macchina Calabria 527 delivery

Hey,

I paid a visit to Breakwater to check in on LaRocha and ask him what all these bent request forms were about and I didn't like what I found one bit. You know he's out there in a nightclub? He spends his entire day loitering around with his rifle over his back like it still means something. LaRocha has been in Shadow Strike since pretty much its inception. It was Grissom, Danko and myself working three-man jobs in places that'd been left for someone else to deal with, usually after operations without an exit strategy went into meltdown. One day we met this skinny kid holding a rifle in one hand and a canvas bag in the other. Guy started out as a fucking mascot almost.

He was a scrawny little runt but years of me shouting at him and getting him to carry his own damn pack made the boy strong. He was always the first one at the watering hole after a mission and he was always the first one to leave with some of the more talented local ladies but he always had his mind on his job when it counted. When I asked him about a three hundred dollar bottle of wine that he'd dumped on the Praetorian expense account, he smiled, shook his head, said something about learning to play the game and how I'd understand sooner or later.

I need to speak to Grissom when I get a free minute. He'll know what the fuck's going on with the unit.

I've got a vehicle for you today. Four slot Macchina Calabria 527. It's civilian transport that they're handing out to Enforcers on account that it's cheap and designed for city driving. Makes sense from a tactical standpoint but I've never been too hot on working with civilian companies from a logistical one - civilian equipment providers tend to be fussy about how their gear gets used. On the plus side, from a tactical stand point, you could do much worse than this vehicle: You ever try driving a half-track down a freeway? Or an APC through an alleyway? Fact is the majority of military hardware I can get my hands on is simply not designed for the sort of urban environment that you'll find so readily in this city.

See what you can do with it.

Ernst Templeton.

4
Uniformed individualism is not good for unit cohesion.

Enforcer.

I'm starting to feel like there's not a lot of unit cohesion in the Praetorians. There's a color scheme, sure, but there isn't a uniform in the traditional sense. You're more likely to see a guy running around in short pants and a vest than you are to see someone wearing proper mil. spec gear.

Body armor is in short supply and it doesn't look like anyone higher up the chain of command than me ever bothered to pick a camo to use. Personally when I'm on the frontlines I prefer FFW gear but I know some people that swear by UCP. I also know some people that think that the water in this city's fit for human consumption.

To try and combat this lack of cohesion I'm giving all Praetorian operatives that I've come into contact with access to one additional Outfit Slot. Try and come up with something that makes you look like a proper soldier. If you start to look like one people might start thinking you're one which means we might finally start getting some traction in this fight. Hearts and Minds, folks.

There's a Praetorian meet and greet happening soon. I'm still fresh off the boat enough for me to count as green in this city. Hope to see you there but I'd understand if you can't make it. It'd give me someone to talk to about rifling and troop deployments while LaRocha's waiting in line to get his nails done. This conflict is just gonna keep going until we can finally get serious about who we're putting on the front lines. I need a serious person that can stay that way even in this city where a man like me can be handed a requisition form for ten thousand fuzzy pink handcuffs and some non-oil based lubricant.

Be honest here. Does it really feel like anyone's taking this seriously?

Si vis pacem, para bellum.

Ernst Templeton

5
Requesting immediate evac

'Forcer.

I've got a couple more clothing inventory spaces for you. If you made that new uniform that I asked for with the last supply delivery I sent your way you'll probably be smarting for space about now. Be sure to keep some civilian or off-duty clothes on standby. Something smart so that when you turn up to a night club for what was billed as a 'squad meeting' but is really more of a corporate sponsored press junket you're not the only one wearing a T-shirt and jeans.

Everyone who was everyone was there, darling. Music produced by machines, bodies produced by surgeons and people with personalities that had more in common with cardboard cutouts than anyone capable of self aware thought. The last time any of those people had an independent though it died of goddamn loneliness. Oh my gawd you were in Peru? That's so cool! Hey, Ernst, bro, tell the story about the time you punched out a llama again! You punched a llama? Why do you hate animals?

Whole fucking party was nothing but women in cocktail dresses and men in business casual.

I saw Grissom in a suit and tie. I could tell that he wasn't comfortable but he was there, selling out the Shadow Strike name for nothing but a little publicity and time in the spotlight. It was like putting a leash on a lion. I've seen that man do things to someone that was trying to kill him that would make your blood run cold. His gun jammed in the middle of a firefight so he sliced off some poor opfor son of a bitch's thumb and used the blood as slide lubricant.

And here he was in a suit and a tie, smiling and schmoozing like the rest of the sell outs. If it's an act it's a really convincing one. Sure I've heard about him doing off-book work for the Praetorians but just seeing him dressed up like a dancing monkey was enough to make me want to retch. The longer you stay in this city the harder it gets to avoid slipping down into the gutter with the rest of them. Watch yourself out there. I don't need another soldier losing focus and getting sloppy.

Nosce te ipsum.

Ernst Templeton

6
See attachment

Hey.

One of the first things you learn about OSP work is that necessity is the mother of invention. You throw the percussion grenade at the floor because it'll guarantee a kill even if it means hospital time for you. You aim your car at the guy with the rocket launcher and gun it so the burning wreck'll take him down. You run a one man sniper team because you're trying to guard a building almost a world away and there's no cover between you and it.

You've got to adapt to survive and keep a cool head under pressure. With adaption in mind I've devised a neat little trick. I've sent you a car surfer modification. Equip it, give it time to sink in and then next time your buddy's driving you somewhere dive up onto the roof and take aim. So long as the vehicle stays flat and level you should stay stuck to the roof. So far I've personally tested it with a variety of assault rifles, launchers and heavy weapons and the results have been spectacular. Highly recommended.

I spoke with Danko about Grissom and LaRocha recently. The old man's still the sort of person you'd expect to see turned into a massive bronze statue once this is all over. He told me that I'm not totally wrong about the nature of this city and how it corrupts everything it touches. They say that for every minute that you spend in this city your life expectancy increases by another minute as you become more and more familiar with its streets and rhythms.

He told me not to get too angry at LaRocha or Grissom before telling me a little bit about some of the extra vocational work that they're doing for Teng that I'd be stupid to tell anyone about over a written, traceable communication. Suffice it to say I know for sure that Grissom is still the second most lethal person I've ever met. He said he'd have a word with LaRocha too, see if he couldn't get the boy to calm down but he told me not to hold my breath because of LaRocha's near perfect understanding of 'the game.'

"This is a celebrity city, son," he rumbled. "If you don't have someone out there getting their face in the society pages no one in this city'll take you seriously. You've seen his jawline. Kid was made to be a movie star and he probably would have been if he wasn't such a solid shot with an HVR."

Yeah. Real straight shooter, that LaRocha.

Vae Victis, brother.

7
Hey, Praetorian.

Hey, Praetorian.

I've got five thousand new Macchina Cosenza FTV4s fresh off the boat from South East Asia and I'm giving one of them to you. The Calabria was such a success around town that we've invested more heavily in Macchina vehicles. It's a little bigger than the Calabria was and can have a four man group driving around in it so you can hit hard and hit coordinated.

We've got plenty more where that came from since Macchina are trying to flood the market with cheap, disposable vehicles. Maybe the vehicles are a little too disposable. Maybe that's just a sign of the times or maybe I'm just a goddamn stuck-in-the-mud but I believe that you should make do and mend. Burning through equipment at a rate of three cars a mission isn't going to get you anywhere. That's the sort of attrition that kills campaigns.

I've seen armies brought low because supply lines were getting hit too hard by the soldiers that they were supposed to be supplying. Don't waste your resources is what I'm driving at. I've got an Emergency Requisition Form here from some joker out in the city that wants a new rifle because their current one has jammed. They're using an N-tec. Do you have any idea how hard it is to jam an N-Tec?

There's nothing in there to jam. There's a spring, a gas mechanism, and there's a latch that the brass gets ejected out of. It's not even a complicated enough piece of equipment to support multiple firing modes. You keep your finger on the trigger to make bullets happen and you release the trigger to make bullets stop happening. I can't see a way that you could jam this gun but this asshole's managed to do it.

So instead of taking it apart and cleaning it he's just dropped it in some dumpster next to a school and decided that he wanted a new one. 'By the way could this one have a hunting sight on it? I've heard this gun and that mod go together great.'

Don't be that guy. Try and fix what's broken before throwing it away and asking for something new. It makes you look like a spoiled child.

Sic simper tyrannis.

Templeton.

8
Operation Enduring Fuck Up

Praetorian.

I've got an edict from on high for you today. This is something you'll get used to if you decide you ever want to take on a career in a proper military organization rather than a militia on steroids - command love coming up with great new ideas, making everyone drop everything at the same time and start chasing some brand new high-concept that they've come up with at four in the morning.

"Could the camo be more green?" they ask after the fifty thousand unit order has been placed.

"I'm worried about our carbon footprint. We need less APC's on the streets," they demand, right after asking why there are so few boots on the ground.

This is what you deal with when you're working for generals that have been away from the front line for too long. Apparently we don't have enough musical cohesion with our themes. I don't even have a theme which is, according to Miss Choi, probably the worst thing since that smell that comes off the Nantego when it's a warm day. They want suggestions for the new organization wide anthem so here's more inventory space for your music.

I guess I'm being too hard on the Praetorians. They genuinely seem like they're trying to do good work but they're just being mismanaged. Teng seems like the sort of guy that gets an idea and runs with it, hits resistance and then hands it over to someone else. That's my guess why he brought in Shadow Strike instead of some large scale PMC: get his finger prints on it if he's able to save the city but be able to point at someone else if it all moves sideways in a fairly epoch shattering way. I've got a good feeling about you. Keep doing what you're doing and we just might see if you'd be a good fit in the unit.

Nihil fieri non potest nobiscum.

Ernst Templeton.

9
Fight dirty. A dead enemy can't whine about the sand in the eyes.

Soldier.

I saw something incredible yesterday. I saw LaRocha actually acting like LaRocha again! It was goddamn amazing. I managed to convince LaRocha, Grissom and Danko to take some time off for a Shadow Strike vs. Praetorian pool contest. You know Grissom used to shark the halls in Peru during downtime? We figured we were pretty great at the game but that Durrant boy pretty much carried the entire Praetorian team.

I figured the guy as a beer swilling thug wearing Praetorian colors. Turns out he's a beer swilling thug wearing Praetorian colors that knows his way around a pool table. Seriously, the guy hustled us all even with LaRocha trying to put him off his game.

Eventually some Crim gets wind that we're there and figures 'fuck it, let's take on every fixer in town at the same time.' Him and his dumb little buddies show up, kick down the door and hose the place with OCA fire. We dive for cover and then it happens. LaRocha grabs a pool ball, stands up from behind the table and throws it like he's an all-star league pitcher.

LaRocha lands the ball right in the throat of the lead shooter, crushing his windpipe. Everyone stands there in stunned silence for a second until another ball flies right by my head thrown by that Durrant boy and it takes down another shooter that'd gotten it into his head to reload. Durrant grins and shouts, "head hit's worth ten points, chest five, junk twenty."

LaRocha begins to stuff pool balls into his grenade config and pretty soon we're chasing them to the streets throwing pool balls after them. He goes long and goddamn kills a guy, raises his arms in triumph and screams something in Brazilian that I can only guess was as blue as the bruise that was coming up on the throat of the Criminal lying on the floor back in the pool hall. He looked like his old self for a minute there.

It's the sports craze that's sweeping the city, folks. I'm sending you an eight ball so you can join in. Equip it as a grenade and throw it at a Criminal as hard as you can. It'll never explode like an actual 'proper' grenade (you know, since it's a pool ball an' all) but it's a guaranteed kill if you throw it from far enough away. Use it to humiliate your enemy. If you nail a guy be sure to tell me. I'm runnin' a league table in the depository&

Templeton.

p.s Some dick threw a brick at me the other day. Could you be a sweetheart and throw it back at them?

10
The golden thread

How's it going?

There are a great many military organizations around the world but each one of them has at least one thing in common: The US Marine Corps call it the Esprit de Corps. The British Army calls it the Golden Thread. It's your heritage as a military group and it's what connects you to the soldiers and operatives that have come before you; the men and women that shaped the traditions that you now find yourself surrounded by.

I am a sentimental soul and, despite my gruff exterior, I believe in traditions.

I believe that keeping traditions alive is a worthwhile investment of time and energy. Tradition helps you keep your head when everything around you is going to shit and you need something to rely on. You can always find just a little more strength in your traditions. When you're hauling ammo boxes across mountain ranges you just need to think back to regiments of Hussars crossing the Ural Mountains. You think about that and you begin to realize that your trials and hardships suddenly don't seem quite so bad. You belong to that bloodline, like it or not.

Tradition is important. I want to hear a song for the Praetorians. A real battle cry. I want you and a few other people that I think 'get' what's going on out here to try and write it. Keep Shadow Strike in mind while you're doing it - we could use an anthem.

Watch yourself out there.

Vae victus.

Templeton.

11
Han Veo 420LX deployment.

Hey.

Heard a lot of good things about you out there! Been fighting fierce and fighting smart, both of which are exactly what we're looking for. We've got another shipload of vehicles coming in today; The Han Veo 420LX. It's not that quick off the line but it's stronger than most and you can put up to four modifications in it. Consider this one a hot hatch.

I've gone around the city to the different contact locations - where Praetorian representatives are stationed - to take a look at our security arrangements. So far I'm fuckin' stunned that no one's just walked in and taken a shotgun to everyone. Hell, even Justin Teng is just standing there out in the open. I'm thinking about getting guards situated around people, or maybe just a couple of auto-turrets if we can't stretch to warm bodies.

Probably the worst of the company was Jennifer Kim. She calls herself Sabbat like that's meant to mean something but she's still just a model playing soldier. Yes, she's wounded. Yes, she's damaged by what's happened to her family and I feel for her. I really do. But this isn't the place for someone that's not used to being in a combat zone. She's been on the cover of Effigy, what, nine times in the last year? The only other person with that kind of a presence on that magazine is Birth. Sabbat shouldn't be on the front lines like this.

Still. I'm gonna be honest. There's something about a woman in Kevlar, you know?

Templeton.

12
Flak Jacket deployment to Praetorian Fire Teams.

Looking for new gear?

Well you've come to the right place bud. The first shipment of Somantic's new Flak Jackets has come in. Wearing this modification will reduce the amount of hurt you take from a grenade by simply soaking up the frag. The only real downside to wearing it is that you'll be carrying one less grenade. Somantic didn't put enough D-rings on it for you to be able to fit on your ammo and your grenades so that's the trade off you make. Take less damage from all kinds of grenade, but carry one less yourself.

You're probably wondering why I keep signing off an email to you with a Latin phrase. You're going 'how the fuck does a big ape like Ernst know Latin?'

I went to a proper school where they taught Latin, boys played rugby, and English teachers gave a shit about the Oxford comma. I studied mathematics, engineering and economics before going to university and getting a degree in two out of three of those subjects. I could build a bridge in Burma or demolish an apartment building in Alaska with what I know about engineering. I don't think it's unfair to say that I am a frighteningly clever person when it comes to organizing and supplying a military force. I've dedicated my life to becoming the very best at what I do - I could be an engineer working on an off shore oil rig. I could patent any number of ideas and live off the royalties for a new engine design until my dying days. I am very good at what I do.

So imagine how I feel when LaRocha comes up to me and demands that I stop voiding his ERF submissions. Did I mention that all ERF's need to come through me now? Did I mention that the wastage on sparkling wine and corn fed beef dinners has dropped to a nearly negligible level? Did I mention that this could be the first month since the Praetorians were founded that the ground operation in this city has turned a profit for Teng? No?

Oh. I must have forgot about those forms, buddy! Could you submit them again? They must just have gotten lost, you know how it is&

Quando omni flunkus moritati ;)

Ernst.

13
Front Toward Enemy

Fucking finally!

Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls let me introduce to you the Obeya Systems Carbine 2. If you like your medium-to-long range rifles you're going to enjoy this. It fires in two round bursts, it's got a big magazine and can really put a hurt on a guy. Think of it as a baby OBIR. This is the modular version too so you can stick whatever you want in there. I've heard it does well with a Hunting Sight. Don't be afraid to experiment with it though.

Obeya are a solid company. They've been making weapons since the 1800's and it really shows. Heritage companies making dependable firearms - what more could an Enforcer need? Okay, so maybe some of their business practices are a little on the medieval side but you can't argue with results. Agrotech have been trying to steam roller over them with expensive, futuristic rifles for years now and they're really starting to gain ground in the market. Obeya's midrange line has never been that hot, especially when you line it up next to Colby, Nekrova or Agrotech.

There's nothing quite like a Somantic though. No other company in the world builds an LMG quite like those iron mongers do.

So how about you? What's your favorite gun?

-Templeton

14
Not everyone gets to be quarterback.

Hey,

The Praetorians have decided that there's going to be a new training regimen developed to compliment the currently existing one. The new training scheme focuses more on long distance running at high speeds rather than sheer physical stamina. I can't say that I disapprove of this one and I can't see how anything negative can come from it which means it's one of the better ideas to fall out of the skull of Miss Choi.

It's been distilled into a modification. Trials have proven that you'll be able to run fourteen percent faster with it equipped with the only negative being to the amount of damage you can take before going down. Run fourteen percent faster but get fourteen percent less health. This leaves you strong enough to take a shot from a sniper and keep running so use your extra speed and get into cover.

Fragile isn't the only good idea to come out of Praetorian HQ recently. Justin Teng has realized that LaRocha and I are having a disagreement. He's also maybe upset that his poster-boy keeps coming up to him and whining that the budget for hair product has been slashed. More to follow.

-Templeton

15
Additional vehicle units to follow.

Hey,

This is going to have to be a quick email so no pearls of wisdom or bullshit sentences written in a dead language today. I've got that meeting with Teng and LaRocha real soon and an assload of paper work to deal with. I've managed to requisition you another vehicle storage location. Please find the stub attached to this mail. As long as you've got that you should be able to store another vehicle in your garage for rapid deployment around the city.

I'm trying to get some civilian vehicle suppliers to put you on the priority order list. Keep working for me and I'll try and get you the new Vaquero as soon as it comes off the ships in the docks.

Stay safe out there, comrade.

-Ernst

16
You do what you have to do

Hey.

I've got good news and I've got bad news. The good news is Packer have agreed to let us start deploying the new three slot Vaquero. The Vaquero, as you probably know by now, is the compact car of choice for Enforcement operatives in San Paro. It's small, it's very fast and it's very light. It gets a little too exuberant in the corners unless you know what you're doing with your handbreak but it'll hit max speed as fast as anything out there today.

I've never actually driven one because I just can't fit behind the wheel so I'm telling you this based on the stats from the operators manual that Packer sent over.

Meeting with Teng and LaRocha went pretty well after a fashion. I think I've read Teng wrong in the past. He's way shrewder than I gave him credit for - the guy's a born CEO. When a project works it was his golden touch and when it goes to shit he can say it was someone else polluting his vision. He's incredibly intelligent when it comes to getting his own way.

He brought Prettyboy and myself into his office and started to talk about 'the game', 'public relations battles' and 'winning hearts and minds through explaining paradigm shifts in an acceptable way through real-time blue sky communications'.

I didn't understand a fucking word of it but I could see LaRocha was getting more out of it than I was. Prettyboy was nodding along at all the right moments.

It's not lining up in my head anymore. I saw LaRocha in the pool hall when he took out three guys with nothing but a fistful of solids and stripes. I'm seeing Prettyboy sitting over from Teng, nodding his head and agreeing with crowd sourcing additional marketing dynamics. Which one's real? Prettyboy or LaRocha?

-Ernst.

17
For that up close and personal feel

How's it going?

Since LaRocha and I are supposedly back on speaking terms he's given me one of his custom built scopes and I'm a little impressed. He's done some good work on it since I last got a look through it. I've cloned it and sent a copy to you. Fit the scope to a weapon and it'll switch up your crosshair and make it so you get a flat zoom increase. It's different from that Hunting Sight you already own because the hunting sight just pulls your view in tighter. This actually zooms you in significantly.

I've given it a try with a couple of weapons and found it works very well with guns that hold their accuracy at long-to-medium. LaRocha swears by it and, even with my misgivings about the boy these days, there's not a man alive who knows more about calibrating a snipers scope than him.

Still& he's being a shithead.

-Templeton.

18
Too stubborn to die, too stupid to listen.

Hey,

I'm looking over some of the reports that I'm seeing from District Managers about you and I must say I am very, very impressed with your activities. You've got great lethality, good improvisation, good use of onsite materials and a deep tactical understanding of your environment. Overall I'd say that your performance has been exemplary and that is not a phrase I am all that accustomed to using. You'd be a perfect fit for Shadow Strike if and when we ever get out of this shitpile of a city.

Our deployment of the Vaquero has been a major success and we're seeing a noticeable increase in fire-team survivability and marked decrease in the time that it takes to do small-scale medical evacs out of hotzones. Patriot has offered to send the new Vegas G23 to us and I've asked for you to go at the top of the requisition list. Please check the attachments to this message for additional information.

I got into a fight with Danko the other day about the standard of Shadow Strike in this town. Felt pretty shitty having him bitch me out over something that I said about LaRocha. Okay, sure it wasn't the finest thing I've ever done, bitchin' about a guy behind his back, but the old bastard chewed me out over it. He's not changed since coming here. Still quiet, still considered and still frighteningly explosive if provoked. He told me that LaRocha had become the sacrificial lamb to the media and dark influences of this town. He was the one with the easy charm, the bright teeth and perfect jaw-line so he was the one that they'd put up in front of the cameras.

He drove that huge fucking fist of his right into the middle of my forehead. It hurt like hell but he was trying to make a point - Sometimes I get too thick headed and stubborn to see what's good for me. I must know better than everyone else what to do, right? I've quarterbacked more wars, skirmishes and military interventions than anyone else still alive& so I must know what I'm talking about, right? Maybe not.

Sorry if I'm sounding a little more contemplative than usual. I can only assume it's because I'm still concussed. I think I get it now though - this city really is sick in the head and it really does need a different kind of soldier than the ones that I've worked with in the past. LaRocha understands this city better than I do. Hell, everyone seems to understand it better than I do. I don't think I'll ever really know this war but I can do my best; make sure everyone's got what they need when they need it.

Fucking hell, though. Give me a standing army to keep rolling, a presidential palace to blow up or a supply line to disrupt and I'll be happy again.

This place is a whole new kind of hell that needs a whole new kind of soldier. The truth is that I think you might be that soldier. Maybe it's because you've spent so long here that you need to see it through. Maybe you need closure on your operations. Either way I want you with us when we exit. I'm putting your name forwards for a commission to Shadow Strike.

Scio me nihil scire&

-Templeton.

19
An invitation.

Greetings,

As you may be aware, Shadow Strike has been closely monitoring your performance while in the San Paro combat zone during Operation Urban Firestorm. We have been consistently impressed by your standards in both conduct towards fellow operatives and excellence in combat. The speed with which you respond to changes in the combat environment of San Paro has impressed several Shadow Strike operatives who put your name forwards for pre-evaluation.

This pre-evaluation has now been completed and we would like to invite you to join Shadow Strike once your involvement in Operation Urban Firestorm is complete. As it is unlikely that the conflict in San Paro will end at any point in the foreseeable future and, since we are unable to take on new recruits while in a combat zone, we would like to offer you an update to the Shadow Strike uniform that you have previously been given access to. This armor, called Defender by our operatives, is given to the elite few that have been selected for membership to Shadow Strike. Please also find a vehicle designed by your sponsor, Ernst Templeton, attached to this message. Both the outfit and vehicle have been modified by Wilde Designs LLC. This modification does not indicate sponsorship by Wilde Designs and actions taken by the user of these items do not necessarily reflect the views of Wilde Designs and Praetorian Protection.

Please consider the invitation to join Shadow Strike as open in perpetuity.

Thank you,

Ernst Templeton, Shadow Strike Chief Logistical Officer, Master at Arms and Ground Supply Officer.

20