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The Rise of Scorpio is a mini-war that broke out between an insurrectionist faction that emerged from the UEG's outer colonies, and the UDF.

The insurrection, founded by Richard Benedict, was called Scorpio and was noted for having secretly scavenged and reverse engineered Triumvirate technology to provide them with the edge against the UDF in both ground engagements and space warfare.

History

Emergence

In 2554, following the defeat of Armageddon, an insurrectionist faction rose from the outer colony world of Sigma. Their leader Richard Benedict, named this faction “Scorpio”. Having secretly acquired leftover Human and Triumvirate tech from the war, Scorpio quickly managed to seize control of some of the outer colonies and employed many scientists and technicians to manufacture advanced technology for Scorpio.

Scorpio’s numbers rapidly increased, partially from other colonists from who felt they were abandoned by the UEG during the war, but also due to the rapid production of robots built and perfected by the scientists for Scorpio’s ground engagements.

The UEG quickly moved to suppress the rising threat, but despite their superior numbers, starship engagements were evenly matched due to the superior technology employed by Scorpio’s fleets. Ground engagements were in the favour of Scorpio’s forces due to their deployment of combat robots that wielded advanced weaponry that dominated the UEG’s infantry. The Space Marine Aaron 157 notably took part in the UEG’s campaign against Scorpio.

Draetheus

While this conflict took place, Kitty and Gavin spent the year tracking down rogue vampires and demons who had fled Armageddon’s fortress after his defeat. The trail almost ran cold until they were suddenly approached by Endymion. According to him, shortly after Hell’s destruction, the escapees succeeded in finding the tomb of a hibernating vampire elder known as Draetheus, whom they quickly awoke.

Draetheus was using technology provided by an unknown benefactor to venture back into the now-destroyed Hell and mine resources exposed there by the Purge Cannon the previous year. These resources were being delivered to a group of humans that were experimenting with their magical properties. Kitty deduced that Draetheus was working with Scorpio in exchange for technology. It was then that they decided to contact Aaron and inform him of the news.

Fireteam Aqua

At some point, Dan reappeared and volunteered to help them with their mission. Gavin was reluctant but Kitty accepted, and they left the planet onboard a frigate. They met with Aaron many days later aboard another ship, Destiny’s Harbinger. This time they were properly introduced to the crew: Captain Ronald Whitley with Commander Kristen Cartwright being the ship’s second in command. Aaron himself now commanded his own squad of Generation 2 Orion Space Marines on the ship. Fireteam Aqua consisted of Robert, Natasha, Bruce and Valeryie.

A plan was formulated that a stealth team comprising of Aaron, Kitty and Dan would land in Hell and stow away aboard one of the Demons’ supply vessels in order to get to Benedict. In the meantime, Gavin and the rest of Fireteam Aqua would help with ground engagements on the outer colony world of Sigma, where according to the ship’s AI Sheila, Benedict resided aboard his flagship.

Benedict

Aaron, Kitty and Dan made a successful drop onto the surface of Hell, intercepted and killed a Demon mining team boarded their cargo vessel. Using preset coordinates they arrived at Sigma and docked with Benedict’s ship. In the meantime, the rest of Fireteam Aqua and Gavin infiltrated the ship via stolen Scorpio aircraft and also docked in another hangar and proceeded to fight their way through the ship.

Fireteam Aqua managed to secure one of the ship’s many teleportation hubs. This room was used to monitor and regulate teleportation pads located around the ship for quick access. They quickly programmed the room’s teleportation pad and used it to infiltrate Benedict’s private quarters. There, they discovered the insurrectionist leader: a dying old man confined to a wheelchair and life support. Benedict explained that the UEG’s negligence of the outer colony worlds resulted in him losing his family. He planned to have Scorpio overthrow the current leadership and become the new governors of Humanity, and ensure that the UEG’s mistakes would never be repeated ever again.

Deception

Aaron attempted to arrest Benedict but it was revealed that they were talking to a hologram the entire time. The room was then suddenly flooded with large groups of Scorpio bots, forcing the group to retreat. Fireteam Aqua and Gavin had meanwhile arrived at a laboratory in the ship’s lower levels and discovered Benedict’s body inside a specialised cryotube, while multiple pipes fed a chemical mixture and magic into the pod.

Before they could make a decision to do anything, Benedict burst from the cryotube - fully cured of his ailments and imbued with a plethora of supernatural powers that enabled him to hold his own against the team. He escaped the labs, with Fireteam Aqua and Gavin in pursuit. Aaron, Dan and Kitty soon joined them with until Benedict blasted a hole out of his ship and took flight to escape his pursuers.

Using experimental thrusters built into their suits, Aaron led Fireteam Aqua and gave chase to Benedict, eventually leading to a confrontation in the skies of the colony world. Another Scorpio ship suddenly arrived and extracted Benedict using a tractor beam. Meanwhile, Kitty, Gavin and Dan discovered that the ship they were on was about to self destruct and narrowly managed to escape Benedict’s flagship before it exploded. Everyone soon rendezvoused on the Harbinger.

Siege

The Destiny’s Harbinger chased the Scorpio ship through warpspace and soon arrived at Earth, where it was discovered that the planet’s navy was under siege by the full might of the Scorpio fleet. Reports also indicated that at least one city on Earth had been taken and fortified by an army of vampires led by Draetheus.

Benedict’s ship suddenly performed another warpsace jump into Earth’s atmosphere - something that was not possible for UDF ships at the time. The ship exited warpspace right over the vampire-occupied city whereupon Benedict and Draetheus met in person in order for Benedict to make his promised payment to Draetheus. Meanwhile, the Harbinger gave pursuit and subsequently deployed Fireteam Aqua, Kitty, Gavin and Dan to the outskirts of the city with the mission of infiltrating the fortified city and killing both Draetheus and Benedict. As they fought through multiple hordes of vampires, the team became split. Kitty caught sight of Draetheus trying to escape the city and gave chase. They quickly caught up to him and a two on one fight ensued.

Meanwhile, Fireteam Aqua and Gavin realised too late that Benedict had already retreated to his ship via a gravity lift. Just as the ship was about to leave, the Harbinger opened fire and managed to ground the ship several miles away in a forest outside the city. The Harbinger quickly released a dropship full of Elite Commandos led by Gunnery Sergeant Darius Apone to the crash site in order to secure it and ensure that no survivors remained.

Showdown

Upon arriving at the site, the group was immediately fired upon by an army of robotic drones emerging from the crashed ship, causing them to fall back. The squad did however manage to hold its own under the strategic guidance of Apone and soon, Fireteam Aqua and Gavin arrived, providing additional support against the robots.

The conflict soon turned chaotic and both sides became scattered across the forest. An armoured Benedict soon emerged from the wreckage and attacked, drawing the immediate attention of both Aaron and Gavin who fought the Insurrectionist leader. Gavin, in a fit of sudden rage and under the influence of Ezekiel, unleashed a heated torrent of fire at Benedict which caused his armour to melt into his body. Before Benedict could use his powers to recover from the agonizing pain and injury, Aaron used a cryo-bomb grenade to instantly flash-freeze him, effectively putting him out of commission.

Resolution

The siege over Earth ended soon after, with the UDF prevailing due thanks to sheer numbers on their side. The frozen Benedict was taken away by the NIA for further study, as were his ships and technology. Meanwhile, Dan and Kitty rejoined the team and informed them that Draetheus managed to get away, and that he was merely stalling for a group of vampires to make their escape with several vehicles carrying unidentified technology given to Draetheus by Benedict. What remained of the vampire army had also escaped with Draetheus, and their whereabouts were unknown.