In medias res
Captain Deloso was riding shotgun in the front seat of a Zone Ranger APC, driving out on his squad's first official outing under his command. Beside him sat Thumper, a curious fellow command assigned to ship the team out on this excursion. He wasn't sure what the man's real name might be as pretty much everyone called him that; he could probably pull his file and find out if he retained the presence of mind to do so after the mission. The name had something to do with penchant for explosions, so the rumor went. He was a technical specialist, Arcane sub-focus. So called "Techno-Mage." By reputation, reliable, if eccentric, and good with repairs and able to drive or fly pretty much anything. Not a part of Deloso's unit, but rather indented serve for delivery to the mission area, and evac, if necessary.
Immediately behind him in the crew cab sat Jace Belleraphon, a Juicer, and Therun Dahl, officially the unit's intelligence officer, and second in command, though in reality, a Psi-Stalker. He'd been Coalition once, though the details on what made him turn coat were not exactly common knowledge. Got tired of hunting down critters he had more in common with than the Skull-heads, maybe?
At the rear of the cab, a massive wall of metal limbs and armor plates sat, taking up a bench intended for three human soldiers, readying his weapons as well. Four arms moved simultaneously over his gear, checking straps, securing plates, and arming weapons, all while eerily never moving his head. K-842 was a Borg; one of those with little enough human left to be worth the name. And this one seemed more willing than most to abandon the usual limitation of the human form; four arms, and an array of sensors and optics all around his head that allowed him to see what he was doing with all those arms without even having to shift his gaze.
In the cargo hold at the back, crouched down in the wide open space at the rear, was "Ace" Boomer. He was already suited up, even though the space in the vehicle was barely large enough for the man's massive power-armour suit, even doubled up as he was. Glitter-Boy. Toughest piece of metal you find anywhere on this blasted earth, and with some of the biggest and baddest firepower you could muster as well. Even relatively man-sized as it was, given another 4-5 feet of height and 2 tonnes of weight, of course, it was still more firepower than most giant robots three times its size. He'd lucked out to get one of those on his team; that kind of firepower could do a lot to turn the tide of any skirmish.
"Three minutes," Boomer's voice sounded over the coms, "You can see the storm up ahead."
First official assignment wasn't technically supposed to be until tomorrow; a recon trip through this same area. However, the last recon team failing to report in, failing to arrive back at Refuge at the scheduled hour, dusk, just a few hours back, and a lack of other teams prepped to do anything about it meant that his team was getting a dry run a little early.
Beyond the trees ahead, as the all-terrain Zone Ranger tore through grass and rocky outcrops with massive 6 foot wheels, you could see a bluish glow filling the night sky up ahead, another 5 klicks out or so. This was a Ley-Line nexus; a smaller one, but one of several within an hour's drive of Castle Refuge. Of course, Castle Refuge itself was on a nexus, a much bigger one, though whatever charm the builder's had worked into the place seemed to keep Rifts from opening there, and all but the worst Ley-Line storms at bay.
Ley Line storms were unpredictable. They could amplify magical energy, or use it all up, leaving nothing for magic users to manipulate. They could cause Rifts to form, or even stranger phenomenon, like swapping a portion of countryside with a similar sized bit from another dimension. If you happened to be in that chunk when it shifted? Too bad I guess. Better get used to your new home; shifts like that were generally permanent.
Mission Briefing was this, already shared with the team: Recon team for this area is overdue. They should have been back at refuge about 3 hours ago, and haven't been in radio contact in about 5 hours. A scout in a Titan Flying suit reported the lines near this nexus going crazy, visible even daylight. He didn't stick around, but stuck to his Flight plan, as ordered. However, he was pretty confident he was seeing the start of a storm brewing. Even without the recon team overdue, a Ley-Line storm this close to Castle refuge probably would have warranted a patrol anyway. Since Deloso had his team together anyway, having them do a meet a greet with their new CO... well, here they were.
"Be there in... about two minutes now. Damn, my skin is tingling."