CENTE COLONY, INTAKI PRIME – For the first time since the failed anti-booster initiative of late YC112, the planetary law enforcement agencies of Intaki Prime have been given room to breathe following the arrival of a new private military company.

Cente Colony, often considered among the worst slums on Intaki Prime, has for years suffered the same common symptoms of the settlements nearest the equator: lack of housing and workable land, poverty, and lack of social resources. This environment has spawned—as is the case in many such colonies—a rampant criminal element. With a bleak future, many young residents turn to local gangs for support, their faith in their society diminished and their odds of productive lives slim.

The colony has been plagued by an insular gang, part of the Seven, a breakaway element of the Serpentis Corporation. Their control of grey markets in the immediate area created a minor hub for illicit trade, earning the colony the dubious nickname of “the Stash”. Though they numbered only in the hundreds, their command center in an abandoned prison facility meant it was nearly impossible for law enforcement to muscle their way to the leadership without risking annihilation. Military intervention had been deemed too aggressive by the colony administrators and Intaki’s government both, as it could potentially cause a bloodbath in the small settlement.

However, when a representative from a newly founded PMC contacted the colony’s chief of police last week, asking for bounty rights on all active Seven members in the colony, the civilians feared their home would be turned into a battlefield. Reluctantly, the colony’s administration agreed, and the PMC operatives arrived within twelve hours via armored transport vehicles.

The PMC, calling itself “Medusa”, arrived with a force of fifteen armed men. Equipped with sleek black “light shell” armor, patterned by green digital camouflage, and carrying high-end suppressed weaponry, the squadron arrived in the early morning hours and assembled outside the town. With the aid of night vision equipment built into their protective helmets, the PMC soldiers crept into the outskirts of the colony.

According to their operational report, given upon collection of their bounties, the Medusa soldiers set up a sniper position in an outlying guard tower of the facility after eliminating the occupying guards, while the rest of the squadron set up fireteams in probable escape routes, and used a simple misdirection tactic by hurling common smoke grenades into the facility.

The Seven members, having little combat proficiency, swarmed to defensive positions while their leader, one Brouven Darus, was escorted through the top level of the facility. Due to the decay of the building, the observation deck—lined with plastic windows meant to deter inmates from throwing makeshift weapons at prison guards—had multiple gaps on its outer wall. Intending to follow a premeditated escape route, the Seven instead walked right into the crosshairs of the Medusa sniper team. With their leader slain, the remaining members panicked and fled the facility, running directly into the crossfire from the waiting fire teams.

Chief of Police Utes Vurursir was quoted as stating that after collecting their bounties, the Medusa soldiers departed in their personnel carriers as suddenly as they had arrived.

“I don’t care who they are or where they’re from,” Vurursir added. “They destroyed a black market hub in one night and it cost us a fraction of what it would have taken to get the military involved. They didn’t cause enough noise to even wake up the colonists.”

With reports of two other instances of coordinated assaults against Seven operations, word has quickly spread of Medusa’s capable soldiers. Recruitment has taken a slow, but steady increase over the last week, but not everyone is so eager to support the PMC.

“This is not the manner in which the Intaki engage obstacles,” insisted Corsus Maraniette, one of the administrative board members to have voted against the enlisting of Medusa for Cente Colony’s protection. “We should be approaching these matters with the placidity of our forefathers, not entrusting all our problems to anyone willing to shoot criminals for quick money.”

A member of the Cente police force, who wished to remain anonymous, confided to ANN that although Medusa successfully eliminated a powerful Seven cell, he grew suspicious when he caught sight of two PMC soldiers returning to a cantina in the colony, evidently pursuing another bounty. He insisted that without their armor, he spotted multiple tattoos on their persons, including the “death mask” often worn by Aenebra Cult members. Readers may recall that in YC110, the ISD reported on the cult’s dangerous activities, though the matter quickly disappeared from public concern. Since then, they have remained only a minor problem on Intaki Prime.

Whatever their origin, Medusa appears to have already gained significant financial backing judging by their equipment. In the official register of mercenary organizations, they are listed as being a subsidiary of the Intaki Syndicate, although their de facto leadership remains a mystery. What is clear is that where the PMC has taken root, criminal activity has been reduced, and while the civilian and political spheres remain suspicious of the mercenaries, their professionalism has drawn the attention of the PMC market.

Whether or not Intaki Prime will be improved by this type of enforcement against criminals is purely speculation at this point. ANN will continue coverage when possible.