"Yes, sir. If you will reference the map on the wall. First off, you'll note the green area in the upper right, which has been labeled 'Dragon town'. This descriptor has been feeding into us from some of our informants who are still active in that area.
The intel that we are getting is that once someone goes in, they are never heard from again. We've had safe houses and listening posts in that general area as well, all neutralized by means unknown. When we can get an agent or servitor into the area, they disappear as well, usually within 48 hours standard. What is most disconcerting is the fact that the area in just a few short weeks has grown from the dashed area to the current size."
Glumly, "We don't know why that is or what is driving the expansion."
"Also troubling...the green dots you see to the Southwest are snatch and grab operations, which although successful, have yet to produce a living target to interrogate. They are occurring in areas where we've not seen targets before, so it's almost as if there is some sort of migration, generally in a Southwest direction. Again, to what purpose we do not know."
"The um, targets, are we losing them for the same reasons as before?", queried the Commandant.
The Commandant replied, "Well that's a rather disturbing item to contemplate. Very well, continue."
"As you are aware, as a part of Operation Velocity, noted on the map with the orange starburst, we initiated a sub-surface Search and Destroy effort based on a tip we received, regarding the possible location of the cult and....
"...there is no other way to put this. The operation was a complete disaster. We lost all but one team during the sweeps to causes unknown. The one team that we did recover was only due to the team leader disobeying a direct order to continue patrolling. After the interrogations, their remains were transferred to an AdMech facility and turned into servitors. Unfortunately, no useful intelligence was acquired during this operation."
"We are gathering additional resources for a larger effort to be launched at a later date, but until that time, this 'Dragon Town' area continues to resist all penetration and reconnaissance efforts by mechanisms or operations unknown to us. I cannot emphasize strongly enough how little information we are getting about this threat."
'And finally, the area in red on the lower left of the map shows where the suspected sonic boom report and the Astartes bolter fragments were located."
"Sir, I realize this report is rough and right now we're operating with a lot of hunches and extrapolated guesses, but it feels like we are losing control of this situation. We need more help."
The Lord Commandant merely replied, "Thank you Jervis, that is all for now."
This batch used the same "drybrush and dip" technique as before, so they came together pretty quick.
Also, a quick shot showing the finished scarab stands.
"I see images...two ships...hmm...different ships...nothing significant is jumping out at me. Should there be?"
<leaning over, another image vellum is placed in front of him>
"One of the suit cams on the Strike teams managed to send this image before we lost contact. Our Velocity patrols picked up two separate ships and assaulted them when they refused to "heave to". As soon as grapples were attached, an unprecedented and intense level of jamming began to emanate from the ships. Although the ships do not appear to be related, the circumstances around each of them is nearly identical. We have to assume that means there are more out there."
"Well, have we been able to extract any information from the captives?"
"Um...no sir. In one instance, the ship was able to neutralize the grapples and escape to the planet's surface."
"Neu-, how the feth..and the other, what happened to it?"
"It self-destructed, severely damaging the Lydium's Glory, an inter-system monitor class vessel. The Lydium was able to limp back to port, but will most likely be laid up in dry dock for several months."
<sitting up in his chair>" And you are sure that the other craft landed here? On the surface?"
"Yes sir, with a 87.03% confidence in the craft's entry track. We appear to have lost its final location once it went over the horizon."
"So you are telling me that a craft harboring xenos of the Tau species, escaped to the surface and that any number of them could be running around our streets and we don't know where they are? Is that what you are telling me?"