Skarkon Station Free Press
Hit Squad Kills Nine in Sahaal
By Jerindine Orindold
The Saj’val marketplace ten blocks south of the Sahaal Elevator Autonomous Zone became the sight of an intense bout of violence today when local angel official Merim Palto was killed by Seykal mercenaries. Her vehicle and its three escorts were attacked after being boxed into the market square in a short but brutal conflict that left nine bystanders dead and twenty four wounded, eleven critically, in addition to Palto herself and her escorts who were all executed on the site. The mercenaries also suffered four casualties including one which witnesses report as being messily dismembered before the angel defenders could all be put down.
The attackers quickly raided the armored vehicle of several crates and unknown items before retreating, leaving the street decimated and public anger heightened by what was seen as a brazen and unnecessarily bloody. Because the mercenaries took their dead with them, the identities of the attacks is not known for certain, but many point the finger at the Seykal Clan, long believed to be involved in the Krullefor/RSS security racket which has increasingly drawn the ire of Molden Heath locals.
Eyewitness reports of the battle are confused and laced with fear of retaliation by the so called security contractors which have instituted an increasingly violent and draconian police regime after being pushed out of the Sahaal Elevator Autonomous Zone. Speaking on condition of anonymity, one eyewitness reported the following:
“I knew something was up as soon as I’d heard the tires squeeling. They parked three vehicles across the roadways and boxed in that Angel convoy and I knew it was about to turn nasty. I hit the ground as fast as I could and I’m glad I did because the shooting started a few seconds later. I saw a man and his daughter both go down at the next stall over, both sides were firing wildly and not paying attention to the crowds. Those mercenaries had rockets and they took out the angel escorts quick as you might and yanked that woman right out of her armored car with some sort of firefighting equipment. I thought they were gonna take her prisoner, they had her in cuffs and started to drag her away, but she said something and her eyes went empty and then one of them mercs just up and exploded, body parts going every which way, and they reacted real fast after that, put a bullet in her and then went round making sure the escorts was all dead. Then they gathered up all their dead and made out of there quick as you might.”
While the Angels did confirm that Palto did occupy a leadership role as a member of the Domination Angels, they declined to reveal her exact position or role within the criminal organization. Sources close to the cartel point towards her being involved in their cryptic Jovian Research Division, but this is consider fairly speculative. The RSS has put out a statement that anyone working with the Angels could be detained indefinitely without trial. This has only further inflamed local anger since many see accusations of cartel sympathies as a canard used to justify locking up protest leaders, silencing dissent, and attempting to create an atmosphere of fear on the desert planet.
The Skarkon Civil War continues with no end seen in sight as battles continue across Skardisaad and beyond and all the forces digging into the world seem to be committing to the long haul. Reporting from the Sahaal Elevator Autonomous Zone, I’m Jerindine Orindold and this is the Skarkon Station Free Press.