Tuesday, December 24, 2013

+++Librian transmitting station Charro relay+++

+++Broadcast on all frequencies+++

People of the Libria system,

We have learned of heretical activity in your sector. The Emperor does not look kindly on your trade with the xenos filth.

Cease all contact with the enemy. Slay any that are in your midst. Deliver the heads of all conspirators and you may yet live.

Failure to comply with this decree will result in severe punishment.

You have until the dawn of the new terran year.

I am Boagrius, Master of the Carcharodons Astra, Bringer of the Emperor's Judgement, Reaper of Fallen Souls.

Fear and Death comes for you. 

Intercepted imperial transmission...

+++Date: LCL.1812.013M42
+++Monitoring Station: Hectorus Alpha
+++Astropath: Keben Alrayiah
+++Security Clearance: Extremis Ultra
+++Ref: Sec.Al.Sub. Zc.724vf.LBr.HRSY
+++Recieved: Inquisitor Lord Natalia Vorushko
+++Subject: Anomalous Imperial Tithe Libria
+++Thought for the day: Blind Faith is a just cause
+++My Lord,

For several weeks I have continued the most holy but labourious task of monitoring the Imperial tithe following your instruction. Despite resistance from the local administratum, who employed much obfuscation and other methods of concealment, eventually I managed to uncover accurate figures for the Librian tithe over the last twelve standard Terran month.

During the year 013M42 there has been no discernable drop in output from Librian manufactorums. The imperial tithe of guard regiments has been maintained, and arms manufacture contracts have similarly been met, greatly contributing to the imperial war effort. In addition there has been no significant drop in output in any sector of the Librian economy.

While the above may appear laudible given recent challenges faces by the system, it is anomalous. Libria has been a key importer from Tyranteous, Zadoc and other imperial worlds in the subsector for many millenia. In addition the system imports vast quantities of raw materials and goods from other parts of the segmentum, sitting as it does at the nexus of warp lanes in the subsector.

Over the last five standard terran years the imports by Libria have steadily fallen due to the deterioration of the imperial position in the Zadoc subsector. The loss of Tarsis Major in particular has seen a dramatic reduction in freight reaching the Librian system, as vessels from the rest of the sector must now brave the upper Perseus Deeps from Farport.

Since the beginning of the wars of Tyranteous and Zadoc, imports have fallen to less than fifteen percent of their pre-war levels, yet the manufactorum output has remained steady during this decline. Despite assurances from the administratum in the system that they were utilising reserves and stock piles, I have since discovered no such stock piles exist.

There can be only one conclusion. The Librian system is importing raw materials and goods from non-imperial sources. It is therefore engaged in heretical activity. I recommend further monitoring of system traffic including the siezure of cargo vessels and a thorough examination of their manifests. Once heresy is found, we must take swift action against those responsible.

This will clearly result in hardships for the population of Libria. Monitoring of the faith of this system should also be monitored for signs of deviancy.+++ 

Carcharadons strike fear into their own

Since the arrival of the Carcharadon Astra chapter in the Zadoc subsector, their leaders had not communicated very much, if at all, with the commanders of the imperial forces on Zadoc. They had aided imperial forces in a number of battles, but in the main they kept their own counsel, their strike cruisers staying at the endge of the Zadoc system like prowling beasts. Communication between the other chapters and the "space sharks" was also minimul, and when they did strike in battle, their arrival was swift, their tactics brutal.

At the end of 013M42 two alarming encounters with the Carcharadons struck fear into the imperial commanders on Zadoc. First, it was rumoured that the secretive chapter had actually challanged the Apocalypse Riders to an honour duel, a staged battle between two chapters which ran contrary to the Codex Astartes, and was only practiced by the most violent chapters. Details were scarce, but apparently the two astartes had selected forces and clashed on an uninhabited planetoid in the outer reaches of the Zadoc system, with the Carcharadons claiming victory. The rumours were backed up by reports that since the "duel" the Apocalypse Riders had been seen in close formation with the Carcharadons' fleet, indicating that the younger chapter had now become part of the older force's "inner circle". The Apocalypse Riders were certainly the only force seen to have real contact with the new arrivals before the end of the year.

The second encounter was no rumour. Without warning the Carcharadons fell upon the Corellian Storm Guard following their retreat from the tau and defeat at Todetto. After overcoming the initial shock, the imperial guard forces fought hard to fend off the attacking astartes, but were outclassed. By the end of 1812.013M42 an entire company of Corellians had been wiped out, and any who surrendered were put to the sword. General Brooke demanded an explanation and in a rare communication from the Carcharadons he was simply told that "failure will no longer be tolerated".

Furious, Wavell ordered that the Carcharadons be excommunicated and hunted down, and appealed to the other chapters in the Zadoc theatre for aid. None were willing to go after one of their own, and late on 2312.013M42 a hooded figure was seen to take the General to one side. After this encounter General Wavell rescinded all orders pertaining to the Carcharadons, signaling that the actions against the Corellians had been deemed "appropriate" by higher authority...

Da Verminator defeated at Hylas

With the ongoing defeats on Zadoc concentrating the minds of sector command, there was little in the way of reinforcement which could be offered to General Van Dorn on Hylas, who's war against the ork was now becoming an epic struggle, sidelined by the more dramatic and strategically important wars on Tyranteous and Zadoc. The imperial fleet had just committed its main force to Zadoc, and was unable to do anything about the ork fleets now swarming around the imperial planet. Fortunately for Van Dorn other help was at hand at the end of 013M42.

The presence of Da Verminator's fleet around Hylas provoked the intervention of the Adeptus Mechanicus. They already had troops on the ground helping the war effort since their excavations of the ruins underneath mount Flynn (and their possible alien technology) were far from complete. The Mechanicus had a vested interest in keeping the world imperial so not only had they responded to calls for aid by sector command, they now pro-actively engaged the greenskin menace ravaging the world.

The ork fleet around Hylas was sizeable, but the Mechanicus took the opportunity to ambush Da Verminator before he reached the inner biosphere. The imperial vessels confidently approached their enemy, and the orks, true to form, accepted the challenge with glee. However the greenskin vessels, though numerous, were no match for the Mechanicus fleet, and within a few hours the ork warlord's vessles had mostly been reduced to scrap metal (though with some ships it was hard to tell the difference).

The fleet of the Omnissiah was unable to remain in the Hylas system, and left before the lumbering ork hulk and her escorts in orbit around Hylas was able to react. The ork blockade of Hylas had not been broken, but the battle had given Van Dorn's men a respite from constant bombardment and had interupted the constant reinforcement of the aliens on the ground.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Zadoc reversals continue for Imperium

As 013M42 drew to a close, general Wavell was no more successful in stopping the rot on Zadoc than his predecessor. He did however request more in the way of reinforcements as it was becoming clear the eldar deployment in the alliance sector was significant, and the arrival of tau forces from Tyranteous shifted the balance of power even more in the favour of the alliance. To counter this the Iron Warriors had also increased their deployments, both by mass enslavement of the populace within the chaos zone, use of the daemonforge and resupply via the vast traitor fleets which had descended on the system.

Titus Luthor agreed to the reinforcement of Wavell's armies. He managed to secure the use of a new imperial navy battlegroup, commanded by Admiral Pendragon, which was dispatched to the system on 0612.013M42, arriving in good order on 1612.013M42. Meanwhile on the ground Wavell waited, his army set in defensive positions across the imperial held territory of the world.

On 1112.013M42 the alliance launched a much expected advance into the low lying west coast of Foregi, heading towards Todetto and the Tucciomua sea. The force was largely composed of eldar forces, with support from the tau commander Lightspear, employing large units of wraithguard and Wraithknight walkers. The Corellians facing them were well equipped however, and for the first time they deployed their much feared Stormsword superheavy tanks.

The massive war engines posed a severe threat to Lightspear and his eldar allies, but he had forewarning. The alliance had seen the massive war engines being deployed from orbit, and knew well their capabilities. Tau shielding technology was therefore used by the alliance army, and these forcefields provided much needed protection from the massive shells fired at them by the Corellians. Even so the tau took heavy casualties, but Lightspear's elite crisis suits managed to drop behind the Corellian lines using the tau superiority in the air. Almost all these deep insertion teams were massacred, but the super heavy vehicles were all knocked out of action or destroyed. Late intervention by imperial navy Vendettas caused some concern, but after a fierce and costly battle the Corellian line was breached in several places and Wavell ordered a retreat. The fighting continued but Todetto fell on 1812.013M42.

In the north the Darantine regiments had been largely moved to garisson duty following their losses in recent defeats to the alliance. One regiment had been posted to sentry duty on Anorigo, and these were the first troops to feel the full wrath of the new Iron Warrior offensive.

Supported by daemonic war engines and led by a mighty daemon prince of chaos, the Iron Warriors fell upon the northern isles catching the imperial forces completely by surprise. The Darantine regiments attempted to put up a defence, but with their backs to the sea they were hard pressed by a force whose component parts arrived in total synchronicity, while their own reserves arrived piecemeal. The chaos army simply cut up the imperial forces into smaller chunks, annihilating each one in turn. By the time Toddetto was falling to the tau, Anorigo's capital Andiselie, had fallen to the forces of damnation and the Darantine forces were atempting to cross the Peran straits to Foregi. Some forces made the crossing, but they were closely followed by the Iron Warriors. By the end of the year the chaos force had taken the northern isles and established a strong beachhead in the north of Foregi.

While the imperium continued a seemingly never-ending retreat on the ground, in the space above and around the capital of the subsector, the Imperial fleet of Admiral Pendragon had arrived. The force of one battleship and five cruisers was immediately challenged by a similar force of chaos warships, part of Lord Tragaen's fleet. In the ensuing action, neither side attempted any subtle tactics, and both forces simply closed on each other all guns blazing. The result was predictable, with neither force able to claim victory. Pendragon lost one cruiser, and had three more badly damaged, the chaos gunners proving particularly adept at aiming at the enemy vessels' bridge, killing the captain and senior staff. This posed difficulties for Pendragon in the latter stages of the battle, as his vessels proved less and less responsive to his orders.

Tragaen's fleet also took heavy damage, despite losing no ships. All but one of the chaos lord's vessels were badly mauled, and Tragaen was obliged to dispatch nearly half his fleet at Zadoc back to base for repairs. In that at least Pendragon had scored a victory. However with only two undamaged vessels, the imperial admiral was unable to break up the tau fleet now resupplying Zadoc, and for now the strategic initiative in space rested with the alliance.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Corsair Eldar smashed by Librian Guard. South road is retaken

The Imperium recieved some good news in 12.013M42 in the Perseus Deeps. While sector Lord Titus Luthor was given nothing but news of defeats by General Montgomery, overall commander of the Zadoc subsector, his subordinate General Veers was having more success.

The eldar counter invasion of Corticant, where Veers' men were already in a protracted war against the necrons, took the Imperium by surprise. However despite the aliens' recent games Veers responded with a robust counter attack in mid 12.013M42. While digging in on the western front against the necrons, he went on the offensive against the eldar, sending in two regiments of Librian Guard down the south road.

The eldar responded to the incursion, with Corsair eldar leading the charge. The Librians found their enemy to be determined, but pressed forward in the face of mounting infantry casualties. The eldar themselves had issues with the Librians' heavy armour, and Leman Russ backed up by basilisk artillery and veteran squads mounted in chimeras, broke the back of the eldar resistance. Casualties amongst the regular infantry were heavy, but acceptable. Unable to match the imperium's willingness to trade losses, the eldar abandoned their positions on the south road, pushing the front line back some three hundred kilometers by the end of the year.

Sunday, December 08, 2013

Sector roundup 0812_013M42

Bastien: Tyranids held back by Imperial forces

During the first half of 12.013M42 the tyranid menace once again showed its hand on the planet of Bastien. It became apparent that the infestation was centred on the mountains around Lacunis, and to the north of Liberatia, north of the capital Sanctum Nova. General Veers ordered a concentrated attack in this area, and managed to assign a formidable force to the operation. Librian regiments, backed by baneblades, as well as a sizeable Darantine contingent, were joined by raiding forces of the Carcharadons and Apocalypse Riders. They pledged their aid, intending to flush the aliens out of their brooding areas and into the guns of the waiting Imperial Guard.

North of Liberatia the Darantine Guard was soon ambushed by the tyranids, and the imperial force suffered heavy losses even before they reached their designated objectives. Worse was to follow as the Carcharadons raid soon faced heavier than anticipated resistance. The astartes put up a dogged defence as hordes of aliens poured out of the warren like terrain of northern Bastien, but by 1212.013M42 the northern mountains had to be abandoned, the region cordoned off and declared perdita.

In the Lacunis mountains the imperial operation progressed far more smoothly. The Apocalypse riders attacked the tyranids in the rough ground and soon stirred them into action, again rather more aggressively than they had bargained for. The Riders prooved a difficult prey for the aliens however, and managed to extract themselves from the mountains having inflicted serious damage on the tyranid horde. Then they ran east towards the plains of Liberatia, the creatures of Nemesis hard on their heels.

Once in the plains the Apocalpyse Riders retreated behind the Librian guard in a pre-planned operation. The Librians then waited behind their defence lines until the alien hordes appeared. Supported by heavy tanks, basilisk artillery and Baneblade super heavy tanks, the imperial line held even as the burrowing creatures of Nemesis appeared within their own ranks. The Librians had seen this before and were waiting for it, and as soon as the giant creatures erupted from the earth the Librian general sent in his reserves. Chimeras packed with plasma and melta weilding veterans made short work of the alien monsters, and once the larger beasts were felled, it was simply a case of mopping up. In Lacunis at least the tyranid threat had been eradicated.

Zadoc: Tau relentless advance

Following on from the losses on Foregi, the Imperium continued to retreat as 12.013M42 progressed. Once again Windgather's tau-eldar alliance was at the forefront of the tau advances, and the commander was becoming a significant hero in the Empire. For over a year he had enjoyed nothing but success, and his triumphs now put Shadowstrike's in the shade. However for the greater good, the alliance continued to use his forces as they battled on against the imperium.

On the chaos front the tau remained quiet, launching no offensives as they forged ahead against the imperium. The chaos forces too showed no interest in trying to defeat the alliance invasion, much to the vexation of general Brooke's successor, General Wavell. On 0712.013M42 the imperial front line reached Biordeosta, where imperial resistance stiffened, and for a while the tau advance was halted as they realised that a shadowsword was deployed in the outskirts of the city.

Windgather called on his elite units to counter this threat, and then advanced on the settlement, the largest on the continent. Eldar fire dragons were sent in on a near suicidal mission, while the rest of the alliance formation kept the imperial army at bay. The attack immediately resulted in serious imperial losses, as tanks and infantry were cut down by murderous tau firepower. The shadowsword proved to be hit and miss, firing widly inaccurate volleys before annihilating a mighty eldar wraithknight in one shot. Sensibly the tau riptides kept their distance, and only the eldar, in wave serpents or on jetbikes, proved brave enough to weather the storm of fire from the leviathan.

The jetbikes suffered intensely, and imperial tanks felled the central counter assault by eldar mechanised infantry. However the fire dragons weathered the imperial fire, advancing through the ruins of the west of the city, before unleashing concentrated melta fire. Sustained melta fire eventually overcame the shadowsword's armour, reducing the super heavy tank to ruined and twisted metal. A few guardsmen managed to get their revenge, but the fire dragons managed to complete their mission largely unscathed. The shadowsword felled, the tau felt able to advance once more, deep striking crisis suits taking out the centre of the line while the rest of Windgather's army now approached to deadly short range.

By 1012.013 Biordeosta had fallen and the tau advance was underway again. A second thrust of Windgather's forces simultaneously pushed south through the rugged terrain south of Monte Cressino towards Pereggor. The Apocalypse Riders attempted to intervene as the alliance force wound its way through the mountain passes, but despite concentrated fire obliterating a Wraithknight in the first moments of the engagement, the astartes force once again struggled against the enemy.

The Apocalypse Riders, now joined by Issodon, sprung an ambush on the tau-eldar alliance, giving them serious cause for concern. Fierce firepower was shrugged off by the astartes command squad, but elsewhere concentrated last ditch defensive fire kept the astartes at bay, just barely, while the eldar portion of the force took the fight to the imperial force. The chaotic encounter saw all concept of a front line disappear, as the tau held off outflanking forces while further south the eldar engaged in their own private battle with the marine rear, including Lias Issodon himself, who stood back trying to co-ordinate what had become a chaortic battle.

In the end however the alliance force shook off the astartes ambush and were able to draw up more forces from the north. The Riders withdrew, having given the allied force a bloody nose, particularly the eldar who had certainly come off worse than their tau comrades during the fight. Their sacrifice had bought the tau time to unleash their superior firepower, overwhleming the small astartes force, and allowing Windgather's army to start advancing once again. The imperium retreated once again, losing Perregor in the south by 1512.013M42.

Dark eldar activity plagues Vastrid subsector

In late 013M42 the activity of the newest Dark Eldar faction, the Kabal of the Venom Drake in the Vastrid subsector came to the attention of the Imperium and specifically the inquisition. The agents of the Emperor began to shadow the aliens, where they could, but by the end of the year they had still not managed to find their base, and were entirely ignorant of the existance of Slaughterpoint station so close to strategically vital resources.

The Inquisition did find out however that the Dark Eldar planned a strike on Imperial controlled Glossop V. They found out the time of the attack, and informed the Carcharadons operating in the sector. The astartes relished this news and immediately sent a force to Glossop V to intercept the alien incursion. The mission was a success, as the delivery of the Dark Eldar leader's head to the inquisition ably demonstrated.

At the same time the Venom Drake kabal also launched a raid on their neighbours on Drift, which they blythely assumed was a rival base belonging to the Shattered Silence. The new arrivals failed to understand the corporate nature of their enemy, or their relationship with the alliance and the Rillietan. It therefore came as quite a shock when they found Drift heavily fortified and ready for an attack, defended by their eldar brethren. The raiding force was all but wiped out and left the leader of the Venom Drake kabal both fuming and confused.

Thursday, December 05, 2013

Zadoc offensive: Northern front

On the northern flank the tau-eldar alliance were concerned with pushing as far north as they could, as quickly as possible. The city of Antolovi, in the central plains of Foregi was a strategically vital location neither side could afford to lose. Knowing this, the eldar proposed to utilise their own eldritch forces to their advantage, and in the crucial battle of Antolovi in the hours to come, an unnatural darkness pervaded the battlefield, aiding the technologically advanced tau and hindering the imperium.

The Alliances forces attacked aggressively from the start, Eldar forces pouring into the city and capturing the strategically vital central plaza from the outset. The Tau advanced around the edge of the city, their railguns and broadsides covering the more open ground there and their disruption fields making them all but invisible in the blackness. Eldar waveserpents followed close behind, supporting their advance. A series of EMP missile strikes caused disruption to the imperial side, knocking out tanks escorting the superheavies but the baneblades themselves were too well shielded. Meanwhile a sudden tempest engulfed the Marines holding the foremost trenchworks killing some of their number in the eldritch electrical storm. The Luginia refinery on the left of the Imperial line was also attacked and occupied by Stealth teams who overcame the meagre forces holding it.

The Imperium then counter attacked in force, as they had been expecting the alliance to assault Antolovi. A massive alpha strike was launched against the Tau forces advancing through the city outskirts. In a carefully pre-orchestrated ambush drop pods rained down amidst the tau lines supported by flights of land speeders. They caused significant damage to the tau but failed to annihilate them as planned. However the Tau offensive ground to a halt as intense fighting erupted in the centre of the city. The Marines of the Raven Guard chapter sustained exceptionally heavy casualties with only a few small pockets left fighting by the end of the first day, but they succeeded in sapping the tau advance of all momentum and preventing them from advancing on their objectives. Meanwhile Carcharodon scouts backed up by Imperial Guard tanks recaptured the refinery, wiping out the Stealth teams occupying it. They then successfully held it against a counter attack by Kroot infiltrators and Eldar walkers.

It was in the central plaza that the battle for Antolovi and the central Foregi plains was decided. A massive air strike was launched by the Carcharadons which immediately ran into a storm of anti-aircraft fire and enemy interceptors. In a swirling dogfight almost all of the space marine attack craft were shot down and their occupants killed as they tried to extricate themselves from the wreckage. In a final last ditch effort to remove the alliance forces from the objectives they had secured, the Imperial guard unleashed a cataclysmic bombardment, indiscriminately carpeting the entire area in a hail of explosive shells and weapons fire as airborne forces moved in to recapture what was left. When the bombardment lifted the Imperial commander saw that, incredibly, most of the enemy forces appeared intact and ready to fight. Realising the battle was lost the airborne attack was called off the the Imperial forces retreated in good order to the north.

With Antolovi lost to the alliance, holding on to Chettalo was also impossible. The mobile alliance forces hounded the imperial retreat, ensuring that they were only able to regroup by 0512.013M42, surrendering much of the Foregi plains to the tau. Now the alliance had a secure foothold on Zadoc, and held the initiative. Chaos would need to be dealt with, but for now the intervention of the eldar had accelerated the tau invasion, although a complete collapse of the imperial line had not come about.

Tuesday, December 03, 2013

Zadoc offensive: The Southern Flank & Monte Cressino

In the south Brooke himself led from the front, an unfortunate decision which quickly led to his demise thanks to accurate Wave Serpent fire early on in the battle. Nevertheless the Imperial guard infantry marched confidently forward behind their smoke screen, supported by battle tanks and the space marines. Bravely over a million men faced off against titans and wraithknights, making their way over battle scarred ruins towards the enemy. And then the slaughter began.

The southern flank was marked by the level of slaughter. The Space Wolves became the focus of the eldar firepower, and on the imperial left flank where they were deployed in strength, the alliance advance was cripplingly slow, as the aliens focussed on the destruction of this dangerous force. On the imperial right flank the alliance made some progress, moving forward deliberately and carefully, refusing to act rashly and mopping up the imperial forces as they were hurled against their advance.

The imperial forces wavered briefly after Brookes' death, and the counter assault to be led by the astartes never materialised. Instead the left flank of the isthmus was simply picked apart by a mass of wraithknights, leading to the demise of the wolves, the loss of nearly all the Librian infantry and the capture of Logan Grimnar. This focussing of force did however delay the eldar, who spent far to much time getting to grips with the fortress of Monte Cressino itself. This left Skyfall's deep strike behind enemy lines unsupported and on their own, and despite causing significant damage, even destroying a Shadowsword super heavy tank, the tau crisis suits soon found themselves the focus of Brookes' reserves, and were wiped out.

Eventually the eldar did move forward into the Isthmus and towards the fortress itself. In the battle for Monte Cressino the great structure was torn apart by massive weapons, with only the central tower surviving. The Novgorod regiments, assigned to defend the centre, were torn apart, losing their high command in the process, while shadowsword heavy tanks failed to deal with the titan threats. Two revenants were eventually destroyed by massed imperial artillery fire and heavy weapons batteries, but the third remained and dealt with the rest of the defenders of the fortress. Brookes' forces retreated into Mascata, abandoning the fortress, allowing the tau to follow up and make good the eldar gains.

The tau had not made overwhelming gains in the south as they had hoped, but the eldar had got what they wanted. Quietly and without ceremony they retreated from the front on 0312.013M42, leaving nothing of the fortess behind them.

Zadoc: Major Tau offensive

The planned Tau offensive against the Imperium began towards the end of 11.013M42. As expected by their imperial opponents, the eldar had joined the tau in force, apparently extending their alliance beyond the Perseus Deeps and into the Zadoc subsector. It was a large deployment in Alliance terms, with the tau massing their forces in the north, aiming to breakout of their narrow bridgehead around Guion. Primary objectives for the offensive were set as the cities and Antolovi, and Commander Shadowstrike was given overall command. With him the forces of Commander Moonshine were joined, with some tension, by Corsair eldar and Dark Eldar forces of the shattered silence. The tau welcomed their support, although the animosity between the eldar and their dark kin was evident.

The alliance also requested a second thrust, to the south towards the imperial fortress of Monte Cressino, lying on the flat plains of Foregi on the isthmus with Mascata. Here the imperium would prepare a strong defence, so the eldar committed their largest assets to this flank, including a large number of Wraithknights and three Reventant Titans. On the southern flank the armies of Windgather and Skyfall joined their eldar allies, although in reality the eldar controlled this portion of the offensive.

The Imperium under Brooke had amassed significant defences following resupply. In the south the Librian and Novgorod Guard regiments were joined by the Darantine 97th, 98th and 110th regiments, with the Space Wolves committing their strength to the defence of the fortress, led by Logan Grimnar himself. In the north the main strike force was organised, with elite Mechanicus formations joined by Corellian guard forces, the Raven Guard 5th company and the Carcharadons, who had not even bothered to talk to Brooke of their plans. This formidable force was supported by the 64th Naval tactical wing, and on both fronts Brooke intended to bring the fight to the enemy, forcing them to commit to a war of attrition he knew they would be trying to avoid.