The Artuo system was one of several star systems clustered together that lay just beyond the reach of the extent of the Third Sphere of Expansion of the Tau Empire. These star systems are largely uninhabited, and have been under a slow but steady survey of the closest Sept worlds, Bork’an and Fal’shia, through their forward colonies. Largely these systems were being surveyed for future colonization and resource extraction, but they often were host to forward listening stations for early-warning defense.
Reports from observation drones indicated that several large objects had collided with the 4th planet in the Artuo system, a planet deemed unlikely for colonization. Whilst generally a quite sector, several survey teams have had recent encounters with tendrils of Hivefleet Kracken and Ork raiding parties. The events on Artuo IV could be indicative of a Tyranid bio-ship or a major Ork presence, but there were no survey teams present in that system. Being close to several nascent colonies, it was decided by the Etheral Council of Fal’shia to err on the side of caution and send a contingent from the Elan’tor colony to investigate rather than have a repeat of the Great War of Confederation.
The Ethereal Aun’o Bork’an Bentu volunteered her command, the Combined Bork’an nad Fel’shia Integration Systems Testing Contingent (known informally as COMBO FIST) which consists of five Fire Caste Contingents and an Air Caste Contingent to carry out the investigation. They were more than equipped to circumvent minor alien incursions into Tau space. Even if the events on Artuo IV were a natural occurrence, the environment alone there would yield valuable field testing data at the very least. After a brief preparation phase, the COMBO FIST Contingent deployed on the Lar’shi’vre Class Cruiser Unity with a course set for the Artuo System.