(Part 14/15) M31: First Blood
Posted By: Greg and Wes Foutch<firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: 13 January 2004, 10:46 PM
From the last installment:
Turk ran down the tunnel and entered the large room. "Tel, I'm going to extract you."
"But, I haven't got all the information from the database," she said. "Try to download it to your extra disk." T.K. pulled a disk from his pocket and slipped it into the mainframe. After a few seconds Tel reported, "Okay, I'm done. Yank me."
Turk extracted the A.I. and slid her in the slot in his own helmet. "Okay, Marines. Time to get topside, double time! Extraction is on the way."
"But what about that unopened crate?" Jenkins asked.
"It's probably the same as everything else. We're coming back for everything; we'll open it then."
"They're about five minutes away," Dalton said as they made it do the door. "They've activated the camouflage mode, and the Melee squadron is escorting them."
"Good. Jenkins," he sighed. "Jenkins, go get Williams; we're not leaving any of my men here. Dalton! Grab that alien s-o-b. A couple of the scientists on board will probably wet themselves at a chance to look at it." He sighed again, but showed a hint of a grin, which came from his mode of kill first, ask questions later. "Or what's left of it."
"Yes, sir!" they said together, failing to see the humor of what had just been said. They hastened to do as ordered.
Five minutes later, the Marines and one dead Dominian were heading back to the Santa Maria.
"Captain, we need to fix the Fuel Cell propulsion, and quickly. If they weren't mad now, we definitely pissed them off with our first encounter. If we try to get water into our ship, they'll hit us with everything they have." Turk was standing on the Bridge, explaining the situation to Russ.
"The engineers are working on it as we speak," the Captain said. "But we're going to need water in ten days, according to Tel, and I don't know if the engineers can fix it by then."
"And another thing; how are we going to get any water from the surface up to the Maria?" T.K. asked. "How'd they get it on in the first place? I mean, we started the journey with enough water to last six months; the Fuel Cell Propulsion hadn't even been activated, except for testing."
"We'll send the Pelicans in to collect it, escorted, of course, by Melee squadrons."
T.K. was shocked. "We have Pelicans on board?"
"Twelve." The Pelican was a large craft, one hundred meters long, fifty wide, and two hundred tall. Most of the two hundred meters was a giant empty tank, capable of holding a massive amount of liquid. They had special hoses attached to them for vacuuming the water from a lake. The Pelicans had been designed specially for the mission, just in case this exact situation came about. The folks at NASA/SEC thought of nearly every possibility.
"That's good. If at all possible, I would like to return to the outpost. There were crates full of old human weapons and ammo, as well as a few filled with alien technology. There was also one crate we didn't have the chance to open, but we assumed it would contain the same thing as the rest. I would like to retrieve them."
"Granted. Make the preparations; you can leave as soon as you're ready," Captain McAllister said.
"Thank you, Captain." T.K. turned and left, surprised the Captain agreed so readily. He was going to leave as soon as possible. First he had to choose two members to replace the dead Wallace Williams and the injured Mark Myers. He scanned his list of Marines and chose Private First Class Sammi Sonchez and Private Second Class Jack Johnson. After making sure they knew that they would be going on an away mission, he went of the weapons list. He needed to have his men armed to the bone.
After going to the Cargo bay, and making sure the supplies were transported to the Hanger and set out on a table, he went to his quarters to catch a few hours shut-eye for the operation.
Sorry for the really long delay on posting the M31: First Blood series. We moved at the beginning of this school year and now is the first time I've even thought of my story in 6 months. Actually, for a while, I could find it (I had it saved on a floppy disk instead of on the computer). Hopefully I should be able to keep the updates coming.
Two hours later, ten Marines were in the Hangar. Nine of them were standing at attention to Sergeant Major Turk Keller. "Men...and women," he added, nodding at Sammi Sonchez. She nodded a silent thanks. "We're going back to the outpost. Seven of you know what it's like. Sonchez and Johnson, you will know soon enough. Now select your weapons and get into the Osprey. We depart in ten."
The Marines stepped to a table loaded with guns, grenades, knives, and ammunition. Everyone but Johnson chose a HK666 Hellraiser and a MER18 Offensive Pistol, along with four grenades; a 30cm combat knife, and extra ammunition. Johnson chose a HVAPR21 Sniper's Rifle and a light assault weapon: the APR7 Battle Rifle, also known as the Armor Piercing Rounds 7.62mm Battle Rifle. He grabbed four grenades, a combat knife, and extra ammo and rushed to the Osprey. Each Marine was also equipped with night vision.
"Hit it," T.K. said to the pilot of the Osprey as he climbed in. The dropship roared to life and lifted off. The rear doors closed, making the craft airtight for the space journey. This time only five Melee fighters were escorting them. They lifted off after the dropship, activating the cloaking shields, as did the Osprey pilot.
"Jenkins, man the rear gun. Lord knows the Dominians will be waiting for us. Johnson, prepare your rifle, see if you can pick any off." The Osprey rumbled as it entered the planet's atmosphere. After a few more minutes of flight time the craft came to a stop, hovering fifty feet in the air above the outpost.
"They're in the brush, trying to ambush us," T.K. said. "Fire at will." Jenkins opened up with the rear-mounted tri-barreled 50mm chain gun. Small trees and shrubs were ripped apart in his search for targets. Johnson was laying flat on his stomach, looked through the scope. He found a target and fired. The Dominian dropped like a stone. He located another and another. Alien after alien dropped dead, one bullet hole through their skull.
"Touchdown! Go get 'em, Marines!" The ten soldiers jumped out of the Osprey, firing their weapons. Two aliens were killed, and three more were wounded.
"Get into the building! Once we clear the LZ of these bastards another Osprey's heading in to pick up the cargo." The Marines backed into the outpost, still firing at the Dominians. Dalton killed three of them and injured another. "You and you," T.K. pointed at Private Brown and Private Allen, "get down there and start sealing the crates."
"Yes, sir!" They shouldered their weapons and jogged down the tunnel into the darkness.
"The rest of you," he said as he slammed a new clip into his Hellraiser. "Let's get these s-o-bs." The Marines responded with a hearty yell and opened the door. All except Johnson and Jenkins move around the backside of the building.
Jenkins, once again, disabled the proximity sensors; it seems the Dominians repaired it. He pried the door about 30 centimeters, so he and Johnson could fire through it. Johnson moved back into the darkness and set up the tripod for his Sniper's Rifle. He activated the zoom and began his dirty work. Seven aliens died at his hand within thirty seconds. Only one shot in his clip had missed its target. As he reloaded, Jenkins stepped up and opened fire. He unloaded the full sixty round clip in a minute. He took out six aliens in his run, but seven would never walk again if they survived the encounter.
T.K. had split the group of six into two teams. They had move down the hill in order to come up behind the Dominians. It only took two minutes, as the hill was very small. "Tel," T.K said as they came behind the creatures. "How many are there?"
"Sensors are showing twenty alien life signs," came the female voice from his helmet.
"Twenty," he said over the radio, so everyone knew. "And I think I hear the Osprey coming in." Suddenly he had an idea. "Osprey 419?"
"Have your co-pilot man the rear-mounted chain gun."
"I'm no Marine," he heard the co-pilot argue.
"You don't have to be. Just aim and pull the trigger. You're bound to hit one or two of them. Right now even that would help."
"Okay," he said and crawled into the cargo bay of the Osprey, behind the chain gun.
"Sergeant?" the pilot said. "I'm picking up six alien aircraft on the way. ETA: thirty seconds." In the distance, over the fighting, jet engines could be heard.
"We're on it," Senior Airman Richard Turner said. "Come on, let's take 'em." Five Melee fighters left their positions and set and intercept course for the fighters. Rat shot down one with a long-range plasma torpedo. Two flew right in front of his fighter. "Poor dumb bastards," Rat said, grinning wickedly. He pulled the double triggers and the 50mm chin gun opened up, ripping through both fighters. One exploded, while the other spiraled out of control.
Twenty-two point seven seconds later the threat was neutralized, and the Melee fighters returned to their positions. "We've taken care of it," Rat informed.
"Copy that," T.K. acknowledged. He turned back to his squad. "Let's take these guys out." Each of the six marines tossed a grenade into the unsuspecting alien troops. Still firing at the Jenkins and Johnson inside the outpost, no one noticed the grenades. Simultaneously they exploded, cutting the group down to eight; each grenade had taken two lives.
Each marine, including the two inside the structure, took a target and fired. The remaining aliens died within a tenth of second of each other. "419? Drop zone is clear," Keller said. "Brown, Allen?" he said over the team frequency. "Are you almost ready."
"Sir, yes sir!" Brown replied. We just need some hands to help get these crates topside."
"We're on the way. Sonchez, Jenkins. You've got guard duty," he ordered. "The rest of you; the crates await." Leaving Sonchez and Jenkins outside, the marines headed into the darkness.