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(Part 12) M31: First Blood
Posted By: Greg and Wes Foutch
Date: 31 July 2003, 11:29 PM

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Hours later, they found themselves entering a large rectangular room. Along the sides were crates made of the same blue metal as the outside of the structure. Along one wall was a large computer console. It was covered with buttons. "What the hell are those?" Private Jones asked, pointing to one of the crates.

"Beats me," Private First Class Jake Dade answered.

"Rip one open," T.K. said. Jake and Jones hastened to do as told. Jake reached for his belt and unsheathed his 30cm, Titanium A combat knife. He jammed it into the top and pried off the top. He kicked it aside and looked inside. "Holy shit," he said in a very audible whisper. Each Marine moved a bit closer to get a glance, but they were careful to keep their eyes on the dark corners.

"What is it, soldier?" T.K. said as he walked over. He looked inside and was just as shocked; the whole crate was filled with Human assault weapons. "Those weapons are standard Marine issue weapons from nearly 15 years ago. I should know; this one," he picked up an HK660 Battle Rifle, "has saved my life many times." He glanced around. "You three," he pointed to Private Jones, Private Dalton, and Private Myers "get back to the exit, secure the perimeter. They might know we're here. You two," he pointed to Private Dade and Private Jenkins, "secure this room, make sure nothing's hiding in here. The rest of you, tear the remaining crates open. I'm going to check that computer."

He walked over to the console and whispered into his mic, "I said I'm going to, but Tel, actually you're going to. I don't the slightest clue." Tel had the ability to transfer herself from the ship's mainframe to any U.S. Marine computer, so long as they were connected. In his helmet, T.K. had a special RAM drive for her, with a chip for her to be uploaded onto. He also had a miniature screen that flipped down over his left eye, so she could show him vital information.

"Upload me into the mainframe, I've already checked with the Captain. They can manage without me while you're down on the ground." T.K. pulled the chip from his helmet and put it in the only slot that looked acceptable in the mainframe. Instantly the screens came to life, and the lights in the room lit up.

"Haha, that's better!" someone said.

"Well?" T.K. asked.

"Give me a few minutes," she said. Her face had appeared on one of the screens. T.K. nodded and went to check on the men opening the crates.

"We've found three more filled with old weapons," Private Abbot said. "We've also found two filled with ammunition for the weapons. Three have been found with the same sort of weapons we saw used up there. This is the only one unopened."

"Well, hurry up." T.K. said.

"Yes, sir!" Abbot said and started to open it up. But before he got the chance they were interrupted.

"Contact! Lot's of contacts! We're outnumbered ten to one!" The voice came over all of their helmet radios.

"C'mon, let's move!" T.K. shouted. He pointed to Abbot and Jenkins. "You two stay here, protect that mainframe; Tel's still in there!"

"Yes, sir!" the Marines chorused. Four Marines raced out of the room, trying to help their comrades. "Hold on, Marines! We're on our way."

Up top, the three Marines had their backs to the building, rifles raised. Thirty aliens had plasma weapons leveled at their heads. One rather large one, dressed in dull gray armor, said something in his alien tongue. It was about four meters tall, with small cat-like eyes. It had sharp, jagged claws, and its exposed skin was a pale red color.

"I can't understand you," Private Dalton said. He pointed and the alien, then to his mouth, and shook his head. Just then T.K. and the three Marines burst from the door. Jake raised his HK666 Hellraiser Battle Rifle and leveled at one creature's head.

"No!" Dalton said. "They're not shooting."

"Lower your weapon, soldier," T.K. said. Jake lowered his Battle Rifle to his hip. However, it was still pointed squarely at the alien's head. T.K. did not contradict this move.

"They're trying to communicate, but I don't know what they're saying."

"Well, it's our job to figure it out. Private Abbot!" He was speaking into his mic. "Get Tel to try and translate this. They're trying to talk to us, but we can't understand it. I'll keep this one so she can hear what they say."

"Copy that," Jenkins said.

"I'll try my best," Tel said over the radio.

"How?" T.K. began.

"There's a radio in this mainframe," she said before he had a chance to finish his question. The alien began speaking; he seemed angry.

"It seems that he is angry that you killed one of his men."

"Your man fired the first shots!" T.K exclaimed. He pointed at the dead alien on the ground and made a shooting motion. He then pointed to Private Williams, laying ten feet away on the ground.

The alien started talking again.

"He says this is their planet and we don't belong here. He has been sent to destroy us." As soon as she finished, the alien raised his weapon and pulled the trigger.

Heh! You don't know what's going to happen! Any guesses as to what was in the unopened crate?