Star Date Post Event Time Line: 3259.0710
Location: Auron Galaxy
“Since when was it the job of the United Space Marine Expeditionary Command (USMEC) to conduct policing actions and chase Mercenaries? Growled Colonel Greystain, a half chewed cigar hanging grimly from one corner of his mouth.
The cigar was a fine Cubano from Earth state franchise New Cuba, one of the earliest and most successful colonization sectors post Event.
Despite the fact that smoking could no longer kill you, well not much could really that was grown, or manufactured any more MedTech saw to that. But if anything could these would. They had real carcinogens in them. They tasted fantastic. Greystain had smoked them for 87 years and he was not going to give up the habit over a little thing like cancer.
This was just one of the anachronisms that made Greystain the darling of the troops. He ran a tight ship but he ran it fair and could still out fight any man or woman in the Regiment even at 127 Prime years of age.
“Well son dam it I’m sorry to be sending you on such a piece of shit mission as your first live action. This is shit that BlackwaterZ should be taking care of. Ever since those bastards were bought by the Old Texas Space corporation post Event they have run amok playing politics and interfering in Interstellar affairs. However orders are orders. ” He paused.
“Pull a team, a scientist and get your ass down to Xargon IV and check in on the Research center, nary a peep from them for nearly 2 months. We know what you will find, once you are done bagging and tagging go kick some ass then sweep the place for information.” Jugger snapped to attention “Aye Aye.” He moved smartly down the hall from the XO’s office. He hit the transporter at a dead run and punched his comms unit. “Durge get us a team we are landfall ASAP.” He sent his NCO recommended configs for resources and personnel – An Assault Team, Close Combat, Shotgun and Demo expert.
Plus that hot as balls Scientist. She could review the Laboratories for research tampering, theft and results gathering once we body bagged everyone. He would watch. She was such a beautiful tease.
What a stiff mission.! Cleaning up dead neuron pumpers and collecting evidence against rogue Black WaterZ Mercs. He wanted his first mission to be busting up a Hive. Not chasing these red skinned pricks.
A planet rotation cycle later they had landed and spent the equivalent a day and a half Standard Time searching thru what could only be described as mayhem in the sprawling research complex. Clearly no one was here, or if they were they were dead. But there was a shit load of clean up and tech work to be done.
The Marines bagged and tagged bodies of civilians and fellow armed services and strangely BWZ security forces alike. They had 2 isolated buildings left to run thru.
Once Meico the scientist was ready they headed over to building 1&2. Nobody made a Sci Scan Suit so hot as she did. Shame she played for the other team, Jugger shook his head. He had no luck with women, less so with Meico.
The buildings were numbered separately, from all the others that was strange, but then again he had not built the Xargon IV base 50 years ago to research mineral and energy sources.
He tapped helmet comms “Ok, listen up, its literally dead here…..but lets stay sharp, we are USMEC not Mercs. Durge set up a scout formation for me.” The men stopped talking and settle into business mode.
Meico had her head in a flexpanel, corresponding with her girlfriend on board. Jugger wondered what scientists talked about at night. They hit the entrance and sector searched the ground floor and basement.
The first lab was empty. But tidy. Nothing was disturbed compared the rest of the base.
Meiko, went to leave, and Jugger pulled her up short, “hey neuron banger – you need to cycle all the systems we will wait.” He said.
“ But why?” she retorted “Nothing has been touched. Every other building was trashed.”
“Sugar, just do your job, I’ll do mine” He said. “ Gentlemen cover the Lab entrances.”
A ceiling conduit scrapped overhead, and the entire squad swung arms at port. That distraction allowed 2 Redskins to enter the lab from the far side. Their weapons were blazing ineffectually on the move as they entered. One thing about the BlackWaterZ (BWZ) was they ran with heavy caliber, high rate of fire weaponry.
But their tactics were lazy, relying on brute force versus precision. Fire sprayed all thru the Lab. Meico and the demo expert Anders took cover.
Specialist Tontein cracked off both barrels of his shotgun, to deadly effect. Fletchettes raped the advancing Redskin, tearing thru his light armour, helmet and splattered blood everywhere. The gas powered ARMAII SG was a silent, deadly close quarters weapon. Over under barrels fired a variety of munitions. None more effective than the honed aluminum fletchettes that not unlike an Ancient Roman Pila bent and warped on impact tearing, churning and ripping as it embedded it self in the flesh, or tore thru it.
The AT team laid down discrete bursts of fire to pin the remaining Redskin. The Close Quarters team under direction from Durge flanked and a well placed round downed the last combatant.
Meanwhile Jugger watched the ceiling and other entrances.
Lab 1 was secure and clear, but only after downloading intelligence and crypto services from Orbital. The ceiling noise was still unresolved.
They headed towards lab 2. The level of anticipation had kicked up a notch. Most of the CC team were slapping backs on a tight response well done and popping mini stims. Jugger shut them down. “ Hey you guys. Good job. But really this is my first live fire mission. Let stay tight, I wanna bring you all home alive.”
The response was visceral they shut it down, then switched to private channel chat and laughed their asses off at the noobie.
At cross passageway they were ambushed again. Jugger was concerned. Why were these Mercs still here and what in these Labs? Meicos data capture showed nothing that they could put down as valuable. He didn’t know what to report to Orbital.
3 Redskins had established a strong covering position with crossfires into the team.
2 Redskins manned a heavy beam based weapon. The Close Assault team swung into action on the heavy weapon. A ‘nade was released and stunned the HW crew. One member of the CC team took severe damage to his combat suit, temporarily removing him from the firefight.
Flechettes maimed the solo combatant who was firing massive rounds at the ambushed Marines. The Redskin wore a protective suit that amputated and medicated where combat suit punctures occurred on extremities. His arm from the elbow down lay at his feet. He was in shock but kept firing randomly, clearly stimmed up.
Tontein spun on the heavy crew whilst they were pinned, rushing them under sustained covering fire from the AT.
Using a combination of nerve agents and fletchette rounds he single handedly killed the remaining ‘skins.
Armor saves the day.
Jugger consulted with Meico. The way ahead was blocked. Reinforced doors were locked and fused closed. Someone really did not want them in Lab 2.
“Order those teams back the way we came” Jugger told Durge.
At the entrance to Lab 2, Meico required further assist from Orbital.
Intent on no further ambushes the men hit the lab aggressively and cleared the area. Then locked all unused entrances.
Still the data sets from this Lab had no immediate correlation to any thing that Meico could see. She transmitted to Oribtal for analysis and comparison with Lab 1. Crossing to Lab 3 was a challenge, they were attacked again and had to defuse several booby traps.
Entering Lab 3, Jugger decided to use a breach entry versus the standing doorways.
Prinn the Red Skin Sarge and 4 of his men were waiting for them. Juggers team fired, someone threw a nade (4 hits). Tontein was low on Fletchette ammo. AT and the CC took hits walking in.
Prinn using his experience and superior weapons skills and wounded men in the assault team and the shot gunner (3 hits), and killed the demo expert where he stood.
As the fighting continued the air was charged with energy from particle weapons, traditional ballistics and fear. Jugger rushed to cover Meico as she downloaded data under fire. “I got something here” She said.
All the members of the AT were down.
Meico turned and pressed herself against Jugger
Now he thought?..Now she likes me? He heard the schnick of his external storage open as she hugged him. “Take a co…” Meico took a round to the face.
So much for that thought Jugger, I wonder what was so important? He thought.
He was scared, but in control.
A lucky shot took the Sarge out, now he and his remaining men could finish up and get the team back to the Med tanks to see who could be salvaged.
As the enemy Prinn fell so to did 2 of his men. There was one more somewhere.
Shooting high caliber weapons in close quarters was insane. Rounds flew everywhere. Shrapnel scrapped armor.
Tontein died recovering a jammed tube.
Close quarters team died to a man.
Jugger was alone and there was still one Redskin left…………………