Chapter 7: First Encounters with the Third Kind

This archive contains the original story as it appeared on gaia, This is our main story, and what BHotR as a whole started from and builds off of. The setting has gone through many changes, and so the story has many inconsistencies. You can, in this forum, see the evolution of the story and its players as we went from a simple roleplay began in 2006.
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Mr. Blackbird Lore
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Chapter 7: First Encounters with the Third Kind

Post by Mr. Blackbird Lore » Tue Jan 11, 2011 1:03 am

The Transport, approaching the mission planet...
Once the ship was out of the hangar bay, Garrett decided he was bored. "Here's an interesting question: how many people have loved ones aboard the Hymn or elsewhere in Terran space?" His iconic smirk was gone and in its place was a genuine expression of curiosity.

"I've got nothing but you morons," Kai answered quickly, grinning at the Marines with him. "And you, Garrett? anybody crazy enough to want to be associated with you?" he asked jokingly.

Garrett smirked, glad to see the man he still considered to be his superior officer making jokes. "I'm going to go ahead and pretend that you didn't just ask such a stupid question, because no one is that crazy. If you replicated my personality in a female, she wouldn't be that crazy."

Dante's console on the Drathonian ship would suddenly light up with a message, it was a packet of information sent from the Hymn, containing maps and an overlay of the visible side of the planet.

Dante jumped as he saw the ship light up. God damn it. I asked for someone to help me fly this thing but only those who will active in the mission can be aboard the ship. Biggest load of bullshit I've ever heard. Why did I list flight experience on my list of skills? Well I passed their test so I guess I'm fucked. Two hours a day in sim training prepping for this mission and I'm still jumpy as hell. Well lets see those maps. Dante scanned the maps checked his navigation system. He didn't want to think about the fact that a little less then half of those sims ended in some type of fatal crash. “Well we're on our own now. Get ready for a bumpy landing.” Dante Separated from the battle group and took a round about route to the planet.

Kai's communicator suddenly beeped, as did Garrett's, informing the lieutenants of what was going on. At first Kai was amazed by the range that the communicator could pick up stuff from (their low powered signals generally needed to be near some sort of relay station to be picked up) but then he realized the encryption level of the message showed how important it was. The Hymn was gone before he managed to look out the window towards where it was. "Well, boys, looks like we're on our own. The Hymn has departed for an emergency situation, so when we come back up, we'll be the guests on the... UTR Chaos until the Hymn returns." the Lieutenant announced.

Garrett sighed when he finished reading the message, and he took on a grimmer expression. If the Hymn was being called elsewhere, that meant things were really bad. "Fuck, they've gotta be kidding. Without the Hymn's backing, this'll be one shitty op." He looked around at all the soldiers, and just silently prayed to whatever being might dictate the future that they come out of this alive.

Jack gave a bit of a harsh laugh at the reports from his two superiors. "I know, right? With our lives in the hands of the Chaos, we're screwed." Jack spoke implicatively loud in Dante's direction. "From what I can tell, they're lucky they haven't crashed the ship into a star by now." He cackled a little wickedly. Sure, Dante was probably ten times better at piloting a ship than him, especially a Drathonian heap, but he needed a bit of revenge for the previous jab at his sanity.

"Chaos is right. Nothing but Anarchy in this damned Void." Garrett smirked, reminiscing briefly in silence. Then, "He's not worth it, Jack. I don't need you getting worked up before this shit hits the fan, alright?"

Dante's expression went grim as he heard the news. He kept his head forward towards the window so the others couldn't see it. Shit. First, Hymn leaves us almost naked with no ejection coverage, now the ship they assigned to get us the fuck out of here is the one I've called home for most of my life. I know this is war but is this some kinda sick and twisted joke? If so I'm going to beat down the one who's laughing. After a minute of silence in his head, Dante grinned. I wounder if John would shit a brick when he finds out I'm on this mission? All of a sudden he was yanked back to his mind as he heard Garrett joke the name of the ship. “You know why they call it Chaos? It's because that is how they always leave the lizards: drowning in the utter chaos of their defeat.”

As they approached the planet, Dante started working from memory as he started the planetary entry protocol. “Everyone strap in and hold on. We're going to land.” And this was the part where most crashes occurred. Dante could be seen nervous at this point. His eyes were jumping from one meter to another as he started muttering what he was doing. “decreasing acceleration and prepping reverse thrusters. Deploying atmospheric shields in five minutes...”

The five minutes passed silently, and the few minutes it took to land passed quickly as well, the moment of tension when passing the access codes back and forth ended in relief as they were accepted without question. Quickly the transport dropped below accurate sensor levels, dropping into the trees outside of a prison camp. At this point the pilot thanked Dante for his help, and opened the loading ramp to offload his cargo. The three squads walked off into separate groups, each with a different target.

"Alright boys, Our target is the nearest prison camp. We're to break in undetected, find the leaders of the Local groups, and break them out. Intel shows that this prison, while the most heavily guarded, is the least populated, meaning we'll have plenty of rifles for the people we save. Hopefully we won't need them until later" Kai explained quietly to SS 215, looking them all over, the dark green Terran gear blending in quite well with the local flora. "Split off into pairs, and find a way in. try not to kill anyone with a gun if you can help it. Luckily a knife to the throat is still effective on lizards. Understood?" the Lieutenant finished.

Still Sehene was thankful for the cover of the trees, but darkened the helmet anyways. She scanned the surroundings quickly, listening to Kai. "Yes Sir..." Her roaming eyes stopped on his, although the darkness of her visor would make it hard for him to tell, "Shall I go with you Sir?" She fingered her knife holsters to be sure they were still there, even though it was unlikely they wouldn't be, force of habit she supposed.

Garrett smirked. He was a little miffed at having to go in completely silent, but using a knife had always been an interest of his. It required skill, patience, and timing, and said a lot about a soldier who could use it successfully more than once. "Alright," he said quietly, "The Engy is mine." While speaking these words, the Demolitions Expert grabbed Dante by the back of the neck and gave him a light shove in one direction. "We'll head North some yards and see what we can make of it. Any other useful information before we commit suicide for these weeds?" Although Hendlow was speaking with blatant derogation about their "allies," his irritation truly stemmed from the lack of information on this mission as well as all the plans that had changed. It was a bad idea in his opinion and until they succeeded, no one would be able to convince him otherwise--and even then, it wouldn't be likely. "Oh, and don't forget about those new buggers we found: I'd hate for someone to get much by one of them damn sandfrogs.

"Alright then, got no problem with that, Sehene" Kai responded to the Intel agent, making sure to get the combat knife out of his back and strap it to his belt in it's sheath. "Let's sneak around to the other side of the compound" the Lieutenant suggested, waiting a bit for the groups to be sorted out before he headed off.

Sehene nodded a quiet "Yes sir." before following silently, scanning the passing trees. She was nervous as could be.

Jack frowned as Garrett grabbed the Engy and pranced off into the bushes. "I never loved you, anyway." Jack looked back over the squad to see who to take. Kai and Garrett were gone, so he had to come up with a #3 pick. "Who wants to get themselves killed in an unfathomably stupid, suicidal way? Jack said loud enough for them all to hear him. If I he got a volunteer, he had himself a partner.

Garrett smirked and looked over his shoulder. "I know you can hold your own, Jack, but Dante's gonna need a damn guardian angel looking over his shoulder for this one." He drew his knife, eager to get this mission done and over with.

When Dante finally landed the ship, He breathed a heavy sigh of relief . “Good news, We're not dead. Bad news, you can figure that out for yourself.” Dante got up and looked throughout his bags. Everything was still intact and ready when they get these guys out of there. He walked off the ship and over the the rest. As Kai explained the situation, Dante's eyes were shut and his ears picked up every word that came out of Kai's mouth. So we're pairing up. I'll be lucky to make it through the night. Almost at once, Garrett's voice entered his ears with a bit of news that shot his eyes opened. “What?” was the only word that he could get out before feeling the pressure of Garrett's hand on the back of his neck. Dante stumbled as he caught himself before falling. He listened to Garrett and Jack joking while they walked off. “Alright then. Lets go, my guardian angel.”

Jack snorted. "And I'm Jesus..." he muttered.

Kai just kinda shook his head and laughed at Jack and Garrett, as well as the seemingly lost Dante. "Make sure to meet up back here once you've finished your part of the mission, or else. be back here in 2 hours, or you're staying, Got it?" the Lieutenant informed, stalking off to go around the compound. his helmet's HUD showed him where all the pairs were and where they were going, so he was well informed.

The Compound could best be Described as a circular clearing in the forest. There was a 3 meter buffer zone around a tall razor-wire fence, with concrete buildings at four points around the perimeter, which were obviously the guardhouses. About a quarter kilometer in Diameter, it was fairly small, and at this time of night, there were few lights on, mostly sweeping along the perimeter. Inside, there were four more buildings, long and low, which obviously housed prisoners. Other than a raised platform in the center, the grounds were devoid of any features. It seemed to be at low alert, which was very good. Guards only stood near the entrances, and only looked outward, but they were armed with Dross rifles that attached to the buildings by cables.

They were something new, the alien had to admit. They wore armor, and were likely not native to this planet. What looked somewhat like a SeFlaurind female, if only in size and silhouette, darkened it's visor, and scanned the area. He held absolutely still as this newcomer's gaze swept by. The figure fingered it's knife, and said something. Next, one of the larger ones or what looked like a male, he could not tell for certain due to the getup, singled out another. The others broke up into smaller groups, with that female accompanying what looked like the leader. He begun to creep away, when suddenly, a voice hammered against his sensitive ears. He froze, and slowly looked back. They still didn't see him, which was good. He recorded some more of their speech, and drew back to his group.

The SeFlaurinds were curious about what he found and he told them in their flowing speech, "<They are like your kind. But not quite. They wear suits unlike yours. Weapons are different as well.>" sounding just like any other SeFlaurind.
"<Really, Killy? What did they sound like?>"
"<One of them said,> 'Let's sneak around to the other side of the compound' <and then started to move slowly off.>" the Not-SeFlaurind spoke, perfectly mimicking the speech of the other.
"<Sweet, it's gotta be the Terrans! We'll kick those lizard scum off this planet for good with their help! Uh, no offense to you of course.>"
"<None taken. I'm not really a lizard.>"
"<Oh Yeah Killy? And I'm not a SeFlaurind.>" the person in front of Yotruyan grinned.
"<Let's hang back and see their mettle. Follow them.>" Yotruyan strode forward flanked by some of the SeFlaurind resistance. For a brief moment, Yotruyan, or 'Killy' as they called him, stepped into the light. He looked smaller than most Drathonians at only seven or so feet, standing upright. His black armor glistened, resembling skeletal structure. Details of the spinal cord faintly glowed red as the light hit it, while the helmet resembled a skull with eyeless pits. He, and the SeFlaurind rebels faded into the dark.

The SeFlaurinds kept pace, shadowing the Terrans from a distance, weapons ready, just in case. Magazines loaded with glass-like spheres filled with red, blue or green liquid silently slid into the weapons. The instruments were alive, something Yotruyan appreciated; they were plants specially developed for the art of war, much like his own rifle. The wood furnished weapons would regenerate, making them reliable to no end. Just add water, sun, and some ammo.
"<Use your Blunderbuss to take down the fence with it's acid spread if it's still standing.>" He said to one. "<The rest will wait below as I scale the wall. Cover me until I'm out of sight. Next, follow the Terrans in. I'll improvise if they badly fail. >"
"<Killy! Have Faith in their strength, they've been fighting the Drathonians since the beginning.>" another SeFlaurind whispered at him in it's elegant tongue.
"<I only believe in what I've seen.>" He replied tonelessly. He gripped the alien looking rifle on his back, and slashed it through the air in front of him, stretching it out to it's full length. A small eyeball under the barrel opened up, sighting the Terrans. "<And I'm watching.>" he continued, annoyed at their pace.

Still narrowed her eyes at the guards, and crouched more, making sure to make little noise. Drathonians may be dumb, but they can hear... She sent a silent message to Kai; Are we planning on killing any of them? Or will we sneak around? She would rather kill them, less to fight later on, but he was the one to decide, not her.

Jack Gallagher waited for a long moment, as no response came from the remnants of the huddled squad. Kwon shifted uneasily, then stood. "I'm not crazy, mate, but I'll have to do. Come on." Kwon gave him a friendly marine smack on the shoulder, then started off in the opposite direction of Kai and Garrett. Rutthinger came up behind Kwon, and smiled. "Odd numbered squad. Suppose I'll join your madness." Jack grinned at him, then started off after Kwon, and took the lead. They arced around the compound until they reached the far guard tower. Jack halted, then turned to the other two. "What's the hold-up?" whispered Ruth. Jack grinned, then pulled the pack of supplies for the rebels off his shoulders. He pulled something cylindrical out, about the size of a football. He held it up for the other two to see, grinning. It was an APE-7 Spatial Charge. "Hymn got a shipment of them just before we left Saratar. I grabbed half a dozen. Figure we stick them on the guard towers and blow them when the time's right." Jack radioed the rest of the squad, and repeated his plan to Kai and Garrett. "What do you think?" he said over his com.

Garrett couldn't help but smirk. Quietly, he responded, "Very well, Jack. I like your thinking. Once we're out of here, we blow the joint. And if we can't get out of here, well we can take the sorry bastards with us. A safety, just in case we fail. I don't have any, so your team will have to handle all the planting. See you on-- Wagh!" He interrupted himself with a hushed grunt of exertion. A few moments passed then he said, "Sorry. Apparently these bastards have never heard of latrines." While speaking, a Drathonian had approached the compound's border to take a piss. Distracted with the conversation, Garrett had almost noticed him too late. The Drathonian wasn't expecting trouble, though, and preoccupied with emptying his bladder. Hendlow took a knife to the lizard's throat and the situation was defused. Now the demolitions expert was trying to calm his nerves, trying to keep himself levelheaded after such a close call.

Jack had to stifle a sharp laugh as Garrett cried out. "Did somebody forget to clean up after their Smasher and you stepped in it? Hahahaha..." Jack sighed a bit, blinking back a mirthful tear of bemusement. "And about the charges: don't be so cynical. I intend to live forever." Five minutes later, Jack, Kwon, and Ruth had distributed a charge to each guard tower, throwing them up and letting them magnetize to the sides with a dull clang. The lizards didn't seem to notice in the slightest. When the job was done, they were huddled in the bushes near the entrance at the far side of the compound from the drop zone. "Kay. We've set the charges, I've got two left. We're at the west entrance. Once we've infiltrated the compound, I'll give them to Garrett for.... discretionary use. Hehe."

Kai snooped around to the backside of the compound, Sehene in tow, and he quietly approached the fence, whipping his bag around to grab some wire cutters, and making a small hole in the fence. Replacing his bag, the Lieutenant signaled for Still to follow him in, while brandishing his combat knife, wary of the shadows which may or may not contain Drathonian guards. so far, everything looked normal, however.

Jack, Kwon, and Ruth now stood outside the far gate, peering out from the shadows. A tall chain-link gate, topped with barbed wire, stood before them. On the other side stood a small guardhouse, which they could clearly see half a dozen Drathonians sitting in, doing something they seemed to find obnoxiously entertaining. Jack really wished he had brought his Tiger rifle with him right about now.

"<So far, so good for them. The Red Scales have not noticed anything yet. They've been too busy tormenting your Grandfather, the Colonel.>" Yotruyan spoke dispassionately. From their vantage point, he directed the SeFlaurinds' gaze to a group of Drathonians, who were tormenting an old, malnourished and bedraggled looking SeFlaurind. The uniform the old man wore had seen better days, a canteen of water was being dangled just out of his reach.

"<Damned bastards!>" one of them cried out, striding forward. Yotruyan's tail shot forward and wrapped around his ankle, rooting him to where he stood. "<Killy!>"

"<What was it you said about having faith?>" The Inquisitorial Marine looked carefully at the surroundings and purred. "<If the Terrans heard you, and look for you, I expect you to rise, nod to them, and then slink back into the shadows. The Drathonians....if they heard your outburst, and you survive....I will have a few words for you afterward.>" The youngish SeFlaurind growled at the outsider.

Garrett rolled the dead Drathonian into the underbrush before continuing on his way. Given too much time, the lizards would surely begin to wonder where their colleague ventured. "The engy and I are inside the compound, headed toward the central holding area. We can swap stories 'n gear there. I look forward to bartering with you, Jack: can I trade you some lizard piss for those fine anti-matter charges? It's not much, but it's all I've got to spare."

As the Demolitions expert and engineer approached another corner, their second opponent appeared; luckily for them, he was not rounding the corner but continuing forward. "Engy, check 'round the corner, I've got this one." Garrett lunged forward, knife drawn, and stabbed straight through the Drathonian's neck, severing his spinal cord. The corpse crumpled into his arms. It gave dead weight a whole new meaning, dragging around the limp form of a lizard. Once the body was hidden, the knife was withdrawn and Garrett sighed. "Why the f*#% didn't they just give us Whispers? That would have been so much easier."

Sehene crawled through the hole in the fence, attempting to avoid any catastrophes. She managed, and signaled to Kai that she would scout, and before he knew it, she disappeared into the darkness.

She made her way through the shadows, and stopped abruptly. She would have let off a low hiss, but shortly realized that it would surely have given her position away. Three Drathonians, lingering together, right in her path. She couldn't take them all out without suspicion, but there could be a way around? She backed away a few paces, and crouched even lower than before.

Ha. A plan.

She let off a low hiss in the Drathonian language; "Report to your Dragoon, Blasters!" She emulated the way a Dragoon would command his 'men', knowing that they would assume it was a communications device and go to avoid the death sentence that comes with disobeying an order. She grinned, a no win situation; when they reported with no orders, they would likely be killed.
The Drathonians looked up, rather confused, and whispered amongst themselves, before two of the three hobbled off in the direction of the entrance. She watched carefully, now knowing exactly where it was.
One was now left, but it would be relatively simple to kill him.

She pulled her blade out and sneaked behind him as he fondled his large weapon. She ran the last few feet, jumped onto him and sliced the soft part of his throat with one hand, while covering his mouth with the other. She kept hold and got to the ground ahead of him so she could lay him down gently: best to avoid noise. Wiping the blade on the grass, she crouched against the large cement wall, and sent a message to Kai to let him know that so far the coast was clear, and that they were fairly close to the entrance.

Around the corner was indeed a second Drathonian, but he had been preoccupied when his friend was killed and dragged away. When he looked up and his colleague was gone, he got nervous and began striding urgently toward the corner, drawing his own knife with a mixture of excitement and fear. As he came around the corner, there were two humans. Without even stopping to think, he lunged, knife headed straight for the heart of the nearest one apparently frozen with fear.

As Garrett headed back, he was cleaning his knife on his pant leg. He had just finished and was about to ask his partner why he was just standing there like an idiot when a second Drathonian rounded the corner and dove for the engineer. Garrett moved into action, trying to intercept their attacker. He succeeded in stopping the Drathonian short of his target, but the demolitions expert was unsuccessful in his attempt to slay the lizard. They fell in a heap on the ground, Garrett's knife lodged in the Drathonian's shoulder. The beast gave out an agonized grunt and rolled away from Hendlow. The knife slipped away from Garrett's grasp, but the Drathonian no longer held onto his knife. Garrett rolled after him, grabbing the knife from the dirt and climbing to his feet. The lizard kept pace, scrabbling to his feet just in time.

The two faced each other for only a brief moment before the lizard got smart. He tried to shout for help, and that's when Garrett struck out with his knife. It sliced across the Drathonian's neck, but he survived due to quick reflexes. He backpedaled straight into a wall, and Garrett lashed out again. This time, he struck true and the knife cut its way through all the soft tissues in the lizard's neck. It went down gurgling.

Garrett took a deep breath and began thinking immediately. They had been too loud. WAY too loud. "Engy, move!" Hendlow could hear footsteps plodding their way across the terrain, headed his way. "Team, looks like the engy got us into a bit of trouble. I think we'll probably have their full attention, so you shouldn't have any problem making your way in there." Garrett's teammate was still in shock and had only just recovered, on both feet, albeit shakily. "GO!" The demolitions expert jabbed a finger in the direction they had come from while he scooped up the Drathonian's body. He dropped it next to the other one and then made his way outside the fence line, dragging Dante with him. The Drathonians were shouting behind them in their native language, and none of it sounded too pleasant. "Move your ass, engy, I can't drag you through the goddamn woods! F*#& this, they should have given us Whispers!"

As they ran into the woods, Garrett rummaged quickly through his duffel and pulled out a proximity explosive. He slapped it on a tree as they ran then veered right. He was hoping he'd be able to wrap around the facility and enter from another side.

he mood was actually rather cheery, like that of a crowd of spectators watching a game of Football or Soccer. The SeFlaurinds were actually being entertained by the Terran troopers' plight as they sneaked into the prison. "Hey, look at that babe go! I bet you two rations that she slits that last one's throat!"
"You're on! I bet she's badass enough to snap it's neck!"
"Ha! That's two meals you owe me. Hey, Killy, come join us man!" The constant low tone poetry of their language kept Yotruyan informed about what was happening as he dragged a bound up Dragoon out. Though it was battered, and bruised with every single limb broken, it would suit his purpose just fine.
"No. I'm getting my disguise ready." His knife plunged in, followed by his armored hands. Bones were torn out of the squirming Drathonian as Yotruyan worked to de-bone the bastard filth. One of the weaker constituted ones retched when he turned around to look at the scuffling noises. Finally, a bloody skull landed on top of the pile of bones. What looked like a Dragoon stood over a small stasis cooler, stuffing entrails into it. Yotruyan had put on his 'disguise', using the Drathonian's body in the place of a proper combat skin. Just as he closed up the container, and hid it away for later, the alarms cried out into the night. A pair of Terrans ran out of the prison, circling around. An explosion went off, sending a limb or two into the air. Yotruyan nodded at Corporal Illaloo. His metal storm class blunderbuss thumped once. Twice. Thrice. Marble sized orbs of acid arced through the air, and splattered over the fence, silently melting it down. At this distance, they wouldn't even hear the thumps. "Attack. Use an approach vector somewhat opposite of the Terrans. Keep them in view...I hope they like theatrics."
"Yes Sir."

Alarms cried out. An explosion went off. On the far side of the compound, opposite of the Terrans, small arms fire rang out. Drathonians suddenly begun to scream in horrible, high pitched squeals of pain. An acid grenade went off, and a limb sailed through the air, falling right next to a marine named Garret, still melting and burning from the green acids the SeFlaurinds used. Next, one of the most unusual sights happened. Out of the brush, a Dragoon ran right through the gaps that appeared in the fence and scaled the compound walls like a demented critter. It went right up to one of the watchtowers and roared, plunging a knife right into the skull of a Dross gunner. The Dragoon jerked the blade hard, snapping it right off and leaving it inside the skull. The other Drathonian gaped in shock at what happened before having it's own Dross wrestled out of it's hands and stuffed down it's throat. The old SeFlaurind Colonel in the center of the compound saw this, and suddenly yanked a lizard's pistol. He shot each one of his tormentors square in the eye before using their bodies as sandbags; laser fire raked his position. Up above, the strange Dragoon held it's ground in the tower taking everything the others threw at it. It just wouldn't Die. Another pair of Dragoons filled with hate towards this apparent traitor defiantly strode forward and threw a pair of critters at the rebel, engulfing it in flames. A horrible, unearthly scream came from the flames, and a burning figure emerged. It bent over, skin splitting along the spine and out of it's back emerged a black skeleton. It was like watching some sort of demonic butterfly hatching from it's chrysalis. It moved, twitching and jerking horribly like a nightmare towards it's foes. Fast. It was upon the closest horrified Dragoon before it could react and hamstrung one of it's legs. The Drathonian officer roared in fear and defiance, backhanding the almost skeletal monstrosity. It sprawled across the floor, but was back on it's twitching feet in a blink. It was apparently weaker, but so much faster. It knocked the Drathonian off the wall. The Terrans would see a pair of SeFlaurinds rush forward, knock the Drathonian over as it rose, and fire into it's chest. The body convulsed horribly for several long seconds before creating a puddle of filth and dying. The second Drathonian raised it's Dross at the hellish demon, and found it holding some sort of elongated pod with a stock, and pistol grip integrated. The strange black pod fired a single buzzing burst. In just one second, the Dragoon was rocked back by over 30 small blue burning metal bullets impacting it's chest.

The Terrans better make an opportunity of this show. My nerves are still stinging from that getup.

The Lights turned on, all of them. It was blinding, by Terran standards, but the Savior's helmet compensated by dimming, making sure the soldiers could still see. Sehene's, by personal preference, turned nearly black. Sirens were rather loud, but the helmet also compensated. It was obvious that now was the time to use guns, because the number of confused Drathonians piling out of barracks could never be dealt with using only knives. Despite the supposed combat effectiveness of Drathonians, these ones had had such cushy positions that many had forgotten to grab their rifles when the alarms went off. Still, there were a lot of them, and the two Terrans and one Ottoyo were caught in the middle of it. The Seflaurinds sending covering fire from the edges were soon targeted, as well as the other teams of Terrans around the compound that hadn't penetrated as far. As a firefight broke out, the Lieutenant and his partner found themselves in trouble, with the only cover being a low building.

Kai pulled out his Sugar rifle as quickly as he could, bringing the weapon to bear as he dove behind the low Building. "Sehene, Get to cover, and get a gun, we're in a slugging match. All units, covering fire, don't stop shooting until they do!" he yelled over the comm., peering around a corner to have a spray of stucco fly into his helmet's faceplate as a stray bolt narrowly missed him.

Sehene paused a moment, rather frustrated at this annoying turn of events, and pulled out her rifle as well, scurrying to a place just next to Kai. She found that the pause had given her a few close calls, and inwardly cursed herself, trying to work up the willpower to peer around and take out some Drathonian bastards.

Just as the burning bullets embedded themselves in the Dragoons chest, it fired in a wild arc as it was knocked down. A pair of red bolts struck Yotruyan in the chest, sending him sprawling as well. He wheezed as a large portion of his rib-like chest plate melted away. His actual ribs were quickly revealed as his flesh on his left side turned to black char and crumbled away, revealing pale white rib bones beneath the suit. He instinctively cried out in pain; his suit had run out of painkillers a long time ago, and the organic nature of the suit meant he could literally feel the plates melt away as though it were his own skin. Still, he rose to his shaky feet, as did the Dragoon with a cruel smile. His demonic opponent wasn't so invulnerable after all. Yotruyan saw glimpses of motion behind the Drathonian, and knew he could not win if it came to straight up firepower. He literally pounced forward and buzzed his MC-R pod at the Dragoon. Prepared, it shrugged of the blue shots and clubbed Yotruyan hard. It then picked him up by the Skull helmet, tearing away his gun pod. "Your head is mine Demon!" it cried out in victory. Yotruyan's leg lashed out and kicked it in the belt. Hard. The bouncer grenade bled. And burned. And exploded into a fiery inferno, consuming Yotruyan once more.

"Sehene, I need you to look around the other corner and make sure our position is secure. There's something I want to check out on this side" Kai ordered, peering around the corner just in time to see Yotruyan's kick. It was clear that whatever that thing was, it wasn't Drathonian, And as the explosion died off, the burned mass that was a Dragoon and the Ottoyo began to move again, the dragoon trying (with one arm) to right himself, Kai fired a shot into the back of its skull, killing the already wounded commander.

"Of course sir." Sehene nodded, and shuffled to a place where she could lean around with, hopefully, a very small chance of being seen. She clutched her Sugar and peered around the corner, and was rather taken aback. She spun back quickly, back flat against the wall. "Sir, there are ten of them around, but only three have guns. Still, it is rather disconcerting."

"All right. Keep an Eye on them. Start shooting if they advance on us" The Lieutenant ordered, leaning around his side of the building. Already there were a number of Drathonians there, probably the main force, and they were exchanging fire with the other team which was at the other end of the compound. Kai, being stuck in the middle, decided to help out and snapped off a few shots, injuring some enemies, before being spotted and having a hail of fire eat away at his cover while he jumped back behind.

"Of course Sir." Sehene peered around again, and was relieved to see that they weren't paying that much attention to her area.

Pain. The most unbearable pain as he felt every inch of him heat up and almost burn. Almost. The synthetic skeleton and it's under layer protected him from the very worst of it as he rose from the flames. The dragoon still wasn't quite dead, but it would be easy to finish him off after that. The Blasters behind him were still too shocked to do anything. Green; a green shot lanced into the back of the skull of the Dragoon, putting it down for good. The Blasters turned around to look at this new threat. It looked like a SeFlaurind, but by far more professional. Terran. Yotruyan forced himself up and forward, stomping his boot onto his MC-R, sending it flipping up to chest level, and into his hands. The pod lengthened to over a meter in length and split open slightly to make room for the enlarging barrel, revealing red flesh within its case. "Bump!" It spoke. A thin, two foot long spine was suddenly protruding from a Blaster's neck. Fire lanced at the Ottyo as he took cover behind the Dragoon's corpse.

Sehene, it seemed, had peered a bit too long, as the Drathonians noticed her and began shooting, peppering her cover with holes, blasting bits of gray stucco into her uniform and helmet, covering her in a light layer of dust, and began steadily advancing. Kai was just as unlucky, with the Drathonians turning their attention partially on him, before one was shot with some sort of spine. The momentary distraction was enough to give Kai time to lance another enemy with Coherent Green light, splitting the forces between two very real threats, as well as the threats of the farther enemies taking potshots at them.

Sehene clicked her tongue, and shook her head in an attempt to rid the helmet of the annoyingly vision-blurring dust. "Sorry sir, they have noticed me." She practically yelled through clenched teeth. She managed to squeak a few shots in without injuring herself; and had to wipe her helmet of the dust.

The Blasters continued advancing on Sehene's position, but were slowed by her fire. She managed to down one of the blasters with guns as well as an unarmed one, but another simply picked up the weapon and continued the hail of fire. From the Trees, came some salvation, however, and a few shots of small pellets full of acid began peppering the area around the Drathonians, hitting some of them and causing bellows of Agony, splitting their attention.

Yotruyan stuck his MC-R over the cover of the still burning Dragoon. The olfactory tissue integrated into the skull helmet was effective at times, and others...downright disgusting. The small, black beady eyeball at the end of his rifle allowed Yotruyan to accurately blind fire, though the recoil shook his aim. Another tungsten spine went downrange, and into the chest of an unarmed blaster who decided to try and run. Its hands clutched the protruding object, and tire to pull it out, only to scream in pain. Micro-barbs in the spine prevented it from being pulled out so easily. Yotruyan smiled as that Drathonian suffered. He lanced another one into its arm, and then its thigh. He spoke in the Drathonian tongue, "Scream! Scream in agony!" he yelled out in his best demonic voice. Still, there were too many. The corpse was beginning to fall apart. He'd have to move soon or get shot again. More screams came out as the Drathonians in front of him collapsed under a spread of acid. A weapon boomed several times. It had to be that Blunderbuss Illaloo carried. "Hurry up Killy! My gramps, the Colonel isn't going to last down there much longer!" Yes. It was him. With the space between him and the Terran clear for the brief moment, he tried to get up, but found he couldn't. The placenta like under suit was wrapping itself tighter, plunging into his flesh in an attempt to immobilize and heal him. "I'm down! Ask the Terrans!"

Sehene was relieved at the momentary distraction and used it for some better aimed fire at the enemy, taking as many shots as she could before they could strike. The screams of pain and some...disturbing. ...taunting in Drathonian by one who was not Drathonian was unnerving her somewhat, and a few shots missed due to her distraction. She managed to down two of the ones without rifles, and was coerced into moving her exposed parts back under the protection of the building due to a bolt almost grazing her sugar with a hiss.

The sugar was not completely spared, nor was the Soldier's arm holding the weapon, as the superheated air around the bolt of laser energy caused parts of the gun's synthetic frame and stock to melt from the outside, jamming the mechanical parts together and making the gun useless, while the fingers of her gloved hand were scorched as the material burned away, exposing reddened skin. The bolt impacted on her shoulder plate, blowing it off as she ducked back behind her cover, the 'savior' armor doing its job. She would hear more screams as a group from the forest overwhelmed the remaining Drathonians on that side of the building, rushing to the Terrans and taking up positions to help. Kai was yanked back from his firing position just in time to watch a bolt sizzle past where his head had been, then placed facing a green humanish figure, which started speaking in broken Terran "We Seflaurind, You Terran, Yes? Need Help. Friend damaged, leader captured. Any help?" he said. It was obvious that the lack of contact in the last 20 years had done a number on the local's speaking of Terran language.

Sehene slammed back against the wall of the building, her hand 'sizzling' by her side, she grimaced in pain, and hissed as she threw the gun to the ground and examined her singed fingers, her other hand touching her shoulder that was now, unfortunately, unprotected and a bit sore. She shook her hand stiffly - the burns were minimal -, and procured another gun from the bag, relieved that they had brought so many. She turned to look at the greenish creatures, assuming they were the natives they were sent to help, but remained silent. Kai was the senior here.

Yotruyan slowly, painfully stood. His chest burned, and his lungs felt tight, restricting his breathing. Every single inch of him, though not actually him, burned with a fury. It was a sheer miracle of bio-engineering that he was still able to stand up after taking so much punishment in a suit not even rated for real combat. His steps were heavy, unsteady, but with intent. He walked over to the railing, from where he could see the whole battle finish. Victory. Sweet victory. The Drathonians cried out into the night as they burned or melted away. Yotruyan had his MC-R contract and close up into a pod, slinging it over his shoulder. His hands fumbled with the black fleshy under suit that covered his wrist, tearing it open to reveal a white metal bracelet. A small, lifelike image of another Ottyo appeared; obviously embarrassed that she was caught unawares. He stood there, leaning against the edge for support, watching victory unfold. When it was finally over, he said one thing. "Ah." and fell over the edge. He landed with a very hard thump.

"Uhh... Yeah, We're Terrans" the confused Lieutenant answered "We need help, and Brought some extra guns for you guys" he continued, motioning to the large bag on his back, which he slipped off and pulled out several Gurotte carbines from, handing them to the aliens to inspect. "I'm very happy to see you" He informed them, hearing the battle raging on, listening to the commands, orders, and requests being thrown out by the rest of his men as they continued to fight.


Out of nowhere, an explosion rocked the building. A grenade that had been thrown in an attempt to hit the group taking cover had stuck on the roof, blowing a portion of it off. Before they could react, Sehene and one of the Seflaurinds were covered in a downpour of Stucco, wood, and bricks, buried alive and knocked unconscious. For the time being, Still Sehene was out of the fight, but the Shocked Lieutenant's HUD informed him that her vitals read mostly normal. " let's Get back into the Fight" The Seflaurind Offered, holding a hand out to Kai, and taking one of the Gurotte guns to supplement his own Blunderbuss-type weapon. The Gurotte rifles were quickly distributed, and now everyone had a weapon or two to fight with.

"By the stars! What happened to him?" "I don't know, but he's burning up! Get him into cover!" another SeFlaurind cried out. He quickly cut out several sections of Drathonian skin from a corpse to use as mittens. The two managed to carry Yotruyan into one of the prison cells, where they quickly overturned a bed for visual concealment. The two debated if they should give him any painkiller, as the pain from the wounds was what forced him to lose consciousness. "But it's a serious psychotropic drug! You can't give that to him!" One cried out. Eventually, they administered the medication anyways; he was out, and couldn't make things worse anyways. They were wrong. So very wrong. They injected the psychotropic painkiller into Yotruyan, who immediately stood up. His head cocked to the side, twitching from the medication. "Not over, eh?" Yotruyan ran straight out of the cell, and immediately jammed his entire arm, all the way up to his shoulder, down into the nearest Blaster's mouth. He yanked the arm out, pulling out a bloody mass in his claws.
"Uh-huh. And you said it wouldn't wake him up." one of the Seflaurinds grumbled.

Yotruyan's actions would soon be countered, with a sprinkling of fire from a nearby Blaster, the one he had shoved his arm into was peppered with bolts, but a few still managed to hit Yotruyan, singing his flesh and eating into the remains of the charred suit. The Heat vaporized portions of the Ottoyo as if he were water on an electric stove.

There were so many lights! So many bright lights! He had to put them out....put them OUT! Again, he used the body of the Drathonian as a shield, firing his gun from under the tattered arm of the blaster. The horrible injuries started to hurt again, and he realized what was happening. He was hurting! Holes! There were holes in him! Why was he even conscious?! The suit should have put him into a coma so he could recover....unless. "Retards! I told you not to give me that shit!"He cried out in pain. The Drathonian he was holding was literally being blown apart; bits of it were getting smeared over his helmet's ocular tissue, and an arm suddenly fell off. He had to find cover quick. If those SeFlaurinds gave him THAT drug, he was going to have a....the heart located in Yotruyan's right rib cage suddenly stopped pumping blood, and convulsed, forcing the other to work even harder. Some of the blood vessels in his eyes popped from the strain; before he went down, Yotruyan stood on his tail and kicked the corpse away, sending him sliding across the floor. He begun to crawl away, but felt another shot hit him in the thigh. A green pulse flew overhead, and in front of him, around the corner, was a Terran. He kept crawling forward, towards what he hoped was safety.

The Terran, Not knowing what was crawling at him, did a very understandable thing; He grabbed his sugar rifle, and smashed the butt of it into the thing's forehead, hopefully knocking it unconscious.

All that gunfire was something to admire at a distance. And the sound of Garrett's proximity mines going off every so often made him smirk. The Drathonians stopped following him about a quarter of the way around the compound and he stopped planting explosives. Hearing more mechanical reports ahead of him, he moved toward the compound, hoping to come upon his fellow Terrans. Coming out of the brush, he hardly had any time to realize just what he was running into. There was Kai, a cluster of aliens, a partially demolished structure, and another unconscious body right in front of him. He only had enough time to release his grip on Dante's arm and drop his duffel before tripping over Yotruyan and shouting, "Woah, shit!" He managed an ungraceful roll then climbed to his feet clumsily.

"What the, what the f&#% is that!?" he shouted at Kai. He didn't really wait for an answer, though. He was out in the open, and he made sure to fix that quickly. Once behind cover with his duffel, he noticed an unconscious Terran and quickly inspected for some tell-tale sign of its identity. It was stealth operative Still Sehene. "What the hell, Kai? Seriously, what the hell happened? I go for a damn ten-minute jog and when I come back, the mission's gone to shit." He took a deep breath to calm himself, and added, "Don't answer that. It's not important and I need to... think."

Lieutenant Hendlow eased Sehene into a seated position. He was down on his left knee, his right foot planted on the other side of the unconscious Marine's legs. He checked her over for wounds then tugged off her helmet to make sure there wasn't any bleeding. None, thankfully; now why the hell hadn't Kai been more actively approaching the situation? He hoped it had only just occurred or the young Lieutenant would get his ass chewed later. He put the helmet back on the unconscious stealth operative and gave it a gentle tap; as soon as he'd done it, though, he regretted it. Those around him probably were getting mixed messages from it.

Garrett shook his head. He tried to focus on what he needed. He tried not to shout at Dante for becoming a frightened mute; he tried not to shout at Kai for leaving Sehene unattended; he tried not to complain about the lack of communication; he tried not to stare at the aliens that were apparently friendlies. No, he didn't do any of that. Instead, he picked up a gun from the sack--his had been lost in the woods while he dragged around a fumbling green engineer. Everything was proper, so he took a deep breath and looked around. Speaking of friendlies...

"Where the hell is Gallagher?" He had a truly irritated glare fixed on Lieutenant Kieran Nakamura as he locked a magazine in his carbine and slammed the bolt home.

The din of battle Held up as the other Terran teams, as well as the SeFlaurinds, fought against the Drathonians, whom still had them outnumbered nearly four to one. It was quite easy to see, however, that the lizards had been taken quite by surprise, and were fighting in a very defensive way. The Terrans and Natives were obviously capitalizing on this, but it was still anyone's game at the moment.

Kai turned to Hendlow and shouted over the radio "Helmet read her as green, if unconscious, so I let her be; we got more important worries right now. Gallagher's off to our south, drawing fire and keeping the lizards busy, team four is to our left here helping as well. Some weird black thingy seems to be on our side, but someone knocked him Out." Kai peered around the corner for a moment, then back at the other Lieutenant. "I think now's a good time to light those mines Gallagher dropped"

Lieutenant Hendlow sighed and nodded, wishing he had been thinking a bit more clearly. "True enough. Give him the go-ahead." He wanted to retort on the matter of Still Sehene's condition, but he knew it was best not to. Kai had reacted appropriately while Garrett had overreacted. He crept around to the corner and took a peek. Drathonians were still crawling all over the place. He leaned out and unleashed a volley of six shots before taking cover again. Just in case any of them got testy, he blind threw a grenade around the corner after cooking it for a second.

Illaloo saw him. A black blur sweep across the filed which gored a Drathonian with it's bare hands. And then he was hit. And went down. And got hit over the head by a Terran. The Corporal winced in sympathy for the Ottyo, the body he kicked away landed on a Blaster who quickly shoved it off, a drying husk. They advanced on him, firing; Illaloo quickly shoved a few shells down the barrel of his Blunderbuss, and boomed. A spread of acid pellets impacted against the three who cried out in horror at the green ooze. One looked at it's hand as it simply sloughed off and onto the floor. "Hey, eat your greens!" he yelled out. He stuck the barrel around his corner, and blind fired another spread downrange.

Kai called for the detonation, and, several seconds later, a reply was made with the sudden destruction of all four towers, a huge release of energy as the Antimatter and matter reacted to negate one another, blowing the towers to atoms and rubble. it was a rather satisfying thing, to see them go. "So, what do you think we should do? Wait till everyone's dead, or rush the prison house and take the prisoners?" Kai asked his elder.

"We take our time, clear it out. They'll get stupid or they'll surrender. I'm expecting the former." He put another trio of rounds into a Blaster. "Unless you've got a better idea."

"Not really. So, Shoot, 'em up? I think you and I should sneak around the building, the Greenies seem to have this side covered."

"Holy shit!" he cried out. The towers crumbled and fell. Despite the poetic language of his people, the nearby Terrans were well able to understand his swear, and chuckled. "You there, drag Killy out of here! You two, with me, we gotta get to the Colonel before he gets capped!" He yelled out. The three quickly advanced forward, Illaloo's gun booming, keeping heads down. Not even a Dragoon would want to go head on against his Blunderbuss; it would be suicide! His friend, off to the left flank suddenly took a round to the face and collapsed. Illaloo quickly fed a pair of his remaining shells down the barrel, and fired one to cover, quickly scurrying over to pick up the Terran weapon he was using. "This thing better be good." he muttered.

He nodded and followed his colleague to the other side. On the way, he checked on Sehene for a second time. If someone had asked, he wouldn't be able to tell them why he felt the need, but the fact remained that he did. And of course, she was just fine, just as expected. "Wake up soon." he mumbled, knowing she wouldn't hear him. At the far side of the crumbling facility, Garrett took another glance. Much clearer, but still there was a lot of commotion. "Try to see if we can't get Jack to meet up with us. He's got the medic and my squaddy."

"Right" Kai nodded, turning around the corner of the building and beginning to fire on the distracted lizards, whom had been shooting at the SeFlaurinds to the side. Their ranks now flanked, the Drathonians drew tighter and began retreating into the building, mostly the unarmed ones going to get their weapons.

Garrett threw another grenade around the corner, encouraging the lizards to retreat. If the Drathonians could be pinned, they could easily be mopped up. Four more bolts flew into the mass of lizards before the explosives expert took cover.

The first shot went wide, but that was because he was holding the rifle against his shoulder. Apparently, the iron sights weren't high enough for shouldered use. The second shot, with it held in front of him, hit the back of an unarmed Drathonian as it scurried forward for a Beater on the floor. It landed hard on it's face, and flopped over once before stopping cold. "Sweet." He had only one shell left for his Blunderbuss, so he'd have to make it count. He peered around the corner, and there it was; the tropaion of dead bodies that his grandfather was hiding under. He had to get there! Illaloo cried out to the Terrans again, "Help! Friend in there!" in broken words.

The explosion tore into the Drathonian lines, sending a blaster flying and knocking several others down, flinging shrapnel everywhere. Kai turned the corner and heard a cry, then saw what was being pointed at him, behind a pile of red, there was a hint of green; one of the prisoners was taking refuge outside, and seemed to be important. "Garret, Cover me, I'm going to run for the center to get that guy." Then, without warning, Kai picked up and sprinted past the building, out into the courtyard and dove into the hole, His uniform sizzling and the armor on his legs and back gone, He wouldn't make another rush like that. "Hello, I'm Terran, and I'm here to help." The Lieutenant greeted the old looking SeFlaurind.

Garrett only had enough time to nod before Kai went dashing across the no-man's land. He didn't even think about it. He just rounded the corner and laid a steady stream of fire on all the Drathonians in his sight.

"You guys are a sight for these old, sore eyes, you know that?" Colonel Illaloo spoke in proper tones. "What? Surprised I can still speak your language? Stop gaping and get me out of this hell hole! It smells!" the old man laughed. How he could be so jovial in the middle of a kill zone was a plain mystery, but he was fine. Though emaciated from malnourishment, and unable to run, his aim was as sharp as ever. "You'll have to drag me out of here youngster, or you can hide up here with me. I've made a little den here you see..." Apparently, the Colonel had gone a wee bit off while in captivity, no thanks to his captors.

"Cover them! I need covering fire now!" Corporal Illaloo yelled out. His grandfather was being loomed over by a Terran savior, but neither of them were going to make it back if they couldn't keep the lizards' heads down. "I've got one shell left, what about you?"
"I saved this little critter up for something special. You wana be the chef?" Another replied, tossing over a Bouncer. The Corporal caught the flammable thing, and quickly saw why the other didn't want to toss it. It was bleeding.
"Fire in the hole!"

"I think we need to kill a few more first, Sir." The Terran replied, flipping up the faceplate of his helmet to reveal his features. "This seems like a nice hole to hide in for now" he continued, pointing to the pile of dead Drathonians the Colonel had created. "How many prisoners are there in here? My team brought about 100 guns with us, if you need arms." the soldier asked.

Jack's team and the other team continued with the heavy supporting fire, it was clear they did not want to give up, and soon jack's team smashed a window and piled into the same building as the Drathonians, no doubt a result of Jack's combined want of Glory and Blood lust.

The arc on that throw couldn't have been better, and if the bouncer hadn't been bleeding, it probably would have decimated the entire cluster. As the facts stood, however, it was bleeding, and at a certain point in its flight, the bodily fluids caught a strong pocket of oxygen. The critter burst, spewing it's organs every which direction for a good ten yards. Several Drathonians were smothered and the agonized howls arose in a disharmonious symphony--and ode to pain. Garrett took full advantage of this distraction to empty the battery in his Gurotte before taking cover. "Jack, you... God, he needs a lady in his life."

The old Colonel twisted his face in deep thought, "Sorry, old neurons a bit off...Around two hundred of us. But heads up; the ones with the best shots are the worst off and can barely walk. Like me." he gestured, pointing his thumb to his chest. "They're mostly underground, cut off from sunlight. We need sun you know!" A small burst of Dross fire pelted the dead corpses, and a finger spun into the air, bouncing off the SeFlaurind's head. "Ow!" Another explosion rocked the foundation. "I hope it hasn't collapsed on their heads with you kids and your fancy fireworks!"

As he was mumbling to himself, a series of blasts from the Drathonians tore up the corner of the already crippled structure, bringing down more debris on Lieutenant Hendlow's head, and he too succumbed to unconsciousness, laid out flat beside Sehene. He was in for a real treat when he woke up...

The noise died down for a bit, with the retreating of the Drathonians. The few left to guard the door stayed behind cover and took potshots at anything they noticed moving. The Terrans did a similar thing from their positions, trying to take out the defenders, but it was clearly at a standstill for the moment. the battlefield smoked, and reeked of ozone and burnt flesh, but was the calmest it had been since the alarms had gone off, the very same Alarms which had now been silenced by antimatter charges. Muffled bangs and shots could be heard inside where jack's squad has made contact, but it was clear by the glow through the broken window that they were confined to the room they had entered. Kai realized that now was his chance and, through a gap in the pile of bodies, zeroed in on a Drathonian hiding behind the doorway. He flipped his helmet back down and his HUD displayed an accurate view of where his shot would go. He took a few moments to like it up with the soft spot on the Drathonian's neck, and fired, taking the beast out, an instant later, he grabbed the Colonel and pulled him over the pile of bodies, heading back towards the other Seflaurinds.

Perhaps it was the silence or perhaps it was merely Garrett's strong will, but he regained consciousness only a few minutes after being knocked out cold. His head ached like... well, like a block of wood had knocked him on the head. He slowly worked his way onto his back and grimaced, eyes squeezed shut. His thoughts were sluggish as were his movements. His hand slowly reached up to the helmet, trying to rub his eyes, but the visor impeded consolation. "Well fuck my skull and call me Dooby, that fucking hurt..." He took a deep breath and slowly sat up. Another series of profanities seeped from his mouth and bled through the communications system. "How long was I out?"

"Nnnn..." Sehene felt consciousness come back in a blurry haze; she did not really want to wake up. Goddamn her head hurt. The sounds of war began to ring in her ears again, and she opened her eyes to see that she managed to stay in the same spot as before. She groaned again and pulled herself into a more upright position, squinting at those nearest her, and wondering who exactly they were.

No answer as of yet. Go figure. He looked around and noticed Sehene coming to. Smirking, he spoke to her via the helmet mic, "Nice of you to finally join us. Have a nice--oh fuck." He grimaced a second time and pressed a gloved hand to his helmet. The pain just got worse, and Lieutenant Hendlow could have sworn his skull was on the verge of splitting.

The Drathonian handgun in Colonel Illaloo's hand boomed, rocking his frail frame as the Terran dragged his form away from the pile of bodies he had made earlier. A single slug ricocheted off the ground, and caught a Blaster on the ankle, knocking it over. "Ha! I still got it!" the old man exclaimed. Meanwhile, a single SeFlaurind Rebel was dragging the slightly smoking skeleton that was Killy. Several chunks of his suit and flesh were literally gone; how he was still alive was something to be surprised about. The Rebel laid him to rest next to a Terran who was sitting still against the wall, and quickly rejoined the battle. Killy's swollen eyes slowly opened, only to see slurry of rainbow colors and cute little critters hopping about. His eyes rotated in his reptilian head, and fell upon a Terran next to him. Its head looked like a yellow circle, with black beady eyes and a giant grin on its face. "Damned drugs..." he choked out. He was missing some of his lungs. Maybe half of his liver too. His hearing slowly came back to him, and thought he could hear techno music blaring from the guns. No matter whether or not they were firing, he could see streams of confetti flying out of their barrels. His helmet's built in translators picked up what seemed to be swearing in a language he did not understand; he returned the favor, "Yeah, fuck you too." he said in the graceful tongue of the Seflaurinds. Corporal Illaloo fired of his final shell, sending a trio of dumb lizards into convulsions on the ground as the acids burned into them. "Covering fire now!" he cried out. The temp of weapons fire suddenly intensified as every remaining SeFlaurind opened fire on the hiding Drathonians, keeping their snouts down.

She turned to the voice and grimaced in his direction; forgetting that her helmet also wouldn't make her face visible. She nodded in his direction, "Great to be back...” She looked over him with concern, he must've been hit hard. Speak of the devil; she didn't remember how she ended up this way... "Are you---" She paused as a SeFlaurind was placed next to her, and gaped in shock at what was remaining of him. "You're still alive..?"

Garrett slowly made it to his feet and slowly trod toward the stealth operative, his right hand clutching his Gurrote feebly. "What the hell? Is that..." It took him a moment to register the right word. His head was on fire, and his mind was anything but clear. "That's a... Sef? Damn." He pushed the SeFlaurind's arm gently with the toe of his boot, checking for a response. "You alive?" Of course, it wasn't a SeFlaurind; Killy was an Ottyo, but Garrett's mind was hazy, and he had every reason to get alien species mixed up when the only time he'd seen them was various media. "That's no good, and last I checked neither of us is qualified to aid a... whatever the hell that is." He sighed, and swore under his breath for a few seconds. "Our only medic is stuck with Jack in a building some distance that way." He gestured with his thumb over his shoulder.

Killy coughed once. Twice, spitting up blood. Yep. He was definitely missing some of his left lung as well. And one of his hearts stopped beating...he'd have to fix that quick, before the other heart failed too. Ignoring the little guttural words being spoken, his left hand touched his right wrist, bringing up a dim holographic image of his status. A caricature of his body was shown, all red, with several sections blinking. One of his fingers jabbed at the left rib cage, and an image of what was unmistakably a stopped heart came up. One of the alien symbols glowed, and he tapped it. His entire body flexed as the suit sent out an electric pulse in an attempt to get it beating again. And again. And again; finally, the image started to beat, and he turned off the display. He painfully looked at the two strangers, their heads giant smiling happy faces. The SeFlaurinds taught him one word, and he used it. "Hi."

Garrett couldn't help it. He laughed, and loudly so. "Holy shit, he knows Terran!" Lieutenant Hendlow chuckled again. "Man, I... Wow." This was perhaps the WORST moment in one's life to ever have a fit of laughter, but that was probably what made it so funny to the explosives expert. "Anything we can do, buddy?"

By then Kai had reached the SeFlaurind line, and he was surprised they had been able to not hit him, but very thankful for the cover fire. "Well, we’re here, old man" Kai muttered, piling behind the building once again and depositing the Colonel. He looked to See Garret, who seemed a bit dazed, and indeed his HUD identified garret's head region as a lighter shade of green, and was also greeted by an awake Sehene "Good to see you two," Kai said over the coms.

Sehene blinked, "Of course..." She faded off, mostly talking to herself. She was about to rest a hand on the alien - even if she didn't know what he was, she could see he needed help - but then paused in fascination at the hologram, and withdrew her hand. She was saved from the awkwardness of the situation by Kai, and greeted him with a nod and a stiff wave.

Garrett looked up, his temporarily shortened attention span jumping from one conversation to the next much easier than holding onto one or two. "Welcome back... Oh, fuck." He stumbled to his right and sat down, putting a hand to his helmet. "Screw my life."

"You two need stims, and I don't know what the hell that is, but likely our Terran Medicine could kill it," the Lieutenant observed, Pulling Sehene's medical pack out and grabbing a syringe, which he stuck into her arm, injecting stimulants, then motioned to Garret "You got yours?"

"Gyuu?" Yotruyan called out timidly; he was confused at the sudden outburst of words that came out of their faceless faces. And the blood loss, amongst other things was getting to him. He suddenly called out to the SeFlaurinds, "Help!" likely shocking the two Terrans. A SeFlaurind who had some experience speaking Terran braved the Drathonian fire, and quickly exchanged a few brief words with the black skeleton thing. To Yotruyan, the SeFlaurind looked like a giant green glowing neon sign. "Blood. No blood left. Have...stuff?" he asked, gesturing at his own veins and then Killy. "Friend! He friend!"

Garrett sighed and looked around. "Yeah... yeah." He pulled the kit off his hip, opened it up, and grabbed a stim. He checked for the standard dosage level and then pumped a dose and a half into his system. Then he tossed the needle as far away as possible. The headache was really getting to his nerves. He gestured at Killy. "What the hell is that? Never seen one before."

"Ahh...thank-you." She had forgotten about her head injury, but now only a few minutes and perhaps the pain would subside. "Yes, I've never seen anything like it as well. What is he? Incredible stamina it seems..."

"Looks like the inside of a Drathonian to me" Kai observed, as the Seflaurinds behind him kept fighting. The other group from Kai's squad, across the way motioned that they were going forward, as the fighting had died down, and Kai nodded, watching the four troopers move towards the Drathonian's hiding place.

Garrett Hendlow took a deep breath as the drugs took effect. "Oh my god..." His voice was relaxed, husky, and probably made some feel a bit awkward over the com, but he didn't care. "Hell, this is almost as good as sex..." Another sigh escaped his lips. "Ffff.... Oh, damn." At this point, Lieutenant Hendlow was essentially having phone sex with everyone on the same channel. As soon as he realized as much, he tried to apologize. "Sorry, I'm just REALLY fucked up right now. Ignore me." He yanked off his helmet to take a deep breath of fresh air. And by fresh, I mean smoky, debris-littered, choking atmosphere. Still, it was better than helmet air for the moment. "Damn."

Sehene looked at Garrett and subtly moved away from him. She was definitely not experiencing the same thing as he was...apparently.

Kai Patted Garret on the shoulder "I can't tell you if you're right about the sex thing, still Inexperienced myself, But you should be back soon." Behind his helmet, the blond was making an embarrassed face and rolling his eyes. "We need to move soon, the other team just moved in, and I think we've got everyone here, awake," Kai said, before turning to the SeFlaurind, and pointing at the Colonel. "Could you have him translate?" the Lieutenant asked, not quite getting what had been said.

Opening his eyes at the sound of a shifting body, he noticed Sehene moving away. He laughed raucously, letting his head hang. He stared vacantly at the ground, his thoughts a blur. Ultimately his mind was dominated by the swimming, swirling sensation of the feel-good drugs and hormones. Kai only gave him one more reason to chuckle hysterically. "Screw both of you," he said in a mild-mannered tone, a lazy smirk on his features. Another deep breath and the smirk subsided. "Alright. Just give me a few..." He put his face in his hands, trying to calm himself.

"You two, get up high, the three of you stay there and cut their heads off if they stick 'em out!" the old Colonel yelled out. He had picked up a Terran Carbine, and was expertly picking off Drathonians from the safety of cover. "Grandson, you there?"
"I'm right here gramps! Good to see you!" the younger one replied.
Meanwhile, Yotruyan 'Killy' looked up at the Terran who removed its helmet. Pale. It was so pale in comparison to the green SeFlaurinds. A scar was on its cheek as well, starting at the upper lip. Apparently their medicine was crap if they couldn't erase scars. He was so dead. "I'm so dead." he said in SeFlaurind.
"Hey, cut that out Killy! They'll patch you up, you'll see."
"I've got low blood pressure. Suit's going to put me in a coma if they don't do something..."
"Hey Terran, he needs an IV! Low blood pressure!" The Colonel spoke in Terran. He ducked behind cover as a few bolts impacted nearby, sending up stucco and dust. He quickly replied with a green bolt, and was rewarded with a cry. "How you like getting hit between the legs huh?!"

"Mortego has Plasma but he seems busy, I'll order him to get back here when Donnel's group catches up" Kai said to the Colonel, then proceeded to go about ordering such on the radio. Kai leaned out and put up covering fire, watching Donnel's group hop through the window, to be followed by Mortego hopping out and jogging back, his head down to make a low profile. The Seflaurinds did a good job of keeping the Drathonians pinned, and soon Mortego arrived. “What’s up OH Holy Fu- What is that thing?" the medic asked, looking at Killy. "Dunno, it’s apparently a friendly, he needs some plasma" Kai responded. "Right." the medic said, and got to work, sticking an IV into an exposed portion of flesh and rigging up a plasma bag. Kai looked at Sehene "You ready to go? We'll be moving out to clear the building once Mortego says the patient is stable." He held out a hand for her, and looked to Garret and gave him a nod of affirmation.

With a few minutes to cool down, Kai's prediction came true: the sensually pleasing overdose had died down. He still felt amazing, but the there was no more pseudo-eroticism. Just a lovely swimming feeling in his head and a fresh surge of energy. "Alright, I'm better." He put his helmet back on, grabbed his gun, and rose to his feet. "I'm going to help them clean up this mess."

Sehene looked to Kai and nodded, "Of course Sir, thank-you." She grabbed his hand and pushed herself onto her feet, not really needing his assistance, but not wanting to be rude. She grabbed her non-singed sugar, straightened herself out a bit, and nodded - mostly out of habit than really needing to do it at the moment.

While all this was going on Dante took cover as far away from Garrett as possible. He didn't want to face him after forgetting now to fight hand to hand and did nothing while he was risking his neck for him. He fired short aimed bursts at the Drathonians with a little frustration in each shot. I'm such an idiot! I train sim after sim and I forget hand to hand.

"Move up! It's time to clean house!" the Colonel cried out in his withered voice. "Killy, how are you?" he asked.
"I'm missing half a liver, part of my lung, several bits of flesh. On the bright side, I've got more fluids. How do you think I'm doing?! Tell them to just let the fluids flow in, I'll be fine." the skeletal figure replied. He coughed, bringing up coagulated blood which then dribbled out from under the helmet. "See? Fine."
"Terrans! He says to finish the fight!"

Kai Nodded at the old man "You stay here, Mortego, keep watch on him. Kai then noted there was still one Terran blip on his HUD that was alone and, looking back, he noted Dante "hey, Private sol, get over here. I need you and Mortego to work with the Natives and get us a translator working. The rest of us are going in." With that, Kai nodded to Garret and Sehene, and then proceeded for the low building in front, covered by fire from the Seflaurinds. He had grabbed his bag from the pile of rubble, and noted he had 5 Gurottes left. That would be good for now.

Hendlow threw his duffel bag of explosives over one shoulder and hoisted his gun with the other. "Lead the way, Lieu-Kai," Garrett answered, in the best mood in a long time. "Damn, these drugs are crazy. This must be how Orko feels all the time. I kinda want to just roll on these lizards now." He followed the younger Lieutenant toward the nearly demolished structure, a big grin on his face. "I have a feeling I'm going to enjoy this a little too much," he said to no one in particular.

Sehene kept a brisk pace after Kai, peering around for enemies. She knew they were inside by now. But...it was always good to be on guard. She looked back at Garrett, "I don't seem to be having the same effect from it as you..." She mused, and then turned back to face forward, setting her jaw and preparing for more battle. Close quarters, ugh, so much more...stressful...when it wasn't as out in the open.


Jack 'Orko' Gallagher had been so caught up in the screw job he was in, he forgot about the com channel. Thankfully for his skewed version of selective hearing, Garrett's sexual moanings brought the rest of the squadron back to his mind. "Unh~ ohhh! AHhhh! Feeling better, jackass? Ready to see me own the f*ck out of the lizards? Thought I was running in without a PLAN?" Jack cackled slightly over the com. "Thanks for sending Donnel and company. You might want to take some cover now. It's time for me to ruin your fun." Jack's voice evaporated from the com channel.

Jack Gallagher removed his helmet, his lightly sweating face relaxing in a moment of zen as he breathed in the Warzone air. Life was good. Death was better. The smell of Drathonian barbecue wafted in the window from all directions. He shuffled around in his duffel, Donnel staring at him questioningly.

The rest of the group was huddled against the interior wall, blasting away full-throttle through the doorway and holes they'd punched in the wall. By the sight of a doorway-shaped field of deep craters on the opposite wall, they'd been going away like this pretty intensely. Drathonian munitions and curses pummeled in through the door. They were stuck in a crappy supply closet at the end of the barracks.

The adjacent room was a pleasant little interrogation chamber for the Drathonian's favorite prisoners. Several limp green husks lay against the walls. More notable, of course, was the small doorway on one extreme end of the room, littered with quickly tossed in furniture. A crowd of Drathonians huddled behind their defenses, blasting their retaliatory fire right back at the Terrans. It had been a stalemate for a good while now, but Jack was intent on changing that very soon, thanks to his reinforcements.

"Gallagher, what in the hell are you doing? Don't think half the fleet hasn't heard about the crazy shit you do. Whatever it is, I'm not doing it." Donnel crossed his arms firmly. Jack just looked up at him, grinning over his duffel like some creepy little demon. "Now, what would make you think that?" he said mockingly. Having located what he was looking for, he pulled it out, and held it up for Donnel. "Victory cigar?" he offered.

Donnel just looked at him like he was freaking insane, though his expression was wasted behind his combat visor. "You are one fucked up bastard," Donnel muttered, slapping the side of his own head. Jack merely laughed, placing the cigar in his mouth. He held a few more in his other hand. Shouting to Ruth and Kwon, he held them up. Both turned briefly, keeping their guns blaring at the positions they'd been pummeling for the past ten minutes. Kwon shook his head, though he obviously knew what was going on. Ruth grinned, holding up a hand to catch a cigar as Jack tossed it. "If only you could light your cigars with antimatter, yeh? If only we were still in the days of dynamite sticks," Jack laughed tossing Ruth his lighter after igniting his own cigar. "Ooo," Ruth cooed, "The expensive kind!"

Jack took a long drag of his cigar, leaving things at the status quo. Donnel was obviously irritated at his lax attitude in the middle of a firefight. "Seriously! What the f*ck are you trying to pull?!" Jack yawned widely, then finally stood. In one hand he held his Sugar. In the other, he held his last two APE-7 charges, magnetized together. "All right boys, cover me," Jack spat through his cigar-clenched teeth.

"Auw, hell...." Donnel groaned, seeing the heavy explosives Jack had in his hand. He flipped on his squad com, adding onto Jack's last statement from a minute earlier. "Guys, I think you might want to listen to the lunatic and take some cover. He's got two spatial charges!" As much as Donnel didn't want a hand in this, he didn't want to be blown to smithereens because Suicidal Jack Gallagher got shot down before he could chuck his bombs. He ran to the edge of the doorway, squatting beside it with his gun at the ready. "Gallagher, I swear to God, if you get me killed, I will find you in hell."

Jack laughed one more time. "Wake up and smell the brimstone, baby." He carefully plopped his helmet back on, keeping his visor up enough for his cigar to stick through. "SHOW TIME BOYS!!!! Yippee-ki-yay!!" As Jack backed up for his running start, Donnel muttered, "Motherfucker...." With that, Jack Gallagher went charging through the doorway, ready to chuck his Drathonian Christmas present through the doorway to the main barracks, no matter how many limbs he lost. Though preferably only one or two, tops.

Lieutenant Hendlow just laughed again. "Oh, well I imagine that has something to do with the fact that I took a dose and a half." He shivered spontaneously. "Ugh. So good." That was when Jack broke onto the line, and sent Garrett into another fit of laughter. "Oh, oh shit, Gallagher. I'm coming for you." After a brief pause, he chuckled again. "No, seriously. I'm coming to wherever the hell it is you've buried yourself to pick up the pieces. Try not to bleed too much you crazy bastard." A big grin was stuck on his face.

The Drathonians were ready for Jack, Every single one firing into the narrow choking hallway at once. What they weren't ready for was his speed, and by the time they had pulled their triggers, the madman had dived to the floor and begun a high-speed roll to get himself farther into their ranks. He really was an idiot, but that was his job to deal with. Donnel called the rest of the group back after Jack had disappeared, knowing the destructiveness of the Antimatter charges. He didn't want anyone more dieing. By then, Kai, Garret, and Sehene had reached the building, clambering into the room from the window. It was from here that they would start their attack.

Jack had a mound of angry plasma writhing through his belly, but he still had enough consciousness left in his head to think 'throw.' As he barreled into the middle of their group, he lobbed the charges over their heads and into the doorway with a long-distance arc. In the seconds it would take it to hit the ground and detonate, Jack grabbed one of the slightly more surprised Drathonians by the throat and dragged him down over him, using him as a 'human' shield.

The charges Arced through the air, spinning slightly, almost like a football. It was a glorious throw, even if Jack Gallagher didn't get to see it. It flew right into the wall, smashing the timer unit, and stopping the countdown. The bomb clattered to the floor, useless. But it had done something as it flew, surprising a small, dog-sized Drathonian whom had been carrying a stringer of bouncer grenades, which it dropped, the explosive animals detonating on impact with the floor, turning the room into a raging inferno in seconds. the fire burned, scattering lizards who weren't hurt, and flinging those close to the explosion about, achieving Jack's intended effect without destroying the building.

Once inside, Garrett checked his gun a second time before heading toward all the ruckus. It sounded like the damn Apocalypse was getting its start in a Drathonian prison camp's basement. He was still smiling as he made his through the various rooms. The drugs were really taking a hold because Garrett's care-free nature was definitely in force ten fold. He would never have strolled so confidently down an occupied stairwell or marched across a room with bullets whizzing if it weren't for those drugs. He knelt next to Donnel and asked, "So, what just happened? Please tell me I didn't miss the party."

As the group reunited, Kai asked Donnel, "Where's Gallagher?" Donnel answered with a simple point to the blasted-out hallway, and the glow of dieing flames from down a set of stairs. A flaming Drathonian ran out, and was subsequently shot by Ruth, but it was clear jack had done something stupid. Kai's palm connected with the faceplate of his helmet before he shook it and said "Alright, we have to move that direction anyway. Hopefully Jack is still alive, and we can get to our objective from there. Move out, people!" Kai called, checking his Sugar before rushing into the hallway. he was met with a few pulses from a wounded Drathonian's pistol, which were off-course and quickly silenced as Kai sent a sniper round into the lizard's skull. Plunging down the stairs, the group was met with much less resistance than jack had faced, most of the Lizards having retreated down a far hallway. Over the nearly dead flames, a few stragglers flung potshots at the squad, and Kai ordered them to take cover behind the bodies strewn about the room.

Sehene merely raised her eyebrow at what seemed to be the end of that conversation, and turned to the events at hand. She made her way into the building, trying not to create any problems with hurting herself while climbing through the window, although it was a tad slower than the others, due to her height. She made it through and nodded at Kai's orders, "Yes sir." She made her way through the hallway and down, and made herself 'at home' behind a slightly oozing corpse.

A muffled noise was heard from the corpses at their feet, and a Drathonian that had appeared dead began rising up for a second go at them.....

Garrett made his way after his team, moving slowly, calmly, and carrying a huge grin on his face, like some teenager about to score later that night. In a sense, he was about to score. He was looking forward to putting some bullets in a lizard. Maybe some hand-to-hand combat. He wasn't sure, but the thoughts kept him occupied as he sat down cross-legged, pulled a Brawler over his lap, and took his time firing at any idiot that so much as thought of looking in his direction. His hand was steady and his fire was true, but few and far between. And each accompanied with a small chuckle as he watched the lizard fall. And then a shuffling sound. He turned away from his sighting to look around. Just a few feet to his right, and just behind Sehene, a Drathonian was slowly rising to his feet. Those drugs were REALLY messing with the Lieutenant, because in his haste to respond to the threat, he dropped his gun. "Oh shit," was all he could think as he scrabbled for his knife and lunged at the beast with loud shout.

Hendlow would be greeted with a very un-Drathonian cry. "Grrawwhat?" As he crushed the creature back against the floor, he noticed the arm of a UTR marine sticking out from underneath, giving him a one-finger salute.

Sehene was focusing on taking shots at the few Drathonians who were in her line of fire - without waste - and was startled by Garrett's shouting. She turned around to find a Drathonian right behind her, and Garrett launching himself on to the creature. She aimed her gun, but couldn't fire; the risk of hitting Garrett was too high. She was extremely panicked for a moment, and then paused...a marine..? She lowered her weapon. "You're lucky I didn't shoot you." She growled at him, and knelt down so she could shove the body off once Garrett was out of the way.

Garrett paused before the stab, slightly stunned. He knew that voice like he knew his own. Seeing Sehene pause, he pivoted one on foot, kneeling next to the pile of bodies. "Well screw me sideways and call me Shirley, it's just the man I came to see." He chortled and shook his head. He sheathed the knife and jogged to his gun. Once it was in his hands, the explosives expert looked to Jack and said, "You are the craziest bastard I have ever met, and I must say I am very glad you haven't up and killed yourself yet."

Jack coughed a bit, some phlegmy blood shooting across his chin. "About that...." He forced himself to say. As the body was removed from in front of him, it revealed the gruesome state of his chest.

Kai rolled his Eyes at Jack, who looked rather messed up, and Called for Mortego "Mortego, Jack's nearly killed himself again. Get your a** down here and get him stable. the rest of us are going on ahead." A few moments later, the distinctive clomp of Terran marines' boots could be heard, with Mortego followed by the rest of the squad coming down the steps. As they hid behind whatever cover was open, Mortego got to work, and Kai looked over the flames to see that their enemies had completely retreated. "Come on Kids, let's go after 'em. What do you say, Hendlow?"

Hendlow smirked, still feeling a faint buzz from the pseudo-adrenaline drugs. "Right behind you, Lieu-Kai. I still have plenty of handy explosives to clear this slimy Hell-hole. Let's get to work, grunts!" He marched forward, rifle held in a relaxed position as the group proceeded toward the innards of the facility. He glanced over his shoulder briefly at Sehene. "Stick close, little lady. Got a feeling this s**t's gonna get ugly.

"You ready for this man?" Kwon, the younger marine was excited, pumped up and ready to storm the room around the corner. Ruth, on the other hand, was the older, more seasoned veteran; he wasn't in such a hurry. "Plenty out in the halls, sticking their noses out already. Pick them off first. Smarter ones will hide and wait." he replied calmly. This apparently didn't sit too well with the eager Kwon. Just as he opened his mouth to complain, a burst of Dross fire hit their cover, blowing chunks away. Ruth blurred his arm around the corner, blind-firing his Sugar in a fiery spray; a pained gurgle and the sound of a hard landing awarded the Terran. "Told you so."

Sehene left Jack in the hands of the medics, and followed behind Hendlow yet again; she ended up doing a lot of this 'following' him lately didn't she? She shook her head to ease distraction, and began to look for a suitable place for cover, while searching for headshots to make. She fired randomly at a Drathonian that was much farther out than its companions, her bolts whizzing close enough to Hendlow that they would probably make him uncomfortable. “Sorry…” She stated matter-of-factly, with a hint of mirth in her voice, and she managed to shoot out a few more.

Kai came around the corner, patting Kwon before moving into the hallway "You don't move by taking cover, come on babies" he called to the squad, rushing towards one of the nearby rooms and busting the door upen, opening up with his Suagr on full auto, the surprised, weaponless Drathonians inside being taken out quickly by the sheer volume of fire. Kai clicked the button, dropping the battery out of his rifle and switching it for a fresh one. "Let's keep moving guys!"

Garrett let off his own salvo as Sehene's barrage flew by his shoulder. As the next room was cleared, his smirk spread to a grin. "This is combat, babe. Don't worry 'bout it." He strode into the next room, reached into his favorite jacket and pulled out a cigarette. He'd found this new brand that didn't need a lighter. Pull-tabs on the end ignited the sticks. Garrett gave one a yank and sure enough, it lit. He took a deep drag then spit it out in a pool of lizard blood. He couldn't go giving away his team's position, could he? He strode up to the next door, drew a grenade from his bag of goodies, and pulled the pin. The door was kicked open, he tossed the explosive underhand toward the center of the cellar, and pressed his back to the wall. Seconds later, he got what he wanted: a big boom, and lizard giblets splattered on all six surfaces of the room.

Ruth chuckled at the indignant expression on Kwon's face as the younger marine spoke, "Aw, come on! You guys are getting all the kills here!" The intrepid duo moved forward, Kai still in the doorway to the room he cleared. Something funny; where was that Dross rifle the lizard dropped earlier? "s**t!" The Dross in question, with new owner in tow stepped out of the next room. No time! Ruth shoved Kwon away from the red bolts and into Kai as he swept his Sugar over the Drathonian. A bolt caught him in the left arm, blowing off the protective plate, knocking him onto his can. Another red figure stooped out of another doorway, trying to pick up the weapon. A short burst cut the arm off. "You're still getting all the kills!"[/b] the Terran bawled. "Eh. Lucky Kai broke my fall. You two Ok?" he asked, pulling Kai up from the floor.

Sehene giggled at Garret slightly, continuing on. She kept watch on the hallway, taking shots at any enemy that poked their heads from a door early.

Kai rolled his eyes again, as Ruth helped pull him and Kwon up. "Be more careful guys. Now, pick a room and make sure there aren't any greenies in it before you start firing." With that, the Lieutenant moved on to the next door, repeating the process of the previous room, with the difference that he was shot at this time. A quick duck roll away, and kai called for Garrett "We need something to go boom over here, Hendlow."

Garrett strode nonchalantly to the doorway and squatted near the wall. With eyes closed, he rummaged through his bag with one hand and pulled out a newer and more powerful version of what people in the 21st century knew to be C4. He set the timer for three seconds, initiated the countdown, and gave it a toss. "Step back," he muttered as he shoved his bag away and took a few long steps after it. The boom would arrive shortly.

As Garret's explosive went off, disrupting the building, both Ruth and Kwon could hear something too familiar; crying. "Remember Mr. Armless Lizard you made earlier? Same room." he nonchalantly pointed out. Kwon hadn't exactly done the cleanest of jobs, and now someone was going to pay the price for his mistake. The frustrated marine was standing by the doorway, with Ruth wordlessly ready to back him up, as always. The duo charged in, short bursts spouting from their rifles. A pair of Drathonians dropped to the floor. The third, missing half it's arm, was using a small green girl as a shield, it's claws slowly digging into her neck. What was most likely her family pleaded in their flowing tongue to the lizard; both the girl's eyes and the lizards were dilated in fear and pain. "My fault." Kwon simply spoke. A heartbeat later, the Drathonian's remaining arm dropped to the floor. Little girls didn't make for good shields. "SeFlaurinds! There's something wrong with them!" he desperately cried out. The weakened people were barely responding. "Anyone have a UV bulb?!" Ruth asked, his calm breaking after the close call.

"Why the hell would we have a UV bulb?" Kai yelled back, rushing to the room. "I think we should start bringing them outside if we can. For now, let's keep moving. The hall ends right here to what looks like the main room." Kai stopped at the last door, looking through a window, seeing an artificially lit room filled with posts, Green-skinned people chained to them, hulking, red forms hiding behind a number of them "Yup, this is it." Kai tried the door, finding it locked. "Hendlow! we need a skeleton key!"

"More where that came from." Ruth replied out loud, referring to the earlier incident. The veteran fished out a small makeup mirror he kept on himself. As Kwon opened his mouth, he merely put a finger to his lips. "Shut it." The larger Terran used it to safely look into the same window Kai had a moment ago, and then shared the image with everyone else, raising tempers afire. "Think you can stomach that all over again, Kwon?" he asked, not unkindly. "Yeah. Yeah." he replied. The younger marine was tired and worn, Ruth could see that. But if they were lucky, it was all going to be over quick, real soon. "We're ready. And waiting." he quietly spoke to Kai.

"Right," Kai replied to the older Lieutenant, putting the small brick on the door, setting the timer for ten seconds, pressing the button, and backing away. "CLEAR!" he shouted, waiting the few seconds for the explosive to go off. Once it did, he checked his ammo reserves, and looked at the door "They're all ready for us. We have to be careful not to hit the prisoners. We're just lucky they haven't killed them all yet. now, let's GO!" and with the, Kai kicked the door open and dove in, rolling behind the nearest, thankfully empty pillar , and hid behind it, the sudden withering fire beginning to eat away at his wooden cover. Kai took the time to look around the Pillar and aim high, popping a shot off just quickly enough to avoid decapitation by hiding behind the pillar once more.

"Goddamnit, you fool!" Garrett shouted into the room as he pressed his back against the wall. "Shut your eyes, cover your ears. This'll hurt." He pulled out a small cylindrical device. "Hold back, troop. It's gonna make this job a lot smoother. Flashbang out!" he yanked the pin and tossed it into the room. An unendurable three seconds later, it went off with a blinding flash and a deafening BANG. "Clear the room! FAST!" Garrett made sure he was right behind Ruth and Kwon as the marines filed in to do their work.

Ruth piled in right behind Kwon. The duo literally ran up to the dazed Drathonians, and shot them, execution style. It was quick work, almost comical, if it weren't for the screams and wails of the helpless civilians. Ruth put his Sugar to the side of a Drathonian's head, and pulled the trigger; the head jerked to the side and smeared the wall before disintegrating under the burst. Kwon, however, was outright angry. He ran right up to a Drathonian, and smashed the side of his Sugar into the toothy mouth, sending teeth and bits of his rifle flying. He threw it down, and followed up with several shots into the chest and neck from his sidearm. "I think. I think that's the last of them." Kwon breathlessly replied. Ruth grimly nodded as the pained moans went on and on...

And shots from farther down the room glanced off Kwon's helmet, the force blowing it clean off his head and throwing him to the floor. While The marine was perfectly fine, shaken up would probably be an understatement at this point. Kai got up from his position, and, with Sehene's help, sniped some of the only partially-dazed opponents on the other side of the room. There were still a couple more, but those were gunned down quickly, Leaving only the squad of Terrans and several hundred malnourished, mistreated SeFlaurind prisoners in the room. "No, THAT's the last of them." Kai commented, taking his helmet off, and shaking his head, sweat flinging off of his hair. It had been a tough battle, but it was finally over.

Garrett marched into the room, gun at the ready, but they were all dead by the time he got a bead. He tossed the gun down and his gaze fell on the SeFlaurind prisoners, and a hand tore his helmet from his skull. Then it stuck to his forehead like glue. "Aww fuck. I screwed that one up real smooth-like. Damnit. Uh... Well, f-- um.... Do we have a translator in the house? Someone to tell these poor sun-lovers I'm sorry? I didn't mean to-- I... You know what? Whatever. Um. Sorry, y'all. That was my bad." He pressed all ten fingers to his chest to emphasize his words. "I'm, I'm really sorry. Forgot you were all sensitive 'n shit." His hands extended toward them in an apologetic outreach. "I'm really sorry about the, you know." Garrett's hands rose to either side of his face and rotated in a vertical circle, gesturing at his entire face, even though the SeFlaurinds were still too damaged to watch him make a fool of himself. "You know, the whole sight 'n hearing thing. My mistake. Real fuckin' sorry. Really, I mean it."

He took a deep breath and looked around at his squaddies. "Anyone? Anyone speak plantese? Can someone help me out here? Got a real message to convey here and they're deaf as dead folk and I'm spoutin' Terran like they're omniscient flowers. Damn." Another deep breath. "I could really use a cigarette, some quiet time. I'll... Lieu-Kai, you got this. I'mma go sit in the other room, take a smoke break. You let me know if you need shit blown up, alright?" And with his piece said (several times) he stepped into the next room and lit up another cigarette and tried to take his mind off all that happened; he needed to slow down, calm down, and get a grip. He had just REALLY screwed up.

Light. Kwon saw light. Was that the stupid tunnel everyone commented on? No. A pair of something's moved over the harsh light, followed by a third, larger thing. Drip. Drip. Drip. Needless to say, something hot and warm was dripping onto his face! His eyes shot open, and before he could make sense of what it was, Ruth's head got in the way. "Still alive? I have to admit, it's a pretty novel way of waking you up. Her crying on you and all." Kwon genuinely looked confused, but before he could comment, Ruth drew back, revealing the source of the earlier shadows. He had landed right in front of a post where a SeFlaurind was tied to. The young woman had apparently leaned over him despite the ropes binding her, and woke him up by letting her tears from the flash-bang drip on him. She giggled a little, though slightly pained. "Hi. Uh. Thanks." he sheepishly replied. "Lover-boy! You going to untie her or not?" Ruth scolded. "I'm on it, I'm on it!" he replied, embarrassed. He hastily scurried to his feet, and begun to free the girl. He had to admit, he could easily get around the whole being green thing...

After that, The Marine squad got around to untying, and in some cases, unchanining, all the prisoners, whom were all brought outside. By now, it was nearly sunup; and the Seflaurinds saw natural light for the first time in weeks, months, or even years. It was a good day for Perrenia, and a helpful day to the Terrans. Perhaps they would have some allies in this fight soon.

~~END CHAPTER~~

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