Chapter Two: Demonix

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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Chapter Two: Demonix

Post by Kai » Fri Dec 24, 2010 12:17 am

Demonix it'self is formiddable. A fleet killing weapon, It is a ship even larger than a Drake. The main bulk of the ship is called the Fury cannon, Largest ever made. It fires a beam like the solaris, Except one thing. While the Solaris simply fires a beam, the Fury fires an immense cone. it has one main weakness: there is only one of it. To protect it'self, it has a fleet of one thousand Drake and Raptor class ships, all of which it dwarfs. It is a lumbering thing, not fast or agile, but that doesn't stop it from being deadly. This enormous red hulk is so huge, the resources of one entire planet the size of mars was used to create it. You get the picture. Many of it's components are captured terran technology, put together by Terran engineers, tortured into submission. This thing means death for any who come near it, and it has come here.

Warping into existence, the Drathonian Demonix fleet came out using positions deemed safe by the previous drathonian fleet, many places of which were now occupied by Terran and Altresian ships. The Ships colliding at a speed greater than light, every time a pair met up, both were immediately destroyed. there was no warning, no chance to escape. Just the fabled bright light and then, Darkness. Orders of retrat by the ships on the left side of the Hymn were immediately counteracted by a "HOLD FIRM" from both the Kosmos and Battle Hymn. On every ship, the red alert was sounded, on every ship, the guns were unleashed, wraking waves of destruction on the unsuspecting Demonix fleet. The Demonix it'self, being at the rear, was unharmed, it's meatshield, decimated.

In the first five seconds, 37 of the 450 terran ships were Immediately destroyed or damaged beyond repair, 300 of the drathonian ships met the same fate, but still, The Terrans were greatly outnumbered, and this was going to be quite a battle. Their one respite: Demonix's Fury cannon was not charged, giving the Terrans time for more mass destruction of the other, weaker Drathonian ships.

The ride back to the Hymn was a smooth one. Smooth enough, even, for Garrett to take it standing. Once back on his mothership, he went right back to work. There would be more boarding procedures to be endured, and more s___ to blow up, thus he would need more explosives, and more attache gear.

When the red alert sounded, Garrett was ready. He lit up a fresh cigarette and tucked away the lighter as he strode into the launch bay. Soon, they'd be calling for invasion teams, and he planned on being one of the first guys out. No doubt they'd need a demos expert for th...

Garrett stopped midstride to gaze out at the enemy fleet. It was huge, and on top of that they had one hell of a flagship. It was most certainly rivaling the dimensions of the Hymn, but what left Garrett worried the most was the grotesquely gigantic cannon. It could easily blow a moon to bits, not to mention a ship such as the Hymn. This was going to be a battle for the ages...

And Garrett was senior demolitions expert aboard the Battle Hymn.... How exciting.

Kurohime woke in a daze, all she could remember was Demonix, it resembled a huge gun, then the blackness had come.
"Oh no, it's here!" she sat straight up, only to be held in place,
"Whoa there calm down." she suddenly realised she was in the sick bay.
"How did I get here?" she asked slumping back into a sitting position.
"Someone found you on the observation deck and bought you here."
"Do you know who it was?" she queried, she'd not noticed anyone else there, she had been distracted by Demonix
"He wouldn't tell us, he just made sure you were being treated, then left."
"Oh, ok, ummm, when can I go, I really need to get to engineering."
"Well, we've dealt with the blood loss, and stitched up the wound, but we need to know how you got it."
"Well, I was one of the boarding team on that drake, and I got it there, but didn't notice, my gear was covered in blood from other people and all the adrenaline meant I didn't feel it." she was rather embarrased about the whole situation.
"How's the captain?" she asked suddenly
"We had to amputate his leg, even with the first aid he recieved there was nothing we could do to save it, he's currently getting used to his new cybernetic leg."
"Ok, so when can I go?"
"In a few minutes, we just need to check the wound is healing and that you won't do anything too strenuous."
"I won't only strenous thing us engineers do is crawl through the small conduits, and there's enough of us that I can get someone else to do it for me."

A few minutes later she was discharged, given painkillers and told what she could and could not do.
Once out of sight of the sick bay she turned her walk into a jog, she had to get to engineering quickly.

Ten minutes of jogging later she arrived,
"Sorry I'm late."
"We heard." Abul said, "Davidson is with the guys in external weapons getting the overheated cannons back online. And we've finished the clean up here, not that there was much to clean up. Marie is running a full ship diagnostics scan, so we can deploy the teams where they're needed most."
"Ok, that's good." Kurohime sat on a chair by her console.
She could see the results of the scan coming it.
"Right, our top priorities are navigaion and shields, we've got something big and nasty outside and I don't know what it's capabilities are, so we need to be able to withstand anything, or get out of the way real fast."

Steven got back to his ship after asking for updates to what the hell was happening from some of the other captains. He got back to find another group of mechanics working on his ship, and, after shoeing away the mechanics, got to work on his ship himself. He was working on the wiring in one of the wings when his head started throbbing again, and he asked a runner to bring him a cup of coffee.

He was sipping his coffee as he looked over damage stats in the cockpit console, the entire time there was the thrum of white noise on his comm channel. "What the Hell is going on out there," he thought as he worked.

The room Darian was perfectly positioned to see the chaos unfold outside. He just stood and stared ad a Drathonian fleet warped in, wreaking havoc on ships in the vicinity. It took the red alert to wake him from his shock. His mind raced and he bolted toward the docking bay. Upon arriving in the bay, he slid to a stop and stared.

Where is my ship?

One of the Mechanics caught Darian's odd look, and promptly scanned his name badge, bringing up his fighter info on a data device he had. After a bit of searching, the mechanic simply said "take the blue, green and purple frankenfighter over there, It's the best we've got" pointing at said fighter. All in all it was in rather good shape, the best parts of four or five different fighters put together as quickly as possible while still being solid and usable. In truth, the terran engineers had designed the fighters to work this way, for just these situations.

With patient’s blood splattered on his armor, Edward quickly worked with the rest of the medical team to care for those that had been wounded during the raid on the drake. In the middle of a corridor just out side the hanger where many other medical personnel were working, he was patching up a wounded marine who had caught a large chunk of shrapnel in his arm.
"You're very lucky, you know that?” Edward happily said, removing his helmet to wipe his brow. "I just need to finish dressing the wound, then someone can take you to medbay. Also this is going to sting... A lot.” he said as he stuck the tip of a small round cylinder that had "Med-Foam" printed on it's side, into the wound.
Pressing a button on the top with his thumb, a large amount of foam shot into the open wound, purging it of all bacteria, also eating away at any dead flesh inside. The patient let out a scream of agony, at the immense pain. As soon as the wound was taken care of, Edward had another medic take the marine to the medical bay for further treatment.

Pulling himself to the side of the corridor he propped himself up and rested the back of his head against the wall, letting out a big sigh.
"This is insane, and now what... Even though we're in code blue, the battle isn't over", Edward contemplated.
Taking moment to him self, he Looked at his helmet and traced his finger carefully along the word "Doc", printed on the front in rough white paint. Letting out another sigh, he tossed the helmet over his shoulder and walked towards hanger to see if his squad leader was there. Edward having only just arrived on the Battle Hymm before the raid was unable to meet his captain and join up with his assigned squad. In his mind he went through and processed what the captain would be like, whether he was a very strict and overly rule abiding nut case, or if he was more laid back and cool. Either way Edward was nervous to meet him, and was getting himself worked up over it.

After entering the hanger Edward was stunned by the vast number of craft being worked and how quickly the engineers were moving from job to job.
"Wow" he said startled, at the sheer sight of it all.
Lost, he stood looking around to see if he could find someone that could point him in the direction of his captain.


The docking bay was stuffed with fighters and transports, but mostly fighters. Engineers and technicians hacking, reshaping, and refitting ships. Some of them looked so freakish being made of ships painted different colors; some had as many as five different colors, but there were still a large amount made entirely of their original. It was a bit of sour humor in Garrett's mind, seeing all these elegant, lethal pieces of machine looking so disheveled with their mix-and-match bodyparts. Then again, he had a horrible, morbid sense of humor when all things were said and done.

He was crossing the room as he came across a medic, quite out of place considering the man simply stood near the entrance, looking awed. Garrett slapped him on the back of the shoulder. "Wake up, Doc. Round two's about to start, and the last thing I want is my Doc half-asleep when he's trying to patch my wounds." He looked toward the rest of the bay, taking a deep draw on the cigarette. "Beautiful sight, though, to watch these babies take off. Only sight more beautiful is when they blow the enemy to hell." He smirked to himself and looked at Edward. "So what're you here for?"

Waking up from his trance, Edward nervously eyed the man who had just slapped his back.
"I uh... um... I'm looking for a captain Nakamura, I think?" stated Edward, looking up at the rugged man "I'm supposed to meet up with him and join my assigned squad... Well, what ever captain handles the marines I guess."
Wiping the blood from the front of his chest plate and shoulder pads nervously. He once again looked up and read the last name on the man's uniform.
"Hendlow" he quietly said out loud thinking to himself, "Oh... Wait! You’re the demo expert I've heard of you! Er... Sir!” quickly realizing Garrett vastly out ranked him he shot him a quick and well defined salute, one that gave away he was fresh from basic.
"Sir! It's an um, an honor to meet you sir! I'm private Victor sir!" Edward barked indecisively, "Sir, I'm looking for my CO, sir!"
Edward poorly contained his awkwardness, and after about a minute he finally realized he forgot to lower his hand from his salute, and slowly lowered it down to his side embarrassed. Looking up at Garrett he gave him a quick awkward smile and winced.

Kai looked up from his work for a second to see a blood covered medic acting very green to the local demo expert. Kai just chuckled to himself, thinking MAN we really must be hurting for soldiers. He loaded the final micro-missile into the launch tubes then wiped the grease off his hands, and walked over to the confused looking soldier, Asking him "Wacha lookin for, there, son?" though the man was not much younger than him. Before Kai could get an answer, the Red alert sounded, getting everyone to scramble for their respictive emergency stations, though Kai dragged the private along, just in case.

The Battle hymn and Kosmos, the only ships in the fleet with solaris cannons, charged all functioning guns to full capacity and unleashed a volley at Demonix. While ripping through any ships in the way, the three shots barely dented Demonix's enormously heavy shields. The ship stood firm against the greatest might the terrans had to offer. Jaws dropped. One captain on a ship died of heart failure, the radio channels went dead. after a few seconds one thing was heard over every comm on every ship in the fleet. "SHIT". No one knows who uttered it, nor will anyone ever learn, two seconds after that exclamation, the behemoth fired it's cannon. In a blinding flash of light, 640 drathonian and 286 Terran ships ceased to exist.

In the military base on Terra IV, an alarm was sounded, the planet was to be abandoned, in seconds, the people of mankind's last planet escaped in ships designed for just such a travesty, all pointed towards Altres and shot off before the slow Drathonian engineers could figure out where they went. there were no worries about evacuating the towns, that had been done weeks ago. the base however was in a rush to destroy or grab every important secret document they could before escaping and destroying the base. from the orbit, the few remaining ships watched as 1,000,000 kilatons of nuclear warheads destroyed 5 years of hard work and human sacrifice.

What was left of the fleet remained stunned, and all turned to the battle hymn of the republic, as the kosmos had been obliterated in the giant cone of death. The Pride of the terran fleet fled. So did the rest of the terran fleet.

"Dammit! I hate those damn drathonians! why? why? WHY? I wish I could just kill them all! AAARGHH!" The normally calm Admiral Ceres had lost it, kicking and screaming, yelling and banging things. Once his fury had subsided, the admiral broke down further, first to silence, then into sobs. he slumped in his chair and cried, a broken man.

All the people on the ship watched in wonder out of the viewports, most had not seen what had happened, and now all they saw was the blur of the stars as the ship turned tail and ran faster than the speed of light.

Kurohime saw the warp drive kick in, but she had the data she needed, even so, she felt so angry, that monster had wiped out so many people, just like that.
"Ok, guys how are you all doing?" she commed the engineers who were fixing the ships up.
Once she recorded the progress, she turned back to her data, there had to be a weakness somewhere, but there were brains bigger than her's who would be better qualified to study it, but she'd already noticed one thing, the white noise followed a set pattern.
She ran the pattern through a replay of the battle, and frowned.
"A countdown, is it to warn their other ships, not likely, since they don't seem to move out the way, maybe to warn themselves about something, but what?" she muttered to herself.
She sent all this data to the bridge and tactics with a little note:
"White noise follows a pattern, at the same point in each cycle demonix fires, only reason they would have that is as a warning, but to warn against what?"
She shook her head, she needed to eat, so she got up and went to the mess hall on that level. She grabbed a bowl of hot soup, Martian Vegeteble flavour, and some bread, she took a seat and found herself unable to eat, just stir the soup absentmindedly.

Before Edward could address Kai, the red alert sounded, and the Demonix fired it's gun, wiping out almost all of the fleet. He saw it all through a large view port on the opposite wall across where he was in the hanger, being dragged along by Kai. After the red alert was over, and the warp drive kicked in, Edward was in disbelief at what had just happened. His comm radio picked up a garbled message on the damage the Demonix had caused, "Their gone! *bzzzt* The whole fleet and the Kosmos! *bzzt* We're all that's left! *bzzzt*" A random comm officer uttered through the radio before the message became unclear with static.

Obviously, the message didn't help and cluttered Edward's thoughts. Which were already racing through his head, and his right hand started to shake violently.
"You've got to be kidding me... All those people are dead, and there was nothing we could do! Nothing!" Edward stopped and finally shouted, putting his hands on his head as if trying to keep it from exploding, "I just freaking got here, and we've already lost! Game over man! That it, now we're retreating... What next? They follow us, and just kill us all somewhere else!?"
After a few seconds Edward took a deep breath and tried to gain his composure. Sulking in his own actions, he looked around at a few of the crew staring at him. He rarely lost his it, let alone screamed out like he had just done. Though this was the first time he had ever been put into a situation like this, other than the time his planet was attacked when he was younger. This was different, he was older now, and knew what was actually was going on. He looked down at his hand which was still slightly shaking nervously, and let out sigh. Then slowly, looked up at Kai embarrassed at his own actions.
"Sorry sir, I didn't mean to scream out like that... Sorry... Sir.. Just so many people... Dead" Edward said, quickly shooting his look away from Kai.

Kai stared, Dumbstruck at such a horrific act of malevolence rent by one machine on the lives of so many creatures. The fact that it didn't disctriminate between friend and foe just made it that much more terrible. But He was a captain, a captain was supposed to be strong, and steadfast in the face of danger. His remaining real knee buckled, the robotic one still remained erect, not being conected to his emotions. The captain was thankful for it, and planted his hand on the private's shoulder, both to steady himself and calm the medic. "It's okay, we all get to lose it sometimes" His voice came out a bit harsh, as he was attempting to restrain himself too, trying not to lose it.

The red alert subsided as soon as the ship entered hyperspace, the drathonians had no way of catching them here, the stupid beings that they were.

Steven was splicing wires on the fighter's wing again, when the alarm went off causing Steven to get a nasty shock from the wires. He swore loudly, but got quiet as he looked through the doors of the hanger at the horror unfolding outside as Demonix fired it's cannon. He felt a shiver run down his spine. He, along with most of the hanger, stared as Terran ships and Drathorian ships alike were destroyed.
Steven was speechless and uncomfortably cold with a sense of helplessness. He wasn't even at all certain how long he stood staring at the mayhem, but when it cleared he felt sick. So he climbed down off the wing, for he wished to go to the med bay to see Green 2.


Meigan forgot everything when she saw the Demonix firing its weapon. Forgot where she was, what she was supposed to be doing and, not to anyone's surprise, forgot how to stand. She collapsed to her knees and just stared out a glass window of some sort at the large, red, apocoliptic vessle that is Demonix.

Meigan was so out of it that when the lights went red and the alert went out her first thought was, Hey, the lights match my outfit, but then she quickly came back to her senses as the Hymn started to retreat and she lost sight of Demonix.

She got up, her knees were still weak from the shock that was still instilled in her, but she was still able to walk. She walked by the captian and a medic, she would normaly have stopped to say something like "Hey, we did what we could!" but something seemed to be repeling her from being herself. She also walked by the mess hall, where the engineer that helped her squad was sitting, stirring her soup. Meigan would have also stopped to thank her for her help on the Drake, but again she was somehow restrained from saying anything. The last person she walked by was one of those demolitions people, if Meigan was her clumsy self she would probably have accidentily set of a minor explosion by tripping on him or something. But the shock that she was still suffering from was even keeping her from being clumsy. Though she did still feel dizzy.

But then, she smiled. For no reason whatsoever. It was one of those smiles that you don't get very often. One of those smiles that shine light on dark situations.

Darian was shocked. He just couldn't deal with all that had just happened, it overwhelmed him. In the end, he was able to keep going by shunting it off in the corner of his mind. After doing that, he could almost ignore that it had happened. By that time, the ship had slipped into hyperspace, and the red alert was removed. "Damn" he whispered to himself. Then he realized just how exhausted he was. "Time for that nap", And with that he staggered off to his bunk.

Tom breathed heavily, still sitting in the observation deck. Around him the world had almost ended. Everything he had fought for, even if only briefly, had been eliminated. His effort was laid to waste. Yet, no matter how much he told himself this, all that came up was jokes about the original Earth's Hitler. Surely there was something terribly wrong with him. Maybe it was shell-shock. His mind couldn't possibly be properly functioning. All that he could think about was jokes. He should be mourning, not laughing.

His thoughts didn't stop.

Edward looked up at Kai "Um, at least we survived, that's a good thing, I guess, sir", he said trying to some how find a silver light to the darkness that had just dashed everyone's hopes. He shot off a glance to a girl who passed by him, but refrained himself from saying anything or because of the blood on her, asking if she was hurt. It just seemed like she was in no mood to talk.

"I won't let them get away with this" Edward said to himself quietly, turning his head away and clenching his fists, "They will pay, I swear to god I'll make them pay. Who are they to rob our people of their lives, let alone their own! It's sickening!"
Edward stopped to think, replaying the image of the massive hulk of the Demonix firing it main gun obliterating the whole fleet. Then noticing the captain's hand on his shoulder felt a bit at ease. Quickly looking back at Kai, he grimly saluted the captain.
"Sir, PACM Private Victor reporting for duty, and squad assignment sir." Barked Edward, figuring he at least try to help both Kai and himself from dwelling on what just happened, even though it seem ridiculous not to. "Sir, Even though it's not my call or place to be making suggestions, we should probably be getting ready so we can repay the enemy the favor sir."

Steven walked in a daze to the medical bay. He found where they had put Green 2, and sat down by the bed side. Green 2 was asleep, so Steven stuck to a chair at his side. He thought about the battles of the day, what went right or wrong, the mistake he had made, and of the good friends he had lost. He really thought about the monstrosity he had seen, and wanted to get the sight out of his head.
His head was throbbing again, but he didn't notice. All he did was stare at the injured comrade of his.

Garrett merely smirked and nodded at Edward before the Medic was whisked away by his commanding officer. He watched them go then turned his gaze upward as the Red Alert went off. Through the various portholes, a large beam, supposedly the Drathonians, blew a gaping hole in the Republic forces. He froze for a second, awed and perhaps stupefied, though Garrett would never have described himself that way. Shortly thereafter, the Battle Hymn was gone, moved into Hyperspace to elude the pursuing Drathonians once more.

He sighed slowly and approached Kai and Edward. He set the bag down next to the fighter, and addressed them both. "Sorry, probably interrupting, but I was hoping you might have need of some assistance." He shrugged, vaguely gesturing toward his bag. "I'm a loose end now, seeing as their won't be another raiding party for some time. Anything you need help with, sir?" Though Kai and Garrett were, technically speaking, of the same rank, Garrett chose to address him with the respect he deserved rather than try to force a plane of equality between them. After all, neither of them really knew the other.

Kai looked up from the medic and at Garrett. "Well, there are a few hulks that need to be broken down for easier recycling" he said, pointing to a few of the twisted and charred pieces of metal, ceramics, plasics and various other items. "A demo expert can help take even the most messed up ones apart" He hinted, before picking up a rag and beginning to clean his nearly perfect specimen of a fighter, mostly to get his mind off what happened. That was the only thing he found at the moment to help, and immediately began ignoring the other two, heartless as it seemed.

He glanced at the pile of wreckage, and nodded. He could indeed rip it all apart, or make it dissolve into nothingness. The world was a demolitions expert's piece of clay. He could create beautiful works of art, or just tear it all apart. It really depended on his mood. Right now, Garrett was more interested in the art of precision and the display of true skill; he would dismantle the junk properly and cleanly. He looked at Edward now, still standing nearby. "And what about you? Need something? Want to help?"

"Oh me..? Nah, I think I'm good. I think I'll go get a bite to eat or something, um seeing I haven't eating since I arrived. This is still my first day on the ship and all. And already so much has happened." Edward stated with a nervous smile saluting both captains, "sir, just page me if you need me sir!"
And with that Edward rushed out of the hanger making his way to mess hall, before either captains could comment. His stomach had a intense hunger pain, hopefully no one was in the mood to eat after the whole Demonix situation. Besides, he also needed to get away from the whole sight of everyone being depressed.
Arriving at the mess hall he walked over to the counter to order something to eat.
"I'll have a burger please" he said
"Here you go" softly answered one of the mess hall staff behind the counter, handing Edward a premade burger.
"Uh, thanks..."
Edward, could tell the man was in no mood to converse. Slowly walking with his dish to a table, to eat. There he sat down at a table near another table with depressed woman continuously stirring her soup. Edward sat down looked at her and sighed quietly. He unwrapped his burger and began to eat, noticing the blood on his armor was still there, he grabbed a rag from pocket and tried rubbing it of, but only smeared it. Looking at the rag he let out another sigh, and continued to eat.

Kurohime knew someone was in the mess hall with her, but she remained silent.
She suddenly felt she had to let it all out, she'd fought so hard on that Drake, done everything right, and all that effort was wasted.
"AAAAARRRRRRRRRGGGGGGGGHHHHHHHH!!!!!" she screamed at the top of her lungs, sending her soup flying into a wall with a wild swing of her arms.
Once she had stopped screaming, she stared at her shaking hands, confusion reigned in her mind, anger, hate, fear, it was all swallowing her up and she felt as if there was nothing she could do to fight it.
She needed to let off some steam, but she knew if she saw another lizard, she would go insane.
"Stupid f***ing lizards, they're so gonna die, all of them are gonna rot in hell." she muttered.

Steven watched his friend for a while, and then started to doze. "You awake there Steve?" someone said. Steven looked up with a start and saw that it was Green 2.

"Hehe, how ya feelin' Freddy?" Steven said to the man.
"Like I just finished snuggling with a Drathorian," Fred joked.
"You look like you just did as well," Steven said with a laugh, "Thought I lost ya out there."
"So what happened, where are we now?" Fred asked him, clearly avoiding the last comment.
"We're in hyperspace actually."
"Why are we in hyperspace?"
"Long story, I'll tell ya later."
"Hey, I've got nothing but time, hehe."

Truth be told, Steven didn't want to tell the story, for it would dredge up the horrible memories of that moment in time. But, Steven told his friend all that had happened since landing, because he still felt he needed to get it off his chest. When he finished, both he and Fred sat quietly for a bit, until Fred broke the silence. "So we ran with our tails between our legs aye?" he said in a light tone. Steven knew Fred was thinking about not of Demonix, but instead of the comrades left behind in the void.
"Well, you should rest up some more, so I'm gonna head out of this stuffy room and take a walk," Steven said as he stood up and walked out of the room without looking back.

Kai continued to shine and polish his fighter, the lime green metal hull beginning to glisten in the artificial light of the hangar bay. he looked around at all the hunks of scrap metal, one being taken apart by controlled blasts by Garrett. He was amazed that such a hardy, advanced people could be sent running by such a stupid, corrupt foe. Something was wrong, something missing from his life. He could feel that there was something Humankind had neglected, and was now being punished for. The captain exited the hangar bay, and walked to his Quarters. he looked over at his classic book collection, some over 3,000 years old and incredibly brittle. He picked out one leather bound tome at random. The title read "Holy Bible" he decided to read it, not remembering what it was exactly. Unknowingly, he had found the missing peice, for himself at least.

"Um, are you ok?" Edward coyly asked the infuriated woman, "You know, at least we didn't die... We should be grateful for that"
Edward turned his seat to face the woman, and continued eating his burger. Watching the soup drip down the wall from the corner of his eye, he then looked down at the ground between his feet and leaned forward uneasily.
"Man I just got on this ship before the raid, and already this happens. Hell, I haven't even unpacked my bags yet, I still need to do that..." He said nervously, trying to poorly diffuse the situation and some what change the subject, "Are you new here too? Because, I..."
Edward paused, failing to try to think of anything else to say to break the awkward silence. Tensely he clenched his hands together, just noticing the blood stains on his hands. He felt a slight discomfort in his stomach realizing his forgot to wash his hands, after treating the marine. Then he wondered how the marine he patched up was doing, and began to think of those that never made it back from the assault on the drake.
After a few moments of silence Edward finally inquired, "You where on that drake... Weren't you?"

"No, I'm not new, I'm an engineer, once my area was built I was involved, we had to be, we needed to know everything on this ship worked."
She heard the question about the Drake,
"Yeah, we fried their ship-to-ship communications, making it impossible for them to know what everyone else was doing, making it easier for us to take them out. Then we find the reference to that thing, and that we have at most ten minutes to get ready for it.
We worked so hard and for what, to see our home taken, and the rest of the fleet wiped out in what was it, four shots? The data my team collected is hopefully gonna give tactics a chance to tell us how to take it down." she shook her head.
"Anyway, I just needed to let it all out then, I'll admit, I'm feeling better than before, I guess screaming as loud as possible works." she shook her head,
"Anyway I need to grab some food and actually eat it." she dashed to the counter and grabbed a plate of chips and some sachets of sauce.
She sat down again.
"I'm guessing from th blood and lack of injuries you're a medic of some kind." she said squeezing a sachet of something called ketchup onto a chip before tasting it.
The combination worked well so she squeezed the rest over the chips.
"What did you do before you joined the military?" she asked

Edward sat there listening intently to her answers, after hearing her questions he quietly responded, "Yeah, I know what you mean about the screaming..." he chuckled, " I'm a PACM... er.... let's just say a Combat Medic. I get to go out on missions with the marines and make sure they all make it back in one piece. I have marine training, but I also have advanced medical training too..."
Edward looked up and half smiled at the young woman, he slightly blushed then looked back down at the ground between his feet.
"Me? Before I joined the military, I lived in a boarding house with some old woman who took care of me. When I was younger my sister joined the military as a pilot, but was killed when the Drathonians raided the academy she was training at... She was my only family, she was the one who sent me to the boarding house…" Edward responded numbingly”, but to specifically answer your question not a whole lot..."
He looked around, than continued eating his burger with his blood covered hands. Finally finishing what was left of it.
"Yea that's about the gist of it" Edward added, not feeling comfortable to talk anymore about him self.
He examined her wild utility belt which was crammed with tools, the only ones he really recognized were the screw driver, hammer, and of course her gun.
"What about you? I'm sure with all of those tools you must be some type of engineer right?" He asked.

"Yeah, while we don't technically have a head of Engineering, I have the greatest general knowledge, so I more or less organise the people there." she paused
"I was born on Mars, then the lizards came, when I was about thirteen I left the colony I had been living in, and began my life as a hitchhiker, I quickly discovered a knack for fixing things, so I used that as a means to pay for going on cargo ships and transporters, the ship I stayed on the longest was a scavenger vessel. It picked up all kinds of junk, including Drathonian technology, which is how I became familiar with it.
Then last year, I heard about some big military project, and all of us on the scavenger ship decided to join up as engineers. They initially thought I was too young, but then they found out the Captain was the same age as me, so they let me in. And here I am."
she paused again.
"Oddly enough there were some military eningeers looking at going on the Hymn too, but they knew nothing about the stuff the lizards used, so we got in instead."

Edward smiled feeling a bit more secure, "So, you technically might as well call your self the head of engineering then, right? That's also one hell of a position. You know I really don't understand much of the major technology stuff, you know the warp drives and all that. Just give me a rifle, a few med kits, and I'm set. I'm glad we have someone like you to do that stuff, especially with your Drathonian technology knowledge... Um, one sec..."
Quieting down, Edward stood up and went over to the counter, grabbing a small plate of "french fries", a small bowl of chili, and a big handful of wet-wipes. Returning to his table he opened up a few of the packs of wipes and began to scrub his hands, and then spots of his armor, cleaning off the dried blood. The once white wipes, were now a crimson color with a few tiny spots of gore. He set them on the table, then looking down at them in disgust he threw them into a near by trash bin, making a perfect shot. After that was done he then poured the chili onto the fries and began to eat.
"That marine I patched up, was on the drake also, had a piece of shrapnel lodged in him the size of a small dinner plate" He smiled, putting a fry into his mouth, "So, what exactly was in the Demonix data you secured? Anything interesting?"

"At this point in time we only know that the white noise that it emits it a count down, whether intentional or not, we don't know.
And we've figured out that the main gun is basically one giant Solaris Cannon, butwe need to figure out how they get the cone effect before we can come up with any strategies.
We've only just got the raw data, it needs to be analysed, interpreted and then what we find needs to be put into laymans terms, simply because there would be no point in talking about an Electromagnetic Flux Compensator to you, unless I explained it first, and that takes forever." she sighed,
"Well I need to get back to my job, which is making sure this ship gets fixed before be come out of hyperspace. I'll see you around." she said before leaving the mess hall.

Steven was walking the corridors of the ship as he became lost in thought again. He walked with a lighter heart now that he was sure his comrade was OK; he knew as well that sooner or later he was going to have to be the one to explain to the families of his other wingmen what had happened. He snapped back to reality when his stomach gave a low growl, which made him remember that all he had in the past 24 was the cup of coffee. So he changed direction and walked toward the mess hall.
"Hope Eddies got something good for me today," he mused.

Kai sat on his bed and began reading this book, the Bible. He remembered reading it before, thinking it was just stories, but having seen that, he found deeper meaning within the pages of this book. He found himself skimming through, eyes glancing on random verses, till he came to the book of Revalations, and realized what had been happening the past ten years or so. The young captain realised what he needed to do, to save everyone. He only hoped it wasn't too late for humankind to ask forgiveness, as he slipped off his bed, got to his knees, and Prayed

The Hymn Dropped out of hyperspace, Into utter lonliness. they were halfway to the Altresian empire, but had to stop, in literally the middle of nowhere, since the power generators had been so taxed during the battle. Soon the lights went out, and people and things began floating, and the door to space from the hangar bay closed, as the protective field turned off. the only thing left running was life support. The battle Hymn had outdone herself, and still it wasn't enough. She sat, resting, freezing, waiting to regain enough power to continue her flight. For now, she merely drifted, a grey spot in the blackness of space.

He was almost to the mess hall when Steven noticed the unexpected stop. First the lights went out, then when he took another step he didn't feel his foot connect with the ground. Startled, he looked down and saw that he, and everything else in the corridor, was floating.
"Oh the gravity is gone too," he said in a slightly amused tone, "Always did prefer floating place to place in zero-gravity than walking!" He reached for a pipe on the wall and pulled himself over to it. He used the pipe to propel hisself forward again.
"I wonder if Eddy's chile tastes better in zero-grav," he laughed as he continued toward the mess hall.

As Darian slept, he dreamed. He was back in the heat of battle and dogfighting with a scourge. A shot connected with the wing of his ship, melting circuitry and cutting off all control over steering. As the scourge lined up for a killing shot, Darian panicked and pounded violently on the controls. The scourge fired, the shot blazing into the ship and slamming into Darian.

Darian awoke with a jolt, and hit his head on the ceiling again. He was covered in sweat and disoriented. The disorientation was understandable because of the darkness and the inexplicable lack of gravity. After a few seconds Darian calmed down and began to assess the situation.

They must have powered down to recharge. he thought as he used the glow of his battery powered clock to orient himself. He groped his way into the rooms adjoining bathroom and toweled himself off. If they hadn't been powered down he would have taken a shower, but he knew that they needed the water that had been pressurized before shutdown for the wounded. A shower could wait. He fumbled his way back into the room and found his closet. He reached in and garbed the first set of clothes he could find: changing into them as best as he could.

He left the room in search of a meal, having quickly digested the snack he had earlier. He followed the light path, brown brown green, down the corridors to the mess hall.

Steven reached the mess hall and swung himself around the door. Everything was dark in there, and he couldn't see to far in. He saw a spot of light in the direction of the serving area. "Just like Ed, working even under these conditions," he thought as he drifted over to the little light.
"Hey there Eddy, think you can get me some chili?" he asked a man who was looking for something by candle light.
"Who's there?" said the man as he held up the candle, "Oh, it's you, and I told you to stop calling me Eddy, my name is Shawn."
"Right, sure, so the chili if ya please," Steven said distractedly.
Steven grabbed a tray and had the cook serve him a sloppy bowl of chili. He pushed himself off and grabbed a spot at a long table, and settled down to eat.

As he neared the mess, Darian could smell chili. His stomach growled in protest of the tantalizing smell. In the mess he saw a few scattered individuals floating in the room, eating meals from the globe-shaped containers designed for eating in zero-gee. Up by the kitchen he spotted someone familiar. It took a few seconds for Darian to recognize the man, it was Green Leader Steven. Darian would have left the room then and there, he hated the idea of confronting Steven. However, his stomach objected to the idea of leaving, so Darian, hoping he wouldn't be noticed, quietly floated into line behind Steven.

"Oh, fantastic," Tom muttered as he slowly began floating out of his seat towards the plexiglas above him. He grabbed the arm of the chair and thrust himself through the darkness towards where he supposed the door had been a moment ago. He was almost right, and caught himself before he ran into the wall.

Fortunately, his uniform had a small light on it, which he used to guide himself down the passageways to his quarters. There he detached the armor plates from his uniform and reemerged, looking for something to eat.

Something that smelled distinctly like chili caught Tom's attention, and he launched himself like an arrow down the passageway, stopping himself just in time to observe where exactly the scent was coming from. He slipped in behind another man who looked somewhat like a pilot.

At this moment, Tom became distinctly aware of the fact that the left sleeve of his uniform was still quite distinctly coated with Drathonian blood. A little perturbed, he did his best to keep his arm out of the light, but it wasn't particularly easy.

Seated at the table Edward was about to put another chili fry into his mouth when the lights shut off.
"What the hell is this?" He shouted startled, and began to float upward, along with his chili fries, "Well this is a change..."
Searching for his armor's spotlight button, Edward pressed a random switch on his armor's forearm plate, activating band of small red hazard lights integrated around the lower collar of his armored chest plate, giving him a dim view of his surroundings in the mess hall. He could see others still eating with their zero-g meal containers.
"Well not exactly what I wanted, but it works,” He said to himself, quickly grabbing at his fries trying to get a get few more in his mouth before they floated to far away from him. Once he reached the top his back slammed into the ceiling, damaging a circuit in his armor, turning off his hazard lights.
Flicking the switch frantically the lights failed to turn back on.
"Piece of junk" Edward shouted furiously "What the hell!"

At this point a man jettisoned in from the hallway demanding chili from one of the cooks. Edward, watching from a dim light the cook was holding, he observed the man grab the chili and launch himself down to a table to eat.
There on the ceiling, Edward sat in the dark, defeated. He Watched two more men float in from the hallway.
"I wonder if anyone will notice me, Must not be that hard to see a armored medic on the ceiling..."he thought to him self, "I shouldn't of used a regular plate for my fries... And I should have taken this armor off before I went to eat, it's so uncomfortable..."

Kurohime sighed as she floated up, she'd just reached eningeering too.
Once the door opened she could see what had happened, the external damamge had meant hyperspace had been more taxing on the generators than normal, the result was an over load.
"How like before the backup generators kick in?" she asked,
"Any minute now."
"Get them powering the gravity systems, sick bay, and the navigation and propulsion systems. And shut the warp core down, it's been under a lot of strain, and I don't want to take any risks."
"Kurohime, we've gotten one of the generators working, but it won't power everything we want it to power, we have to drop one off the list."
"Then drop gravity, sick bay needs the power and we need to keep moving."
"Ok."
Kurohime messaged the bridge, "Engineering here, we've managed to get one of the back up generators working, so sick bay has power and the ship can move at max impulse two, but it's the best we can do at the moment. We're gonna go and check all the generators, see if there are any that only need repairing and not recharging. Also, since the current power situation, I want all crew to report to one of these locations, we may have to seal areas of the ship off to conserve power and we don't want to trap anyone." She also sent a plan of the ship with the designated areas that people could go to.
They included: The Mess Halls on every other deck, the observation deck, and the empty store rooms on the same decks as the mess halls.

Once that was done she began to organise the teams.
"Marie, keep an eye on Life support, if you need to cut power, cut it to these decks." she gave her a list.
"The rest of you into your normal teams, those who would have been with Marie and myself will stay here to keep things running at this end. All the generators are in one of two areas, Davidson and Singh, Take the right set, Jones and Abul take the left set. Fix any damage you find there, the back up generators are the priority, since they should be working. Now of you go."

Steven was eating his chili, when he looked up and saw a man in armor floating around. Steven gaged on the spoonful of chili he had just taken a bite of, and let out a slight laugh.
"You need a hand there buddy?" he asked the floating man. Before he could get an answer the sound of serving trays caught his ear. He looked over his shoulder as two more people were being served. Wide eyed, Steven tried to make out who they were, but it's was to dark to see all that clearly.
"So, want help?" he asked again as he turned back to face the floating man.

When the Hymn came to a sudden stop, of course, Meigan lost balance and fell. But she hadn't it the ground, instead she hit...the ceiling? Her face was looking to the ground and she had a confused look on her face.
"This is..." She tried to think of a proper way to end her sentance but nothing came to her.

It was just like being underwater, thats what she should do, the crimson blood was still all over her and she had to clean it up soon. Meigan air-swam to a small room on one of the lower decks of the Hymn, her own small room that was assigned to her. She entered and looked around, it was all white which was very irritating to the eyes.

She turned the water on in a small shower in the corner of her room, but nothing came out. Come on! We can't have lost ALL power, could we? Meigan thought to herself. Now she would have to live with the now dry blood all over her for who knows how long.

Meigan, knowing that she wouldn't get anything interesting done in her room, left and headed in a random direction. She was still not sure about the ship's layout, maybe this would be a good time to check it out?

Kai was completely lost in self-reflection, not even noticing what had happened. As he left the floor, he didn't notice, and merely remained in a kneeling position, though amazingly it didn't hurt his knees anymore. when his head made contact with the ceiling however, he finally noticed what had happened, and felt lucky to always be wearing a jacket, the newfound coldness of the ship not bothering him. After a few minutes of floating in silence staring at a poster on his wall, Kai's Comm beeped, alerting him of a new message about the turning off of life support on every other deck. Lai's Deck was one that was going to be shut down, so he decided to float on down to the Med bay to see if they had finished growing his replacement biological leg yet.

"No, I'm alright, just you know hanging around..." Edward said out loud jokingly.
Bringing him self around, he pushed off on the ceiling with his legs, launching him self at the ground below. With his arms out forward he stopped his collision with the mess hall floor. Then in a fluid motion pushed off the ground at an angle, flipping him backwards. While flipping backwards Edward was hoping he could latch on to a chair behind him, to bring him self to a halt. Unfortunately he over shot it, whacking his forehead on the edge of a table instead. Which sent him rolling into a wall behind him.
"OW! You've got to be freaking kidding me!" He shouted out in pain holding his head, "Geeze! Man that hurts!"
He sat there for a moment holding his head, he felt a warm wetness on his hands, he was bleeding. Closing his eyes, he reached into a med pouch, and felt around for an antiseptic cloth pack. Finding one, he tore it open, folded it over, and applied it to his head wound. Stopping the blood from seeping out and floating around into the mess hall.
He sat there for a minute, embarrassed at his failed zero-g stunt attempt. And then with out a word launched him self towards the exit, and out into the hallway.
"I feel like such a moron,” he said to him self oddly smiling.
He decided the make his way to the medical bay, hoping he could find his way in the dark. Taking off the cloth he felt his forehead. A shiver ran down his spine as his finger ran across a wide bloody gash.
"Great... I can't fix this my self in the dark...", he thought to him self.
Putting the cloth back on, he pushed down it's edges, making it adhere to his forehead, giving him an extra hand to help him navigate the dark hallways.

After a few minutes of wandering around Edward finally decided he was lost. Until he came upon a woman covered in what looked to be dried blood.
"Hey! Um, do you know which direction the med bay is?" He anxiously said, floating by her, "I really need some directions."

Steven watched with amusement as the man floated maneuvered in zero-g. Until the man collided with a table, making even Steven wince. And finally as the man went out the door.
"Hm, dinner AND a show,"he laughed to himself as he went back to eating to chili, which had begun to float away on him until he pulled it back in. He looked around the mess hall to the faint glow that marked Eddies position.
"Hey Eddy! Think you can warm this chili up for me back there?!" he called to the cook.
"No! And stop calling me Eddy my name is... oh why even bother," came the reply.
He laughed and finished the last of his chili. Now with a full stomach, Steven was quite relaxed, but wasn't sure where on the ship to go next.
"I suppose I could go back to work on the fighter, but then again me plus power tools in the dark equals not a good combination," he said as he let go of his hold on the seat and drifted into the air again.

Upon arriving near the Med bay, Kai noticed that he was slowly descending to the floor. Gravity plating must still work around here. he thought, though it was obvious that a zero-G environment is harsh on a wounded person. making contact with the floor just in front of the door, Kai walked into the familiar feeling of his own weight, though it was a bit off due to the cybernetic leg he was wearing.

the young captain walked up to one of the nurses on dudty and asked "Ma'am, could you help me find wether or not my new leg is ready?"
"Sure, hon" she replied, in a sweet tone, and scanned his name badge, the data popping up on her PC almost instantly. "Yeah, it's just the right time too, Thoughyou've gotta stay in here for 5 hours or till the whole ship gets gravity again, otherwise the medicine won't be able to bind everything togethe and you'll have a nasty limp"
"Ah" was kai's answer before walking into the surgery room to be put under for the operation, wich would be immensly painful if he was awake.

Roger tapped his data-visor and squinted as it switched to light mode. The large brown paper he was examining, easily as wide as he was tall, seemed antique compared to the rest of the repair bay. Still, it was in this crumbling piece of history that Roger'd find what he needed. An index finger pointed at a smaller section of the drawing, labeled FUEL CELLS, and frowned.

"Well, that explains the Mills-Cobbler layover they introduced..." he grumbled, technical babble that would be a second language to any not versed in its subtleties. "But maybe I can work with this."

BEEP! The crackling of static followed by a voice keyed him into his communicator going off. *Roger, get your ass up here. They want to shut life support down temporarily.* Roger chuckled and lifted his headset mic to his mouth to reply. "Tell them to keep the air on, Mika, I'll make do. I think I've found a way to reroute power from the fuel cells on our fighters more efficiently which will let me--" *Sounds awesome. Tell me later, after I finish staring at this wall.* She was clearly attracted to Roger's genius, he decided.
Roger's thoughts came to an abrupt halt as he floated into the wing of a damaged fighter. A loud bang echoed through the nearly empty room, and Roger groaned. "God damnit, how long does it take for them to bring her back online?" His frustration was evident, as was his determination. Propelling himself through the nightmare of a repair bay without gravity, he sipped some of his floating coffee from its congestion in the middle of the vacuum and went back to reading. Those fighters wouldn't become functional again on their own, after all.

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Kai
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Re: Chapter Two: Demonix

Post by Kai » Fri Dec 24, 2010 12:17 am

[Come on... stretch out your forces a little more...]

[Don't make unnessary monologues, Duran. Control that human instinct of yours.]

[Yes, sir.]

Some 30 kilometers off the mammoth ship's left flank, 8 Scrimitar Starfighters zoomed at incredibly high velocities and accelerating. Lagging behind them were 22 Scourge Starfighters preceding 4 Rapter Class Destroyers. Only 2 kilometers to the right of the slow moving ship were clumps of large masses of earth and frozen nitrogen, moving slowly and tightly close.

[Approaching the masses. We'll take advantage of the boulders to cover us and strike them from there.]

There was a collective affirmative among all the pilots' heads, which were all cut off when their sensors detected a gigantic moving metallic object straight in front of their paths. ToDuran's surprise, zoom in on the low light visual of the object took the shape of the Battle Hymn of the Republic. 'I thought our brethren said that it warped into hyperspace. It must have run out of power judging by its low engines... Perfect.' A sly smirk formed upon Samir's lips as he changed his vesel's course upon the small fleet's command to avoid the ship getrting involved. All knew it wasn't propped for battle. The Scourges, however, detected the Hymn as well, and considered attacking it. 22 split into two teams of eleven, one group continuing persuit, and the other considering to dismantle the vulnerable ship. 'Sh*t!' Samir cursed privately. If his thoughts were heard by the fleet's commander, he would have had to receive some painful headaches after the battle. The Scrimitars spread out, stretching the Scourges' forces. Duran and four others personally flew towards the Hymn to protect to protect it it. They flew around one another, swirling about as if they were a single ship with devastating power. Surrounding the enemy ships one by one, they took down 8 Scourges through their repetitive bursts of cannon fire while dodging with mentally coordinated ease through their superior agility. They went past two more Scourges and ambushed them from behind, finishing them off. All this took about a few seconds, but that wasn't fast enough for them to reach in time to keep the eleven Scourges after the large shieldless ship from reaching it. The Scourges fired some heavy blasts at the ship before behing caught by the rapid fires of the Scrimitars, and turning their attention towards the pesky vessels. Bright lights flashed in the dark space as the four Scrimitar ships worked desperately hard with coordination to fight the eleven heavily armed Scourges as a group. Taking the enemy down one by one was no problem, but having them altogether and being forced to go out in the open was not something that these pilots would be able to come off of easily. They tried several acrobatic tactics, several times makign Scourges hit each other.

One of the Scrimitars was shot down, and made a crash landing towards one of the Scourges. What emerged of the explosion was the heavily damaged large ship with something, beastly in size glowing in its superbly plated armor, its long tube-like coild of tentacles waving through space as it clung unto the ship's armor despite the high speeds they were going through. Two beam sabers shot out of its fists the thing began slicing and digging. The Drathonian fired its bright droth rifle atr the creature, but it merely caussed a slight dent upon the creature's armor. The Scourge lost control, as the two beings engaged inside, but then eventually went back up on track. The other remaining scourges did not know what happened, but the Scrimitars did. The unexpecting Drathonians got shot by their own units, and while distracted in a slight moment, were finished off by the Scrimitars in their ussual collective rapid fire. The two remaining scourges were forced to retreat, but were caught by the four other Scrimitars that returned from their separate battles over the asteroids.

But then, 4 larger vessels came into range. The Raptor Classes have arrived, and the Scrimitars weren't in very good shape. One more battle would be extremely dangerous, and they knew it, but on the other hand, there was a huge ship behind them that they figured would be a really important ally, yet running at its low engines.

Darian had just received a container of chili when the emergency alarm went off.

"Damn! An attack! How the hell did they find us!?" Darian exclaimed as he shoved off toward the hallway. "I hope we get back to full power soon!"

Apparently they had brought life support back on to at least a minimum throughout the ship, because Darian safely made his way to the docking bay. He entered and saw chaos. The engineers had been smart enough to baton down the ships so they wouldn't float off in zero G. However, there were people flying everywhere, trying to get to their ships or merely get out of the way. It was clear that few of the people had received the zero G training that had been required while Darian had been at the academy, because few people seemed to understand how little force was necessary for propulsion, and were flying around the room at high speeds, desperately trying to grab a hold of something. In the confusion, Darian spotted the frankenfighter that had been delegated to him earlier. Bracing himself, Darian pushed of toward it and was promptly run into by a flailing engineer who had a look of terror on his face. Darian gently nudged the scimitar the collision had propelled him toward. the force of the push was enough to counter the momentum and halt the progress of the engineers flight. Darian pushed the engineer lightly towards a railing and used that momentum to carry him to his scimitar.

Once in his ship, he prepped for takeoff, knowing it would take awhile for his squad to assemble. But assemble they did, and soon they were into the space around the hymn and accessing the situation. An unknown squad of scimitars was in combat with 4 raptors.

Darian hailed the squad, "This is Blue leader offering assistance."

"Blue lead-" *static* "-fering assistance!"

All of the pilots of the Scrimitars and the still functioning hijacked Scourge jumped up of their cockpits in surprise as the comm crackled to life, for the first in a long while. Darian, being in human shell, was the least surprised, and was the quickest to grab hold of his composure to answer. He switched about through different channels and finally stopped by once things sounded clear to make his transmission, "This is Private Samir Duran of the Blue-" a flash of memories came over him as he remembered crashing over to the planet of Trek after losing all of his comrades, all of the rest of his Blue Team. By that brief moment that he was distracted, one of the Raptors fired its cannons at his badly damaged ship. His comrades made a mental warning over him, but by the time he got back on track, it was too late. His engines were hit, and he was forced to maneuver his Scrimitar towards the Hymn's docking bay, repeatedly screaming into the comm to all channels, "Crash landing on your docking bay requested! Crash landing on the docking bay requested!"

Steven was floating around the corridors of the Hymn when the alarm came through. "The Hell? An attack way out here?" he said. He turned around and hurried to the hanger. Along the way, Steven remembered how annoying it is to try and get from Point A to Point B when you're in a hurry; he crashed into a group of engineers who were rushing somewhere, and more then his share of walls and doors.

When he reach the hanger, Steven could see pilots rushing around everywhere trying to get to their ships. Through the crowd, Steven found his fighter rushed up the ladder to the cockpit. With one last look around the hanger, he sank into the control seat to begin preping the ship for take off.

Just as he was about to finish, he paused and looked up. "Damn, I just remembered, I don't have any wingmen," he thought out loud. He clicked his comm link and on all availible channels he asked, "This is Green Leader, are there any squads I could tag along with for I seem to be all out of wingmen."

Before the surgeons could do anything, An alarm blared, Kai, still functioning, Put his jacket back on and rushed out the door "Sorry I think they need me" was all his explanation. Soon after exiting the med bay his feet decided to lift of the floor, but his momentum was enough to carry him down to the Hangar and his scimitar. Obviously a bit of the power had returned as the blast doors were open and the atmospheric containment field was up. He hopped into his lime green beauty and started her up, yelling at a techie to unhook him before he closed the cockpit. That done, the green flash sped out the door and into the void. "Alpha leader here, green, you can tag on with me" The young captain called over the radio.

Steven, who had been waiting for a reply, finally recived a transmission. "Thank ya Alpha Lead, couldn't do much on my own, and i'll be happy to tag along," he said to Kai over the radio. And with that, Steven flicked the last switch on the console and took off into the void. He quickly fell into formation behind Alpha leader.
"Green Lead, reporting for duty Cappy as a temporary wingman. Where do ya want me?" he said with a mock salute to the fighter infront of him. With some last minute re-checks of his weapon systems, Steven took a long look at the Scourge fighter that were inbound on their position.
"Time for some payback," he said to himself as he cracked his knuckles.

After the last battle, Ceres had been dragged to his room, noone could bear to see him like that, and now the bridge was being run by it's crew, from a purely self preservation standpoint. The Capacitors had charged up enough for the ship to fight for a while, but it would mean even more 'resting' afterward. The shields kicked in after the hit, which had bounced harmlessly off the hull of the Hymn, and turrets came to life, firing at the scourges which were in range and at the nearby raptors, too. The port solaris began charging up to take out the destroyers, which were a danger to the lone, limping battle cruiser. within a few minutes all necesarry functions for a battle were re-started and running smoothly.

A comm line chimed up in Duran's cockpit "Emergency landing authorized, be warned, defense turrets are up and you will be fired upon if you make any threat, Your transponder is not in our database so we are unsure of your identity" The line fizzled to silence and Duran's fighter was gently guided into the bay by gravitic field generators before being placed in an empty space on the hangar floor. the fighter was immediately surrounded by an armed guard and every turret in the room pointed at his fighter "Come out with your hands up, Unidentified pilot" one of the marines on the floor called.

The small group of fighters shot forward through the various barrages from the larger ships, straight at the beleagured group of scimitars that had come out of nowhere. As soon as he was within range of the scourge fighters, kai opened fire with his turbolasers, blasting a the unsuspecting lizard to pieces, the rapid decompression of it's cabin making a cloud of scales bounce off of the captain's shields. 'One down, 30 to go" he shouted over the comms, his squad following suit and firing on the other nearby scourges, breaking off into dogfights, the superior agility of the scimitars giving them the advantage in this situation, as there weren't enough enemies to really be a threat.

Kurohime was not really concerned about the attack, even with this level of damage the hymn would be ok, though it would need to rest for even longer.
"Hey Kurohime we got one of the back-up generators fixed, it's the big one too, where should we put the power?"
"External weapons systems, we've got a little fight on our hands and some photon torpedoes will be useful about now. Keep working on the rest of the generators, I'll head to the launcher control room to give them a hand."
She pushed herself away from her console and towards the door.
She took her data pad and messaged the torpedo launcher control room, "You've got power top the launchers, and I'm coming in case something needs fixing."
As she glided along the corridor, she ended up at a viewpoint, and saw teh fight, most of the work was being done by interceptors and the shields, then a small ball of light hits a Raptor, causing massive damage.
"So they thought we'd not be able to use weapons in this state, bad move." she smirked, moving along the corridor.
"The rest were a piece of cake, it was the big one causing all the problems, interferance and the like."
"What now, we need more weapons and better shields, I'd rather not have those things survive to tell the rest where we are, so get the Solaris cannons working, lets see how the lizards like that."
"Sure thing."
She sent another message via her data pad to the Solaris Cannon Control room.
"Get those guns charging the minute it's safe to, there's lizards out there that need blasting."
As she continued to the Photon torpedo launch control room, a small explosion occured in front of her.
"Oh S***!" she shouted as a small ship managed to get through one of the larger viewports."
She felt the pull of the vacum outside, then the exterior bulkheads came down, sealing the hole.
"So what happened there?" she muttered pulling her pistol out.
She went to where the ship had stopped, after going through a wall, it was a Scourge star fighter.
"Damn lizrds, suicide run?" she thought turning off the safety catch, and setting the strength to high.
As she approached the ship, she saw movement, and saw a tail sli round a corner.
"Oh C*** This is not good." she suddenly felt gravity return,
"Well that makes my job easier," she muttered before going to her comm, "Security, get a fully armed squad to Level 37, Red Sector T, we've got a lizard on board, survived it's ship crashing through a view port. I'm going after it, at the moment, Ito, out." she dashed along the corridor, spotting a trail of blood.
"So you're injured huh, good." she thought as she continued the chase.

Though gravity throughout much of the ship was gone, it had been retained in Garrett's department and for obvious reasons; just think: a myriad explosives floating around a room in zero gravity, and then someone finally flips the switch back on, and everything falls to the floor. The most unstable products would ignite, or explode thus setting off a chain reaction. Need I say more?

The communications were abuzz with activity, but Garrett continued to work quietly at his station, trying to prepare the next bunch of fun little explosives. Then, a certain report caught his attention...

"Security, get a fully armed squad to Level 37, Red Sector T, we've got a lizard on board, survived it's ship crashing through a view port. I'm going after it, at the moment, Ito, out."

Just what Garrett was looking for. If he'd just move up two levels, and head down the alphabet, as he liked to call it, maybe drag his a** to Red Sector O, Garrett could have a hell of a time testing out his newly devised self-defense devices. He picked up the comm and made a reply. "Ito, this is Explosives Division. If there's any way you or someone could lead him to Level 39 Red Sector O, I'd be more than happy to show him a new recipe of mine. Think you could manage that, over?"

Tom's head came up. The radio crackled, a message from the engineer he had fought beside earlier. He snatched his own radio up, listening to the explosives man before sending his own message. "Explosives, I'll meet you there. If he doesn't go quietly, we'll try getting him from the outside. Shouldn't be too challenging." With that, he kicked off, jetting down the hallway. Vaguely aware that his eating hadn't been as perfect as it might in zero-g, he wiped his mouth onto his sleeve, shrugging as he cruised comfortably down the hallway.

If anyone had seen him pass, they would've had the privilege of seeing a human tank flying down the center of a hallway, backwards, reclining.

In the void of space, the explosions of the enemy fighters made no sound. Steven's thoughts passed over this fact many times as he watched the light of the detonating Scourges wink in and out of life. He had detached from Alpha squad's flank to confront his own dogfights, but he still made sure to listen in case Kai made any adjustments to the formation.
Out of the side of his cockpit window he saw the silhouettes of the other Scimitars as they passed in front of the corpses of the enemy. Steven's mind flashed back to the memories of his lost wing-men. It wasn't until a Scourge scored a hit on the tail of Steven's fighter, that he finally snapped back to the reality that was before him.
"You little piece of," he snapped as he looped over the top of the fighter and positioned himself behind it. He pulled the trigger and watched as more of the silent light came into existence.

Kai's brilliant green fighter hurtled towardit's enemy, at full speed, so fast that not a scourge could hit it. He went straight at one of the raptors and then did a quick reverse boost, halting his motion, and opened fire on the Bridge of the vessel, melting through it's windows. the rapid decompression sucked out 30 or so of the lizards, and the blast door were jammed open. His mission accomplished, and the enemy ship immobilised, Kai turned around to join the battle. His guns blazing, the young captain rent his fury upon the foes of mankind, wreaking destruction on their stupidity with his superior will, skills, and technology. all in all, it was very therapuetic, lost in the heat of battle. after his third kill, Kai finally got a direct enough hit to down his shields for a few seconds, which was immediately followed by getting hit on part of the wing, blowing off his port micro-missile rack and taking a chunk out. a few seconds later, his shields recharged and he was ready for action, though his scimitar slowed itself down so as to not strain the wing into breaking off.

Steven was greatly enjoying himself. He was flying past the carcass of another disabled scourge, when he saw out his side window; the crumbling form of a raptor.
"Oh, now tha's purty," he whistled, "good going Cappy." Just as he finished Kai's ship took a fairly descent hit to his wing.
"Hey! You need a hand over there Alpha Lead?" he called over his comm.

Hearing something on the comms, Kai snapped out of his revelrie. "Nah, I'm good, I'm used to flying slower anyway" Kai said, blasting another Drathonian to bits. "it's you who needs to watch their tail, you've got three following you" he piped up, observing his comrade's fighter in the near distance. Kai juked and dodged an incoming blast, then literally tumbled his ship out of the way of another one and onto it's tail. Before long, Kai's sensors read 'Low power' as obviously the hole in his wing was having side effects. He headed toward the Hymn at full speed, once again becoming just a green stripe in the middle of the void.

Steven listened to Kai over the comm. "I have three on my tail?" he asked himself. He then craned his neck for a better look and saw three scourges flying in formation. "Where the hell'd they come from?!" he swore loudly. Steven rolled the ship for a better vantage point, and maneuvered behind the incoming fighters.

A call came over the Comms of all the Scimitar pilots it said "Attention Pilots, this is the Hymn, Return Immediately, We have recharged enough to make the jump to Altres, If you are not in the bay in 2 minutes, we are leaving without you."
Needless to say, many of the fighters turned tail and boosted straight for the ship's hangar bay, those not turning around were either too busy or having trouble. a bouple of the pilots had enough foresight to tow those with problems, saving each other despite the danger it posed. within the two minute timeframe, All ships returned to the bay, and The Hymn boosted towards the tiny, distant dot that was the star of the Altres system.

The space around the vessle was littered with hunks of destroyed fighters as Steven turned and made route back to the Hymn. Although disappointed about the news of leaving the skirmish zone, Steven was in a delightful mood. "Ah! It feels so good to blow off steam!" he exhaled while pointing the ship in the correct direction of the Hymn's hanger.

Steven arrived in the hanger second to last. He landed his scimitar, and locked it in place. He finished and climbed out of his fighter just as the Hymn began to quickly accelerate. "Boy that sure was fun!" he said as he looked around at the pilots who working on their ships as well.

Before Garret could get to his sector, a bulkhead slammed closed right in front of him. he could hear another just past that one closing, too. Inside, he could hear scraping, banging and smashing noises at the wounded drathonian tried vainly to escape. though it could not escape, they couldn't get at it without opening the door and facing it. a techie's voice called out above Garret's head "Once you have a gun or something out, i'll open the door for you, just be careful, i'll have to lock you closed too." as the man finished his message, the bulkhead behind Garret slammed shut, and the one in front hissed, signaling it was unlocked and ready to open at a moment's notice.

Garrett slid his left hand into his jacket and nodded. "Open it. I'm ready." He drew a gun, and then reached into his jacket with the opposite hand. This time he withdrew a small metallic device. "Time to do this," he mumbled to himself with a confident smirk. Only one person was going to be walking from this fight, and seeing as how Drathonians weren't technically people... Well, the answer was obvious.

The drathonian, with an obviously broken arm, was dripping blood all over the floor. Nasty, brownish blood that looked like fetid mud. The angered creature Eyed Garret for a fraction of a second before leaping at the man, one arm extended with a clawed hand reaching for the demo expert's face. As vicous and horrifying looking this leap was, it had one flaw, the creature exposed it's relatively soft underbelly to the obviously prepared Terran.

Garrett smirked and moved toward the Drathonian, squeezing the metallic ball tight. It began to blip. He tossed it, and it clung to the alien's chest. As soon as he had released the device, Garrett rolled beneath his assailant. He came up into a kneeling position, spun, and raised his gun, just in case. The device required three seconds after being attached to go off...

Time was up. The device whined, then let out an electrical shock field in a five meter radius. If Drathonians had hearts, this one would be experiencing cardiac arrest if the shock hadn't already fried his brain.

The shock very much fried the drathonian's brain, and all it's "blood" steamed into the air in a putrid vapor that was quickly cleaned by the ship's air scrubbers. The beast fell in a heap on the floor, with a sickening crunch as it's own weight made it crush it's already dead body.

Garret was not quite as luck as he thought. sure he killed the drathinian and somehow kept it intact for study, but his roll had not taken him far enough away, and the shock's outer boundries caught him unaware. though it wasn't lethal, it was enough to send him from the floor bleeding from his nose, mouth and ears, barely conscious.

Steven gave a wide yawn as he stared at a wall of the hanger bay. He had already completed the minor scans of his scimitar, and had just started to run a diagnostics program in the main console. Reduced to having to watch others go about their business, Steven was significantly bored.
"This royally stinks. I can't do jack with the fighter while the diagnostics are running. I'm not tired what so ever, so I can't sleep. And I have no idea where anybody is, so I can't bug them," he grumbled as he rested his chin against his chest.

There was a steady whining pitch in the air, and Garrett wondered another attack was underway. Quickly he ruled that out; the alarms weren't that obnoxious nor that high-pitched. Then he opened his eyes, and found half his vision obscured by the floor. How did that happen? He hadn't even realized his eyes were closed until he opened them. Slowly, he sat up, and found his head throbbing.

With a sigh, he put a hand to his head, and slowly let it slide away, smearing something down his cheek. Looking at his hand, he found partially coagulated blood. Looking to the floor, he found there were tiny pools where his head had been. "How long was I out?" he said aloud, and brought the copper taste to his attention. He swallowed, making a sour expression, and stood up with a deep groan. He felt a little dizzy, but kept his ground. Then he saw his opponent. Dead.

"At least it works," he muttered, licking his lips, and tasting more blood. "Works really well."

Soon a medic with a security team came running down the hallway. The medic was carrying a floating gurney, and the security team hooks and some rope. The medic asked Garret if he was OK, and immediately started first aid on the slightly disoriented man. The Security team kicked the drathonian to make sure it was dead, then hooked the hooks on it's scales and began dragging it down the hallway, leaving a dark brown trail behind them. soon the ships automatic cleaning system would send a janitor-bot down the hallway to clean up the mess. The Nurse was cleaning up Garret's face and said "Get on the gurney, we need to get you to the Med Bay, i watched the whole thing on the cameras and, frankly, I'm amazed you survived, let alone are able to stand. But, on the gurney you go!" She chided.

***

Kai was doing the same things as Steven whe he noticed the boredom on his comrade's face. "Hey,... Steven, was it? How ya doing? You don't seem to be busy, Mind if you come and help me fix this giant hole in my wing?" the young Captain said, pointing to the offending hole and wincing at the harm that befell his beautiful fighter.

He nodded, still feeling very hollow. Slowly, he sat on the gurney and eased himself onto his back after the nurse requested him to do so. As soon as Garrett closed his eyes, he fell asleep. The shock orb, as the demolitions expert had now dubbed it, had taken its toll even though he had been on the farthest edges of its perimeter of effect. His brain felt scrambled, his thoughts jumbled, and his senses awry. A few hours of sleep and some medical attention could fix that up, though, and it seemed both were well within Garrett's reach.

Steven looked away from the wall and over to Kai. He sat up eagerly, thankful for the chance to have something to do. "Yeah, I can give ya a hand," he called over to the captain. Making his way over to the edge of the wing, Steven climbed down off of his fighter, and walked over to Kai.

Steven winced as well when he saw the hole in the wing of the fighter. "That is one hell of a hole you got there Cappy," he said finally as he neared where Kai was standing.

The medic huffed a bit, rolling her eyes "the things you guys do.." she mumbled, pushing the gurney down the hall towards the Med bay. they would arrive soon and garret would be placed in a bed under careful surveilance by a shock specialist. he wouldn't need to stay there very long if he checked out fine, though.

***

"Yeah, they got my shields down for a second and poked a hole in my baby" The captain growled a little, before putting on a warm smile and handing a welding torch and some gloves to the approaching pilot. "we just need to patch her up now, I've fixed everything internal." he said, pulling out a scrap of metal that he had retrieved earlier.

"Yeah, sucks when that happens," Steven joked lightly as he grabbed the torch and gloves from Kai. He slipped on the gloves and then tossed the torch a foot in the air just before swiping it up again. "Well. I'm ready when you are," Steven said, pulling out some safty glasses from his pocket and putting them on.

Kai did likewize, holding up the sheet of metal rather than a torch. himself protected, he placed the patch where it needed to go "Weld it around the edges" he commented before sighing and saying "I'm sure it'd be faster to put her in the replicator and have that do all the work, but she deserves the TLC of real human hands" The captain looked up at steven and smiled as he said this.

"Bah to the replicator," Steven spat at the name. "A ship should be taken care of by its pilot. A ship, even though they are all identical, have their own individual needs that only the pilot knows about. Not some feelingless machine," he stated as he lit the welding torch in his hand. He moved over to where Kai was holding the sheet of scrap to the ship and started to weld the edges.

A few hours of rest, and Garrett was back on his feet, feeling like his old self. The docs had cleaned him up, and he was looking fresh. Upon leaving, however, he was thrown off by the sudden absence of gravity, or rather, the sudden absence of false gravity. He was accustomed to operating on his turf where there was a back-up device should the ship's main gravity core go down.

Come to think of it, those damned engineers should have at least had a plan by now. What was going on? Why wasn't he seeing people dashing (or at least floating) down the halls with tools at hand? Where was the monotonous clanking of tools a-tinkering? Garrett was really perturbed. So he grabbed his com device, and spoke on an open channel. "What's the story with the gravity? Engineering at it yet? Over."

After several hours of work, the two fighter pilots managed to repair and repaint the damaged fighter. Aside from a couple slightly raised where the patches were, it was just as good as new. Around the same time, a call ran through the Hymn's Communication systems "ALL hands, we will arrive at Altres in about five minutes, prepare to unload, the ship must dock for repairs and re-armament" with that a short alarm was sounded, signalling for everyone to ready their stuff.

"Well, dang, we got this done just in time, didn't we, Steven?" Kai said to his comrade, wiping some paint off his hands. He threw the rag at the other man so he, too, could use it, then walked off to his room to pack up.

Garret had been lifted off the floor, not by the lack of gravity, but by a trap set by one of the engineers as a practical joke. the trap was a simple tractor beam placed above the door. A nearby security camera laughed at the soldier, and the tractor beam turned off, dumping him uncerimoniously to the floor.

Garrett landed on his feet, albeit in a staggered fashion. Hearing a mechanical croaking, he looked up to see the camera. Without a second thought, he sprinted, lunged, and grabbed hold of the camera. After that, he let gravity do its work. It pulled him to the floor, and he pulled the camera from the wall, receiving and audible tearing. It was music to his ears. He tossed the camera to the floor. "F***in' ***hole," the demolitions expert mumbled as he made his way down the hall. They would be landing soon, and somewhere safe. That was a relief.

To top it all off, he pulled a cigarette from his pocket, lit it, and took a deep drag. It was nice to be somewhere away from the gunfire for a little while.

"Yeah, how do ya like that, five minutes to spare," Steven replied to the captain as he caught the dirty rag. After cleaning himself up a bit with the rag he walked over to his own fighter for a quick look to make sure everything was as it should be. "Well, guess I should go pick up camp too," he sighed to himself. With another cursory glance at his fighter, Steven started walking out of the hanger to go pack his stuff.

Back in the engineering bay, the engineer playing a joke was stunned at Garret's reaction. he also knew it was his fault the camera was destroyed, and he'd have to fix it before they landed, so he grabbed a tool belt and hauled arse down there.

Before too long, there was a slight shutter and a beep through the comms, signalling they had landed on Altres. "All hands, disembarck the vessel immediately. anything left behind will be confiscated and destroyed." this message would repeat several times before turning into an annoying hum, for the purpose of annoying everyone off the ship. All of the fighters were removed and locked so nobody could mess with them while the Hymn was being upgraded. Once the last of the combat personnel had disembarked, the door was shut and a few MP's showed them the way to the door off the base. It was mandatory free time. Most, if not all of the soldiers, hit the bars.

***

Kai Entered a hotel rather than a bar. his home having been destroyed years ago, he had gotten used to living as a nomad, and dropped his stuff of in his reserved room before sitting in the lobby, seeing which other marines came by.

***

Meanwhile, the Hymn was being prepped for upgrades, which would include: an new power generator, called the energon drive because it pulled near unlimited energy out of nowhere. the scimitars, too would get mini versions of the same power source, making all sheilds and energy weapons more effective. Another upgrade was an advanced prototype AI system to run the ship with less personnel on the bridge. This AI even had a physical avatar, made much the same way as replacement body parts were, except with a quantum computer as a brain. This would replace the now insane Admiral Ceres as the ship's captain.

Quite reluctantly, Steven departed from the Hymn. He had never been a big fan about going planet-side, for it always felt restrictive in a way; like he had less freedom. So off he went. Not one hundred percent sure on where to go, he wandered around aimlessly looking for someone he knew. After working his way around however, he was surprised to find out just how little he socialized with others on board the Hymn, for he recognized virtually no one.
"Boy, don't I feel out of place," Steven scowled as he finally gave up searching around. Feeling tired and awkward, he walked over to a bench and sat down.

Garrett was a loner by his own right. So, disembarking for him was really just like relocating his materials to a new workshop. Good thing Altres had been ready for them, and had rooms reserved. Hell, they were giving the military discounts!

So he checked in. Quite unlucky for Kai, he ended up with the room next door. Whenever Garrett 'lived' somewhere for more than three hours, things had a tendency to go bump in the night... and occasionally during the day too. Garrett could be an insomniac when he got wrapped up in his work, and it had brought the police to his door on more than one occasion.

That was one of the perks being aboard the Hymn: no one was around to report 'strange activity' coming from the demolitions laboratory. That's what it was there for.

After unlocking his door, he entered and gently set down his two duffel bags on the floor, and his aluminum, soft-ride carry case, which contained the more... unstable items. Only one bag actually had any clothing, and even then the clothing only took up half the bag; he didn't care much for variety in his attire.

Jack stands in the vestibule of the fleet dock as the Battle Hymn comes to a rest with an enormous roar. All the personnel on the ship charge out of the hangar moments later, talking about how they're going to go get $#!† faced right away. Jack sighs as he waits for everyone to finish exiting the ship, then steps towards the entrance to the hangars. An MP steps out of the hangar, blocking his path. "Sorry, private, but you'll have to put your gear on the ship when it's done with repairs. No unauthorized personnel are allowed on until the engineering crews are done." Jack grumbles, wishing he could take a swing at the guy. He was talking in an arrogant tone, like the two little letters on his shoulder really made him better than a regular soldier. He wrinkles his nose, reluctantly leaving the hangar.
He'd been lugging his crap around all day, waiting to throw it on this ship. Now he had to find somewhere to keep it until the ship was open to 'unauthorized personnel.' He couldn't go back to the barracks, since his dinge of a room probably belonged to some unfortunate new recruit by now. He'd been told that once he got his assignment to join the Battle Hymn, he was no longer allowed on the base without proper authorization. What was with the military and authorization? It reminded Jack of a kid's pillow fort with a sign reading 'no girls allowed' outside it.
Deciding his best bet is getting a hotel room for the night, Jack heaves his monstrous pack up on his shoulders. Slinging his sugar rifle around his arm, Jack walks out into the street and heads to a decent looking hotel. He walks in, and asks for a room at the front desk. "One moment, please." the man behind the dingy sheet metal counter says. While he scrounges around in a drawer for something, Jack takes a look around. He drops his pack to the floor with a definitive thud, and adjusts his rifle on his shoulder. He spots another marine waiting nearby, with captain's stripes on his shoulder. Jack looks him over for a moment.
He has the face of a child... he can't be older than 20. Jack rolls his eyes, hoping he doesn't have to serve under someone young enough to be his kid. Jack doesn't want to jump to any conclusions, but honestly. Either this kid was a phenomenal soldier, or there was truly something wrong with the military. Considering his experience, Jack finds the latter to be more likely.

The captain was actually 18, so jack's first assumption was correct. If jack had looked closely, he would notice that one foot was metal, as the leg that had been lost just the day before had yet to be replaced with an organic one. Noticing the other marine looking at him, Kai stood up and walked over to the man. His 6'4" frame towered over the much bulkier private, and he had what appeared to be a scowl on his face, despite the young look about it. "You look a little lost, did you come to join the Hymn, or are you gonna go on a different ship?" He asked, a kindly smile growing on his face as he reached a hand out for a shake.

***

as Steven sat down, so did a girl. she was wearing a Terran uniform, completely clean and straight. she had light brown hair that came down to her mid back. She turned to him, and looked at him for just a second before announcing "You're Steven Kerning, Age 26, Your rank is private, and you are a fighter pilot. And I can tell all of this just by looking. wanna know why? it's an interesting story, really." She smiled, blinking her perfect blue eyes. There was something odd about her eyes, though. They were almost too perfect, or so it seemed.

"Well, isn't that an interesting way to say hello," Steven said sarcastically, turning towards the girl, "What's even more interesting is the fact that that's all correct." He inspected the girl who sat down next to him trying, and was almost stunned by how the girl looked. She was all prim and proper, everything in order, but it was the eyes that really stuck out at him. "How did you know all of that? You a comm worker with the databases or something?" he asked finally. Something didn't feel quite right about her.

The girl smiled, pushing her chest up a little (she didn't realize it was a kinda perverted thing) "Welll...." she started, straightening out again "The people at the base say i'm an AI, but i don't feel that artificial, do I?" she asked, grabbing his arm and having it poke her in the stomach, which felt rather real to the man. "Anyway," she continued, letting go "They told me to come out here and get some 'people skills' since apparently you can't just download those. What a bummer." she looked around again, before speaking one more time "Oh yeah, I'm also the new Admiral on board the Battle Hymn, and i'm only a month old, isn't that neat?" She giggled a bit before getting up and announcing;"it's gonna be dark soon, we should get you inside!" before suddenly grabbing him and pulling him straight up off the bench. Having metal bones and enhanced muscles helped her with that more than she knew.

Jack looks at the young man before him, a little sullen-eyed. By his limp, he can tell the kid's lost a leg. It made him feel a little bad... but not bad enough to forgive him for his rank. Staring up at him, he reaches out one of his heavily muscled arms, shaking the boy's hand with a firmness that only existed in galactic prisons. "Yeh, been transferred to the Battle Hymn. Damn MPs wouldn't let me on the ship so I'm stuck with a hotel for the night, it looks." Jack doesn't feel very comfortable talking to this boy, it gives him a familiar feeling in the pit of his stomach that he can't quite put his finger on. He turns his head to the clerk, who is still fumbling through his drawer looking for some unknown article. Deciding the boy probably won't leave him alone anyways, Jack turns back to him. "So I hear you guys on the Hymn have seen some heavy action. Hopin' it's not just a rumor." he says as he intentionally shrugs the shoulder with his rifle on it. Jack had been hoping to get transferred to the Battle Hymn for that very reason.

"well.." Kai started, his voice lowering "we just escaped from a battle where fully half the Terran fleet was lost" he looked down at the ground, ashamed that they couldn't have done more. "but- as soon as she's upgraded, we're taking the Hymn back out there to kick some tail and send the lizards packing!" his voice brightened at this, his mood getting higher, before he realized that what he had just said was classified information. luckily, the Drathonians knew nothing of Altres, and had no spies here, so it didn't hurt that he had slipped up. He walked away, toward the door, to go and possibly get some air.

Steven followed after the AI, although truthfully, there was little he could do otherwise seeing as how she was gripping his arm like a vice. "Well, here is a new experience of mine, being drug around by 1 month old female Admiral who is probably strong enough to wrestle two full grown drathonian males," he thought to himself. He looked back a the AI quizzically. He had always thought that an AI was just a big computer that sat on the bridge all day giving advice, but this AI seemed completely normal (aside from the whole vice grip thing). "Hey Miss AI, could I get my arm back? I appreciate the concern of getting me inside, but I am capable of leading myself," he said as he snapped back to reality.

"OH! sorry, I guess I got carried away" She giggled, blucshing a little, before anouncing "wit, no it was you who got carried away" she laughed a bit, blushing more and releasing his arm "i guess this is what they meant by people skills" She said, bouncing up in joy before walking off towards the nearest hotel, to wich a map was displayed on her eyes. "By the way" she called "my name is Evelyn" as she said this she opend the door and bumped into a tall, blonde-haired soldier, easily knocking him over "Oh! I'm sorry!" she said, reaching a hand out to help him up "No problem" the confused Marine replied.

***

As Kai reached for the door handle, it opened, revealing a pretty, young brown haired girl who was looking the wrong direction. before either could stop, she bumped into him. Normally, this wouldn't be a problem, but she hit HARD, Knocking him over, even Who is this chick? He thought, before she exclaimed "Oh! I'm sorry" and reached a hand out, which he took saying "No Problem" with quite a puzzled expression on his face as she lifted him with extreme ease.

Jack's rugged face crinkles in a smile at the boy's good humor. It was amazing how optimistic children were. As the boy walks away, Jack closes his eyes and cringes. If half the fleet was destroyed, the human race was almost certainly doomed. They were impossibly outnumbered to begin with... now it felt like he had signed up for a transfer to hell. By the looks of it he'd be lucky to survive his first mission. A little disheartened, Jack turns to the clerk, still fumbling around in his drawer. "Hey!! Don't keep an armed man waiting!" he shouts at him, pulling his rifle off his shoulder. The clerk shrieks, throwing a pile of papers into the air. He runs to the wall and pulls a key off, throwing it to Jack. Jack gives him a grim look, catching the key in his free hand. He throws his gun over his shoulder once again, and grabs his pack, hauling it up the stairs to his room. He throws his gear on his bed and leaves the room. 'May as well go have a drink.' he thinks to himself. It was still early, and he had nothing better to do with the last of his depressive day. May as well end it with a few drinks. As Jack exits the hotel, his path is blocked at the doorway by the young captain and an attractive young girl. " 'Scuse me." he mumbles, trying to edge past them.

"Eve huh?" Steven mumbled to himself, he looked at the AI as she laughed and turned towards the hotel, "God, she is way to cute to be an AI!" He started to follow after her just as she opened the door and bumped into someone knocking them over. "You guys OK?" he asked quickly as he ran over to the two, "Oh hey there Cappy, you alright there?"

Having removed the TV from the low-standing dresser to make room for his portable workshop, he left the room. He needed to get his hands on some alcohol, and for two reasons: one, he wanted a drink to cool his nerves, and second, he needed some to try another prototype weapon he was working on. If it worked, it would make building powerful and perhaps even paralyzing but non-lethal 'grenades' with just two ingredients. Alcohol just happened to be one.

Coming to the main floor, there was something of a makeshift blockade going on at the door. Each was a military officer, it seemed, except perhaps for the female. Her uniform was vaguely similar, and yet its own entirely. He was somewhat puzzled, but didn't care. He would have gone around, but the other set of doors was being used by people headed in the opposite direction.

"Auszieh des Weise!" Garrett spouted, angry that he was being impeded by none other than military men and perhaps woman

Jack looks around as someone yells in a foreign language. It was another captain coming through the lobby, and this one looked pretty upset. Jack steps cautiously away from the group, not wanting any trouble. The only crowds he enjoyed being in were the kind he could shoot. He scratches his head, a little confused about what's going on. He just wanted to get by, but by the looks of it being near these officers seemed like a bad idea if he wanted to keep his nose clean... and he intended to board the Hymn without an MP escort to the brig. He stands a few feet off to the side, in case some insubordination crap started up. "Uh, 'scuse me... need to use the door, captain." he says to the blonde haired kid, giving a mock salute. Jack begins to consider whether he should get some hard liquor rather than beer...

"Ah, I was just going out too, And hello Captain... Hendlow" Kai said, reading Garret's name tag. He stepped out of the door, a little wary of the apparently angry officer. he wasn't feeling in the fighting mood, having been just dumped to the floor by a small woman.

***

Evelyn smirked "This is going to be fun" She announced, soon all video screens in view, both inside and outside, switched to a picture of her face smiling. She waved a happy wave upon the screen, though her physical body was motionless and her eyes glazed over. " Hi Terran Marines! I'm the newest terran admiral!" the T.V. girl said, as a picture of the Hymn flew by in the background. She was having fun with this little display. soon she disappeared and the screen returned to normal, however, and so did she, a slight clicking noise coming from her eyes turning themselves back on. She bowed to the four nearest marines and stepped out of the way, deciding to go with them "Ooh, my Databases say marines like to drink, so why don't we go to a bar? according to my sources there's a very good one nearby!" with that the girl dashed off, but soon stopped and waved "Come on! we gotta get there before dark!"

As the girl charges away, Jack reflexively moves to follow. Taking a step, he stops. "You know, on second thought, it might be better to go to a quieter joint..." he says, in reference to going to a bar with a neurotic girl who thought she was their admiral. Jack would rather pass... he heads out the door in the other direction, going to a small pub he knew wouldn't have many people in it rather than wherever the girl was leading the others. He sits down at the bar, orders three beers, and sits silently at the table, his head bowed down in deep thought. Tomorrow would be the first day of his redemption... and yet he was sitting here drinking beer in a pub. One part of him screams at him for his lack of humility, but the other part shoves it aside in search of drink.

Garrett sighed to himself, then watched somewhat amazed as the girl went off on some tangent about being the Admiral. He gave a brief nod to Kai, a trained response that had been cultivated from years in the military. There was no way in Hell... So he ignored her. It was even easier to ignore her when he figured out where she was headed. Rather than follow, he noted one of the four he had yelled at. A seasoned figure to be sure, even if his rank was lowly. Garrett followed this man to a small pub he probably would have never noticed. He entered and took up a seat with the man.

"You'll have to excuse the grouchiness of earlier," Garrett muttered quietly, eying the barkeep while waiting his turn to order. "I'm impatient with counter-productive military operations... so to speak." Finally, his turn.

"Two bottles of vodka." The barkeep raised an eyebrow. Garrett only smirked. "One for here, and one to go." Still that same stupefied look.

"I'm not going to get shit-faced," Garrett muttered lowly. "Just get them." Finally, the man went on his way.

Jack looks up, his thoughts scattering like a flock of birds from a tree. "Hnh? Yeh, I know what ya mean. Best to keep your mouth shut and your gun ready until you're needed." Jack's a bit surprised at the captain's order. He must be able to hold his liquor quite well. He sticks out a hand to shake, giving a small introduction. "Jack Gallagher, just transferring onto the Battle Hymn. You serve on it?" he asks, cocking an eyebrow. He takes a good look over the man. He smelled of gunpowder and a few other things he couldn't quite identify. They were definitely explosives, though. He shows a bit of a twinkle in his eye when he orders the vodka, too. Despite the serious vibe Jack had gotten from him back at the hotel, it seemed like he was more eccentric. By Jack's approximation, he worked demo. No surprise there, though. Those guys were a little too obsessed with their explosives. Thinking back to the vodka, a bit of a smirk comes to his face. 'I can only imagine what he's planning with that...' Jack thinks.

KAi, toowalked the opposite direction, he knew the bar she was headed to, and hated it. It drew too many shady characters, and lots of rowdy drunken marines. right now that was the last thing he wanted to deal with. he, too, entered the small bar, and sat at the other end of the bar "Hey, Joe, the usual" he said to the barkeep, amd the man nodded, opening up a minifridge near the Captain. He pulled out an Orange soda and poured it in a glass, adding a couple ice cubes before handing it to the blonde. Kai drank the non-alcoholic beverage to quite a few stares, which he ignored.

***

Seeing everyone leave, Evelyn huffed and pouted, too angry to watch where the soldiers had gone back in the lab where she was created, she had been their little princess, and she always got what she wanted. Slowly, but surely, the real world was catching up with her, and she didn't like it. So, she did something her programming suddenly prompted her to, and linked up with the Battle Hymn, searching through it's parameters and possible weapons loadouts. She stood in the middle of the sidewalk, immovable, eyes glazed over. She was planning something. something she thought would make the marines like her more.

Garrett knew when he was being evaluated, and Jack Gallagher was obviously summing him up while they shook hands. "I do. Captain, and senior officer of the Demolitions division." He smirked. "You're an intelligent man I can see. I'm sure you've already guessed that not all that alcohol is going to serve as a endless well of a grieving man's woes. Some of it's going to charity." He chuckled quietly to himself, and when it was over he was still smirking. The vodka had arrived, and Garrett slid forth his money, along with a small tip to keep the bartender's conscience off Garrett's actions.

"My turn. I'm guessing... boarding crew. Infantryman. Am I right? You don't look like the type to fly a ship, but I've never really been a people person."

Once again, Steven went off by himself, going nowhere in particular. Being by himself never bothered Steven much. He had gotten used to it after some time after being stationed on the Hymn, and he completely understood peoples' motives for ignoring him; he knew he could be obnoxious quite often. Mainly he got by through the mutual friendship he had shared with the men of Green Squadron, and by spending time perfecting his piloting skills. But now with the men of Green Squadron either dead or in intensive care, and with his fighter impounded aboard the Hymn, Steven had nothing to do but wander around.

"Green Squadron," Steven spoke the name as if it were the name of a foreign place he had never heard of, "Dammit. I am going to miss those guys." It was the first time he had thought about his lost comrades since he had left the hospital wing on the Hymn. It was finally starting to sink in that he was never going to see them again, and was reminded that is was because of the foolish choice he had made.

After walking around the hotel for a while, Steven found the room he would be staying in. He dumped his pack on the bed and looked around the small room. Everything was too tidy. Steven didn't like it, and left the room again. He made his way down the main lobby, and plopped himself down on a couch, and, before he knew it, he nodded off to sleep.

Jack smirked at his correct assumption. "Yeh, sniper corps. Never been very good with a ship, just a rifle." he said, giving a sly look. What he lacked in skill with a ship he definitely made up for with his gunmanship. "Don't have any stripes yet, though. Haven't seen enough action for that." Jack had been sipping at his beers this whole time, and looked down to find he'd finished all three already. "Hnh, I think I'll be headin off now, beers should help me get to sleep. Been anxious to join you guys." Jack stood up from the bar, giving the captain a pat on the shoulder. "See you shipside." he muttered. With a wave behind him, he left the pub and headed back to his room.

Garrett nodded. "Thought as much. Look forward to blowing shit up for you in the years to come," he replied. "Hope you like your sleep. Our engineers are a slow bunch." Smirking, Garrett turned his attention toward the two bottles of vodka now standing on the counter before him. He opened one, took a sip, then headed for the door. He had a project to start.

Seeing the other two soldiers leave, Kai decided it was a good time to leave. He paid for his drink and went back to his room, a mostly uneventful night, except for the rather loud explosion from Garret's room at about 1:00 in the morning. The rest of The week of continued in much the same manner, except that Evelyn did not show up again. The soldiers were beginning to think she had just been some crazy girl playing army and bugging them.

***

After the week had ended, The Marines and crewmen were recalled to the now Upgraded Hymn, a few late stragglers being pulled out of bars by annoyed MP's. Once again, the ship took off from the planet, Returning to orbit before gaining Hyperdive clearance. Once the ship was away (At a much higher speed this time) The soldiers aboard would get a briefing, this time from a very unexpected voice.

***

Over the loudspeakers, a young girl's voice rang out enthusiastically "Hey everyone! This is your new Admiral speaking, A.S.I.A.N unit Evely, Avatar of the Battle Hymn of the republic. I'm sure you're all wanting to hear of our new mission!" She giggled, making light of what was a serious situation. "Well, First off, I have a little Suprise for the Drathonians I cooked up. Recently, we found out the Rotation schedule of Drathos, and so we're right on schedule to Pay them a visit!" Her voice raised in joy at this part, but she wouldn't open up on what this 'visit' was about. she continued "Once we've finished up there, we're going to join up with the main fleet to attack Saratar, Their largest orbital drydocks, to help capture the base and planet so we can use it against them. it's about time this war ended, and now I'm here to make sure it happens" he anger in her voice at the last part was easily apparent. though only a month old, She had inherited the Terran hate for Drathoians. As an afterthought, she added "oh, we'll be arriving in one hour, so get anything ready that you need to." Once the speakers shut off, the Ship buzzed back to life inside, many crewmembers confused as to what just happened.

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Kai
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Re: Chapter Two: Demonix

Post by Kai » Fri Dec 24, 2010 12:37 am

Standing over his personal desk and workbench whose ends were perpendicular to another, Garrett looked up. Halfway through the speech he laughed heartily and turned back to his paperwork. Despite all the fun he was allowed to have, and the freedom he had to invent whatever he pleased, he still had to record the munitions and gear that came and went. Of course, with the demolitions team being such a small crew, it was hard to miss anything.

Quite to Garrett's satisfaction, the size of the group also made them a close-knit network. If for example, you had a question about the effects of a concentrated reflector beam coming within range of a dispersion field, someone would be able to answer you. More often than not, Garrett had the answers though all his officers were competent.

The paperwork was finished by the time the Admiral had finished speaking. Thinking of the Admiral, he wondered just how controversial the issue had been. There was an A.I. aboard the Terrans' most valuable battle ship serving as its Admiral; all humans were subject then to a computer's will. Just how many among the Terran government had fought that?

He shook his head and let the thoughts slide. It was unimportant. The decision would only become critical should Evelyn begin to show signs of poor judgment; for now, she was in the green. Should she slip up, though...

"I've got just the gift for her," he muttered, holding a small rectangular fixture in the palm of his gloved hand. One side was adhesive, with the tiniest of apertures in the center for the needle. It could be hidden in his sleeve, and when the time arose, he could stick it to her arm or back, or anywhere really. The contact would activate the needle, and it would strike into her muscles. More importantly, it would make contact with nerves (or whatever system the organic A.I.s used to transmit signals) and send a crippling shock straight to the harddrive. Soft data (that is, 'memories' and other data not embedded into her systems) would be eradicated. Even if there was a layer of metal beneath that skin, it would be enough to transmit the shock.

"I just wonder if she's dependent upon other organs as well..." That was something to be considered. If he caused, say, heart failure, or involuntary muscles to cease functioning, it would defeat the purpose. His aim in creating the device was to have a method of 'restarting' the A.I., not 'killing' it. Without the A.I., flying the Hymn in a straight line would become something more than a chore for the bridge crew. He couldn't even fathom how they would handle battle maneuvers. "I just hope it never comes to that."

The next few days flew by, and Steven was more than happy to finally get back on board the Hymn. The first thing he did was drop his stuff off in his room simply for the sake of not carrying it anymore, and then quickly set off for the hanger.

"They had better not of touched my fighter while I was gone. I swear, if anything is out of place, heads will..." Steven started, but was interrupted by the sound of Evelyn's voice on the loudspeakers. Continuing on, he listened to the A.I. half-hearted, but still he caught the main gist of the announcement; the whole thing lasting no more than a minute. "Well goody, more fun for us pilots. Guess I should go do some pre-battle system diagnostics," he said out loud to himself. A few seconds later, he stopped with a confused look on his face. "I just remembered that I don't have a squad at the moment," he chided, "Still have to get around to requisitioning me some new members for Green Squadron."

Upon embarkation to the Hymn, Jack quickly found his quarters. It was only a small room, since he was just a worthless grunt. He quickly dumped out the few belongings he had, setting out his books on his small shelf and cramming his clothes into his closet. He sat on the bed for a moment, wondering what to do, as the hyperdrive engaged. Moments later, a familiar voice came giggling onto the loudspeakers, delivering a surprising message. Jack gave a worn smile, standing up from his bed. There wasn't much to do anyways.

Jack strolled down the narrow hall of the ops level, quickly finding the barracks he was assigned to. A few other marines had already made it, and were in the process of strapping on armor and cleaning rifles. Jack approached the highest ranking man he saw. "Hello, Sergeant. I was transferred on at Altres. Could use some gear, the base back there didn't have many armaments and all I got was a rifle." The sergeant shook Jack's hand and shoved the other into his pocket. He withdrew a worn locker key, with a small drop of caked blood still clinging to it. "You look about the same size as Rodriguez was. That's his locker over there." The sergeant pointed over to a locker against the wall. Taking the key, Jack opened the locker. He could tell the equipment had been used. It now smelled of disinfectant, but smears of red could still be made out on the chest plating. Reluctantly, Jack strapped himself into the combat armor, a sour look on his face from the strong smell coming off it. He quickly prepared himself for the upcoming mission, heading to the hangar with the rest of his new squad when he was done.

Kai made his way back to his room and neatly put away all his junk. As soon as this was accomplished, he walked back down to the hangar to look up his squad manifest. reading the manifest, he stretched his legs, one of which had been replaced recently, and felt a little odd, but hey, it wasn't metal anymore. On the top of his manifest, there was a note that piqued his interest. the fighters had been fitted with new power generators, which had succh an output that the fighters flew faster, handled better, had stronger shields, and shot more powerful laser blasts. obviously, terran Tech was getting to the point that the Drathonians barely had an edge ofer their mortal enemies, and the blw the fleet was about to strike would turn the tables completely.

***

Steven would notice that in fact, his Fighter HAD been touched, with the same upgrades as all the other fighters. But, nothing else had changed on it. His squad manifest showed that he had gotten an entire new green squadron, excepting himself and the one other survivor from the previous battle. The rest were the left overs from a Mars destroyer that had been caught in the blast of Demonix whil it's fighters were still out.

***

All the seargeants and captains aboard had orders to get their respective combat groups ready for the upcoming fight, but each and every one was confused about the attack on the Drathonian homeworld. No one had told them about it, it had been a total surprise.

***

A light on Garrett's desk went off, before a comm line opened up. Evelyn's voice came through saying "This is Your admiral, I hear you're our resident explosives expert. I've got something fun to show you. Be at the ridge within te minutes, we're almost at Drathos." With that, the line died, and Captain Hendlow's workbench returned to it's normal, non glowy state.

Upon arriving in the hanger, Steven quickly found his fighter off to the side. He froze at once, and looked like he was about to have a fit. "What did they do to my scimitar!" he shouted after a few seconds and ran to the fighter, "What did they do to you?!"
"They put some new power generators into the scimitars, moron. You would know that if you actually took time to read the ship diagnostics instead of crying about it," said a young man standing near a fighter.
"And who the Hell are you?" Steven asked quickly, turning away from his own fighter. It was then that he noticed something he had missed. There were seven new scimitar fighters positioned near his fighter.
"Name is Mark. I am one of the new pilots assigned to Green Squadron, because apparently its idiot Squad leader ran a suicide mission. Who are you?" the man said with a smirk.
"Name is Steven. I am the idiot Squad leader for Green Squadron. Pleased to meet you," Steven replied, a slight glint a suppressed rage showing in his eyes.
"Oh sweet Jesus," the man muttered incoherently.

Kai walked over to Steven, the leader of green squadron and called out to him "hey, i called the replicators to order parts for one of my squads fighters, and they said they were busy building something for you, called it a 'shamshir' or something told me to let you know you had been chosen by the admiral to try it out, and that it was almost finished." he walked off, dismissing it as nothing, and headed off to the armory, the parts were small enough for those replicators to handle, luckily. Unfortunately, upon arriving, he found that those, too, were in use, making a tactical sniper version of the Bro for the tactical ops company aboard the ship. "geesh! how comes everyone is getting new toys, but i can't even replace parts on something old!" the captain exclaimed, flabbergasted.

Upon being briefed on the rules of in-ship fire fights, Jack threw his sugar rifle into his locker. Utterly useless. He headed over to the armory replicator to see what was in store for him. Entering his serial code into the computer, Jack was surprised to see a halfway decent weapon displayed on the screen. "The Tiger, eh? Looks fun." he mutters to himself as the replicator slowly produces a new one for him. Hearing someone raise their voice behind him, Jack turns. The young captain who had stayed in the same hotel as him stood in the door, looking a bit flustered. "Need to use the replicator? I can wait. I don't need a gun much anyway, I'll just beat the lizards to death." Jack stepped aside, offering up the console to his superior. "Only problem is I hit harder than these softy guns. Might rupture the hull if I swing too hard." Jack grinned at the young man, bringing his arms up in a mock fighting stance.

"heh, thanks" The captain said tapping the parameters into the replicators Man, that guy has WAy too much testoserone Kai thought, as he waited for the parts to finish. he looked at the specs of that new rifle, and noted how it was a good sniper for less skilled people: it gave them a second chance if they missed inside a dtrathonian starship. so far as he knew, he had never missed, and besides, he liked they way the Sugar made drathonians explode on contact.

Garrett perked up at the sound of the comm link, and listened intently. "Sounds like a load of fun," he muttered to himself, and strapped on his tactical vest and belt, threw on his jacket, and made his way to the bridge at a jog. He arrived with just forty seconds to spare and stepped onto the bridge without breaking a sweat.

After some pacing, he found the Admiral in all her infantile glory. "Captain Garrett Hendlow, ma'am. What do you have for me?" He gave a proper salute, but did not stand at attention. He was quite unfamiliar with the prim and proper ways of address. Working as a demolitions expert often meant months at a time away from everyone else, except for his small batch of peers, and even then he was the senior officer. He was always receiving salutes, not making them.

The Avatar smiled as the gruff demo man arrived on her bridge. "Ah, Yes, Captain Hendlow. I searched through my Databanks and discovered you have an affinity for explosives. I decided it might be fun to tell you the reason behind our visit to the lizard's capital. Might you be interested to learn that we have a 1,000 Kiloton Nuclear orbital bomb strapped to the bottom of the ship? I felt you would enjoy the view of the explosion from here, on the bridge. We shall arrive within two minutes." She might be a little socially unstable, but she knew how to strike a devastating blow to a people's morale.

***

As Kai finished up with the Replicators, a note popped out, Simply titled "To Jack". He handed it to the private without a word, not really caring what it was, before he walked out the door back to the Hangar.

The note Read "I looked up your Data file and noted that you enjoyed sniping, but didn't need the extra power the S/GUR offered. Here is a new gun, A present for you and your new friends in the spec ops department. -Admiral Evelyn."

***

A mechanic walked up to steven, he handed the pilot the note, saying "The replicator told me ta give this to ya." before walking away. the note read: "I found these designs for a new type of fighter on a databank, and thought you might enjoy it. it won't handle like a Scimitar, but it will sure take more and dish out at least as much. - Admiral Evelyn"

Jack gave Kai a quizzical look as he took the note. Reading it over, he let out a short laugh to himself. This new AI admiral certainly was interesting. As the replicator finished his tiger rifle, Jack looked at the terminal display. The mission should be starting soon. Not bothering to look over his new toy, he grabbed it and jogged down the corridor to the hangar with the rest of his squadron. As his squad piled into their IOTDP (Inter-Orbital Tactical Deployment Pod), Jack locked his helmet onto his armor, turning on the HUD. Sitting in the dark compartment, he turned to the Bow Cam channel, watching the feed from the front of the ship as it moved through hyperspace.

Steven was quite enjoying the defeated look on his new squad mate's face when Kai came up to and left just as fast. "A shamshir huh. Must be one of those new fighter models," Steven guessed quickly. His guess proved correct when mechanic handed his a note. Scanning the note from top to bottom, Steven could barely constrain a laugh. "Now isn't that something, I get to fly a new type of fighter," he said with a mix of pride and confusion.
"I'm going to check out this fighter, you guys finish up preperations on your fighters."

Garrett's eyes went wide at the news, and an excited tingle ran up his spine. He shivered slightly and smirked. If he had ever felt the temptation to cry, he had never felt it as strongly as he did now. He did not tear up, however, but jogged swiftly to the bow and gazed out the view port. He glanced over his shoulder. "Will we be able to follow its deployment with the external cameras?" He would love to watch it firsthand, but if he could follow it planetside even secondhand, Garrett would die a happy man. Sure, he had worked with, and even assisted in the construction of one or two nuclear weapons, but he had never been given the opportunity to deploy one. Now he was here, about to bear witness to such an event! It was like he was a child all over again, ready to see his father roll in the new bicycle his parents bought for Christmas.

This was going to be way better than any damned bicycle.

A short alarm sounded, warning the crew they were about to leave hyperspace. Suddenly, every screen turned on or switched images. this one was a planet. a rather large looking planet, comprised mostly of desert, with quite a bit of lights visible on the darker half. directly in front of the ship was a large grey patch, signifying the capital city. several instances later, the Hymn lurched, though nothing had been fired at it. within miliseconds of the lurch, that grey spot changed color. to the bright yellow of a nuclear explosion so immense it would render half the planet unable to support life. a quarter of the planet would die instantly, the immense explosion vaporising such a large chunk of it that it's rotation would be off center forever.

Not long after that, all hell broke loose. from nearly every direction, cannons, lasers, missiles, fighters, munitions of every kind became centered on one focal point: the Hymn. turning to the nearest enemy, the massive ship unloosed a volley from it's solaris cannons, taking a hit while it's shileds were down, noting major, but a hit was a hit, and weakened the physical outside structure. The Hymn, Shields back up, pointed another direction, and, with a slight glow from it's engines, disappeared into the void of space. it would be about 30 minutes before the ship arrived at it's next destination, the spacedock siege.

***

Kai watched the blast on a nearby viewscreen, awed at the destructive capabilities of the weapon. as soon as the dull roar of munitions hitting the shield started, he began running down the hallway to the hangar bay, to prepare to go out into the chaos. what caught him off guard, was the sudden simultaneous noise of both the Solaris cannons, and an impact to the hull right next to him. He watched in wonder as the wall caved in, pushing a large section of the floor several feet upwards. Luckily, the enormous shell had hit the floor below, and plugged up the hole it had made. Climbing over the wreckage, he keyed his comms to engineering "We've got a problem in hall B-74, A large shell has hit and collapsed a section of it and the floor above it. send a repair team with warp hazard suits as soon as possible, I think we may need to do repairs outside while warping"

The captain continued down the hall, his mind still on his mission, thankful that the hit wasn't anywhere critical.


When the enemy shell hit the Battle Hymn, The ship's avatar gave a sudden gasp of pain, because for every time the ship was damaged, she could feel it's pain as harsh feedback on her sensors. That was her curse for being so intimately connected to the ship, but she would bear it with pride, as the ship it'self did. Grasping at her side, Evelyn looked back up to Garret. "Glad you liked our present, now... I need you to help me. Go to section B-74. there's a large chunk of metal that will require your special talents to remove. " What she was talking about was the shell that was about the size of a double decker city bus, blocking off a hallway near the bottom of the ship.

***

Soon, the 30 minutes was nearly up, and a 2-minute warning sounded for all pilots to get ready to leave. since the siege was already in progress, boarding pods would be launched immediately, and the Pilot-marines would be helping the fighter pilots in the space battle.

***

Kai ran down the hallway, arriving quickly at the hangar bay, and grabbing his flight gear. as he suited up, he ran to his fighter, which was undergoing final prep by some of the ground crew. He jumped into the cocpit, closing the hatch and initating startup procedure. the ship started up amazingly quickly due to the newer power generator inside.

***

A red light glared into jack's squad's eyes, warning them that they would be launched into batle in just a couple minutes. all communications to the outside were cut off as the pod's multiple layers of shielding turned on, to insure the tiny vessel would make it to it's destination safely without killing it's occupants.

***

Ground crew scrambled to and fro in the fighter bay, readying every ship for it's specific mission. The Shamshir was being wheeled out of the replicators just as steven got there, a glistening, silver vessel, as no one had any time to paint it yet. Quickly it was loaded with 6 torpedos, each one powerful enough to take out a Raptor-class destroyer with a direct hit. His squad's fighters wer also loaded with similar torpedos, but the scimitar's could only hold two each, and it was at the cost of the mini-missile pods. The shamshir, with it's larger capacity, retained the missile pods of it's smaller cousin on it's wings.

Steven gave a slow, appreciative whistle as he watched the silver Shamshir being wheeled out of the replicator. Once the fighter came to a halt, Steven at once began looking it over trying to understand how it worked. Hm, that is interesting, this thing seats two he thought as he looked in the cockpit. But any further thought was cut short by an alarm going off. Show time. "Hey you engineers over there, wheel this fighter or to my squad," he barked at a group of passing engineers.

Itching with a newly founded respect for this woman, despite her seeming age, and lack of experience, Garrett quickly strode away from the viewport. Out of habit, his left hand rose to the goggles hanging around his neck. "Can I get a more detailed report on the way? I need to know mass and size so I can gather the proper gear. I'm sure you understand." He tapped the small device curled around his ear. "Just talk to me. I'll take care of it immediately. Ma'am." In his haste, the proper way of things had slipped his mind entirely. He hoped the sloppy addition would at least smooth things over. With a quick salute, he was out the door. Surely she, as a living, breathing computer, understood the need for speed and precision, and could thus comprehend his reasons for being in such a hurry.

Jack sat expectantly in his deployment pod, the red light of the alert system shining mesmerizingly into his eyes. He tapped his new rifle, finally acknowledging its existence. He picked it up, looking through the infrared scope. It seemed to be about the same as the sugar, with the exception of the rifle's power. He only hoped it was strong enough to puncture Drathonian skulls. Sighing, he leaned back in the dark pod. A few of the other marines were quietly boasting to each other of the glory they'd have in the upcoming battle. Jack couldn't help but let out a small chuckle at them. These children would probably end up as forgotten corpses on some hunk of scrap metal, floating through space. Jack intended to do the boasting after the fact. He lowered his solar visor in anticipation, and chambered his energy cartridge in the tiger rifle. He pressed against the wall in anticipation of the launch. He'd heard these pods were more like missiles than ships. The ride would be bumpy to say the least, and impact wasn't too pleasant either. He closed his eyes and began to quietly hum an old song under his breath.

While jogging down the halls toward his "workshop," Garrett heard a lot of jabber over the main war tactics signal; mostly it was talk of preparation with the occasional snide Terran remark. If they were preparing for an assault though, Garrett wanted to be armed and ready for the first wave. He wanted to be up front, ready to blow the living Hell out of whatever decided to stand between his Terran allies and the absolute humiliation and annihilation of the Drathonians. With a sigh, he moved a little faster and entered his workshop.

He already knew what type of armament he would need: it was a large hunk of debris from the ships hull, so he had to keep it fairly contained. Melting it down wasn't an option, due to possibility of other flammable gasses in the area, and the possible toxins involved in breaking down the chemical bonds. Ultimately, it would have to be small-charge, remotely activated equipment for the best results. Now he just needed to know how much.

Garret got a call from the initial survey team "Uhh.. sir? the thing's like, 30 feet around and at least 50 feet long. the corridor's been Vac'd and sealed off from everything else, so make sure to use an EVA suit and come in through one of engineering's airlocks.

***

Moments after Garret recieved his call, the Ship Decelerated upon a scene that was even more psychotic than the ship's firt battle. instead of a bunch of calm ships sitting in blockade, there was a full-on battle already raging. Energy blasts of all colors, shapes and sizes criss-crossed in front of the ship, and Kinetic weapons filled the vacuum with solid mass. more than a few ships from each side were already crumbling wrecks. Directly in fron of the battleship, however, was the contested piece of property; an orbital shipyards larger than even Demonix had been. Already severl half-finished vessels had been ejected, replaced by terran boarding vessels, some of which were already being destroyed from the inside, others departing to get more loads from the carriers, which loomed near the reatr edges of the battlefield. The Hymn unleashed yet another volley from the Solaris cannons, Cutting straight through a Few raptor class vessels and putting a large hole into a drake, which then imploded from the sudden pressure release. Next off, The ship broadsided the shipyards, firing off the boarding pods and opening the hangar bay's blast doors, releasing it's deadly cargo of fighters, and shooting the boarding pods with abandon. The pods sailed home to their target, to fast to be hit by enemy weaponry.

***

jack's pod was no exception, a sudden jarring feeling as the ship's anti-gravity forces kicked in, keeping the occupants from turning t=into goo from the sudden acceleration, followed almost immediately by an even more jarring impact, as the craft hit, drilling into the shipyards. the doors opened up and revealed that they had arrived into the deadspace between two decks, and would now have to crawl through and search for a way out and into the battle.

***

Steven's and Kai's HUD's beeped as soon as they arrived, setting the craft on autopilot so no one would hit each other on the way out into the battle. Both craft hurtling out into the battle, the Scimitars for the most part much more quickly than the plucky Shamshir. As soon as the pilots were out, they were in on the fray, Dodging, weaving and blasting opponents to kingdom come. Many terrans were amazed at how many shots were simply bouncing off the craft's upgraded shields, but they soon fond that the shields still weren't invincible, as the first few casualties began to mount up. Alpha squad was the first group out, headed straight towards the nearest enemy capital ship, setting off to destroy it's weapons so it would be helpless and useless.

Green Squadron was near the last ones out into space. The squad flew out in a defencive formation with the shamshir leading at point, two wingmen on the left and two on the right, with the last wingman pulling up the rear. Steven and the new Green 2 sat in their respective seats in the cockpit of the prototype fighter, ready to see what it could do.

"OK men, time for you all to show me that you are worth of Green Squadron, understood?" Steven said into the comm as the Squad was leaving the hanger, "As soon as autopilot is off, we break and head for the nearest Raptor as ordered. We are to test this new shamshir fighter and its capabilities. Should be interesting." Moments later, the fighters' autopilot was disengaged, and Green Squad sped off towards the enemy.

Before Jack could even take a breath after the ship dropped out of hyperspace with a lurch, he was thrown sideways by the sudden launch of his boarding pod. Huge G forces sickened him momentarily before the anti-gravity kicked in, and Jack felt like he was going to vomit. With one final jolt he was flung to the other side as the pod sank its teeth into the side of the shipyard. When the doors finally opened, Jack stepped to the threshold and turned on his flood lights. The pod had landed his squad in a crawl space. As the marines stood there, someone asked, "What are we going to do?" Jack grabbed a spacial charge, chucked it out of the pod, then slammed on the door button. After a definitive tremor from outside, he opened the doors again. His sergeant stepped out first, and Jack was right behind. The charge had blown a hole in each direction. Looking down, Jack saw a vast bay hundreds of meters tall. It wouldn't do to jump down there. The sarge crawled up through the hole in the ceiling, and Jack followed suit. Rolling out onto his knees, he brought his gun up and scanned his new surroundings as the rest of the squad emerged from the hole behind him.

A drake class was clearly in the sights of Alpha squads weapons, but it's shields were still up, so they would have to sross the threshold before they could do anything. Kai sent an attack plan over the squad channel and then boosted towards his target, the others following. Once they arrived, each ship would feel an enormous jolt as their shields cancelled against the Drake's, allowing them to come inside. as soon as this happened, however, the point defense guns opened up, wreaking havoc on alpha's fighters. The green flash in front, however, kept going the Scimitar's guns blazing, taking out the stationary defense guns with ease. following their leaders example, the men focused on their targets and within a minute, the ship couldn't do anything about them. that's when the fun started, Mini-missiles blasting in volleys at the spinal mounted cannons and side-mounted guns. truly, this was exactly what the men had trained for, and it had paid off.

***

Green squadron's HUD's quickly lit up with that raptor, a button flashing for them to show wich one to press to fire off their torpedos. They would have to be very steady, because although the torpedos were more powerful, they were slow and 'dumb' so to speak, and a miss would be a waste of quite a bit of technology.

***

Jack's group soon came under heavy fire, the explosions having drawn quite a few enemies. about 30 blasters were hanging back and providing cover for an equal number of smashers, which were rushing forward to engage the Terrans in melee fighting. Jack and his squad would have to act fast, as they were very outnumbered and would be extremely disadvantaged in melee combat.

"Thank you. Garrett out." He rushed out with his equipment dangling from his belt, and bouncing against his left thigh as he sprinted down the hallways. An EVA suit was easy enough to obtain, and he slid into it quickly, threw his belt around it, and double-checked the clasp. Once he felt it was secure, he proceeded through the nearest engineering access corridor, and worked his way through the tunnels to his destination. Once there, he realized that he had chosen his gear correctly. In fact, he would only need one. He set the charge as near to the center of the obtrusive metal as possible, then retreated into the engineer's airlock before detonating the device. The result was a muffled fwoomp, and gravel-sized shrapnel about the room. Obviously, it didn't destroy everything, but it was enough that there was no longer an obstacle within the corridor. He returned to the main corridor, stripped himself of the EVA suit, and tried to contact the Admiral.

"Miss, I was wondering if you could direct me to the nearest boarding crew leader, and perhaps let them know I'm going to join up with their squad. I think they could really use my talents in this battle." As he spoke, he was reentering his workshop and collecting the typical equipment required during an invasive procedure, and a few bits of ambush gear. He was always prepared for any situation because there were multiple ways to approach every situation, and a lot of them could involve explosives, incendiaries, and electronics, and gaseous materials.

Garrett's answer was swift and to the point "In the hangar bay, to the right of the corridor exit, is a boarding pod loading for the second wave. You have two minutes before it closes, so hurry over." there was a slight pause, before she continued "i'd prefer that you not call me 'miss' but rather Evelyn, or Sir. okay?" with that the comm line to the bridge cut off and squad shatter filled his ears.

Garrett was already running down the corridors toward the hangar bay when she spoke. He had a strong feeling he wouldn't make it, but he pressed on with haste, determined to beat the odds. With a little luck, he managed to make it there three seconds before departure, and threw himself into a harness just as the door sealed shut, and the launch proceeded. This was the only part he hated about his job. Jumping ship was perhaps the most revolting experience he had ever encountered, and he hated it every time, no matter how many times he did it. It was sick.

With perhaps a bit more luck (or an apparent lack thereof), the pod managed to lodge itself just above the entrance point of Jack's squad, putting them in the direct line of fire of the Drathonian blasters. When the access hatch lurched open, much of the ammo that missed its desired targets, or was merely cover fire, ended up entering the pod. It was a bad day for those eager to fight: the men that had already risen from their seats and approached the front were almost immediately mowed down. Garrett wasn't one of them, however, as he preferred to be the last out the door. Instead of gunning it for the door, he had crouched in front of his seat. He was reviewing a mental checklist of all items attached to his gear belt and the harness that essentially consisted of two leather straps looping over his shoulders and tethering to his belt. In a strong sense, they were close cousins to the old-fashioned suspenders men had once worn.

After the doorway had cleared and he felt comfortable with his load out, he dove through the pod's sole aperture, and quickly placed himself behind cover alongside a few of the boarder marines that had preceded him.

"OK Greens, fall into Hack formation behind me. We are going to take it nice and easy, understood?" Steven ordered over the comm. Five acknowledgment lights winked at him from his helmet's HUD, and he saw on the periphary of his vision the men of Green Squad fall back into a half 'V' behind the Shamshir. The formation sped towards the Raptor at a modest pace.

On approach, Steven saw a button light up on the control panel in front of him. That must be what keeps the colar on this beast he thought to himself as he gently passed his hand over the button. Any further thought was inturupted by an alarm that signified incoming enemy crafts. "Here we go Greens, spread out along my left and rear flank. Do not, and I repeat, do not engage until I say so, we don't want to be pummeled by shrapnal. Understood?" the acknowledgment lights winked again.
"You sure this fighter will hold up to the specs, Green Lead?" the new Green 2 asked from his seat in the rotary chaingunner's seat just behind and up from Steven's.
"Quite frankly 2, I am more worried about you new guys than I am about this ship. So as long as you all are up to snuff, then this ship definatly will perform wonderfully," Steven replied to the man, "Get that chaingun warmed up."

With their first target nuetralized, the men of alpha squad rocketed away, this time with no interference from shields, as the drake no longer had any thanks to their efforts. As soon as they cleared it, a cannon blast lanced through the ship, causing massive explosions as the thing became nothing but a floating hulk. The Marine pilots set their sights on the station this time, as it's defense guns were harrassing nearby Terran ships.

***

The Shamshir and it's accompanying squadron were immediately set upon by a large number of fighters, the slow moving, steady formation an easy target for the drathonian pilots. The Shamshir's heavier shields, were barely dented, while the lighter ones of the Scimitar's began to wear thin, a few weakened shots blasting though to put scorch marks on the fighters. they would have to do something soon or there wouldn't be many left. Green 2 opened up with the chaingun, the rounds pinging off the enemy shields, causing visual disturbances on them and steadily decreasing their power.

***

The corridor was now in chaos, as the Drathinians were split between two groups of Terran enemies Jack and Garrett, being the ones with explosives, would need to do something very quickly to even out the odds or else the small band of Terrans in the area would be eradicated.

"Green Lead, we need to make a move or our scimitars will be scrap and us with them!" exclaimed the new Green 4 over the comm.
"I will give you the signal when the time is right. Until then, shut up and keep the comm clear. Understood 4?" Steven replied with only a slight hint of annoyence. Though his seat he could feel the vibrations of the chaingun firing initial bursts into the enemy to help clear a passage for Green Squad. The squad passed through the main wave of enemy fighters and emerged behind their rear flank. "OK! Greens 4, 5, and 6, detatch from formation and swipe the enemy flank. Keep the shamshir in sight and stay alert for further orders. Green 3, you shall stay as escort for Green 2 and me as we continue on approach towards the raptor. Understood?" Steven barked to the wingmen, all ackwoledgment lights winked at him from his helmet's HUD. With that, three scimitars broke formation and pounded into the exposed flank of the first wave of enemy fighters. While the remaining scimitar and the silver shamshir closed in on their target.

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Kai
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Re: Chapter Two: Demonix

Post by Kai » Fri Dec 24, 2010 12:38 am

After sticking a cigarette between his lips, Garrett peeked out over the twisted wreckage that currently served as his shield. Once he felt he had a good mental estimate, he hid again and pulled from his belt a copy of the orb he had used in the duel against the Drathonian aboard the Hymn. The man next to him looked confused by Garrett's smirk.

"What the hell is that?"

"Just keep your head down," Garrett replied, and then echoed those words at the top of his voice so that his teammates could hear him over the gun fire. Then he lobbed the shock orb toward the center of the enemy with the aim of sticking it to some unlucky smasher's chest. That was the aim, anyways, but not necessarily the outcome. In the end, he could only wait the allotted three seconds for deploy, and watch the fireworks.

A loud crackling noise told him that the shock orb went off, and a second or so after, a number of loud thumps told him it had been successful. If he peeked up, he would note a number of confused looking smashers being mowed down as they strared at their fried comrades. the blasters, being further away, coninued shooting down the hallway, taking advantage of the more open space to actually take aim on the Terrans firing at them.

***

The three fighters of green squadron wouldd find that the Scimitar's guns were a LOT more effective than before, tearing through Drathonian shields like butter and vaporizing the metal armor beneath as if it were nothing. About half a second after the group broke off from the Shamshir, an 'all clear' light glared, informing Steven it was time to fire his torpedo.

***

The station's defenses were much more difficult to attack than a starship's as they were more akin to tethered fighters with stronger weapons. these more manueverable enemies managed to take out a few of Alpha's fighters, but under sustained pressure from several squadrons, their numbers were steadily dwindling. In the back of Kai's mind, he wondered if his pilots were all okay, even the ones who's dots on his HUD had gone out. this only steeled him further, making him more determined to do what he could to finish the fight faster and get to helping his comrades-in arms, his squadmates, his friends.

As Jack heard someone from behind shout "Keep your head down," he quickly heeded the advice and shoved his head between his knees. An instant later an explosion went off just a few yards behind him, and a drathonian smasher's fried corpse went flying past his shoulder. The lizards in front of him stopped for a moment, confused by the sudden shock of the explosion. Taking advantage of the situation, Jack dove to the ground, taking cover behind the corpse of the hulking smasher. Trying his best to avoid being a target, he switched off his laser sight and went into heatvision mode on his scope. Pressing an eye against it, his trigger finger flashed and the tiger made a few quick jerks as he lets loose a volley of shots. A smasher directly ahead of Jack fell to its knees, a hole burnt through its skull. Jack pulled out his second spatial charge and sets it to go off on impact, carefully aiming as he hurled it over the smashers to come down smack in the middle of the blasters. He immediately turned his attention to the gaggle of hulking lizard men about him.

Jack felt a pang of sorrow as he turned just in time to see one directly to his left charge into his sergeant with a painfully loud crunch. The sergeant fell to the ground, motionless, as the smasher proceeded to crush him under a heel while bringing his weapon down on the head of a marine attempting to engage it. It smashed through his thick visor, and the marine crumpled to the the ground, his armor useless against the brute strength of the alien. His head buzzing with rage, Jack leapt to his feet, landing on the back of the alien. He shoves his gun into the side of its face, puncturing its scaly skin. "You no good alien b@$†@%#!!" he yelled through a snarling grimace. He pulled the trigger as a possessed look came across his face, and blood gushed onto his visor as the fleshy tower he was sitting atop came crashing to the ground. Standing up from the tangle of twisted limbs, Jack turned on the scope cam in his HUD, charging at the nearest lizard with a bellow aas he let loose another volley of shots aimed at its throat. Seeing his new squadmates die had really set Jack off.

Garrett peered behind the mangled mess to see that fellow from the bar (plus the marine armor and gear) going wild. This was the pinnacle of the battle, he could tell, and someone was about to get hurt or die. Chances were it was going to be Jack. Garrett wasted no time in hurtling the wreckage, picking up the sugar rifle of the dead Sergeant, and began firing. Despite the recoil, Garrett fired heedlessly. He was not trying to hit anything, but rather keep the enemy from hitting Jack; cover fire they called it. Once the gun ran out, however, he merely tossed it aside, and scrounged for a new one. This time, he came up with a Bro, and shouted at the other men in the hall.

"GO! Help him, and take the damned lizards with you!" Heeding his own call then, Garrett hauled himself over the next barrier, and sprinted down the hall firing the Bro fully automatic. He was halfway to the enemy barricades when a shot tore through his left knee. With a cry, he tumbled and dropped the weapon in the process. In the midst of all his rolling, another round tore through his right calf. Garrett was still. His eyes were closed.

But he was still breathing, and in shock from the suddenness of it all. He was pretty sure he no longer had a knee cap to speak of, and that his right foot was gone. He couldn't look though, not out in plain sight while the enemy continued their assault. All he could do was attempt to control his breathing, and try to retain consciousness. He was barely able to do either.

As Jack shot the lizard in the throat and pummeled it to the ground, the squad from the pod behind him began to rally. Despite the fact that his own squad was already dead or dieing, Jack fought on. A few more smashers were still in immediate range, and Jack charged the nearest. As his fire ripped through the face of this one, he heard a shout from a bit behind him. Turning, he recognized a captain he had met on shore leave, laying in a pool of his own blood as it quickly flooded from his body. Jack immediately stepped away from his one man front line, letting the squad of marines continue the battle towards the barricades. Dragging Garrett towards cover, Jack joined the command com. "I have a lot of wounded men here. They need a medivac or they're going to die soon!" he shouted into the com, the adrenaline still running hot through his blood.

Waiting for someone to reply on the overcrowded com channel, Jack looked over the large smasher he was taking cover behind. The squad seemed to be holding its own now that the shock of the battle had worn off. He looked down at the shredded legs of the captain. They were shot to a pulp and leaking a river of blood. He would die in another minute if this bleeding wasn't stopped. The bottom half of his left leg was hanging on by a small piece of tendon... it would have to be sacrificed. The right calf had been shot at a bad angle, and the round had gone through all the way down to his heel. There was barely a foot left. Jack tore the bloodied BDUs off of the captain's legs, working fast to tie cravats at his thigh and calf, struggling to remember the now vital information he had been given during basic training two years ago.

When the work was done, he leaned back against the drathonian corpse that they were sheltered behind, looking over his comrade. He was still on the edge of consciousness, and Jack felt a wave of sorrow that brought a few small tears to his dry, unblinking eyes. Seeing this man laying on the ground dying with these stubs of legs was too much. He turned his attention to the battle going on behind him. Taking up his tiger once more, he begins to give the marines support fire, delivering a headshot to a drathonian looking over the edge of a barricade. The mixture of sorrow and rage he felt put him in a very silent mood. There would be no bragging today, not while he was knee deep in the blood of his brothers.

The grasp of another shook him to something just above vague awareness. He knew he was being saved, but at the same time knew it was also an amateur attempt: medics were much gentler, and often came with worried voices and stretchers. Adrenaline attempted to surge, but it only had a minor effect. A lot of it merely ended up flooding out the gaping wounds. His eyes fluttered, and in the last few seconds of consciousness, he saw Jack rise to his feet. There was pure determination and hatred in those eyes, and for some reason or another, it put a faint smile on Garrett's face. He laughed at himself, thinking he was delusional; the laughter only made him laugh harder, wracking his body with wild tremors. He convulsed a few times, then slowly settled, and passed out, his body no longer capable of sustaining conscious activity.

Now his life truly was in the hands of other men, and if Garrett had been awake, he would have cursed himself for being a fool. This position of weakness he had put upon himself was the last thing Garrett would have ever wanted. He was a staunch, self-sufficient man, and he preferred to keep it that way. Thank God he was unconscious.

While the fight in the corridor may have been going what might be considered well, The rest of the sector of the station was in even worse chaos. The Mud brown blood of Drathonians mingled with the stark red of the Terran's all over. Bodies, wreckage, destroyed weapons, and equipment lay everywhere. And that was just the ground. If one would look but a few feet up, they would be met with energy blasts and kinetic weapons fire being exchanged back and forth between the two bitter enemies. The cunning and skill of Humanity's finest mashed up against the brute strength of the universe's worst. Overall, the effect was both awing and disgusting. But still, the fighting continued.

Somewhere over a squad channel, a call for help reached the Battle Hymn. it's origin traced within seconds, a team of medics guarded by marines with barrier shields boarded a pod and lanched into the fray, lancing into the corridor with surgical precision. As soon as the door opened, sheilds were there to absorb damage as the medics rushed down the conqured section of hallway, picking up the wounded. A medic found the uncioncious form of Garrett hendlow and gently went about putting the proper dressings on his wounds. That taken care of, she injected the captain with a shot that would wake him up and dull the pain to a tolerable level. Knowing he was needed, she attached special fittings to his legs which would allow him to stand and move, though not quickly.

As soon as the Demo man's eyes opened she showed three fingers to him "How many?" she asked quickly to test wether or not he should be evac'd or stay and help.

***

The space battle was going a lot better than the station one was, the immense terran force outgunning every drathonian ship. Alpha squad, being Marines, were recalled to the Hymn for boarding procedures. the men were needed more inside than out it seemed, and Kai and his men complied, jetting back to the Hymn at full speed, setting down in the hangar and rushing to the ready-room to prepare for the next wave of troopers assaulting the shipyards.

Just minutes later, the sector of the deck Jack and Garrett were on was cleared. Squads of marines converged in a large mess hall near where their pods had originally come to rest. A gunnery sergeant was giving a briefing on their next objective. "Alright boys, listen up. We're on the floor directly above a key objective of ours: one of the station's main dry docks. There is only one route down: a set of two personnel lifts and a cargo lift are located just down the hall. We need to capture that dock soon, because if the lizards realize we're winning this battle, they're going to do everything they can to leave us nothing but heaps of scrap metal. The only problem is force: there's only about 30 of us, and we're unsure how many of them are in that hangar. We've estimate over 150, but it could be much more. There is also another problem: the dock is large enough to fit tanks, and they'll almost definitely have them. Nevertheless, we have to try anyways. We have reinforcements coming from wave 2. Get into position." With that, the gunnery sergeant gave a salute. Jack walked back into the hall, heading back to the pods to see if Garrett was alright. He'd left him to be treated by the medics while he finished capturing the deck. He stepped up to the girl treating him as she asked him how many fingers she was holding up.

Garrett sat up with a start, taking a deep breath. He blinked rapidly, trying to focus. He was receiving the stimuli, but he was having trouble interpreting. When he finally recognized the shape in front of him as a hand, he grasped it, and began pulling, trying to stand. "Help me up," he groaned. "I need to get back..." He paused and let go, glancing down at his legs. "What happened? My legs..." He looked up at the medic. "What's wrong with my legs?" Fear was creeping into his voice. Garrett was a strong man, but if he couldn't walk, what good was the rest of his strength?

Then he saw Jack, and the man was unscathed, relatively speaking. He gave a sigh of relief. It was probably the drugs working in his head, but he couldn't seem to hold onto a subject for very long. "It's good to see you're alright." He held up his hand. "Mind giving a soldier a helping hand?" It was as if he had entirely forgotten about his injuries, which was actually the blatant truth. He simply couldn't hold a topic in his mind long enough to remember to worry

Jack stood dumbfounded before Garrett, a look of mixed empathy and confusion on his face. "Are... are you... alright?" he asked, worried that Garrett had lost it from all the blood loss and painkillers. He turned to the medic, who looked equally concerned. "I think you should get him back to the Hymn, he's not in much of a condition to fight." He turned back to Garrett, who had a slightly absent look on his face. Seeing captain Hendlow in this state was disconcerting to say the least. He crouched down next to the captain, closing his eyes for a moment. Jack opened them with a pained look on his face. He had to tell him... "Garrett, your legs... they were shot off. There wasn't anything I could do. The medic gave you robotic ones..." Jack looked away, expecting a reaction from Garrett. The lump in the back of his throat grew a bit bigger. He'd never been in a fight this bad. Jack could deal with death, but mutilation was another story. Seeing a man cut down to such a pitiable state seemed, in a way, worse than death.

Garrett was focused on Jack with rapt attention. His expression dimmed when he began talking about his legs. Unbelieving, he glanced down, and was about to point out the skin and bones when he realized that there was very little left. He grasped what once had been his knee to find a replacement joint. He turned his other leg to get a good look at his calf. In its stead was a series of electrical circuitry and muscle amplifiers. This stark change in his own body struck him harshly, but it was all coming back into focus.

He stared at his mangled body. He had gone running down the hall like a fool, and had paid the price. It seemed as if he had merely taken Jack's place; rather than protect Jack from harm, Garrett had taken the pain upon himself. It was a rather stupid thought, but that's just about how he felt, and while he was glad for Jack's safety, he was greatly angered that he no longer had his own muscle and bones to stand upon. Slowly, and with difficulty, he rose to his feet.

Garrett had never experienced clarity of mind like he did in that moment. He took a deep, resigned breath, and looked down at his legs. They worked, but they would never be the same. He was dead set on getting his revenge. Captain Hendlow would learn to operate a weapon properly. He was going to take that knowledge and shove it right up some Drathonian's ass. This he knew to be fact. He also knew that there was a battle to be finished then and now.

He looked at the medic. "Three, right?" He smirked, but it was fake. It was also exactly how the demolitions expert felt at that moment: fake. He was a false construct in a world of biological beings.

"I'm going. I'm clear-headed, I can walk, and I can sure as hell arm a bomb. Just tell me what I can and can't do with these things." He flexed the fake knee joint, trying to get some feel for it. Then he glanced at Jack. "And thanks. I owe you a drink or ten. Just tell me what's going on right now, so I can get back to work." He spoke quietly the entire time, his face an utterly morbid expression.

He gave one last look to the floor, and saw all the blood --his blood. Garrett examined his pants around the tears and saw that much of it had become stained. He wasn't going to spill his own blood wastefully. He was going to finish this mission, whether this medic liked it or not.

A chill went down Jack's spine as Garrett came to his feet. The morbid look of determination on his face was enough to scare any foe. "Sir, I think it's me that owes you a drink. Those bullets were meant for me." He grabbed Garrett's hand in a firm handshake. "I'm in your debt." He gave a Garrett a sad smile of pride. He had more courage than Jack would ever hope to obtain. If he lost his legs, he'd be more likely to completely give up on life right there than stand up and keep fighting. Who was he compared to this man? He owed Garrett everything. Jack looked back over to the medic. "Is he okay to stay?" he asked. There was still work to be done, and he wasn't one to stop Garrett from blowing everything to hell for him.

Seeing the pain apparent on Garrett's face, the Medic suddenly chimed in "Don't worry sir, Once you get back to the hymn, You can get your legs replaced with real ones; these are only temporary." With that, she walked off tending the other wounded and tagging the dead.

***

Soon after this, an extremely loud thump was heard, along with some whirring and noises of metal cutting metal, and a section of the wall suddenly grew an orang circle before being vaporized. A pod's hatch could be seen, which Quickly opened to reveal Alpha squad, headed by their leader, Kai. As soon as he noticed that there was no fighting going on in this corridor, he shouldered his Sugar and walked over to the other two. "Status?" he asked, trying to figure out what was going on, the 20 men behind him eagerly listening.

A yellow light flashed on Steven's HUD bringing Steven, who had been looking at his scimitars tear through the drathonians. "Hm, that must mean that it is party time," Steven said in a coy tone, "Ok Green 3, drift off to my right and watch my flank." Steven got all the sights centered and steadied the shamshir on an intercept course for the raptor. The targeting display gave the all clear light and the launch button lit up. "Ok Green 2 brace," he called to the pilot in the chaingun. He moved his hand slaightly and pushed down the launch button. Two torpedos shot off away from the fighter, flew straight ahead for a few seconds, and impacted with the hull of the drathonian raptor. The explosions were enormous, ripping through the raptor, leaving two large craters in the vessel. Steven was awstruck by the efficiency of just two torpedos. He looked down and saw he still had ten torpedos left. He launched off four more torpedos and then pulled up and swung away from the explosions. He was smiling

Garrett nodded and returned the firm handshake. After the okay from the medic, his gaze fell to Jack again. "We'll call it even then." Then he looked to Kai. He was tempted to speak, and when he realized the thoughts running through his head were 'said' with a condescending tone, he held his tongue and instead knelt slowly to pick up the Bro, and checked the ammo. Sure, he wasn't a crack shot, but he wasn't a nimrod when it came to firearms. They were like cousins to explosives, so it was impossible for him to not have at least a passing understanding as to operating, loading, and reloading one. Fixing a jam, though, would be nigh impossible for him. Next thing, he was walking away from Jack and Kai, more interested in his own thoughts, the Bro in his hands, and the idea of sending 300 Drathonians to Hell in a flaming hand basket of napalm and grenades (I have an image for that too!)

Seeing the other captain walk off, and noticing the odd sound his now metal feet made on the floor, Kai Pulled a small grey rectangle off his belt and called for the demo expert "hey, You'll need this" he said, getting the man's attention as he walked over and handed him the battery pack shared by Bros, Tigers and Sugars. The blonde man then walked by, towards the room where a few voices could be heard, And barged in, Asking the same question, but this time getting an answer. (Which we already know so i'm not gonna re-post it)

***

A new enemy contact flashed on Steven's HUD as a Drake was targeted this time. unfortunately for the Shamshir, this thing had defensive guns, which began spewing flak in his direction. the squadron leader would have to manage his men to protect him and dake out the enemy turrets, now.

Steven's HUD chirped at him again, indicating a new target, a drake. With a quick glance back at the raptor, which was now resonating with internal explosions, he called all his wingmen back to him. "Alright Greens! Form up on my right," he ordered. The scimitars quickly swept in and congregated just off his right wing. "We have a new target, we are going for that drake. Understood?" Steven said into the comm. All of the acknowledgement lights winked blue accept for one. "What is the problem Green 4?" steven asked, trying his best to hide his irritation. Green 4 was going to be quite a thorn to remove from his side.
"Yes their is a problem Green Lead. With all due respect, I think this is suicide," Green 4 replied with a hint of anger in his voice.
"Well 4. Here's the deal, I am team lead not you. If I tell you to do something you follow orders. Understood?" Steven said and with no attempt to hide his frustration. Green 4's acknowledgement light wink red.
"I am sorry Sir, but I am starting to question your ability to lead," 4 growled.
"Very well, you are no longer part of Green Squad then. Green 5, you are now 4. Greens move out towards destination. Weave paths to avoid flak," Steven ordered the wingmen, "Oh and Mr. Jones, I have taken the liberty to send in a report of your actions. Have a nice day civilian." Steven disconnected all comm contact with the scimitar, and flew off towards the drake.

The weaving worked at first, but the Drathonian gunners grew wise and began figuring out patterns. the new Green 4 chimed in "Uh sir, why don't we go in and take out the guns so you can make your run? and don't forget that we've got torpedos, too." Green three opened up right after him "Yeah, and a few minutes ago the marines were recalled for boarding, so they can't do it for us, what are your orders, sir?"

Blue squadron could be seen nearby, keeping the Drathonian fighters at bay, which was a very good thing for Green squadron, because at their slow speed they were practically sitting ducks. Suddenly, Green 2's chaingun opened up, firing behind he looked at his pilot and yelled "Sir, we've got a few scourge's behind us trying te get 'friendly' if you know what i mean." Obviously, steven would have to change his strategies, as his current one was withering down by the second.

Garrett turned in time to catch the battery, and tuck it into his own belt. He gave Kai an affirmative nod then turned away. He entered the next room, all too eager to make the next move. This process was too slow for his current mood. They needed a plan, though, and that much he could agree upon. However, the lack of ideas was spectacularly dull.

"I'm a demolitions expert," Hendlow offered. "You want a new door? I can make one. You want traps? I can build some. You want prisoners? I can give you twenty blind, epileptic Drathonians in the next ten seconds. You're going to need me, and we all know it. Just tell me what the hell you need me to blow up. My only preference is that my target is a living, breathing lizard, but I'll bend on that one if I see the necessity."

Kai sat in thought as to what could be done. When Garrett said "need a new door?" he got an idea. "hey, Garrett, go down in the crawlspace and make a circle of explosives beneath this room so we can blow a hole into the floor below, then drop through the hole with our scaling ropes"He said, indicating the coiled wires carried on every soldier's belts. he nodded to Garrett, then said "get to it, don't wanna keep the lizards waiting. he then turned to the rest of the men. "okay, we'll be waiting in the hallway with or lines anchored. as soon as the blast goes off, we'll enter through one of the doors and jump down the hole. Make sure to fire while you're going down, or you'll be a sitting duck. there's four doors, two this side, and two the other. so, let's split into four groups and get going" with that, the soldiers all split up, going into their respective hallways and hooking themsilves to the scaling lines and the lines to the walls.

Once the room was cleared, he went about his business finding the appropriate location in the hallway. Once he had marked out his plans on the floor, he pulled a tube of some unlabeled material and a small cylindrical device from his belt. While Kai had recommended a circular pattern, he didn't have the right explosives in a large enough quantity to spare for such a task. In its stead, he had come up with a new plan. On the floor of the hallway, he drew a large rectangle with the tube of gel. After a few seconds, the gel began to seep through, hissing angrily. After a little over a minute, the rectangular chunk had fallen into the crawl space.

Carefully, he hoisted it up and set it against the wall. "Don't touch it," he advised the soldiers. "Unless you want to fire a rifle with your middle fingers." As humorous the idea was, Garrett didn't even smile. He was dead set on kicking some Drathonian ass. He dropped down into the crawl space. The flooring here was thicker, and when he applied the same gel, it didn't burn all the through, but he hadn't expected it to burn all the way through.

Now the cylindrical device came into play. Both ends were adhesive, and he attached one in the center of the new "door" Garrett was about to demolish. On the other end, he attached a second shock orb. Along the length of the cylinder was a small dial labeled with various weights measured in Newtons. The floor couldn't have been more than 500N was Garrett's estimate, so he set it for 525N. Then he pressed the activate button. Slowly, the outer shell rose, preparing to drop the door into the next room. While it was preparing, Garrett set the shock orb for a timed explosion: 15 seconds.

His equipment set, he climbed out of the hole, and turned to watch. A near silent clink could be heard as the piston reached its zenith; next came the descent. "Grenades," Garrett muttered, and turned around quickly. He grabbed two grenades from the nearest marine, pulled the pins, and waited.

FWOOMP! The floor began to fall. Halfway down, the shock orb went off, and that's when Garrett tossed the grenades in opposite directions. Then he pushed past the marines, and waited for them to go in. "All yours, boys!"

At Garrett's word, Jack and the other marines leapt through the brink. The sensation of free fall was a little unsettling to his stomach, but Jack quickly set to work. The floor was several hundred meters below, Jack could make it out through the rising smoke of the explosions. Setting the butt of his gun in his shoulder, he pointed it down between his legs and began sniping out easy targets. From what he could tell through his scope in the split seconds before he shot and switched to his next target, the Drathonians had nearly wet their pants from surprise. The marines definitely had an advantage in that. Jack managed to blow about half a dozen lizard brains to pieces before, moments later, he came thundering dangerously close to earth. Quickly, he threw the switch on his harness' locking mechanism, and stopped with a jilt five meters above the floor. Unlatching himself from the harness, he slid down the last few meters, just as the Drathonians recovered from the shock of the moment. As he and the first group of marines landed on the ground, a flurry of fire from all around went blasting towards the scaling lines. It was like an upside down snowstorm, but deadly in its function. As Jack quickly dove for cover, he could hear a crunch from behind him, and saw vividly in his mind's eye the dead marine that now lay crumpled on the ground at the foot of the scaling line Jack himself had just descended.

As Kai jumped through the hole, Quite near to Jack, he spotted some Dragoons farther off, guarding the doorways and elevators. good thing they came through the roof, they would have been slaughtered otherwise. taking advantage of his high ground, he paused about halfway down the rope, then took his time sniping a few of the heavily armored foes with the immensely powerful Sugar rifle he had. After a few exploded, They grew wize, however, And began targeting the blonde man on the rope. as a few shots whizzed past, he began swinging wildly in an attempt to dodge, then dropped down and descended into the slowly dissapating cloud of dust and debris. As the battle began to rage ever higher, Kai yelled orders, had his men find cover, and found some himself. soon the group of 50 was down to just 20, but the several hundred lizards had lost more than an equal percentage. Noting that the Doors to the construction bay were closed, Kai grabbed jack and said "hey, I need you to cover me, I'm going to open the doors and call for reinforcements!" slapping the soldier on the back, he ducked down and rushed across the floor, firing as carefully as a sprinting man can, towards the control room.

Garrett watched them all go in then leaned perilously over the opening to watch some of the firefight. It was making him itch for some action of his own. Trying to stand back up, his left leg locked out, sending a jolt of pain up his side and causing him to wince. It wasn't debilitating, but it made him realize it would not be safe to put himself in the line of fire. With a heartfelt sigh, he checked his gear again for inventory check and then reached up toward his earpiece. "Alright, somebody talk to me down there." He was working on the local frequency, so that anyone beyond this section of the docking bay wouldn't get confused. "What can I do from up here? I still have plenty of powder and an able pair of hands."

Jack jogged after Kai, keeping about twenty meters behind him. As the young man barreled through a barrage of enemy fire, Jack let loose on the gangs of lizards between them and the door. Hearing the whisper of his com under the chaos around him, Jack had the perfect use for Garrett. "Garrett, it's Jack. Could you send some explosions my way?" He quickly pinged his location on the HUD between shots, all the while keeping careful watch over the captain who was charging through the fray just ahead of him. A decent force of Drathonians stood before the small gate that led into the control room, and two hulking Drath tanks stood sputtering beside it, blasting away with their dual subsonic plasma turrets. No way could two marines take the position without support. Jack yelled into his com to get Kai's attention. "Kai, slow down! Wait for our backup to take out those tanks!" Jack sprinted forward, catching up to Kai. They were about fifty meters away from the door now, and a large, empty space lay between them. Jack shot a Drathonian jumping up from behind his makeshift bunker and beckoned for Kai to follow him behind the propped up sheet of metal. Pulling out his last spatial charge, Jack looked back over the top of their cover. His charge wouldn't be able to take out either of the tanks, but he could probably get some of the twenty or so infantry bunkered down around the door. "You got anything that can kill a tank?" he asked Garrett, gauging the angle he'd have to throw the charge at to get it into a machine gun nest that was planted just behind the two massive tanks.

Kai had seen the tanks when he had sprinted forward. Obviously jack had never seen what a Sugar could do in sniper mode. Noting his current battery only had enough power for 3 shots on sniper mode, he couldn't miss. The Blonde man had been up against these kind of tanks before, it was part of the reason he was a captain, to be true. Flipping that switch, Kai jumped behind a bit of rubble from the earlier explosions and Called to Jack "Watch this" With a smile he aimed for the base of the turret and fired. The amount of power output from the rifle was astounding. it penetrated straight through the tank armor at it's weak point and impacted on the engine, which was 'Safe' on the inside. This of course, casued an overload and a rather good sized explosion, as the tank was rent to shreds from it's own power source exploding. He sent another shot toewards the other tank, to similar results. having heard Garrett's question, he paused to change the battery pack, and called over the comms "Garrett, you've a rifle, correct? once you drop some explosives down for us, take potshots on any enemy that comes too close to our central position". Slamming the battery pack in place and returning to general mode, Kai made another charge past the now burning tanks, towards the control room.

Inside the Hymn, A group of 6 shuttles, each carrying 30 soldiers, sat waiting for an opening large enough to land in and stable enough for troops to disembark. The pilots tapped on the controls, waiting patiently for a call to come through. Through the radio chatter, they found that the Drathonian space navy had either been obliterated, forced on-planet, or forced to flee by this time. The only thing stopping the Terrans from invading the planet itself was the shipyards. Green squadron soon returned to the ship, Minus three Scimitars and with a heavily damaged Shamshir. The chaingun had been blown completely off, and the wing bearing the sensors had been clipped midway. Most of the cocpit was scorched, and the pockmarks of defensive guns covered the hull, but still it flew. The 7 remaining ships of green squadron were quickly evicted and moved rather uncerimonuosly toward a mass of damaged fighters waiting for maintenence. All in All the space battle had been very one-sided, the Terrans having had fighter carriers and a larger amount of ships this time around. Already, the Terrans were pretty sure of their victory, warships forming a defensive perimiter around as much of the planet as possible, large troop carriers and smaller *but still rather large) salvage vessels warping in to get ready for the invasion and attempt to regain as much resources as possible from the aftermath of the space battle. Inside the station, The drathonians began to lose their morale, many beginning to give up, but in the main hangar, those 20 men were under the fiercest fire, still heavily outnumbered and nearly outgunned.

Garrett listened. "Sounds like you've got a door problem." He knelt down beside the gaping hole in the floor-- wincing as he lowered himself-- and removed four identical charges. He looped them onto one of the rappel lines and let them down nice and easy. Then he eased himself onto his stomach, and took up a position overlooking his squad. "Your presents are on the floor. Santa dropped you some lovely entry charges. Be sure to let me know what the lizards think of Christmas coming early.

"Also, I'm set to cover. Wishing I had a sugar, though. A bro isn't much use from this position, but I'll do what I can. Just one request: don't die on me, alright?" He was smirking to himself as he stared down the barrel of the weapon. Things were going their way, alright.

As Kai charged past the burning tanks, he noticed the door to the control room was locked tight and guarded by none other than Dragoons. smartly, Kai had created giant clouds of smoke, making sniping from any farther than the tanks impossible. not only that, but there was a turret that noticed him and began spamming the area with chaingun rounds. Jumping out of the way just in time, he came back to Jack and jumped behind the bunker. "Well, looks like we'll need a bit of help" he said, nodding in confirmation to Garrett's message "the charges are here, let's go back and get them and grab a few helpers, eh?" the captain said to the soldier next to him. "Garret, what kind of gun do you have? if you're in need, I think we can tie a sugar to be hoisted up to you, okay?" with that he tapped jack on the shoulder an said "Let's go" darting out from behind the cover.

Jack snickered as Kai leapt out from the cover and sprinted away from him. The chaingun that he had drawn fire from followed him, still not noticing Jack. "Yeah, sure. I'll be right there." Jack muttered, arming his spatial charge. He'd put the last couple minutes into carefully calculating the throw he was about to make. Sure, anyone with a Sugar and some experience with Drathonian tanks could take one out, but who could boast about killing a squad of dragoons? With a grunt, Jack let the charge loose, and instantly knew it was a perfect throw. A smile crossed his face as he watched it sail through the air, almost in slow motion, coming down right in the middle of the enemy formation. The very instant it detonated, Jack went hurtling over the barricade towards the control room door, charging through the smoke that was now choking the air all around.

As the Explosion resounded behind Kai, He dove behind the nearest pile of debris on the floor, and looked back to see Jack go off running towards the control room. "Crap, He's gonna get himself killed" Kai thought, jumping up again and rushing to the group of Terrans, whose numbers had now reached around 15 or so. Grabbing the explosives, Kai tied a Sugar to the end of the cable and called Garret "Allright, there's a Sugar on the same line you dropped the explosives with, hoist it up if you need it" With that he turned to the rest of the menand yelled "Grab the wounded, temporary retreat towards the control room, Come on men let's move!" as he yelled this he waved a hand in the air pointing the soldiers in the right direction to move, and a blaster shot lanced through it, Blowing off his middle and ring fingers, causing him to grab it instinctive ly and then bend over to hide himself better Argh! my hand.. Dammit! I can't shoot anymore He thought, as the last of the soldiers passed by him. he slung the explosives over his shoulder, then, with his left hand, pulled the EV-47 lazer from it's holster to use as a last defense, and retreated towards Jack with the rest of the soldiers.

Garrett hoisted up the sugar with a deep sense of gratitude. Just as he had untied it to glance down, he watched Kai lose two fingers. He grimaced, but had no time to truly remorse. He pressed the butt of the rifle into his shoulder, and leaned over the barrel. Sniper mode was engaged. He took a deep breath, and fired his first shot.

Spot on! The Drathonian didn't even know what hit him, nor would ever: the blast had ripped right through his skull. Garrett continued in this fashion, and only missed twice. He rolled out of view while he reloaded, a smirk on his face. He was doing well, considering he was injured, untrained with a rifle, and the awkward positioning. He rolled back into position, readjusted his sighting, and continued to provide cover for his comrades.

Steven lazily shuffled over to the edge of the hanger along with the remaining members of green squadron. At the wall, he sat down against the wall and felt oddly short of breath. He quickly realized that he still had his emergancy air mask on and removed it. "Well, that was Hell, now wasn't it," he said, still breathing heavily, "Who is unaccounted for?" Feeling like he was about to fall asleep, Steven listened to the list of MIAs and KIAs. "One of you guys come with me to the med bay. I am a stone throw away from passing out," he mumbled as he stood up. He started to walk towards the door when he turned around and gave a quick salute to the ships of Green Squadron.

Jack reached the door through the thick cover of smoke, stepping over the body of a Dragoon that had been rent in half by the explosion. Jack slammed on the control panel but the door didn't budge. Oh... that might be a problem. He let loose a flurry of rounds on the door to no avail. The weak Tiger couldn't penetrate the thick plating of the door. Cursing himself for his stupidity, Jack carefully retreated from the door. The smoke was clearing, and he could make out the team of marines just ahead. He waved to them, seeing Kai carrying a pack of explosives for the door. One of them threw up an arm, pointing to Jack's left and shouting something. The marine brought up his weapon, but too late. Jack looked to his left just in time to feel the crushing impact of a large Drathonian barrelling full force into his side with a sickening crunch. Jack's surprised cough shot a spray of blood onto his visor, and as he toppled over he could just make out the huge Dragoon being peppered with bullets, laughing at the damage it had been able to inflict. Jack didn't truly feel the pain until he hit the floor. The sensation of breathlessness was the last thing Jack remembered before everything went black. Jack lay on the ground among the dead Drathonians, unconscious and unmoving, his body twisted into an unnatural position.

Kai turned around to check what was going on ahead of him as he retreated just in time to see Jack get wailed by a dragoon, who was subsequently shot to bits. Darnit! I can't lose any more men! but, he wasn't shot, I wonder if he's still alive! with that hopeful thought in his head, he rushed forward, handing the explosives off to another marine with a quick "Blow the door" before departing to check on Jack.

Seeing his mangled body wasn't really anything new, Kai had been in many battles, lost deare friends, and experienced a lot more than his youthful features revealed.no, instead, the young captain was angry. Angry at Jack for disobeying orders, Angry at himself for not having done enough, but mostly, he was angry at the Drathonians. the stupid, greedy, evil lizards, who did all they could to ruin everyone else's lives.

Kai picked up Jack's unconcious form and moved it to a more comfortable place. he knew that moving him was a bad idea, but if he was still alive, broken bones and punctured organs were'nt that bad, if only they could get help soon. BANG! suddenly, the door was blown and a glut of marines rushed into the control room, killing every lizard inside. Soon, the blast doors were opened, and shuttles could be seen coming in, blasting away at hte tanks littered about the room, dropping off reinforcements and medics, and taking on the haggared soldiers who had survived against all odds.

That was when Kai noticed something. he was feeling a bit light headed, and looked down to see a pool of blood beneath him, but it wasn't brown, and Jack wasn't bleeding all that bad. it couldn't be his fingers, those didn't bleed so much. he dropped the EV-47, and felt around his stomach, discovering that being tall and a marine didn't work too well together, and slumped back, uncocnious, just as a Medic got to him and his wounded comrade.

Garrett spent the rest of the battle in an awkward peace. He was left to himself in a quiet tranquility as he continued to pick off what was left of the Drathonian forces. They were weak now that they were divided, and with time they were easily conquered. Then the cavalry came, and he was put into the same recovery ship as Jack and Kai. He rode with them back to the Hymn, and in the infirmary he was given a proper replacement for the missing chunks of leg. It was unusual at first, but walking around on it for about twenty minutes or so he became acclimated to the new appendage. Then he waited while the doctors and nurses took care of Kai and Jack. Normally, he wouldn't be one to hang around, but there wasn't anything that required his attention, and he wanted to thank the men for saving him.

After the not all that long of a walk, Steven made it to the medbay although he was breathing heavily and braced against Green 3.
"My God, what happened to you Private Kerning?" one of the med staff asked Steven as the two pilots entered the sick ward.
"Nothing to worry about doc. I just got rattled around a bit and am feeling a little dizzy. That's all," Steven replied to man.
"If that is all, then why is there blood on your face. That is more of blunt tramua then being shaken a little," the med staff said quickly as he rumaged around for some bandages.
"There ain't no blood, doc," Steven said in a disbelieving tone and reached up to touch his face, "By golly, I am bleeding. I guess some cuased my gash from earlier to open up again." The pilot laughed as he remembered how he had smashed his head into the cockpit canopy during a previous engagment, but quickly stopped as the laughing gave him a splitting headache.

When Kai awoke it was to a vastly different setting than the one before. a setting that was all too common for marines these day; the Med bay. remember the last thing he had known, a hole in his stomach, Kai reched down and felt for it, but could not find one. Ah, Medical technology. he was basically healed completely, but soon a nurse noticed him " Captain Nakamura? you're under doctor's orders not to move for another half hour while we monitor to make sure the replacements take and your blood is all replaced, but after that, they need you back out on the bridge, the admiral has something mportant for you, apparently." with that, she walked away, checking on another marine. All in all, 137 of the 250 marines abouard the Hymn were casualties, 22 of those dead. at the moment, the Med bay was packed nearly full, as fighter pilot wounded were inside, too, more being brought in from wrecked Simitars by the minute. All in all, it was a fairly eficient operation.

***

Outside the Hymn, Ships were gahering to rready the invasion of the planet, a drathonian garrison of 10,000 still on the ground, faced by an army of terrans that was foronce larger than they, but they were dug in, fortified, and equipped with the best stuff the Lizards had.

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Kai
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Re: Chapter Two: Demonix

Post by Kai » Fri Dec 24, 2010 12:42 am

Garrett turned his gaze onto Kai when the Captain finally awoke. He waited in silence until the nurse left before he spoke. "Thank you, Captain. I know you didn't do much for me personally, but you and your squad showed up with the medic. If you hadn't, I probably wouldn't have a leg. Hell, I probably wouldn't be here." He offered his hand, then hesitated, and finally withdrew. "Ah, right. No moving."

After lying down for a while, and after have his head re-bandaged, Steven felt well enough to get up and look around the medbay. He would have gone back to the hanger where he felt more at home, but the docs were having a big enough tantrum about him walking around the medbay. The place was more full than Steven had seen it in a long time. Hopefully that didn't mean that they had lost. Satisfied with walking around he went to ask someone where his invalid squadmate was.

Kai smirked as Garrett thanked him, and laughed a little at his "Right, no moving" comment. turning his head to face the Demo expert, Kai said "I can move, you know, just not get up and walk around" he laughed a bit more sitting himself up and getting comfortable "The medics here aren't THAT controlling" He began flexing his hands a bit, remembering he had had a few fingers blown off. looking at the hand, he nw had a few fingers with no tan, replacing the ones he had lost. "Would you look at that?" he said, a bit amazed, holding his hand up. he looked around a bit, remembering something else. grabbing a passing medic he asked "Hey, where's a private Jack Gallaghar? Is he gonna make it?" the medic looked at him, looked at her sheets and said "I don't have anything on him right now, I can go check for you, though" and with that she walked towards the office section of the Med bay.

"Ah, right." Garrett chuckled at his own ignorance. It was almost ironic. He was a demolitions expert, after all. With all of his encounters with carnage and death, he had never before landed himself in the med bay before that renegade Drathonian they had found on board. He didn't comment, however, until the nurse had left for the office. "It's almost funny if you think about it," he said to the younger Captain. "I've surrounded myself with explosives and deadly gadgets all my life, and in the last week I've landed here twice. That's twice in my entire life." Then he offered his hand again and this time awaited Kai's proper reply. "Here's a proper thank you. Hopefully you haven't forgotten the first one because I hardly remember it myself." He smirked at Kai knowing how stupid he sounded at the moment. Then again, weren't ailing patients allowed a little leeway for that sort of mental displacement?

After a few minutes of searching Steven finally found where the medtechs had moved his squadmate. The man was sleeping at the moment so Steven just took a seat by the bed and waited quietly. Although he didn't have to wait long since almost as soon as he sat down the injured man woke up.
"How are you feeling pilot?" Steven asked whenhe noticed the man looking over at him.
"Alot better than when I came in here, that's for sure," the man replied as he sat up in the bed.
"When can I expect you back in a scimitar?" Steven continued.
"The new guys that bad that you are waiting for me to fly again?" the man said with a slight laugh.
"Yes and no," Steven said laughing as well. He then went on to tell the injured Green about the most recent dogfight.

"Heh, well, You're welcome Garrett, I remember both now." Kai said, reaching out and shaking the Demo expert's hand. "Seems like being in the thick of the fighting isn't all that good for a soldier, is it?" he chuckled. "How are the new legs treating you? I know genetically they're exact replicas of the old ones, but they feel kinda wierd at first, don't they?"

Before long, the nurse returned, this time with a different colored clipboard. "Well, Captain, according to this, he's still in surgery, apparently replacing 90% of someon'es bones and 75% of their internal organs takes wuite a while." she said, a concerned look. "Will he be allright?" Kai asked, an equally concerned expression on his face. "Yes, once we release him, he'll be good as new, actually better seeing as several of his organs were in bad condition from previous injuries and bad eating habits." the nurse replied.

"Correction: being in the thick of battle is bad for a demolitions expert. We're trained to use sidearms and blow s#*@ up. Fighting 4 to 1 odds was never part of training. I'm supposed to be the guy ambushing lizards and opening doors, not leaning over a hole in the roof to snipe lizards with a bro. That's just not my field of expertise. It's yours." He smirked.

"But yes, it does feel a bit... odd. Not to mention I went in bits and pieces. I didn't really lose the whole leg. I'm getting accustomed to it, though. I think the big issue is going from battlefield synthetics to organics. You're starting to get comfortable with the metal and plastic and then they slap some meat and skin on you."

"Heh, I gues you're right. Tell ya what, I'll teach you how to fightif you need to, and you teach me how to open a door without the key. Deal? Kai asked. "Because, i'm not always gonna be there to cover your sorry butt, and we've only got 10 demo guys on this boat, and they'll probably be busy most of the time."

Garrett smirked. "That sounds like the start of a beautifully symbiotic relationship," he answered. "I like it. When do we start? We haven't had much time to really 'test' our explosives testing range, and there's some junk that needs 'dismantling.'" When all was said and done, he was still smiling. Things were looking up despite the loss of his leg (Or various parts thereof).

Jack came to with a start, struggling under a tangle of tubing and restraints. His body was numb, and through the oxygen mask strapped to his face, he could see only blurs of shapes. Someone walked over to him, laying a restraining hand on his shoulder. The words they spoke seemed distant and distorted. Jack couldn't make sense of them. Relaxing, he lay back down. With great difficulty through the veil of numbing painkillers, Jack tried to remember why he was here. With a jolt, his last memory came slamming back into his mind. Looking up from the ground as a massive Drathonian laughed heartily over his body. Despite the difficulty he had making a coherent thought, Jack felt his face grow warm with rage. He had been beaten by a lizard. The very thought of it made him sick. Presently, the nurse returned to his side, this time poking a small syringe into his shoulder. His thought drifted away from him, lost in the cloud of bliss that was being injected into him. He suddenly felt tired, and with a short yawn, he fell back into an uneasy sleep.

Before long the nurse returned "It seems jack has woken up, but is still a little delusional, they've put him back under until he heals better, but don't worry about him. Apparrently the admiral requests Your and Captain Hendlow's presence, along with all the other captains aboard." She bowed to the two men then walked away, pausing to say "oh, and you're fine, we release you from the hospital" before disappearing into the fray of medical activity.


***

In a few moments Kai got up, noting the rediculous medical apron he was wearing "well, I'll have to fix this" he said, laughing. "Looks like you're coming with me, once I get changed, we'll go, eh?"

Garrett nodded and folded his arms over his chest. At the thought of speaking to their new Admiral again, Garrett's smile returned. That woman sure knew how to please a fighting man (taking into account that she's synthetic and only slightly physically attractive [to Garrett]). He was actually eager to head up to the bridge and see what she had in store for them all. Surely it was the next set of plans and maneuvers; Captain Hendlow could only hope there was some more "work" involving his particular set of skills.

After conversing with his invalid squad-mate, Steven was rather unsure of where to go, and took a moment to compare himself to a smoker in the fact that they both could only think of one thing and when they were going to have that one thing again. The pilot had thought of going down to the hanger, but quickly scuttled the idea due to the fact that he could not bear the sight of his fighter in the Replicator. He also thought of head to the mess hall, but then scrubbed that idea as well when he remembered that the mess hall was used as overflow for the med bay. So with nowhere to go, he proceeded to wander around the Hymn aimlessly.

Before long, Kai returned, decked out in his usual wear. "Well, I suppose we should make our way to the bridge, then. I'm sure it's something important." he signed himself out officially and walke ddown the hallway, towards the nearest elevator, so he could get to the proper floor.

Hendlow was at Kai's side as he left the med bay, he was there as Kai strolled down the hall, and he remained in stride even as they entered the elevator and the doors closed. "So... You think we're going to finally bring this to an end? Or do you think it's... bad news?" Garrett was doubting bad news, but he wasn't going to say it was impossible; then again, if it were bad, she probably would have called everyone in immediately, regardless of physical condition. Or it would have been announced over the intercom. With that in mind, the Captain felt somewhat calmer; still, the possibility of an even greater threat still loomed in his mind.

Before long, the two marine captains were at the bridge, surrounded by the other captains aboard the ship, and the ships avatar and commander, Evelyn. Almost as soon as the two arrived, she began speaking, relaying orders from high command. They were to join in the second wave of the assault on the planet below. The lizards were dug in and their base was too valuable to simply glass, and so a stalemate had been drawn with the first wave. reports were also coming in that the original number of enemies had been miscounted, and that the ground forces were being assaulted on all sides, formed into pockets, and making further stalemates. Wave two's job was to go in, flank the drathonians, and re-form the min force to attempt another assault on the fortress. by that time, a third wave would be ready to mop up any leftovers outside the wall, but, due to the importance of the planet, conventional means were needed to win, not just a huge nuke, as they had dropped on their enemie's home planet.

***

Within one hour, several troop transports had docked with the Hymn, and were taking on marines, a small contingent left behind to guard the ship. Kai's and Garret's squads would, naturally, be spearheading the assault. Jack had been folded into Garret's squad, and steven would be leading a group of shamshir's in close air support.

Steven's mood had improved dramatically since he received word of the planetary battle that would soon take place. He didn't know why, but he got a certain flyboy high from the idea of flying within an atmosphere. One possibility could be that it was a new type of challenge with new determining factors compared to space combat. As several more ideas on the subject surfaced in his mind, his body continued to walk down to the hanger. And before he realized it he had arrived at his destination.
Bringing himself back to reality, Steven looked lazily around the hanger for the complementary squadron he would be leading. He found the group rather quickly for the fact that an entire section of the hanger had been cleared to make preparation for ten of the new Shamshirs.
On approach to the group, there was a number of pilot he recognized quickly. There was squad leaders from several of the other squadrons aboard the Hymn, including the leaders of red, yellow, grey, as well as leaders from delta and omega. Accompanying these squad leaders was also a number of other pilot whom Steven could only guess to be squad-mates.
"This is going to be fun," Steven said jokingly to himself.

Locked