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A walk in the woods

Posted on Sat Apr 14th, 2018 @ 11:53pm by Major Dren Fyntar
Edited on on Sun Apr 15th, 2018 @ 12:27am

Mission: Of Persephone
Location: Planet surface

[Marine Transport - Goose One]
Fyntar joined the Quick Reaction Force, Bravo Platoon, as they were boarding the Wyvern Transport.

He gave the Platoon Leader Lieutenant Bruce Curtis a quick briefing. "There has been some kind of incursion near the colony site. An unknown number of intruders were seen on the ground and then a couple of our fighters brought down an unidentified small craft. At least seven more beamed off it before it went in. We're going to the crash site to see if we can round up those who beamed off and find any more of the others. Weapons on stun , we want prisoners. Questions?"

"No idea of who they are Sir? The Lieutenant asked

"Not yet, but so far the CIC does not think it's the Protectorate, whom the ships had a fight with. They think these are a new group" Fyntar replied grimly. This far from reinforcements the last thing they needed was new enemies..

The Lieutenant nodded and they got on the to Wyvern. Fyntar looked around. Bravo Platoon was quickly getting into their seats and checking their gear. He nodded towards the Marines "Get your war faces on Marines, this is not a drill"

Within a couple of moments they were dropping rapidly towards the planet's surface. Fyntar and Curtis went forward to the cockpit. The pilot looked back and then pointed to her tactical display. "I've got a vector to the crash sight from the Dragon Flight fighter element. They are tracking six lifesigns on the surface, moving roughly due west, about a klick away, up this valley into this ridge of hills. Where do you want to be Major?"

Fyntar looked at the display and conferred with Bruce. "Looks like they are trying to get up over this ridgeline; that's about seven klicks from the crash. It puts the terrain between them and colony, then probably move to an RZ to wait to get picked up. I think we'll be waiting for them"

They spent a couple of moments working out an ambush plan. Fyntar and First Squad would drop at the crash sight, clear that and then trail the intruders. They would make themselves obvious, making noise and using flashlights, driving the intruders before them.

Curtis would take Second and Third squads and be dropped on the far side of the ridge line. They would move up to the crest, set an ambush and wait for the intruders to climb up the valley into it. Fyntar's team would be pushing up behind them all the way. Weapons would be set on stun, they wanted prisoners.

Two minutes later they were skimming just above the treetops, there was a bight patch of burning wood ahead, the shuttle crash site. Fyntar had opted to fast-rope down rather than transport. There was little difference in timing and at least by fast roping the Marines could keep their eyes on the ground below them, rather than beaming in blind. Even with Wyvern's sensors showing no life signs at the crash, he still preferred to do a tactical drop.

They opened the Wyvern's side hatches, strung out eight ropes and when the craft came to a halt, some fifty meters from the wrecked shuttle, they dropped down the ropes. Within seconds the Squad was on the ground fanning out into a defensive circle.

The Wyvern pulled away and set off on a circular route to get ahead of the intruders.

[On the ground]

Fyntar waited a couple of moments. His eyes adjusted quickly to the dark, even though there were dancing flickers of flames coming through the trees from the shuttle. There was a smell of damp conifers and burning plastic. The flames cracked and hissed and it was difficult to make out any other sounds. The squad corporal had a Marine tricorder out and was scanning the area, he shook his head, no life signs.

Fyntar did a quick check on the squad, they were ready to go. They spread out, moving forward in a line, towards the crash. The craft had come down hard and was broken into three large sections, all well ablaze now. It had been fairly large, it looked more like a big cargo Runabout than a shuttle. It had once had nacelles, so was obviously warp-capable.

"Get some scans, let's see if we can identify the type, before it's all gone" Fyntar ordered. "Let's get three on perimeter, they rest spread out see if you can find anything amongst the debris"

He himself went to inspect the cockpit section. It was smashed and burning fiercely, there was little chance of salvaging anything from the flight system computer. He was poking around when there was a call from one of the other sections. He jogged over to see what they had found.

A Marine was holding up a battered and burnt weapon, one that was still recognizable. "That what I think it is?" Fyntar asked.

"Yes sir" The Marine replied "It's a Breen assault blaster. This was nearby too" He kicked something on the ground, it was an armored breast plate. It was bent and smoke blacked but, like the blaster, it was clearly Breen equipment.

"Anything else" Fyntar asked. A couple of other Marines brought in more Breen equipment and they cached it all away from the fire, to be beamed up to the Shanghai. Then came another call, this time from one of the perimeter guards.

Fyntar moved out to the Marine. "Up there sir" She pointed up into the trees above their heads. There was a body up there, hanging over an upper bough, it was short and stocky but even in the dark the head gave the species away, or rather the ears did, it was a Ferengi! It was clearly dead, the head hung in an unnatural way and one of the legs was broken at an extreme angle.

"Ok, get it down" Fyntar ordered. This was unusual, Breen and Ferengi on the same ship?

A Marine climbed up the tree, a few seconds later the body flopped onto the forest floor with a heavy thump. A quick search of the body found nothing.

"Alright get this body over with the Breen stuff and have the Shanghai beam it aboard" Fyntar instructed. "Tell them to get an Engineering team down here, they can put the fires out and probably identify this craft." It did not look to be either a Ferengi or Breen design. "Two minutes and we're moving out!"

The squad hustled to obey and once they were done they formed up. Fyntar checked his chronometer. They had been at the site some twelve minutes, which meant the intruders were now some twenty eight minutes ahead of them.

He called up the Wyvern. The pilot confirmed Curtis and the rest of the platoon were in place. She was circling at high altitude monitoring the intruders. "They are still moving westwards up that valley Major, about three klicks from you now, but there must be some big dilithium deposits because they are getting hard to track." She gave him a bearing and Fyntar led the squad off at a fast jog.

The forest was not too thick, but in the dark, even with night-vision equipment it was easy to trip over a branch or uneven ground and twist an ankle and their going was slow. Since their purpose was to draw attention to themselves and drive the intruders ahead Fyntar ordered the squad to deploy flashlights and they were able to increase speed.

He was concerned they could be running into an ambush themselves, but the last reported position on the intruders was still over two kilometers away and the squad settled into a running pace.

Within fifteen minutes they reached that position and Fyntar slowed them down to a walk. "Spread out, use your lights, make like you're searching for tracks" he instructed. The sides of the valley were closing in now and getting steeper, the only logical route was still up the valley onto the ridge, where Curtis with Second and Third squads waited.

He called up Curtis. "We can see your lights down on the valley floor Major, but no sign of the intruders yet. The Wyvern lost them about six minutes ago, too much interference from the dilithium ore."

"Roger that" Fyntar acknowledged "We'll make a push up towards you, they must be between us, be ready"

He slowed his squad down, still using their lights but moving tactically in pairs. One Marine covering the other as they moved forward and up the hill.

They must know we're on their trail Fyntar reasoned. But would the intruders turn and make a fight of it?

Just then there was a flash of weapons fire some three hundred yards ahead.

"Contact! Contact!" Curtis reported "They're here!"

"Roger that, keep them pinned down we'll move in behind them" Fyntar acknowledged. "Marines! On me!" He led the squad forward up the hill. He could spot individual weapon's fire now, the intruders seemed to have more than one system. There was a redish ray that was the Breen assault blasters, there were four of those and also an orange one, that was a much tighter beam. So far there was just one of those. All of the intruders weapons appeared to be on a kill setting!

Coming down slope were the bright glows of the Marine phasers. The squad closed to within a hundred meters of the firefight. "Spot your targets" Fyntar ordered kneeling down behind a tree and peering around it "There should be six" He wanted to locate the firing position of all of the intruders before storming them. Within a few moments they had five of them but could not locate the sixth.

"Two are down!" A Marine reported "I saw them both hit" That left four. A few moments later a third intruder was hit.

"Alright we're going in" Fyntar informed Curtis "Drop your arcs start hitting the ground around them" He didn't want any of his squad to get clipped by a stray stun beam as they rushed up behind the intruders.

He assigned three Marines to each of the two remaining known enemy firing positions. He would lead three more off the left where there seemed to be an open space, that logically would be occupied by the sixth intruder. The remaining Marines would provide covering fire and watch for anyone trying to break back down the hill.

"Go! Go Go!" The three groups leapt up the hill, Fyntar sprinting ahead, his rifle held a ready position, dodging from tree to tree trying to spot the missing sixth intruder. To his right the first three Marines overran their target and a figure went down in a hail of stun blasts.

Then suddenly there was an explosion. It was further to the right. It sounded odd, small and sort of muffled and there was no real flash to speak of. Then one of his Marines called out "Target! Ten o'clock, ten meters!"

Fyntar ducked behind a fallen trunk, snapped his head towards the indicated position, the barrel of his phaser rifle following his line of sight without thinking. There was a movement between the trees, a figure running. He snapped off a stun blast that only just missed. A second phaser shot came from one of his Marines, it missed too.

He began to move over the trunk when there was another muffled krump and something wet and rubbery slammed into his shoulder, followed by a splattering of liquid drops, that splashed his chest and face.

He wiped the stuff off, knowing exactly what it was, even in the dark. It was somebody's blood, just not one his Marines he hoped.

"Check fire! Check fire!" He called out and the woods grew quiet. "Stay put and report in"

"The bad-guy blew himself up!" One of his three Marines called out.

"So did this one!" One of the other teams reported.

With the four that were already stunned that made six. There were no casualties amongst the Marines. But an enemy that would commit suicide instead of surrender was unusual. Almost Angosian he thought wryly, although he'd have made sure to take some of the other bastards with him instead of just dying alone.

"Alright move in on the stunned ones." He ordered "Be careful, check for explosives!"

With a couple of minutes they had two Breen, a Rigellean and another Ferengi. None of them appeared to have any grenades or other explosive munitions on their persons. There was another answer however.

"They've got something in their heads!" One of he Corporals announced as he scanned a stunned Breen with his tricorder. "What the hell is that? It's linked right into his brain, must be surgically implanted. Whoa, this one's waking up! Hold on, I've got a power spik -"

There was sickening krump and the Breen's helmet exploded! Shrapnel and brain mater flew in all directions, the Corporal caught a chunk of helmet in the face, was thrown backwards and sprawled on the ground with blood rushing from his left cheek and eye socket.

"This one's moving too! Get down!" There was another blast and the other Breen's helmet blew apart. The two Marines nearest him had just thrown themselves to the ground as it erupted and got only minor cuts and scrapes.

"Dammit! Stun those two again!" Fyntar roared, pointing at the Rigellian and Ferengi "And get Corporal Anson beamed to the Shanghai sick bay, now"

More than enough stun blasts slammed into the two bodies, along with a couple of kicks just for good measure.

"Alright, Alright, Don't kill them!" Fyntar called over "I want these two alive. They have some explaining to do!"

He called in the Wyvern for pick up and they trudged up the hill with the two stunned bodies to where they could board the ship on the ridge. The Marines carried the bodies gingerly, exchanging nervous looks and being careful to stay away from the heads.

The Wyvern touched down and Fyntar spoke with the pilot. Neither wanted potentially exploding bodies on board. In the end they deployed a cargo net, tied the two in to it and slung them under the craft for the flight back to the colony. There were a couple of jokes about flaying low enough to bounce them off a few trees on the way.

[Marine Transport - Goose One]

Fyntar settled in next to Curtis. "What's the word on Corporal Anson?" He asked

"They are operating on him now sir" He's probably going to lose the eye" Curtis replied grimly. "Who are these guys? Pirates, Smugglers? I've never seen anything like this, I mean, suicide bombs in their heads?"

Fyntar shook his head "I don't know Lieutenant and it's an odd mix, Breen, Ferengi, Regeliians, working together, all the way out here"

The pilot called back to them. "Just got a warning from command. Unknown threat to telepathic and psycho-active personnel. All such personnel to be evacuated to orbit immediately" There was nobody it applied to on the Wyvern but the warning was ominous nevertheless.

"You think it has anything to do with the devices in their heads?" Curtis asked

"I don't know but we need answers, just how we're going to get them from two people we can't risk being conscious I have no idea...." Fyntar replied. He leaned back in the seat and closed his eyes. There was something secret and dangerous going on, so secret that the people involved would kill themselves rather than be captured.



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