Gender: Male Age: 53 Location: Las Vegas, Nv
|Introduction: First Mission with the Royal Marines|
The sergeant leaned in my door, “Gear up private.”
I shifted things around and settled the long bladed mono knife on my left thigh. I made another check of my gear and picked up the new assault rifle. I grabbed my pack and slung it over my other shoulder before heading for the door. Lieutenant Peters was at the ramp into the drop shuttle and the platoon sergeant was making a check of every soldier before they reached him. My own squad leader had already checked and rechecked my gear.
I had only just graduated from advanced training and this was my first permanent assignment. The mission was simple, drop onto Protus and move to the Senior Hive. Make a show of force and then pull back to the pick up site. It was a mission straight from the Emperor’s counsel. The entire mission intel came from Duke Tonis and said we only needed light weapons because the warriors armor was fragile. Whatever the mission was supposed to do, I felt uneasy about it.
The shuttle dropped free from the insystem transport and began decal. To keep the Hive government from expecting us we had used an unarmed civilian transport. Two orbits in constant decal were enough to start our entry into atmosphere. Everything was going as planned but I was still nervous. The Lieutenant was new, we all knew he was rich just from looking at the jeweled mono knife he carried.
The shuttle was down only long enough to drops us and then it was heading skyward. We had started our walk to the Senior Hive when they attacked. The rounds from our assault rifles had little effect. As the warriors hit our line, I dropped the rifle and pulled my mono knife. After that it was a nightmare of slicing pincers and stabbing stingers.
Our withdrawal to the pick up site was marred by the jamming of our comms. When we pulled our dead and wounded into the pick up zone only twelve marines were still on their feet and uninjured. I took a second mono knife from a fallen comrade and moved to the perimeter. It was good that the warriors seem to be very short sighted. The rush of warriors was loud over the quiet of the jungle.
I blocked a slashing pincher, ignoring the scream of pain from the warrior as it was cut off. I slid forward stabbing into the thorax and then spinning to avoid a stinger and slicing through it with my other knife. I spun, cutting through the legs of a warrior as it lunged for the Lieutenant I followed it with a stab into its head before moving back into position.
I lopped off a slicing pincer and then slid in and cut the head from the body. The warriors were suddenly retreating and I looked around to see four of my comrades down. We moved everyone closer together and drank water. We all thought we knew how this was going to turn out and rested while we could. The rush of warriors was loud enough to bring us to our feet and into place. I was resigned and just let my training take over.
I ducked and slid in to stab into the thorax and then danced back to turn aside at a thrust of a stinger. I stabbed back into the head and leaped forward and half onto another warrior. I stabbed through the neck as it struck at the Lieutenant I rolled off as another warrior’s stinger thrust over my head.
I lunged up and stabbed into the head, twisting as I pulled out and slicing through another pincher headed for the Lieutenant I slid the other way as he killed the warrior and faced a huge warrior as it climbed over other fallen warriors. It was almost as if it was covered in sparkling jewels. I dropped and rolled as it stabbed with a stinger and sliced above me with an open pincher.
I came to my feet and lunged forward to slice down. It screamed in a high pitch voice as my knife sliced off the pincher. I cut across my body in an almost unconscious move that brought another scream as the stinger was cut off. I lunged as it rose up to drop down onto me. One knife slid into the thorax and the other slammed through the bottom of its head.
As I staggered back the warriors pulled back again leaving four of us still on our feet and several wounded dead. Some of the wounded had managed to treat others and threw up a barbed barrier to one side. I wiped the blood and gore from my hands and the handles of the two knives I was using. I sipped water and scanned the area in front of us. Only the Lieutenant, the Platoon sergeant, a corporal from third squad and I were left.
While the able wounded made spears tipped with mono knives, the Platoon Sergeant did something that punched a signal through to our shuttle. The clacking rush of warriors brought me to my feet. I slid forward and onto the dead body of the huge warrior I had faced.
As the warriors struck they parted around the warrior I was standing on and I lunged off the side in a dive. One of my knives cut through the middle thorax of a second warrior facing the corporal. Its front turned towards me and I swung out and across my body, taking the head. I shifted across the perimeter and cut down, taking a stabbing stinger headed toward the Lieutenant as he fought a second warrior.
My second knife swept back taking half the head with it. I spun, moving a little forward of the perimeter to meet another huge warrior. I dove and rolled, coming up under it as it reared up shuffling back. I lunged up with both knives sweeping back and forth cutting through the thorax spilling guts down onto me. I twisted sideways cutting back and through two legs as I broke free.
I spun back swinging a knife up to block a back swing from a pincher. I lunged into the warrior as the pincher was cut through and stabbed into a glowing eye. I rolled away and came to my feet with the Lieutenant pulling me back as the warrior crashed to the ground. I took a couple of steps towards the falling body of the corporal and another huge warrior was suddenly in the opening swinging back towards the platoon sergeant.
I vaulted up onto its back, stabbing down and through the body. The sergeant grunted and stabbed it in the head before falling back. I rolled off the warrior and crouched. The rush was over and I saw the warriors moving away. I pulled the body of the corporal back as the sergeant knelt. I went back to him and saw the blood on his side. I pushed him towards the other wounded, “Move back sergeant.”
I moved forward and started grabbing the huge warrior remembering the way they had avoided touching the first one I killed. After positioning the three huge warriors so that the Lieutenant was still beside me, I wiped everything off again. The clacking started again and then the loud sounds of the warriors rushing. The first warrior that rushed into the gap sliced across with a pincer and would have killed me if I had been standing.
I dropped down to kneel and ducked under the swing, coming up behind it in a lunge that stabbed one knife through the lower part of the head. I sliced away and the head bounced as the body dropped and twitched. Before it was completely on the ground a second warrior was rushing over it. Its stinger stabbed towards me and I turned sideways and half stepped back avoiding it.
I cut out and up and a spray of gore almost blinded me as the stinger spun away. I back handed a slice at the warrior and was rewarded with a jerk as the head fell forward past me and its pincher barely missed my arm. I lunged sideways, stabbing into the pincer of another warrior as it held the Lieutenant suspended with its stinger through his shoulder.
My other knife was already moving as it spun to face me tossing the Lieutenant into the gap behind it. My knife sliced off the top of its head and then I was moving to vault over its falling body to get to the Lieutenant. A warrior that had been following the other had struck down with its stinger and stabbed through the his leg. I came down and brought one knife across as my other stabbed straight into the tiny throat.
My first knife had cut the stinger off that was still in the Lieutenant I moved forward as the warrior fell, to stand over the him as another warrior rushed us. I stabbed out and then sliced across to block a pincer before using my other knife to cut the tip off the stinger striking at the Lieutenant. I shifted as the warrior fell back and another warrior took its place.
It rushed in slicing across at my head with a pincer as I squatted and struck back. I stood and turned sideways to cut off its stabbing stinger and back sliced half the head away. A huge warrior started over it before it had even finished falling. I sliced off a foot and then half a pincer before it sprang at me.
I parried the striking stinger and turned, swaying back as its heavier body crashed into me. I stabbed up with one knife and down and across with the other. As the large body jerked and dropped twitching, I turned to face any other warriors that could be coming. They weren’t though, they were pulling back and I shifted both knives to one hand and squatted to reach under the huge warrior to grab the Lieutenant. I tugged and pulled and finally managed to drag him out.
I pulled him back to the few wounded still alive and returned to move the huge warrior. The sound of clacking and rushing warriors was almost drowned out in the roar of the approaching shuttle. I met the rushing warriors in the narrow gap. I lunged into the first, cutting across and stabbing at the same time. As it dropped a second was climbing over it and stabbing with its stinger.
I turned and cut down as I knelt under a slicing pincher. I stabbed up into the thorax and cut up all the way to the head. As the gore spilled out and it staggered back a heavy explosion rocked the clearing. I lunged forward and sliced across, the warriors seemed disoriented from the shock of the explosion. As the head of the warrior fell, I was spinning and lunging to stab into the head of a huge warrior as it wobbled around.
The warriors were falling back and I got a glimpse of the shuttle drifting down. I sprinted back into the perimeter putting my knife away and slinging the Lieutenant over my shoulder. I shifted the other knife and grabbed a struggling corporal by his gear. I started dragging him as I moved quickly to the shuttle ramp as it dropped. I set them down and went back for someone else as another explosion rocked the clearing.
It took a lot of trips even with the ship crewmen that helped. When the shuttle lifted, I sagged into the seat in relief and then got up to start moving through my comrades that were still alive. Out of sixty that went down only four lived to make it back to the transport; the Lieutenant, the platoon sergeant, a corporal and me. As the insystem ship accelerated for the heliopause and our starship, messages flashed out.
It took two weeks to reach the waiting starship and it had five others floating alongside with a swarm of insystem assault transports drifting close by. Our docking was given priority and men swiftly moved aboard ship to bring the wounded and dead into the waiting starship. Doctors were moving competently around the Lieutenant, the Platoon sergeant and the corporal and a tall well dressed admiral was waiting for me.
I was led straight into a debriefing room with two other men in coveralls. The questions began and it almost seemed as if they were trying to make me say it was my fault. I got tired of saying I don’t know and when one of the men grabbed me, I reacted. Before anyone could say or do anything I had slammed him against the bulkhead and my fist was moving in a strike that would have killed him, “PRIVATE!”
I froze with my fist stopped barely in time. I took one step back and turned to the admiral and snapped to attention, “Sir, if I am being charged with something I want to know.”
He was looking at the man behind me and looked into my face, “These… men, are from the Nobles Council private. Duke Tonis is being questioned about the information he provided.”
My jaw clenched, “Permission to speak sir?”
He nodded, “Go ahead.”
I cleared my throat, “We were told they were passive. They weren’t! We were told the warriors had fragile armor and our light ammo was more than we would need. The damn things bounced off sir! We were told they didn’t have comm. capability to jam us. As soon as it hit the fan they did! Every damn thing we were told was wrong sir. They were waiting for us, sir. That wasn’t a mistake. Once is an accident. Twice is a coincident. But three times is enemy action sir.”
He nodded, “So we believe private.”
He sighed, “You can go check your people private.”
I saluted and walked out. I walked into the sick bay and found the corporal glaring at a civilian shouting at the Lieutenant. The Platoon Sergeant must have still been in surgery. I started walking towards the Lieutenant and two men in uniforms stepped in my way. One reached out to put his hand on my chest.
I was done being nice, my hand slid up over the arm and wrapped before locking as my other hand struck across. I hit just below the throat as I kicked straight out into the groin of the second man. The first man landed hard on his back with no breath and the second folded over as I continued moving.
The well dressed civilian yelling at the Lieutenant spun as I reached him and my hand wrapped around his throat, “Shut the fuck up! If you want to speak to him you will damn well show some respect!”
His eyes were wide and the Lieutenant was struggling to sit up, “Let him go private!”
I keep looking at the civilian and then shoved him away, “Yes sir.”
The room was filling with men I recognized as part of Gold and Silver regiment called Dragons. I looked at the Lieutenant, “Are you okay sir?”
JHe shook his head and then laughed and lay back. He waved towards the civilian, “Private Drake, meet my father, his imperial majesty, Emperor Tenison.”
I looked from the Lieutenant to the emperor and back, “A little rude isn’t he?”
The emperor laughed and walked to the bed waving the Dragons away. “My own fault, never threaten momma when her chicks are near.”
I looked at him and then looked back at the Lieutenant, “A bunch of suits were trying to pen this on us sir.”
He looked at me and then his father. He shook his head and reached to his bedside table, “Never mind private.”
He held out the jeweled mono knife he had carried. “I want you to have this. My… service, is required elsewhere. Carry it in my place.”
I looked at the knife and up at the Lieutenant before reaching out to take it from his hand…
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