The New Front

zoobyzooby Join Date: 2003-08-26 Member: 20236Members Posts: 429
Revised, and Resurrected.
Preface

“Commander to all marines in the proximity. Get your **** back here on the double. I repeat, get your **** back here now! We have multiple alphas converging on base!” Commander Rankin slammed his mic back onto the console, dropped a shotgun nearby and logged out. He ran over to grab the weapon, but stopped dead in his tracks. Three bluish skinned aliens and two reddish skinned one were already standing in the base. One was holding the recently dropped shotgun and was pointing it at Commander Rankin.

“What the hell are you?” He picked at his built-in communications device. “All personnel, get back—” The order was cut short by a shotgun blast.

The fated marines looked at each other and hurried back to base. Four of them took cover behind a pillar while the others rushed forward into the room. The aliens were using some sort of projectile weaponry, which cut down the first marines before they had a chance to react.

“Aw hell, what are those? Some new form of theirs or something? Get cover!” shouted one of the marines before a bullet from the alien guns struck him in the neck. The remaining marines shot back, but the situation was hopeless. Bullets glanced harmlessly off their armor, doing no damage. As the battle closed to a finish, one of the aliens leapt forward and slashed the marines behind the pillar with its extendable claws.

The last remaining marine cowered against the wall. Dropping his weapon, he rose his arms and babbled “Don’t hurt me. Please don't hurt me.” The alien let down his arm and looked at him with disgust. A single thought entered the marine’s head. Stay away from here.

***

Sender: LTC Timothy Chan
Subject: New Alien Lifeform
Destination: TSA High Command.

[Begin Transmission]
Sirs and Madams of the Trans-System Authority, in a recent campaign at Yarmut Station by one of my platoons, a group of unidentified aliens appeared and proceeded to slaughter the soldiers. They somehow bypassed all automated defense systems and were able to kill the commander before the soldiers made it back to base. Upon returning, the marines were all killed save one.

The sole survivor, Soldier Kevin Kingsbury (3rd Rung) reported that there were five aliens in total, three blue-skinned and two red-skinned. Conventional weaponry was ineffective against this new threat, and the marines were unable to inflict any casualties. Soldier Kingsbury further reported that these aliens were humanoid in shape, yet possessed claws at the back of their hands, elbows and knees. He described the claws as extendable and well suited to melee combat.

Most concerning is the new life form’s ability to manipulate objects as humans would. Up to this point, no alien has been able to pick up or use TSA equipment. However, this new type of alien carried projectile weaponry very similar to our own. Upon further examination and backtracking of recent TSA defeats, I have noticed that at a number of locations, the dead marines had similar wounds to those who died at Yarmut. Furthermore, in these cases, there were an appalling number of documented friendly fire incidents. My conclusion is that these battles had similar conclusions, with the friendly fire being none other than the weaponry of this new alien life form.

It is believed at this time that these new aliens are the newest addition to Kharaa evolution, possibly influenced by human anatomy. For this reason, I have given myself the liberty of nicknaming these aliens “Mimics.”

According to Soldier Kingsbury, one of the Mimics approached him with the intent of killing him, but instead spared his life, which is the only reason he is still alive today, to our great fortune. Kingsbury says that the Mimic telepathically communicated to him, giving him a simple warning, “Stay away from here,” before leaving. It is theorized that telepathy is the process of communication for the Kharaa, as they appear to have no telligible vocal patterns. Most puzzling to note is that when the backup team arrived, they found Yarmut completely devoid of any Kharaa presence, including the bacteria growth that is always present on any infested location.

It would be in the interests of the TSA to review and revise standard protocol and strategy to accommodate for this new threat. I will keep you up to date should any new information be uncovered.

Lieutenant Colonel Timothy Chan Reporting
[End Transmission]





Chapter 1
Soldier Mike Ruffo (7th Rung) groggily climbed out of bed. Just back from a successful campaign, he needed rest—lots of it. It would be at least two days before his platoon got another assignment, and he wanted to make the best of the time. Turning around, he said, “Hey, Gingo, you wanna go to mess and get some chug?” Silence answered him.

”Squad 1, Fall back, fall back!” Commander Truffs ordered his men. “I’m picking up about two or three Oni headed your way. Get out of there!” Mike glanced up at his HUD and saw a red blip appear on the map. It was in the shape of the feared Onos. Looking to the left, he saw Gingo ready his shotgun and begin running away. Two other cherries Mike didn’t recognize followed Gingo. Mike turned around and saw three of his fellow marines backing up while doing their best to discourage the Onos from advancing—with an endless hail of bullets. He decided to turn tail and run after his friend. There must have been a cloaked Onos behind them waiting, because it materialized out from no where and chomped down on Gingo. “NOOOO!!!” The two cherries screamed and began to shoot wildly at the second advancing Onos. It began its charge at the cherries, who turned and ran past Ruffo, into the waiting horns of the first Onos. The intercom interrupted Mike’s stream of panic. “This is Squad 2. Third Hive dead and down. Ship is clear of buildings, Truffs.”

“Roger Squad 2. Return to base, prepare to take down any remaining stragglers.”

The commander was going to leave them. Squad 1 provided a diversion, while Squad 2 could destroy the last hive. Squad 1 wasn’t expected to survive. That bastard, thought Mike. He screamed into the mic, “Commander, what about us?”

“Support is on the way, hold tight.”

“Commander, I have two Onos surrounding me. How the hell do you expect me to hold tight?”

“Trust me, Mike, trust me.”

“Why the hell should I trust you, new guy? You just got us all killed!”

A roar distracted Mike, glancing over, he saw one of the Onos toss the dead body of one of the cherries. It looked at him and seemed to smile. Backing up a little, it began its charge. “Construct building at way point,” ordered the ship-wide announcement system. What? thought Mike. The charging Onos met the dropped building and crashed into it. The telltale sound of multiple buildings phasing in filled the air, and Mike knew what the Truffs was doing. Both Oni crashed into the buildings, but that didn’t stop them. The Oni continued sliding forward. Mike crouched down and waited for the screeching buildings to stop. At this rate, the heaps of scrap metal would sandwich him to death. He closed his eyes and a protruding piece of metal swung into his helmet, knocking Mike out. Then he woke up in his bunk.


“Oh,” said Mike to himself, as his recollection of yesterday’s events began to be clearer. He ran out of his room into the hall and began screaming, “Where is he? Where is that damn Truffs? I’m gonna kill the son of a—” He stormed down the corridor to Truffs quarters and began banging on the door. “You coward! Get out of there now, I’m gonna mangle you so good you gonna wish you were never born. Truffs! Come out here and face me like a man.”

Commander Truffs came and opened the door. “Soldier, what is your—” He was met with a solid right hook before the sentence was finished.

Waken by the racket, the other platoon soldiers came out of their bunks. Running to Mike, they grabbed his arms and pulled back away from Truffs. They did their best to restrain him.

Truffs looked at the struggling man. “Soldier Mike Ruffo, I did what I had to do. I was following my orders. I make my strategic decisions to carry out those decisions. In the end, I succeeded.”

“Bulls---? You knew it! You knew that if we went in that way, we’d have been killed. You did it on purpose! You wanted us to die! How do you expect me to f---ing react?”

“Calm down, man, calm down.” “It’s ok, dude. Lots of good guys died yesterday. I feel you.” “Come on Mike, Truffs has his s--- together. He knows what he’s doing.” The others tried to defend Truffs, but for Mike, there was no convincing.

“Let go of me, you snakes. So you’re all with him? Next time you’re under this inexperienced 'eisskoff, remember that he’s so out of it he'll throw your life away just like that.” Mike snapped his fingers to illustrate. He stomped away, leaving them his back.





Chapter 2
Mike somehow made his way into the mess hall. He walked up to one of the servers and demanded food.

“I’ll have a 12-pack of Miller with that, too.”

“Sir, you know that hard alcohol is not allowed to be drunk by Frontiersman.”

“Don’t give me any of your crap. I know you got some behind the counter. Now fork it over.”

Mike took his food and brought it back to one of the empty tables. Half of the mess hall was full of newbs, cherries, and other inexperienced virgins who needed to be screwed, in his opinion. He could tell, they were all too talkative, too apt to burst into laughter and mirth. The other half of the mess hall was deadly silent, filled with people like him. Most of the soldiers on this side were sitting solitarily. Those who were sitting together sat quietly, ate quietly, and left quietly.

One of the kids from the other half of the hall got up from her table and began walking to where Mike sullenly sat.

“Sir, are you Soldier Mike Ruffo, sir?”

Mike looked up at the girl, who a big smile plastered over her face. He continued chewing “Yes.”

“I’m Private Sandra Gingo, sir. My friends call me Sandy. My brother always talked about you in his letters. It’s a great honor to meet you, sir.” She stuck her hand out.

Mike stared at the hand for a few moments before dropping his fork and grasping it. “What can I do for you, Sandy?”

“Well, sir, since you and my brother were such good friends, I was wondering where he is so I could talk to him. I mean, from what he said, it sounded like the two of you were inseparable.”

“But I’m not ready to die yet.” The sentence scratched its way out of his throat, it was barely audible.

“What was that, sir?” She still had a smile on her face. Any outsider would have wondered why she still was unfazed by Ruffo’s rude behavior. Sandra began absentmindedly playing with a long braid of hair that hung down past her shoulders.

Mike looked away and then took another swig of his beer. Then another. Then he saw three MPs talking to the servers, looking his way, and then making their way toward him.

“I hate being the one to break it to you, but…” His voice trailed off. “You seem like a nice gal. I suggest you get as far away from his war as possible. Take a look around you. This is what you’ll become. Dead, a statistic. A number so the brass can convince themselves they’re winning the war. Or you’ll live to the point that when you die, there’ll be no one around anymore to miss you. 100 people in my unit at base camp, I’m the only…” Mike’s voice trailed off again. He cleared his throat, looked up at Sandra, whose face was strewn in horror. “Your brother’s dead, Sandy. He ain’t coming back.”

The poor gal gasped sharply, took a step back and covered her mouth with her hands. “How…how did he die?”

“Like any marine. He went out fighting.” Mike stood up and walked toward the MPs.

“You’re here to take me away, I presume?”

“Soldier Mike Ruffo, 7th Rung, for striking your fellow commander and encouraging dissension among the ranks, you are hereby to be arrested and detained under article seven-fourteen, pending arbitration. Do you choose to understand these charges?”

“Yes. If you could spare me a second…”

“Sure thing, soldier.” The ranking MP said, eyeing Ruffo’s elite combat troop badge. Not many people made it through 5 combat tours, never mind seven.

“Hey, Sandy, I got to go now. I’ll come check up on you if I ever get the chance. Here, take this.” He took off gold necklace and handed it to her. “It’s kept me safe for two years. Maybe it’ll do the same for you. I won’t be needing it where I’m going.”

“Are you in trouble?”

“Yeah, I guess I am. Hey soldier, look pretty. The aliens may not want to disfigure pretty faces.”

She smiled through her tears. “Was it painful for him? Is there a…a…”

“Painful? No.” The overcoming burning sensation overtook Mike as he remembered the time an Onos engulfed him. His entire body shuddered in pain. “I don’t think there’s a body. Sorry.”

Mike left her to the waiting MPs. He brought his hands up and the MPs cuffed him.




Chapter 3 (One month later)

“Let’s see. Two purple hearts. A Distinguished Service Cross, two silver medals for going above and beyond the call of duty. Mount Olympian with crossed thunder bolts for exemplary bravery on the Hera campaign. The list goes on and on. Tell me, Private Ruffo. How does a soldier like you end up in the brig, of all places in the universe? If anything, you’re up for commanding school. Hmm, no, you went there already. Graduated at the top of your class. So…why aren’t you a commander, Ruffo?”

“Personal reasons.”

“So let me get the facts straight. In your last battle, your commander sent you on a suicide mission where your best friend was killed. He did some strange things, and everyone in your squad died, except for you. However, he managed to save you by placing structures in the path of two charging Oni. You were knocked unconscious. The next day, you threw a tantrum at the commander, whence you said, and I quote, ‘Next time you’re under this inexperienced 'eisskoff, remember that he’s so out of it he'll throw your life away just like that.’ You said this why? Perhaps because underneath, you knew you could do a better job?
“If it’s any condolence, Your entire squad was just killed in their latest campaign. Apparently your commander got shell-shock, short-circuited his brain, misjudged the Kharaa and underestimated the depth of the infestation. You, nonetheless, are a different story. However right you were, I can’t overlook the fact that you struck a commander. You encouraged dissension. This kind of conduct is inexcusable.
“Were the times different, private, you would have been hung for gross insubordination. Executed for striking your commanding officer. Extraordinary times call for extraordinary measures. At the beginning of this war, most of the Kharaa infestations were superficial, they were not as well entrenched as they are now. If we were able to win—and we were, most of the time, we were left with an invaluable group of veterans. New recruits were assimilated into these veteran groups. It was better than sending in an entire platoon of cherries. We are winning this, despite what it may look like. We’re now in the heart of the Kharaa infestation. Unfortunately for us, it has made it all the more difficult to take ships back. Even our best veteran groups come back with half the men they left with, or they don’t come back at all.
“Coupled with the new discovery of the next stage of Kharaa evolution, the Mimic, we barely stand any chance in the worst infestation cases. Do you follow me, Soldier?”

“Yes, Lieutenant Colonel.” The short colonel handed Ruffo a folder labeled Top Secret.

“Extraordinary times call for extraordinary men. Our men are not extraordinary enough. A prominent biologist Earthside recently discovered the secret to DNA coding. He was able to genetically engineer humans, making them stronger, more alert, more endurant, without the side effects of the failed Halo project.”
“It seems you’ve volunteered for the job. A month ago, five platoons of cherry soldiers were shipped in. The equivalent of one came back. The Kharaa are getting more vicious, while we’re still at the same combat effectiveness. They are also slated for the same job. Do you understand me, sergeant?”

“What?”

“That’s right, Sergeant Mike Ruffo. Since you seem to have an adverse attitude toward commanders, I thought it best to make you one. If you pass up on this opportunity, I will have no choice but to find you guilty of mutinous behavior and sentenced to death.”

“Brass.”

“Ah, but even the brass were once green. Don’t you recognize me at all, Sergeant? Timothy Chan. Poster boy for the Frontiersmen just as you were joining up, I believe.”

“Wha—”

“That’s right, soldier. Adjutant! Bring this good man to the biolabs. He’s due for a medical checkup.”

“Sir, yes, sir!”

“And Ruffo? Don’t f--- up again. Also, if the brass above me decide to, I’ll be coming in with you guys. It seems that they don’t want my combat experience to go to waste.” Chan smiled at him and sat back down at his desk.



Chapter 4 (Two weeks prior)

Sandra slowly walked to where her brother’s quarter’s had been. Her goal was to find some more information on her brother’s death. HQ had been very sketchy on the details, but Sandy guessed that the people who were with Pete at his last moments would have more detailed information. The corridor was eerily silent, which wasn’t odd for veteran platoons. They stayed to themselves, slept to themselves, and talked over their experiences to themselves. She walked up to the door labeled “Commander.”

A brown-haired man opened the door. Brown hair wasn’t much of an identifier—natural blondes were one in a million. And that was only in those of Scandinavian origin. He looked like he hadn’t shaved in a week, which was true. The eyes were bloodshot from staring at an LCD screen too long, a common symptom for commanders called skipper's madness. Along with this condition came the look that inhabitated their faces. It was a perpetual stare of hopelessness crossed with puppy eyes. This resulted from overthinking. A lot of cherries thought being commander was a laid back job since they didn’t need to fight. This was a false assumption.

Commanders were in a constant battle against themselves. Too many life and death decisions made on too short a notice. Too many opportunities that could have been the key to a quick victory, too many opportunities that could have led to a quick defeat. Too many people living, breathing, and thinking before being sliced into confetti. Too many people who were standing right next to you, only to disappear the instant you looked away.

Commander Truffs was brooding over what he had done. His squadmates told him he did the right thing, but behind his back their morale was low due to the loss of Ruffo and Gingo. Ruffo and Gingo had been two of the best and most experienced soldiers on the team, and the squad held him responsible for that. Truffs knew he had done the right thing; he thought he had done the right thing, but the fact remained that his marines were dead. Commander Truffs stared at the young woman standing in front of the door. “Jesus, they keep getting younger.” He muttered to himself. “You the replacements, private?”

“No sir. I’m Soldier Sandra Gingo. My brother Peter Gingo was on this platoon—”

“Oh. I'm sorry, he was a good soldier." The sentence came out rushed and apathetic. "Here’s the key to his room. Now if you’ll excuse me, I have work to do.” The door slammed in Sandra’s face. She sullenly entered her brother's room and began leafing through the contents of her brother’s room. Nothing much except for a PDA. Sandra booted it up and searched through the contents. Diaries, pictures, porn. She sighed and placed it down, looking at the other half of the room. She considered looking through Mike's things, but decided against invading the privacy of someone she barely knew.

***

“Commander Truffs, we need some medpacks over here RIGHT NOW!!”
“I’m on it, soldier!” Truffs panned across the map. Three soldiers pinned down against the corner, a few offensive chambers blocking access to the 2nd hive location. “Oooh-kay, look sharp.”

“Incoming projectile. Advise immediate evasion tactics. Incoming projectile,” blared the ship-wide announcement systems.
“Commander, what the hell is that?”

An explosion ripped through the ship and rocked it so violently that the ship tore in half. “S--- Commander, Racks just got pulled out into space! Pull the airlocks, pull the airlocks!”
The ship-wide communication system blared out. “Warning. Hull integrity breached. Hull integrity breached. Auto-airlocks initiating. Please step back. Recompressing atmosphere. 500 pascals...700 pascals...900 pascals. Full atmospheric pressure obtained. A distress signal has been sent. Please stay calm, and if accessible, make your way to the nearest escape pod. Have a nice day.”

Truffs stared in horror as half of the map blacked out, the half of the map where all his soldiers had been. No! he thought to himself. What is wrong with me? Always leave a few marines at base in the event of an emergency. Always leave a few marines. Damn damn damn! A few moments later the phase gate made sounds, signaling that something was coming through. Truffs logged out off the command chair, anticipating on welcoming the lucky marines. Only there were two Mimics there to greet him. A single telepathic order pierced Truffs’ thoughts. Kill him The Mimic rose its weapon and shot Truffs in the head.

***

“Listen up, recruits. Recently, one of our best platoons was ambushed and all its members were killed. We have reports that were emitted at the last moments before we lost all communication.” The small captain at the front of the briefing room addressed the five platoons assembled in front. “Here are the communications and events log.”

(Order) Squad 2 to Engine Room. Squad 2 proceed to Engine Room.
***Racks has taken damage, target(s) identified as offensive chamber(s)***
(Talk) Smith: “Commander Truffs, we need medpacks over here RIGHT NOW!!”
(Talk) Truffs: “I’m on it soldier. Ooooh-kay, look sharp.
***Medpack Dropped***
***Medpack Dropped***
***Medpack Dropped***
***External radar picking up on gaining projectile. Advise immediate evasion.***
(Talk) Racks: “Commander, what the hell is that?”
***Hull breach detected.***
(Talk) Smith: “S--- Commander, Racks just got pulled out into space! Pull the airlocks, pull the airlocks!”***
***Racks off-line***
***Auto-airlocks initiating…***
***Distress signal sent***
***Smith off-line***
***Sensors and Communication failing***
***Sensors and Communication off-line***
***Squad 2 has lost contact***
***Squad 1 has lost contact***
***Squad 3 has lost contact***
***Phase Gate in use…unknown occupants***
***Truffs off-line***

“We have determined that some sort of weaponry was used in an attack against the OMC Barracuda. This weaponry split the ship in half, and this was responsible for the soldiers’ deaths. We received the distress signal half an hour since it was sent. Many of you have been wondering when you would get to fight. Now is your chance. Platoons 1003 and 1004 will secure both halves of the ship, Platoons 1005, 1006, and 1007 will stand by. The ship is to be combed for any Kharaa activity and any possible survivors. Your platoon leaders have further detail. Dismissed. Prep and get ready, you are expected in 0100 hours, at 0600.

Commander Zezekiel “Zeke” Rossia looked at his troops. “All right men. And women. As you know, we’ll be heading out on our first mission real soon. I’m nervous. You’re nervous. But as a drill sergeant said in a movie three hundred years ago, ‘Everything you learned here will keep you alive in war. If you die, then either I will have failed my job, or you are the dumbest f---er this world has ever seen.’ Stay calm and remember everything you have been taught. Any questions?”

One of the soldiers rose his hand and spoke out, “Hey, Zeke, when’s the last time you had sex?”

Zeke stared at the brash man. He looked down and then returned to stare at him. “Soldier Warren Mackenzie, the answer to that question is twenty-three fifty-four.”

Mackenzie opened his mouth. “Was it really that long ago?”

“Sure, private, if you think five hours ago is a long time. I'll be seeing you. And I hope to see you all again when this mission is over. Dismissed.”







Chapter 5
Five dropships lumbered slowly toward the derelict ship that had broken in half. A slag of ice drifted away, shattering upon the lead dropship without incident. The escort fighter wing did a preliminary sweeping, and finding no visible hostiles, gave the go-ahead for the dropships to latch on and shuttle the green troops in.

Commander Rossia was sitting in the cockpit with the pilot, waiting for the lead dropship to make its landing. The body of half a marine drifted through and slammed into the spaceshield. "What the hell?" yelled Rossia. The gruesome face of an unlucky marine made its way onto the spaceshield. The temporary warmth thawed part of his frozen face, but it was immediately fused back onto the shield. Rossia and the pilot sat there, facing a contorted look of pain and hopelessness. The radio cackled.

"Lieutenant Hunyrt reporting. We can see a couple of dead Kharaa floating through space. There's a few of ours, too. The Sci-fi will probably want these specimen. Can one of you dropships make your way over here? We need to pick up some bodies here."

"Roger, Lieutenant Hunyrt. There's one of ours stuck to our spaceshield. We'll dispatch a few free-floaters to pick him up. Could I get a reading on the Kharaa you got there?"

"There's a couple of skulks, what looks like some sort of organic building and a fade."

"So we'll clear up the morgue and put these things in it? You hear that, all you marines? If you die by these Kharaa, you're gonna end up sleeping with them." The pilot chucked dryly and powered up his engines to where the fighter squadron was massed.

***
Onboard the derelict, a 10-man squad was making its way uneventfully toward the engine room. The point man stopped, and in the dim light, turned his flashlight on. He bent over and picked up a headless helmet. "What's this?"

"Idiot! turn your flashlight off! They gave us A-10 imaging goggles for a reason, you know. Oh, s---, watch out!" The slack man pointed his machine gun out at the lumbering shape that was coming toward them. He accidently pressed the trigger too early, cutting down his buddy. The lumbering shape of a heavy marine crashed into the point man. The body was limp. Bullet holes in the front and back were dripping in blood. "What did I do? Oh christ. Commander, I got--"

"Carry on with your objective. I'm sending a detail to pick up the bodies. There should be a hive up ahead."

"But Commander--"

"Shut up, soldier. Get your butt moving."

As the squad continued toward the engine room, there was the distinct sound of gunfire. The squad began yelling and screaming and running toward where the gunfire was coming from. They turned the corner and saw three Mimics standing behind boxes shooting at an unseen enemy. One of them turned around and threw a ball at the dumbfounded marines. The ball disintegrated mid-air and turned into a wall of acid, which engulfed the marines, burning through their armor, their skin, their flesh, and finally, their bones.
***
The commander dropped a shotgun outside. "Listen up group. We're gone. I'm putting in the word for immediate backup. Most likely when you get here I'll be dead, but...there's something out there. I don't know what it is, or what it does, but I'm going out there, and I'm gonna blow some of them up." The commander dropped a few more mines, logged out and collected his equipment.

A few minutes later, he rounded the corner and saw a Mimic standing in front of an Onos. The Onos tossed its head and snorted, as if offering a challenge. The Mimic seeming acquiesced, tossing its gun away and then taking a stance. Rearing up and charging, the Onos barraged forth, its horns lowered. The Mimic jumped up at the last possible millisecond and landed on its back, proceeding to tear the Onos using its claws. Frustrated and in pain, the Onos tried to toss the Mimic in an alien replication of bull-fighting. It backed up into an exposed circuitry panel, electrocuting the Mimic, and in the process, itself. The commander stared dumbfounded at the scene. He walked up to the mass of burning flesh, raised his shotgun, and blasted the things away. "Score one for humanity," he said. Those were his last words.

No. Score two for us.

The commander turned around to see two other Mimics raise their guns and shoot him.

The two Mimics shouldered their weapons and cautiously picked up their fallen comrade.

I just don't understand. We tell them to stay away. What's so hard to understand about staying away?

Obviously an inferior species that doesn't understand when it has lost.

What looked like a small computer beeped, and one of the Mimics picked it up from his waist.

They don't want us to engage the other species. Ridiculous. How do they expect us to function if we can't kill these puny animals? They just keep getting in the way.[i/]

You do know, it's just us out here. No one else. Nobody has to know.

The Mimics found their fighter transport, and blasted their way out of the derelict ship.
***
"Ok, Rossia? Your platoon is supposed to go in now. Good luck, man." The pilot smiled as he slowly brought the dropship into sync with the derelict. "Remember, Rossia, no dying. I don't got room for your body."

Zeke ventured a smile. "I'll keep that in mind." He left the cockpit. "Alright men and ladies. Once we're set up, I want Sandra's group to do a comb through for friendly casualties. Mackenzie, make your way around and neutralize the enemy. Fuldo, take your men and set up shop wherever you can. Let's go!"
***
The Mimic ship blasted out from the derelict, seemingly to appear from nowhere.

They got their ships lying around, begging to be destroyed. Wanna get some target practice ing before we return?[i/]
***
"Whoa, Hunyrt, did you see that?"

"Roger that. All squads report in, remain cautionary, and be on your alert."

The Mimic ship came out, rotated in all directions and proceeded to blast four dropships into dust.

"S---, go! After them! Don't let them get away!"

Three fighters circled out and came in from the left, another three came up from beneath, and Hunyrt led two others in a front attack. Their mass drivers bounced right off the plating.

"Hunyrt, this is ridiculous! I've never seen anything like it!"

"Switch to lasers, men."

A laser beam lanced out from a fighter and struck shielding. The beam bounced into nothingness, and then it appeared that the shielding deformed, causing the beam to reflect back on itself. The fighter was destroyed.

"I don't believe what I'm seeing. How is this possible? All wings, retreat and make a claw formation. We'll concentrate fire on one spot and see if they can pull that trick again."

The TSA fighters swept out, made formation and closed in on the hostile ship. All eight remaining ships fired all their lasers at one concentrated part. The shielding once again deformed, proceeding to destroy the advancing fighters one by one. Lieutenant Hunyrt lost his starboard engine at the end and futilely kamikazed into the Mimic ship.
Them ignorants complain that we who control this space station think we're God. We're not God. We just use the "Smite" button profusely.

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