By: General Riker
Chapter 1 - Invasion
Pinpricks. That is what the stars looked like this far out in space. Little pinpricks in the fabric of reality. General Riker look out of the front view port of his command battle cruiser the CSS Viper.
How long had it been since he has been on planet... any planet? 6 months? 7? Geeze... has it been that long? Riker gazed out the view port at the battle cruisers floating in formation around The CSS Viper. His crew was ready for anything... anything at all, or so he thought.
The Zerg have become an infestation in the galaxy, and they need to be wiped out. His Colonial Marines were just the men to do it too.
The communications system came to life...
"Fyre to Viper... come in Viper"
Riker hit the transmit button. "This is Riker... whatcha got Fyre?"
Fyre was aboard his Wraith. The sleek little fighter felt comfortable and familiar to him. The controls seemed to come alive in his hands. Fyre had been recently promoted to General and been given charge of several squadrons of deadly Wraiths. Fyre was new to the responsibilities of command, but he was rapidly growing accustomed to the role.
"Hey General... I am about three thousand clicks out... no sign of them yet... but I know they are out here. I can feel it,"
Riker had learned over the last several years to trust Fyre's "feelings". They seemed to be more accurate than some of his best on board computers.
Fyre looked carefully out into space... and checked his readouts again. The Zerg had been reported as being active in this quadrant for some time. Surely they would not have just left... would they?
Suddenly a blip appeared on the screen... Overlords dead ahead! Uh oh... that meant trouble. The wraith was a fast ship and highly maneuverable. But it gained that maneuverability at the expense of armor, and heavy weaponry. The wraith was equipped with an on board cloaking system. But somehow the overlords seemed to be able to sense the ships even when cloaked and transmit that information to other zerg units. Directly beyond the overlords Fyre could see the planet the zerg were busy infesting. The planet that once had a colony of humans... a colony with many of Riker's own family. They had lost contact with the colony two days ago. If there were any colonists left they would need to be rescued... if not they would be avenged!
"What the...???" Fyre looked over to his right where a wraith exploded. Beyond it was the mutilisk who destroyed it.
"Fyre to wraith squadron... pull back and regroup around the battle cruisers!"
Fyre peeled off to the right. His wraith responding instantly to his touch on the control stick. Fyre got off a couple shots as he passed the mutilisk and noted with satisfaction as the "muty" exploded into a hundred million little pieces.
Aboard the Viper, Commander Riker hit the intercom switch. "This is Riker... Cobra do you read?."
"Cobra here General Riker... what's up?"
"Cobra, get your men ready... we will be planetside in less than an hour."
"Roger that ... Cobra out."
General Cobra looked around the room. The intense eyes of his company of marines looked at him eagerly.
"Suit up men... it's time for some payback!"
His men hooted and cheered as they ran for their battle armor and weapons. Cobra loved his marines... their dedication and willingness to wade into wave after wave of giant zerg bugs just for the chance to smear a few more into little grease spots on the ground never ceased to amaze him.
He had to admit he found the extermination of the entire zerg race a pleasing thought.
Cobra watched his marines suit up into their model 300 battle armor. A typical marine would stand nearly seven and a half feet tall in his battle armor. General Cobra mounted his Goliath. The huge armored assault walker was effective against both ground and air targets. Its twin 30mm cannons and rockets would make short work of nearly any zerg they came across.
Cobra looked across the squad bay. Nearly a hundred marines, two dozen or so firebats in their flame resistant armor, and another dozen goliaths were ready for battle. Cobra smiled a grim, wicked, and entirely frightening smile... this is what he was BORN to do.
Fyre was in trouble and he knew it. The warning indicator was buzzing in his console. He was about to run out of cloaking energy, and the muties were catching up fast. The buzzer went from flashing yellow to flashing red. That's it, no more cloak.
The muty directly behind Fyre's wraith watched as the wraith faded into view. The muties outnumberd the wraiths at least 5 to 1. They were doomed.
Fyre pushed his throttles forward, trying to get every ounce of speed out of the small ship that he could. Fyre was not afraid to die. He knew it may happen any day. Every Colonial Marine knew that. But if he died he knew that the colonists on the planet below stood less of a chance to be rescued.
His ship suddenly rattled and shook as the muty began pounding it with his "butt weapon". Muties were nothing more than a flying wormlike critter that could shoot acid spores out of its butthole. Talk about deadly farts! If those acid spores reached his fuel tanks he was done fore. Fyre's ship shook again with another impact.
General Riker ordered his fleet into a low orbit around the planet. He had to get low enough for the drop ships to make a fast hop to the planet's surface and deliver General Cobra and his ground troops. A few of the battle cruisers maintained a higher orbit in order to cover Fyre and his squadron as they regrouped with the fleet.
Riker gave the launch order to the Drop ship computer. Huge bay doors opened along the sides of the cruisers as they emptied their cargo of heavily armored drop ships.
Drop ships were not armed in anyway. They were heavy enough just being loaded with the troops they would deploy. Large enough to carry even the massive siege tanks into battle, they were invaluable in rescue missions like this one.
Several wraiths flew cover for the drop ships as they descended into the atmosphere of the planet. Once on the ground, the drop ships opened their deployment doors and Marines, Firebats, and Goliaths began pouring from the hulls.
Cobra ordered his troops into formation and quickly took inventory of his men. It was not unusual to loose a few dropships on the way down in a space-to-planet drop like this, but today they encountered no resistance at all. In fact it seems that not a single zerg took a shot at the drop ships as they landed. That was unusual.
The Colony was located on the largest of the continents on the planet. The planet was discovered by a survey team some years back, and what a find it was! Most of the planet was covered with water, much like earth. It was nearly the same size as earth, so it also had nearly the exact same gravitational rating as earth. The largest continent was mostly a mixture of desert highlands, and forested mountains. The area where Cobras team had set down was approximately 5 kilometers from the outskirts of the Colony.
The Colony was like most Terran Colonies. There was a main building where the Colony leaders were stationed. Several other 1 and 2 story buildings used to house the geological survey teams, terran agricultural teams, and of course the various crew men (mechanics, builders, heavy equipment operators, etc...) Of course there was also a small detachment of Colonial Marines for security. Usually made up of one officer, a dozen marines, a couple firebats, a vulture pilot and a goliath pilot. Over all there were about 125 men and woman making up a Terran research colony, not including the military force.
The job of a new Terran colony was to go in, survey the planet, take soil readings, record weather patterns and determine if the planet was suitable to support human life. This colony was doing well and it was looking like the planet was going to be an excellent candidate for settlement. That is until the Zerg arrived.
Cobra cursed the Zerg under his breath. He hated the Zerg. If they killed any or all of the colonists, he would make them pay. And pay dearly.
Cobra ordered his Vulture scout bikes to begin making sweeping patrols towards the colony. The rest of the marines locked and loaded their weapons and assumed formation. Goliaths spread out around the main body of the marine force and firebats took point positions. (better to burn out any bugs hiding in holes in the ground)
Cobra looked around at the beautiful dessert terrain. Large mountains loomed in the distance. He hadn't noticed any 'creep' around. Usually a tell tale sign of Zerg presence. The ground between his rescue force (about 50 men in all) and the colony was flat, and hard. All the better for traveling, but it left very little by way of cover. The colony was situated in a beautiful high level dessert valley.
Cobra looked up at the twin suns as they moved across the sky. It was mid morning here. Time to get moving. Cobra gave the command to move out.
Fyre manipulated the controls of his wraith sending it into an an arching spin to avoid more muty blasts. He had to cover the ground troops he thought to himself. He had to give them more time. Looming large and vulnerable before him was the Zerg Overlord. Fyre checked his sensors again. It seemed as if this "ovie" had drifted off by itself. Now here was a target of opportunity. If he was able to blast this ovie it might give his wraiths a better chance. Less ovies around meant that there was less chance the zerg would be alerted to his cloaked units. Fyre activated and locked his targeting system on the big fat bug. The locking tone sounded in Frye's ear piece when he felt his ship shudder with an impact!
Ambushed! The ovie had been a distraction! Fyre whipped his head about in an effort to see which direction the attack was coming from. He had just enough time to fire his weapons once when every alarm buzzer in the cockpit flashed red and buzzed ... another impact! Fyre made a wild attempt to swing his wraith around in a vector that would take him away from the ambush and allow his ship to escape!
Fyre's ship vanished in a cloud of plasma and a resounding explosion.
Riker watched helplessly on the ships observation system as the small blip on the screen that represented Fyre's wraith vanished.
Cobra's troops moved swiftly, and with minimal noise towards their objective. Cobra kept an eye on the sensor readouts on the display in his Goliath battle armor. Zergs can be sneaky, and deadly. In the distance he could barely make out a small squadron of dropships coming in fast and low closer to the town. Rangers. Cobra sighed to himself. Gung-ho and crazy... led by a General who called himself Gaurdsmin. Those close to him called him "G" for short. The Rangers were an elite group of specialists. They would scout out the town and bring back intelligence reports on enemy strength, location and numbers.
Cobra heard a noise behind him... a kind of ... slithering sound...
"What the ... ? All Troops! OPEN FIRE!!!"
Cobra turned his massive Goliath around and began firing his twin auto cannons. The screams of Men and Zerg alike filled his ears.
The drop ship had not even finished touching down when G and his men were off of the loading ramp. G touched a switch on his com system.
"Spread out" he transmitted to his men. "Watch for any signs of movement".
"Rodger" came the reply from each ranger in turn. From this point out G and his men would mostly communicate with hand signals. He did not know how sensitive the bug's hearing was but no sense in finding out the hard way.
G and his seven Rangers spread out. The town was like most other little colony towns. A few small buildings. Mostly living quarters, storage spaces and a few administrative offices. The town reminded G of an old west ghost town from some of the ancient earth movies he had seen from time to time.
There was one main "street" running through the center of town with about a dozen buildings on each side. He was not crazy about he and his men dropping right into the center of a zerg infested town. From the dropships the town looked quiet. No signs of the zerg other than a few scattered patches of the sticky stuff called 'creep'.
He knew Cobra with his men and equipment would be coming in with a greater force from the south end of town. G's job is to find out just how bad the town had been infested, find any survivors, secure a location and wait for Cobra. Once Cobra and his troops arrived to secure the rest of the town they would radio for the drop ships and as they said in those old west movies, get the Heck out of Dodge!
G scanned the town with his motion tracker... nothing. Not a thing. He didn't expect much movement, but nothing?
G motioned for the man closest to him, a strapping young private about the size of a truck, to activate his tracker. The young fella did and a few seconds later motioned to G he was not getting any movement either.
G and his troops moved from building to building, gause rifles at the ready. Nothing at all. No blood. No bodies. No sign of struggle. Its like everyone just got up from what ever they were doing and left. G and his men checked the remaining buildings to find exactly the same thing, which is to say ... nothing.
G was ready to radio Cobra and report his lack of anything in the town when one of his men waived an armored hand in his direction to get his attention. G jogged over to the ranger. The ranger pointed silently to the dirt in front of him. G kneeled down to get a closer look. Tracks. Almost hidden but still evident. And it looked as if someone, or something took great care to hide the tracks. There were two sets, one definitely human, and the other most definitely BUG! The tracks were mostly wiped out but he got a sense of the general direction they were heading. G signaled his men to join him and they slowly followed the trail. The trail terminated about 100 meters outside of town. They terminated directly into a sand dune. Great... just great. Now what?
G was about to signal for his men to regroup in town when he noticed something. The landscape in which they were in was desert. Lots of sand, rock, boulders, and sand dunes. And in this desert the wind was blowing gently in the light of the setting sun. This caused the sand to move... all except for the sand on the sand dune.
G cocked an eyebrow, removed an armored glove, and bent down to grab a had full of the sand from the dune. Hard. It was hard! Not soft sand at all but some kind of armored shell or small bunker designed to LOOK like sand!
Just then a small hatch about 3 feet wide and 5 feet tall popped open right between G's feet! G jumped back, startled and raised his rifle. He pointed the weapon into the hatch. He saw a small stair case leading down into the darkness. It was not the stair case that got his full attention though... it was the strikingly beautiful young woman who had an assault rifle pointed right at him!
"Great... just great... "G muttered to himself...
To Be Continued...
I would like to personally say thank you for reading my story. I hope you will check back soon for the next chapter.