== Southern Hemisphere; Horma II ==
++ 3hours and 18 minutes after post #84 ++
Moss scanned his heads up display on his helmet visor and noted that
the bulk of his company were almost in position. He'd had them beamed
between the last known position of the "Birdie's" and the search and
rescue team, and spread the 3 platoons in an improvised picket line
stretching nearly across the island. The 4th platoon of his company
held in reserve in Cargo bay 8, as a reaction force waiting to be beamed,
in force, by the cargo transporter.
"Thyme, get your men moving. We're waiting on you!" Moss barked over
the unit push, "Sure would've been nice if they could've put us down
in position, Iron Molecules in the air. man, if I had a nickel for that
one. they just want us to have to hump in this swamp." He muttered to
himself, "Christ we've wasted over 3 hours just getting in position."
=/\= Almost there Skipper, this shit is deep in spots.=/\= Jeremy's
answered over the Comm, his voice clipped in spots by the frequency
modulating to adapt to the environment.
Moss looked left and felt he could make out the outline of the Marine
about 15 meters away, glancing to his right and staring at the jungle
until finally Sgt. Hatch noticed him looking and slowly waved until
Charley nodded in return.
== 2 Kilometers East ==
Tim Hudson knelt next to a broken tree, hoping it would help break up
his outline, and watched intently to his front.
Moving slowly and as quietly as possible, Brianna moved up behind Tim
and whispered, "Anything yet?"
"JESU." Tim jumped at the soft voice over his shoulder, "Bri, don't
do that!" he whispered, never taking his eyes off the foliage to his
"Sorry, I'm gonna hang here for awhile." She said, almost keeping the
laughter out of her voice.
== 30 meters to the West ==
Lcpl. Davies cocked his head to the left, thinking that those leaves
had no reason to move, turning up the zoom on his visor, he strained
to see anything amiss. Nothing stirred, yet the lower edge blurred.
As Davies flipped up his visor to look with his Mk-1 eyeball, the blur
rose and lurched toward him.
== Hudson's Position ==
In unison Tim & Brianna both looked left at the scream half heard
over the platoon push and ambiently. "What the fu." Tim was interrupted.
=/\= What the? Holy sh*t! Booster! Highest! All hands Infra-red! They're
Cold! I say again they're Cold!=/\= Czarnowski's voice was almost covered
by the Phaser discharges in the background.
Tim slapped his helmet control to switch to infra-red imaging, as he
popped up to move to Flashes aid. He immediately changed his mind and
dropped to a knee and began rapid firing at the multiple greenish blue
forms showing on his visor.
"3rd Squad, No Joke! Infra-red NOW! And start knockin'em down!" he yelled
on the Platoon push, feeling the prickle of Phaser splatter on the exposed
portions of his neck and wrist, as Brianna was rapid firing so close
to him. Thinking that those spots'll hurt like hell in the morning,
if he lived through this. He began to edge to the side to clear a lane
for Bri's fire, and to clear himself from her splatter.
== Moss's Position ==
Seeing a uniformly orangish red pattern in front, Charley looked to
the east and fired three rapid shots dropping the cold spot that was
behind Hatch. From the volume of fire, and the traffic on the Platoon
channels he realized that he'd only get wiped out if they held here.
"All Raider units! Drop back by fire teams! Let's have an orderly withdraw!
Keep hurtin'em on the way! Six out!" Moss shook his head, "Swiftsure!
Raider six! You need to move those people along we're getting pushed
== Bridge; USS Swiftsure ==
Paula jumped on her feet as the message came through. "Swiftsure to
Moss, how long can you hold your position?"
=/\= I give it 30 to 40 minutes! Unless we get killed first! The Birdies
got some sorta personal cloaking devices! They show up cold on Infra-Red!=/\=
"Is there ANY way you can tag them for the shuttles to fire?" Paula
moved to the Tact station to consider the situation over Nelson's shoulder.
=/\= Yes Dear, I'll let the Tazmanian Redhead know where to shoot. =/\=
Moss's voice came over the Comm dryly.
"Then I'll make sure we bring your backside up here for me to kick,
Major" Paula shot back, forgetting her new functions for a moment. "I
put you down there so we could get survivors back, Give them as much
time as you can."
=/\= Woo Hoo! The Skipper's gonna kick my @ss! You just gotta buy me
dinner first Commander. We'll hold'em, as long as we can. Now if you
don't mind Ma'am, I gotta talk to my air cover, Raider six out.=/\=
Moss's voice sounded forced as if he were running.
== Hudson's Position ==
=/\= Third Herd, Bravo's fall back 50 meters, sing out when yer set.
Three Six out! =/\= Lt. Thyme ordered on the Comm.
Tim sent another of his feathered friends to the big gilded cage in
the sky with a couple shots before turning to drop back when O'Donoghue
pulled on his vest.
"Davies Ain't movin! Cover me!" Brianna yelled as she cut to the left.
"Shit!" Tim turned to follow her, "Raider three three, out on a pickup
with Doc.O," he called on the platoon channel. He caught up to the Diminutive
Corpsman, as she dropped to the ground next to the filleted Marine,
Tim fired off a couple rounds over her head and smiled at the screech
"Oh Geez. Oh Geez." Brianna groaned as she knelt over the Marine and
tried to figure out where to start. She pushed her fingers into his
left Chest and pinched what she hoped was the sub-clavian artery as
she dug in her pack with her other hand to find an autosuture.
Brianna dropped prone without releasing the artery, and waited for Hudson's
Phaser to bark again.
=/\= Bri, don't move, play dead, they're rolling right over us. =/\=
Tim's muffled voice came over the push.
"Oh sh*t, oh sh*t, oh sh*t," she muttered to herself, and tried to lay
as still as possible, "if I don't get his bleeding stopped soon he's
=/\= If you move even an inch we'll all die. As much as I liked Rocky,
we ain't gonna die for him. Don't even think about it. =/\= The menace
in Hudson's voice overpowered Brianna's fear of the Birdmen, to the
point that she didn't even peep at the powerful blow to her ribs.
Tim lying a few feet away watching the "cold spots" pass over them,
heard the baseball bat into a watermelon sound of an impact and felt
the gust of air caused as the Vanderian Warrior landing in front of
him with a squeak. Without thinking he leaped onto it, grabbed the birdies
beak and drove his ka-bar deep into its chest, hoping that
it's heart would be in the right place. The exquisite pain of the warriors
claws scrabbling at his back, strengthened his resolve to not lose this
fight. Squeezing the beak closed and searching with his blade in the
Vanderians chest, Tim realized he was looking straight into his enemies
eyes. Seeing first the rage, then terror, and pain in, the eyes that
would eventually haunt his dreams, Tim felt a minor relief when they
became dull and lifeless. Glancing over at Brianna Tim nodded and watched
as the rest of the Warriors passed.
== Moss's Position ==
"Raider 6 to my little red tailed hawk, how are you reading me?" Charlie
puffed as he ran.
=/\= Rai'er 6 thi' I' eagle fligh' go ahea' =/\=
Thinking that O'bannon sounded a little testy, "Aye, tha' pushi' us."
he started in a horrible imitation of her brogue, "If you could lay
some fire along the south bank of the blue line and angled up to hill
number. oh I don't remember, the really big one, we'd be mighty obliged."
=/\= Ri'=/\= was the only response he got, till all hell started breaking
loose behind him.
Capt. C.P.Moss SFMC
Echo Co. 3rd Bn. 6th Marines, Detached
With a guest appearance by
Cdr Paula Chapman
"We use words like honor, code, loyalty. We use these words as the backbone
of a life spent defending something. You use them as a punchline. I
have neither the time nor the inclination to explain myself to a man
who rises and sleeps under the blanket of the very freedom I provide,
then question the manner in which I provide it. I prefer you said thank
you, and went on your way, Otherwise, I suggest you pick up a weapon,
and stand to post. Either way, I don't give a
damn what you think you are entitled to!"
Col. Nathan Jessup
OCTOBER 2006 >> POTM #2
Author: Lt Cdr Peter Jansen
Title: Debacle #93
<< Horma II >>
== Following Paulsen's post
Leaving the Texas' massive wreckage behind, Tigert, Devar and Jansen
- or `beta team' as they were so affectionately designated - were moving
west. Even on the isolated island, moving west was a pretty generic
term, as the ground they could, and possibly had to cover was vast.
The thick mud, dense bushes and humidity didn't make their trek any
easier than it already was.
Looking to each side, Peter studied the faces of Senior Chief Tigert
and Chief Devar. Both had strained expressions, constantly moving their
eyes to every possible side, ever on the ready for a possible threat.
That was their security training kicking in. Peter was content with
keeping an eye on the tricorder.
He was on the lookout as well. Not so much to detect a possible threat;
he wasn't naïve enough to think there wasn't going to be any, but he
realized both Tigert and Devar were professional enough to deal with
that when it happened. After all, it was their expertise. But the uncharted
and unexplored surroundings offered a unique opportunity for someone
in his line of work. Imagine the discoveries to be made here.
Then again, he was already stacked with finishing his dissertation,
which had officially been labelled a `long-term project' right now.
Plus, there was the fact that they weren't on some kind of nature walk,
here. They were trying to find survivors, survivors of a terrible and
ghastly battle which probably meant the start of an equally terrible
new war. Something told him that was perhaps a tad more important then
discovering a new type of lizard and getting to
"Anything on the tricorder, Commander?" Tigert asked. He spoke calmly,
to the point. He didn't whisper but he didn't raise his voice either.
Smooth, professional. Or simply preoccupied. Peter didn't know, but
he guessed the former.
"Nothing," he said with a shake of his head, still gazing down on the
device's screen. "Some avian life forms, some smaller animals, probably
rodent-like but no humanoid life forms."
Tigert nodded. "Understood."
"I do hope the other teams have more luck than we do," Peter offered.
"Don't be so easily disappointed, Commander," Devar replied. "There
is still a lot of ground ahead of us."
Which was exactly Peter's point. If the Texas crew had ventured out
into the jungle, they probably wouldn't have done so immediately after
the crash. After an assessment of the situation, they might have ventured
into the vast jungle, but even so, with the possibility of casualties
- which was very likely, despite the favourable odds of surviving a
crash-landing - they couldn't have moved fast. Not in this kind of terrain
anyway. Plus, heading deeper into the jungle would make things more
dangerous, less certain, taking them away from a perfectly good shelter,
that the Texas' saucer section provided.
He wasn't aware of their motives so he wasn't going to debate on them,
but he did wonder why they would have ventured so deep into unknown
territory - if they had, of course. Certainly, judging the terrain,
there was a reasonable amount of food and water to be found, and they
would probably have some emergency rations with them, but those would
only last so long and they still had to discern what they could and
could not consume in this jungle.
"There's some unstable terrain coming up," Tigert said. As Peter looked
up, he saw the security NCO motioning towards a largely flooded area,
about two hundred meters ahead of them.
"If must really rain like crazy here," Peter offered. Perhaps they had
arrived in this area's monsoon season. swell.
"We could move around it if crossing it seems too much of a challenge,"
Devar said with a snide.
She obviously had never been deep into the preserve on Fandre, Peter
thought, remembering one of his many tracks into hazardous terrain.
As he thought about it, the Fandrean jungle wasn't that much different
from this area. although he hadn't experienced a monsoon there.
"I'll be fine," he said, stacking his tricorder back into a small pouch.
Some large rocks, broken tree logs and branches were scurried around
throughout the body of water.
"Perhaps we can simply
wade through it?" Tigert suggested.
"I wouldn't do that," Peter replied. "I scanned it a moment ago. It's
about three meters deep. The water's filled with all kind of plant residue.
It wouldn't be impossible to get our feet tangled into some of that.
wouldn't be pleasant."
In time, provided nature would take its course and there was a good
chance this would end up as a swamp.
"Very well. We'll have to make do with what we have," Tigert said. "I'll
go first, then you, Commander and Chief Devar will cover our rear."
Peter thought about a lively, amusing remark about covering Devar's
rear, but this was neither the time nor place to try to be funny. Not
to mention the fact that Devar seemed very much capable of shattering
and shredding several crucial bones and ligaments in his body.
Tigert stepped onto one of the large logs, holding his arms wide for
balance. After passing the log, he jumped on one of the rocks, after
making sure it was stable. Without too much effort, he made it across.
"You're next, Commander."
Peter inclined his head, mentally thanking him for the oh so pleasant
reminder. Following Tigert's example, he planted his right foot onto
the log, slowly following with his left. He too held his arms wide for
balance as he crossed the log. He jumped on to the same boulder Tigert
had used, albeit with a bit more effort. He waved his arms around, trying
to keep his balance as he jumped from boulder to boulder. With hands
and feet - probably a bit too much hands - he crossed the body of mucky
water and ended up next to Tigert on the other side.
Without a word, Devar moved up to the edge and stepped onto
"Need a hand, Chief?" Peter said with a sly grin.
Sparing him a single look, Devar refocused on her task at hand. Moving
fast, she crossed the log, hopped onto the set of boulders. Using another
log, she leapt from its end onto the ground.
"No, thank you, Commander," she said matter-of-factly as she stood next
to the other two group members. "I'll be fine."
As she and Tigert passed him, resuming their defensive postures, Peter
flipped out his tricorder. As he started scanning the area again, he
shook his head.
"So I've noticed," he
Lt.Cmdr. Peter Jansen