November 9th 2140, Top secret training facility on the Roman I space station
"Alright, that should do it," Dale said. Victoria and Dale both crossed their arms and inspected their work. Eight large caliber machine guns, fifteen mortar launchers, and three portable anti-air missile launchers.
"When do you think they'll come?" Victoria asked.
"Soon," Dale replied. Suddenly, they heard the base-wide emergency alarm sound. Dale looked toward the watch tower above the main facility and activated his zoom optics. John was waving down at them and pointing over them toward the gulch. Dale turned around to see Arden and Viktor returning. Viktor's chopper was giving off a lazy smoke trail.
"Or they're coming now!" Dale exclaimed. The two choppers dropped down to their elevation and hovered on both sides of the mountain peak. Dale peered at Arden through his cockpit. Arden was pointing to toward the gulch and the cave tunnel that linked the gulch to their island. They heard a third set of chopper rotors approaching from behind, and twenty FKPD soldiers dropped in to their gun nest.
"Here to help sirs!" one of the soldiers informed them.
"Cool," Dale responded. "Take up positions everybody, they're coming within the hour!"
(Only a moment earlier)
"And so uh, this is the standard issue pistol," Margaret was speaking like an elementary school show and tell. They were in the recreation building. Nakahara had given the order for all nonmilitary personnel to bunker down in there. "It has the magazine, trigger, and this is the safety, that's very important."
"Dust..." Connor gently laid a hand on her shoulder. "Just let me handle this." She handed Connor the pistol and hung her head just slightly in embarrassment. "Okay, take notes. Safety on," Connor showed all of the scientists and technicians, engineers and maintenance workers. "Safety off. On. Off. This is the magazine, holds the bullets, goes in to the pistol like so. Pull the top back to see if there is already a bullet in the chamber. If not, cock it back all the way to load one in from the magazine. Once loaded and cocked, you're ready to fire. Now this is an assault rif..."
Connor was interrupted by the base alarm going off. "Okay, quick version. Assault rifle, safety, magazine, pin that cocks back to load a bullet in. Got it? Good. Bye. Come on Dust."
They rushed outside in to the main chamber and fired up two Cobra Transport Vehicles that were parked near the storage corner. There was a constant traffic of transport choppers and dropships entering and exiting the chamber, ferrying troops and supplies to different parts of the training grounds. They both pulled their CTVs up to the edge of the blast door.
"Smoke! Dust!" Nakahara rushed over to them. "Post up in the gulch. You can hit them there and have a large span of land to retreat if need be. You'll be able to move fast and take out any of the creatures who take that route. Shadow and Haze will cover your retreat in the heavy gun nest, as well as Mist and Cloud from the watchtower. Fog and Steam will fly air support with the rest of our choppers."
"Got it, sir," Connor nodded.
"We'll do our best to keep them in the gulch!" Margaret said.
"Good luck!" Nakahara rushed off.
Two dropships were returning and Connor waved them down. The dropships approached and turned sideways, opening their side doors. Connor and Margaret drove their vehicles inside. A large handful of soldiers boarded both dropships as well.
"Drop us in the gulch!" Margaret ordered their pilots.
The dropships waved out of the chamber and rocketed away toward the gulch.
"How tough are these things?" John asked Brian.
"They're really tough," Brian replied. "It takes a lot of bullets to bring them down, but a good ol' well placed sniper round will do the job any day of course."
"They're almost here aren't they?"
"Yup," John responded. "What does our battlefield look like?" John took his head away from his scope. He took notes on all of their forces' positions.
Dale, Victoria, and a handful of troops in the gun nest, as well as one hundred and fifty scattered all around the rest of the island. Connor, Margaret, and twenty-five more Transport Vehicles of both Cobra and Grizzly class defending the gulch. Arden, Viktor, and thirty more attack choppers scattered all around their air space. Lastly, about two hundred and fifty more soldiers scattered all over the base of the mountain ridge at their side, several guarding the many buildings and complexes around the area, and forty more inside the main facility chamber.
With all the forces they had, no area of the training base was unprotected. Now, they waited. Minutes passed. The only sound they heard was the chopping of helicopter blades through the air. John scanned the mountains. Brian turned around and scanned the mountains behind them.
"What if more come from behind us?" Brian wondered. There was only one easy way to get to their base. A wide stretch of cliff side where the gulch and the mountain range at their side ended. Past that cliff side was a vast open plain that eventually led to the continuation of the station's ring. The only other way in to their base would be to attempt traversal of the tall, lengthy mountain range that spanned from above the side of the gulch, all the way around and behind the plateau above the main facility. The mountain range was especially perilous and steep behind the plateau, making a rear assault nonsensical.
"I almost hope they do," John answered. "They'll be out in the open on the mountainside, and there's no way they can quickly get over it either. It's too steep and too rocky. To attack from behind is a fool's gambit."
"M'kay," Brian rebutted.
"There..." John said. He had his sniper trained on the cliff side past the gulch. "There they are!"
Brian whipped around and looked the same way. His heart rate spiked. A few hundred aliens were looming across the cliff side, rushing straight toward their base.
"Open fire!" Brian and John aimed their scopes tens of feet above the creature's heads and emptied their magazines. They reloaded, and emptied their magazines again, over and over. Aliens dropped before the rest of their forces even had a clear line of fire. The rest of their snipers fired as well, and in thirty seconds, over one hundred aliens dropped.
They had taken out a fourth of the aliens by the time the rest of their forces reached the edge of the training grounds. All of the FKPD forces on the mountainside and the forces at the base of the mountain above the gulch opened fire. Despite all of the sniper fire and scattered small arms fire, the aliens pressed on, and were gaining ground.
"Keep them at the mountain's edge!" John shouted as if anyone besides those in the tower could hear him. The aliens were pressing too hard. At last, their overwhelming numbers allowed them to reach the FKPD forces.
The creatures were ruthless. They tore at the soldiers, sliced off their limbs, gutted them with their blades. The question of whether or not their neon green blades could cut through their armor was answered. They continued to do their best to thin out the monsters and relieve their troops, but the slaughter rampantly continued. Half of the aliens split off down in to the gulch, out of their line of fire. The other half continued to press along the cliffs at the base of the mountain. This made slightly easier on the FKPD soldiers.
"They're on their way to us," Brian said, continuing to unload his sniper on the aliens.
"There's still a lot soldiers between us and them, we'll be fine. Just do everything you can to reduce their casualties," John remarked.
"Here they come ladies and gentlemen!" Connor shouted to the Transport Vehicle group. "Spin 'em up!"
"Mow 'em down boys!" Margaret yelled. The soldiers manning the turrets of the GTVs and CTVs primed their weapons. Only a moment later the aliens came pouring down the hill in to the gulch.
"Fire!!!" Connor roared. They unleashed their firepower in to the alien horde. Heavy rail cannons from the Grizzly Transports, and high caliber turrets from the Cobra Transports, decimated the creatures. They drove around the gulch, kiting the sword wielding monsters with ease. Their group split in half, some going toward the cave leading to the island, the others going toward the beach at the end of the gulch.
Connor and Margaret drove toward the beach, staying just far enough away from the horde to remain safe. They kept going until they reached the beach line. They all slowed down to draw the monsters closer before running the length of the beach and swinging back around the regroup with the rest of the Transport Vehicles. However, this was a mistake.
Swiftly and unexpectedly, almost two hundred more aliens ascended from the water and rushed on to the beach. Most of the Transport Vehicles didn't notice until the beasts were already on top of them. They were sandwiched. Aliens piled on top of most of the vehicles before they could get away, and all of the soldiers inside were sliced to pieces. Connor, Margaret, and only two other vehicles managed to speed away to the side, but the aliens were quickly moving to block all of their escape routes.
"Get us out of here!" the soldier manning Connor's turret yelled.
"Everybody hold on!" Connor shouted. The four vehicles had only one option left to escape the surrounding aliens. A hill near the butte that rose between the gulch and the lake provided enough slope and elevation to ramp their vehicles over the small amount of alien forces gathered on the other side. The aliens snarled and hissed as they chased and closed in. One by one however, they launched their vehicles over the hill and clean over the aliens below.
"Wahoo!" Connor landed and threw the CTV in to a perfect power slide to correct their trajectory toward the cave. Margaret mirrored his action. The third vehicle landed sloppily but managed to regain its traction and press on to regroup with the others. The fourth however, drove off of the hill in a bad way. The vehicle ended up flying sideways through the air and landed, rolling the vehicle time and time again across the dirt. When it finally stopped, the soldiers inside were swarmed over in seconds.
Margaret drove up next to Connor as they sped toward the cave.
"Did you know those things can attack from the water!?" Connor questioned Margaret.
"No!" Margaret answered. "The only contact with water we saw from them was that river we escaped over, and they didn't exactly swim too well in the current!"
"Well I didn't think we'd have to retreat to the island, but who could have expected a surprise like that!"
"It'll be fine, Shadow and my sister will stop them at the mouth of the cave right!?"
"That's just the problem!" Connor shot a quick look at Margaret. "The cave isn't the only chokepoint anymore! They could be surrounding the island, hidden under the water as we speak!"
"Oh no..." Margaret said, suddenly gripped with a sense of dread.
They were almost at the cave, following the rest of the Transport Vehicles as they retreated. A few hundred aliens were still in chase behind them, and their gunners continued to fire upon them until they disappeared inside the mouth of the cave.
"Steady everybody," Dale said to the soldiers in their gun nest. "Keep your aim on the cave mouth, and be ready to unleash hell as soon as you see the first alien show its ugly face."
"Affirmative," a few soldiers responded. Finally, a handful of combat Transport Vehicles exited the cave and drove across stretch of land to the island. The last two to leave the cave were Connor and Margaret. All of the vehicles except Connor's and Margaret's spread out all around the island. Dale noticed them drive their two vehicles to the base of the mountain, waving frantically up at them. Connor and Margaret leaped out of the driver seats and yanked off their helmets and shouted up at them.
"Aim to the water!" They heard them say.
"Did they just say to aim at the water?" Victoria asked. "Are they insane?"
"Well I dunno about Dust, she's your sister," Dale joked. "But as for Smoke, he has his moments, but don't ever doubt his judgment. You heard them everybody! Divert your aim toward the water!" Dale pointed to just two of the soldiers near him and said, "You two, keep your aim at the cave mouth."
"Yes sir!" they responded. A few seconds passed, and the aliens that had been chasing Connor and Margaret began pouring out of the cave mouth. Nothing was seen at the water's edge however. Only a fraction of the gun nest fired at the aliens cascading toward them from the gulch. Dale took off his helmet and cupped his hands around his mouth.
"Smoke! Explain to me please!" Dale shouted down the mountain at Connor.
"Just wait for it!" Connor shouted back. Just five seconds later and a terrifying number of aliens emerged from the water line. There wasn't one section of beachside that didn't have any of the abominations tearing its way across the sand toward the center of the island.
"Holy shit," Dale muttered. "OPEN FIRE!!!" The rest of the gun nest unleashed their weaponry to all edges of the island. Mortars and machine turrets, rocket launchers and sniper rifles all rained death upon the advancing horde.
It wasn't long before the last of the alien forces left the water, for their large numbers were spread thin across the island's perimeter. Including the ones that came from the gulch, a total of around five hundred aliens surrounded their position. Five hundred against the almost two hundred FKPD soldiers and half of Vapor Team in the center of the island. Their forces scattered across the mountain peak desperately fired upon the enclosing beasts.
"Keep them away from our troops down there!" Dale ordered. Despite the aliens' superior numbers, their fighting style was their downfall. Half of them fell before they even got close the FKPD forces. They were blasted by mortar fire or shredded by turret and small arms fire. The rest of them finally reached the FKPD forces, and the bloodbath ensued once again. FKPD soldiers at the base of the peak panicked. They either fought frantically and scared, or retreated. Most of them weren't wartime veterans, but enlistees after the Great Civil War. They weren't used to real life intense combat. The aliens' blades whirred through the air and cut through the soldiers like butter.
Dale and Victoria heard the screams from on top of the mountain peak, even over the constant droning sound of turret and mortar fire. Even though the monsters were dropping like flies, they made sure to take out a large chunk of their forces. They never stopped firing, and soon only one hundred aliens remained.
Connor and Margaret managed to cover each other and stay alive. They couldn't drive anywhere since every trajectory was blocked. Their vehicle gunners provided enough covering fire for them to fight them on foot and prevent them from overrunning their Transport Vehicles. Fifty aliens remained, thirty, ten, then none. At last, all hostiles on the island were defeated. The FKPD's victory on the lower front was nothing short of pyrrhic. Over half of their forces were cut down or mauled. Most of the surviving soldiers dropped to their knees and wept. Friends were lost. Others stood paralyzed in shock.
"Come on men!" Dale addressed the island. His voice bellowed through the air. "This fight is far from over. We've cleared the lower front, now we need to help the upper landscape." The soldiers slowly collected themselves.
"Guys look," Victoria pointed to the stretch of cliff under the main facility's blast door. "On the cliff side." A little under one hundred more of the aliens were scaling the cliff wall, headed straight for the main facility chamber.
"Not good," Dale muttered. He turned to look down the mountain at Connor and Margaret. "They're climbing up to the main facility! Go back the way you came and help the others on the mountain side, Haze and I will deal with them!" Connor returned a thumbs up. He and Margaret remounted their vehicles and sped back toward the gulch to hit the aliens still on the cliff sides from behind.
"Let's go Haze!" Dale sprinted across the gun nest and leaped off of the side.
"Umm, okay then," Victoria rushed to follow and jumped off of the side as well. They both slid down the side of the peak until the terrain leveled out more, then sprinted at full speed toward the water's edge. "Just how do you plan to get up there from down here?"
"We climb just like them," Dale responded.
"Oh, right," Victoria stared at the daunting cliff before they submerged in to the water. "This'll be fun. So the plan is to trudge our way through creepy alien infested waters, climb the very cliff they are already crawling all over, and defend the close quarters main facility against sword wielders."
"Pretty much, let's get to it!" They both submerged in to the waters around the island. Luckily, no aliens were nearby. They pushed their way through, forcing leg and body to move forward as quickly as possible against the water's resistance. At last, they reached the cliff and pulled themselves up and out of the water with all of their might. There were still several aliens climbing up the wall.
"Down here fellas!" Dale shouted up at them. He pulled one of his pistols off of his hip and fired up at them. He struck one and it jolted, lost its grip and plummeted to the water below. Some of the rest glared down at them and shrieked but continued to climb, unwilling to deal with only two soldiers so far down the cliff wall they already worked so hard to climb.
"Come on, we gotta get up there and protect the civilians inside!" Victoria tore at the cliff wall.
"Agreed," Dale added.