Warrant Officer Chris Hewitt
Eos II Scouting Mission: Sixteen hours before Planetfall
"ATTENTION. All EDEF Marine and Navy personel. Please report to the Briefing Deck at 1800 hours. I repeat: All EDEF Marine and Navy personel. Please report to the Briefing Deck at 1800 hours."
The loudspeaker rang out leaving a buzz in my ears. The information was to no surprise for both me and Senior Officer Griffin. We were in the Engineering Bay fitting an Exo suit with the correct heating equipment. Captain Karida wanted to have at least one operational to show her Marines during the briefing. The remaining suits were to be setup and ready for wear by the morning, only hours before we landed on the frozen surface of Eos II.
The longer I spent with Mr. Griffin the more I realized his hunches were oddly accurate. When the Marines were in cyro stasis the old man would always say to me,
"A mission like this will find it's way from 'piece of cake' to 'pain in the ass.' You watch."
He was totally right, and that's probably why he was prepared for the worse. He spent his entire stay on the Blue Hornet in this Engineering Bay, making sure any back up plan was readily available. And that was what mattered most, we had a plan.
A half an hour passed, but it felt like seconds as I watched Griffin snap the last two wires into the heating module. He hoisted the suit onto a lev-cart and in a flash we were off to the Briefing Deck. In front of us were lines of soldiers, all dressed in their black Marine jumpsuits each patched with ranking and surname. They held no weapons, not yet at least. But I heard military egos had bodies that might as well been machines. Skeletons laced with titanium, bulletproof skin, the works.
In the matter of minutes the columns of men led me and Officer Griffin in the Briefing Deck. A Holo Desk stood in the center of the room, and nearly a hundred chairs were lined in rows. The soldiers took their seats, almost robotic in their methodical movements. Addressing the group of Marines was Medical Officer Dr. Constance Charm, Captain Karida Chakroun, and of course Officer Griffin and myself.
The movement of chairs settled in to an uncomfortable silence,
"Good Evening fellow soldiers and officers. In just sixteen hours we will be breaking the atmosphere of Eos II." The Captain tapped the table and a 3D model of the planet appeared, covering a vast majority of its surface was snow and ice.
"Yesterday we received new data which revealed the surface of Eos II is not what previous surveys have told us, go figure. We are dealing with a freeze over, and our landing sight is right in the middle of it."
Some of the Marines began to speak among one another, the low ranking soldiers showed they were worried, probably as much as I was. The room started to get louder before Staff Sergeant Karen Liu commanded them,
They quickly stopped before Captain Karida continued,
"But that will not deter us from our original mission, we are Marines after all. We are to land at Alpha site, find the source to the colony blackout and make contact with any survivors. If we find anyone... We are to establish order in the Eosian Colony. In the meantime, we must gather any resources we can to either make a longer stay until reinforcements arrive, or -- if worse comes to worse -- to make an escape from this cold rock. This operation will now be code named Freeze Point, a much better name than 'Operation trek around a cold planet and hope we find something.' " Navy Lieutenant Wei Kwang-min rolled his eyes. The Captain motioned her hand, and in the same second I felt a tug on my arm from Griffin.