Captain Saris Corvinus set her rifle down on the table. With practiced motions she quickly broke the weapon down and began inspecting the pieces for defects. The only issue she noticed was her ammunition block had been worn down significantly. It likely had around 800 shots left before it would be exhausted, but with her rifle holding enough thermal clips for 500 shots, she really didn’t feel like cutting it that close. Reaching into her maintenance supplies she retrieved another high tungsten alloy block and began reassembling her weapon. Once the last piece had clicked into place she opened her omni-tool to run a diagnostic on the weapon’s computer.
As soon as she started the diagnostic though, a voice announced over the intercom, “All personnel report to combat stations. This is not a drill. I repeat, this is not a drill.” Saris opened another window on her omni-tool and contacted the base command post.
“Yes, Captain Corvinus?” answered a human woman.
“Lieutenant, I need a sitrep,” said Saris.
“Of course, ma’am. Six minutes ago our relay picket detected 14 ships coming through the relay. They refused to identify themselves and opened fire on the picket. We believe they are likely pirates hoping to capture a large amount of eezo. Normally our fleet would be able to take them out, but most of it is out of the system on a training mission. We’re trying to contact them now, but it will be at least 12 hours before they can return. Estimated time to arrival of enemy forces is just under two and a half hours,” said the Lieutenant. Saris’ diagnostic finished in the background: 100% combat ready. Excellent.
“Thank you, Lieutenant. I’ll go rally the troops for defensive operations and await orders from headquarters. How large of a ground force are we looking at?” said Saris. She got up from the bench and headed out the door towards the parade ground where the Marines were no doubt gathering.
“Unknown, ma’am. They have five transports, three cruisers and six frigates. The transports are likely for cargo, but if even a couple of them are carrying troops…” the Lieutenant trailed off into silence, failing to add in the obvious “we’d be screwed.” Their little outpost only had about a company Alliance Marines, and even a single transport loaded with troops would give the pirates around 500 men.
Walking through the door and turning towards the platform in front of the troops, Saris said, “Then we’ll still kick their asses. We’ve got two hours to get our defenses in order, and we’ve got a heavy GARDIAN grid ready to take down their shuttles.”
“How can you be so sure, Captain? That could be a lot of troops coming at us,” said the Lieutenant.
Coming to a stop at the center of the platform, Saris raised her voice so she could be heard by the Marines and said, “Lieutenant, I fought Cerberus. I fought the Reapers on Earth. If they were coming at us, I might be worried. Pirates? They’re undisciplined. They’re unorganized. They’re underequipped. Pirates? Pft. Pirates ain’t shit.” The Marines cheered and shouted “Oorah!”
“Oorah, ma’am. Good luck out there,” said the Lieutenant before closing the channel. While Saris hadn’t dismissed her, she knew the command center was likely getting pretty busy at the moment. Checking her omni-tool again, Sairs saw that she had her orders now.
“Listen up, Marines! I want one platoon at the space port, one at the eezo plant, one at the main colony and mine in reserve. Platoon leaders come forward for your assignments and then get yourselves over there and prepping defenses. We’ve got some uninvited guests coming in hot. I think they could use a good dose of Alliance hospitality!” Cheers erupted again as Saris got down from the platform.
Contrary to everything she had said, she wasn’t feeling that confident. She knew those transports were loaded with troops. After all, many of them wouldn’t need a ride off the planet after they assaulted the Alliance positions. They’d be dead. But then, so would all of the Marines.