0534 Hours, 12th November 2676, USN Ticonderoga, Morril Asteroid Field.Mature

"Next!", Bellowed John.
He stood at the end of the Weapon Storage Chamber, upon a raised platform. Each trooper approached when they were geared up, and reported to John for a readiness check. When it was Carter's turn, she was fidgeting with her helmet, having just put it on.
"Report, Sergeant", Stated John, arms crossed behind his back.
"This damn helmet's got something wrong with it", She groaned, giving the side of it a thump.
"Take it off", Replied He, "give it here."
Carter plied the helmet free of her head and handed it to John.
He walked to a control panel beside a wide, sealed archway. He punched in several commands, and the doors slid apart, with a heavy grating sound.
A compacted Servitor was revealed from behind the doors, which dislodged itself from it's niche, extending upon it's thick, piston-supported stalk.

Its skeletal, shining limbs folded from it's body, mechanical arms twitching and rotating. A human skull leered from atop it's artificial neck, cables hanging from various parts of it's body. the glowing red eyes fixed upon John and then upon the helmet in his hand. One of it's many limbs twicthed forward, grasping the helmet like a vice. it lifted the helmet to it's chest, and brought its many arms to use. probing and tweaking the helmet, it tried to identify a problem. After half a minute, it ceased it's attempts, and extended its arms to hand the helmet back.
"Minor Breach Of Shock-Absorbing Gel Detected. Chance Of Significant Problems Arising Due To Breach: Marginally Small", came the monotone explanation from the Servitor.
"Thank you.", replied John, "Dismissed."
The Servitor emitted a mechanical hiss, it's limbs folded over it's chest once more and it retreated to it's dormant postiton, doors grinding close before it.
John handed the helmet back to Carter, who snatched it from him and slid it back on, grumbling all the while.
"Next!", Roared John.

The Echelon piled onto the vast tram that was currently docked to the landing behind the Weapon Storage Chamber. the open platform which the troopers were marching onto was held aloft on an ornate base, adorned with carved skulls and inscriptions. Ponderous wheels gripped the tracks below, waiting to be set in motion once the Echelon had fully boarded. Once they had, the tram shuddered as it lurched forward, rumbling along the track beneath massive flying buttresses, passing archways which led to various chambers of all types. Gun Sentries hung from the ceiling, suspended by thick cables and wires, their gaunt, skeletal faces morbidly set emotionless, bulky, powerful looking weapons swivelling from side to side, searching for targets they would likely never have to find.

the journey to Drop Bay C-41 was slow-paced and monotonous, with nothing to see but servitors and crewmen going about their duties. The only interesting thing John saw was when the tram passed a set of large viewports, through their meters-thick diamond windows, a vast Ordnance Servitor could be seen, shining silver upon the outer hull of the Ticonderoga, leaning forward on its huge, hinged stalk, spires and aerials protruding from it's armoured hull, its many limbs engaged in the task of replacing one of the Ticonderoga's  Energy Cannon's Charge Core. This scene was soon concealed as the viewports were passed however, and The Echelon continued on it's slow journey.
John would probably see that Energy Cannon in action soon enough, considering their distance to the Asteroid Field.
It would be a wondrous display of power, indeed.

The End

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