Alpha squad part 2 - The Breakout - PlanetSide Universe
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Old 2013-01-30, 06:03 AM   [Ignore Me] #1
Sonny
Contributor
First Sergeant
 
Alpha squad part 2 - The Breakout


Second episode of Alpha Squad (will be a 12-part series!). You can find all of the episodes, as well as many other Planetside 2 lore stories here: www.talesfromauraxis.com

Part 2 - The Breakout

Landiss patted him on the shoulder, breathing heavily.

“Good job Acre, good job.”

Marius slowly turned to face him, dejection filled his sullen eyes. His thick chest plate was scuffed and chipped almost to the core by bullet holes.

“What now, boss? We wait here to be taken out?”

Landiss stared at the floor for a second or two.

“No. You’re going to get out of here, son. Now listen to me carefully. I’m promoting you to Captain, effective immediately.”

Marius felt a rush of confusion “Sir?”

“Now is not the time for questions. Listen to me. I have two final orders, it is imperative you follow them to the letter. You need to find Captain Harrison at Tumas to the west. You can trust him and him alone.”

His eyes widened, he was speaking faster and almost tripping on his words as if he was running out of time. Marius struggled to keep up, his ears still ringing from the blasts.

“Take this” He drew out a data disc from his pocket. “Take this to Harrison. He’ll know what to do with it. Don’t worry – it’s not classified. Not anymore at least. Second, get to the Genetic archives on Cyssor. Your genetic code will still be stored there and there alone. Don’t take any risks – one mistake and you’re dead. For real this time.”

“Well aren’t you a sight for sore eyes!” came the shout from the opposite side of the vehicle bay. Sergeant Gregson, a stout, rotund man who was comically uncomfortable in his skin-tight infiltrator suit, crushed the deathly silence with his wince-inducing cheeriness.

“We thought we were the only ones left!”

He was greeted with a stony stares and folded arms. Beside him staggered the two remaining soldiers of Beta squad, the pale-skinned medic Fowler and solemn, sharp-featured light assault trooper, Banks.

“But –“ Marius started.

But Landiss was no longer paying attention.

“Gregson, glad you could join us, we are spawns down.”

“What do you mean, spawns down? Are we heading back to warpgate?”

“No, Gregson. All spawns down. Commander Doran has seen it fit to erase us from the gene bank.”

Gregson stopped cold. He gaped open mouthed, his sagging cheeks hanging off his face like a bulldog.

“But Micheals... Micheals is lost?!? Oh God... He was 19... Well, well... What do we do?! We’ve got to get out of -” he gasped

“CALM DOWN Gregson!” Landiss lost his patience with the panicking Sergeant, who now had his thick, curly hair in his pudgy hands.

“We need to deal with this rationally. Now, LISTEN UP!!” He shouted, now to the platoon.

“We are alone, with no Conglomerate support from the outside. Someone in Command obviously forgot to order us a taxi…” nervous laughter “I won’t bullshit you, the odds are about twenty to one with God-knows how much armour and aircraft on top of that. I reckon we have ten minutes before they try to break in here.

We have two choices. We fight here to the death as the ‘Suits’ want us to do, or we say ‘screw them’ and haul out ASAP. The Terrans have managed to block themselves in coming through the North gate. That gives us five minutes to get out of the South exit before they regroup. Intel told us there was an enemy field base approximately 250 metres south of the walls. We steal their Sunderer and drive it to…”

The beleaguered platoon erupted in cries of protest.

“That’s a suicide mission!” shouted Vickers, enraged.

“I didn’t come here to die! We should give ourselves in…” spluttered Gregson.

“SHUT IT!!” Landiss bellowed with a thunderous voice that seemed to come from a man twice the size. “We don’t have time for discussion… Those who would rather meet the Terran interrogation squads personally – you are invited to stay and give them a good-old taste of NC freedom. All those who want a shot at getting out of here – get moving. Acre is your new platoon leader, no questions. Once I give the signal from the control room, you move out.”

Cries of confusion once again from the floor.

“He’s not coming with us?!?” Laughed Medic Fowler, half in incredulity and fear.

“What do you mean, Acre in charge?” Roared Vickers in frustration, his hulking form squaring purposefully up to Landiss, towering over him by at least a foot. Barely-restrained muscles bristled underneath the heavy combat suit.

“So, I’m not squad leader material, huh? So my five years of service weren’t good enough for you. You pretentious Academy prick…”

“STAND DOWN Vickers.”

“You make me S –“

A large SMACK interrupted Vickers mid-sentence as Landiss punched the side of his face with full force. The crack of bone on bone stunned the milling group into silence. Marius found himself with arms raised, ready to pull them apart. The rest of the squad stood motionless, breathless.

“STOP THIS!” Isla cried

Vickers staggered back, holding the left side of his thickly-bearded face, looking at the floor and voiceless. For a few seconds he shuddered silently, one hand perilously close to his pistol holster. Marius caught sight of Nakano, a few metres away, holding her rifle ready, trained on Vickers’ back. Finally, Vickers raised his head, gave Landiss and Marius a bloodied glare and spat on the floor as he paced calmly to the nearest quad bike, trying to regain some dignity.

“Bullshit! If you think I’m gonna take orders from this scrub…”

Landiss shook his hand out and winced silently. He seemed weakened now, as if he’d aged twenty years in just a few seconds. He addressed the remainder of Alpha squad crowded around him.

“Yes, I’m staying. I’m the only one who can access the command console. I can make a distraction while the rest of you make a break for it. Trust me – the Terrans want me alive. But you have to go now if you’re going to make it. The Sunderer 250m to the south is your target. GO!”

The moment that Landiss gave the command, Alpha were running to their vehicles. Marius limped heavily, dragging his feet one by one to the harasser light-assault buggy parked close to the south shield. Landiss supported his steps the last few metres.

“Get everyone to Tumas. Especially Isla. I’m counting on you, Marius.” Marius returned a slow, uncertain nod.

“But sir… Why me.”

Landiss paused and turned to face him once more and winked. Seemingly youthful no more, his face was etched with deep, aged sadness. He spoke softly, almost a whisper.

“You’re still a believer. One of the few. Freedom or death.” He patted Marius’ shoulder one last time.

“Freedom or death.” Marius repeated numbly, as Landiss dropped him off at the side of the harasser buggy.

At the roar of the first Flash ATV engines, the captain bounded the first three steps to the control room and then turned to face the squad.

“My friends, it has been an honour to serve with you. DO NOT STOP! Don’t worry about those Terrans –I’ll give them a lot more to think about.”

He cried and punched the air “FREEDOM OR DEATH!”

“FREEDOM OR DEATH!” the vehicle bay echoed with the chorus of eleven scared, stoic souls.

In seconds, Landiss’ tall shadow had passed the threshold to the inner passages of the base. Marius felt the burden of expectation settle over him. He cleared his drying throat.

“Cyssor platoon – Let’s move out!”

ESCAPE

Eight rusted and muddied ATVs roared into life. Marius gingerly balanced himself on the right seat of the harasser buggy, lowering the vehicle’s suspension almost to the ground. Listlessly, Isla, stumbled towards the driver’s seat, as if she was in another world. Her face was bright red, her glowing hair unceremoniously frayed and clumped. She glared at Marius wordlessly, whipped her helmet on and clambered into the driver’s seat, immediately gunning the engine.

There was scraping sound from all sides of the facility. A POP, then another, and soon the whole base resounded with the faint thuds of explosions outside. An explosion of glowing embers, like a firework, hit the side of the glowing shield. Flak cannons, but from the base walls themselves?
Marius stared expectantly at Isla.

“Aldon, Is that the signal?”

Loud thuds accompanied the pops. An explosion roared from the floors above the squad. Bent and smoking roof plates tumbled from the sky, clanging onto an equipment terminal and sending sparks careering through the heavy air. The squad looked around nervously. Marius felt the adrenaline flowing again, his heart racing.

“Aldon, the signal, let’s go!” he shouted. But she still waited, immobile.

Another explosion tore through the outside of the roof; an entire beam collapsed and bent, smashing into the ground just metres from the anxious convoy. Marius couldn’t stand it any longer.

“PLATOON, MOVE OUT!!! MOVE MOVE MOVE!”

As if he’d flicked a switch, eight ATVs simultaneously burned out of the south shield at top speed. Isla, awoken suddenly from her sleep, gunned the harasser engine into life into the yard, weaving in between the barriers that littered the south yard.

The sky was ablaze with gunfire and explosions from all sides. Marius could just make out the flashes from the base turrets, all facing inwards, bombarding the central base itself. Flak and anti-vehicle slugs ricocheted off the sides of the looming structure, some punching holes in the thick armour, others tearing into the innards of the base itself. Pieces of glowing flak and wall fragments drifted down upon the squad like molten snow.

The southern courtyard was bare of Republican troops and armour. To the West, a Galaxy troop transport limped haplessly into the air, scarred thickly with gaping holes and a burning left engine. A solitary mosquito pilot, desperately trying to swoop in between the flak, caught an AV shell through the right wing, sending him smoking and spiralling directly into the outer wall, lighting up the sky with the blinding flash of burning nanite fuel. Comms suddenly filled with shouts.

“Alpha three – Lightning tank outside south side!”

Marius heard a cannon shot just beyond the walls.

“SHIT! That was seven – he’s down.”

“Kirt?!”

The buggy crossed the threshold of the walls and was greeted with a vista of the vast, rolling white plains of eastern Esamir. Fifty metres ahead, a smoking crater was a testament to the remains of the squad infiltrator, Kirt, and his smouldering ATV. A lone Terran lightning tank swung its turret back and forth in confusion as the convoy of quad bikes rushed past at top speed. In comparison, the Harasser was an easy target. As Isla swung the car around the outer walls, the tank brought its HE cannon to bear. Isla turned to face it head on.

“Isla, pull away!” Marius shouted in disbelief.

“Hold the wheel.” She murmured, emotionless.

As she pulled out her rocket launcher, Marius clumsily grabbed for the wheel with his cumbersome hand.

“You’re crazy!”

Wordlessly, she stood through the top of the open roof, aiming at the tank, the turret now facing –

“ISLA –“

Marius was thrown out of the side of the buggy; his vision was filled with smoke and flame, the HE pellets bouncing off his heavy suit in all directions. The burning wreckage ticked forward noisily, bouncing off the front of the lighting tank, now firing its engine into reverse in order to get a second shot. Isla was nowhere to be seen.

He hauled back himself up using the hydraulic boosters, perspiration flowing down his face. He had four seconds before the next shot. Without thinking, he hit his charge button and within two seconds he had bounded the ten metres between him and the reloading tank. He leapt onto the top of the hull, the pure weight of the MAX suit pushing the treads deep into the snow. With a shrill whirr, the turret barrel swung backwards, hitting Marius full-on, but not quite fast enough to topple the 600 kg MAX suit. With difficulty, he turned and grasped the barrel. As agonisingly slowly as if walking into a hurricane, he redirected it away from the blackened corpse of the 4x4. With a CLUNK, the tank fired uselessly into the open air, sending a shell arcing into the horizon.

Marius winced in agony as he clasped the turret barrel in position, the vehicle’s motors slowly overcoming his tiring muscles. With a roar, he slammed the top of the cannon with his left elbow, buckling it with a deep crunch. With this final effort he was spent; the turret flung Marius off the top of the vehicle with a single jerk, and in seconds brought its turret to bear on him, now defenceless and exhausted in the thick snow.

The lightning fired. A dull CLANG and then a brilliant white explosion tore apart the turret barrel, showering Marius with shrapnel and armour casings. Confused, the defenceless tank attempted to reverse itself to safety, but its front was now so deep in the snow that its treads could find no purchase. A rocket shrieked past Marius into the front of the tank’s hull. He shielded his eyes from the bright blaze.

“Maz!”

Nakano screeched to a halt in front of Marius, who was now staggering alone in the open.

“You came back?” he slurred.

“Of course! Get on!”

“What about Isla?!”

Marius grimaced in pain – he couldn’t move his left arm. He hesitantly gripped the front of the quad bike, dragging it deep into the snow drift. It crawled along to the open road, where Vickers was pulling out the limp form of Isla, her golden hair now blackened and her armour pockmarked with dirt and blood.

“Is she ok?!”

Vickers glowered at him sternly.

“She’s alive, she’ll make it to a medic, but we need Fowler now.”

“Good work Vickers.” Marius said hesitantly. “Let’s get moving.”

“Shut it, scrub. As soon as we get there I’m out of here.”

He placed Isla gently on the seat in front of him, supporting her from behind her with his arms on the handlebars. The two quads gunned as fast as they could along the gravel road, trailing the others who were already at the ridge, 150 metres away. Tracer fire started to light up the sky above the first arrivals.

“Platoon, status report”

“This is Gregson. Five, maybe six Terrans defending the Sunderer. They’re pinned down.”

“Roger, hold that line.”

In front of Marius, Nakano had her face deep in concentration just to hold the ATV on the stony road with the massive extra weight provided by his MAX suit. The engine whined in protest and Marius was jolted around mercilessly.

The base was enveloped in a haze of smoke and powder. On the west side, the air snapped and crackled a brilliant white as one of the nanite power tubes connected to the station was critically breached. Small puffs of fumes echoed every few seconds around the periphery – the Terrans were taking out the outer turrets one by one with explosives even while they continued to rail at the main compound with withering shells and flak.

But the Terran effort was too little, too late. The brittle, beetle-like carcass of the Amp Station was shredded to the point where the mega-tensile structure could support no more. First, the landing pads, hanging off the body like wings, folded into the shuddering columns and collapsed into the vacuum below. The spindly legs of the nanite tubes broke free of the torso and send the white flames of pure nanite energy erupting from the stumps. Finally, the organic roof of the edifice gave way below itself, disappearing into the void beyond the walls, and sending a sandstorm of black dust and smoke rolling along the walls, along the tracks of the fleeing ATVs, coming to a halt just metres behind Marius and Nakano.

Suddenly, the outer turrets stilled, and were silent. Landiss was no more.

“Alpha one is down.” Marius choked, through the sweat and blood. In between the battle cries over the radio there was a moment of solemn, respectful silence.

But the respite was short. As Nakano pulled in the ATV at the bottom of the short ridge, the cackle of rifle fire filled the air once again…

Last edited by Sonny; 2014-01-20 at 07:26 AM.
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Old 2013-01-30, 01:04 PM   [Ignore Me] #2
Micro
Sergeant Major
 
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Re: Alpha squad part 2 - The Breakout


Just awesome! Again, very well written!
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