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Old 2013-01-21, 03:22 AM   [Ignore Me] #1
Sonny
Contributor
First Sergeant
 
Alpha Squad


First part of a series, you can find the whole series, as well as other Planetside 2 lore stories on my website here: http://www.talesfromauraxis.com

ALPHA SQUAD

Dazed, Marius staggered into the generator room wall, barely holding up his MAX suit with his shaking arm. Alarms bleeped at him from all directions and warm hydraulic fluid spilled down the outside of his leg, staining the snow beneath his feet. His chest still heaved from the punches of the shotgun pellets, but luckily the last shot had only smashed his visor and no more; his body was just bruised and stinging under four inches of solid steel.
Nakano was there in seconds. A small, agile figure dodging in between the barriers and shrapnel, she tapped Marius’ helmet as she surveyed him with keen, professional eyes.

“Maz... You hear me?”

Marius could only nod, breathless and blind from the blood covering his eyes.

“Brace yourself, this may hurt…”

A burst of intense heat enveloped Marius from head to toe – a rush of energy that tore the air from his lungs like a popped balloon. His armour glowed and simmered red like molten lava as the cracks and fissures of the gunfire were fused together by the nano bots. Suddenly, the repair kit buzzed angrily.

“Sorry Maz, I’m all out. You’ll have to get a new helmet from stores.”

Marius gulped, and sighed in a weak voice “No worries mate. Thanks for the top up.”

Wordlessly, Nakano scurried back to the front.

For the first time in days, Marius felt the freezing Esamiran air biting his face through the smashed helmet. The dawning sun shimmered over the aching walls of Nott AMP station, thick stalactites of ice gleamed on the sagging roofs. Two hundred metres in front of him, across the rows of broken merlons and other make-shift barriers, stood the bowing and flickering blue glow of the base shield. Waves of bulbous energy danced across its surface as the Republican armour pounded it relentlessly yet ineffectively – with the generator still up, it was a futile action. Eight exhausted and battered New Conglomerate soldiers remained in Marius’ squad, clinging desperately to the North generator that decided the fate of the entire Autumn Conglomerate offensive on the continent.

His breath steadied, Marius picked himself up off the wall and started to shuffle slowly back to the main facility. Enormous glowing pipes soared one hundred metres into the sky, humming intermittently with the rapidly-draining nanite flow remaining in the base. In the centre, a bulbous structure towered over the outer walls, bent and smoky black from years of siege and counter-siege.

His mind wandered. Where the hell were the reinforcements? They had been ‘imminent’ for four days now. The base med bays were already full – the spawn tubes couldn’t recreate the fallen soldiers as fast than they came in. The base was cut off from any supply lines and the few remaining vehicles were barely serviceable. Marius himself was down to just five clips in each arm.

A world apart from ‘Commander’ Doran and his elite guard, of course. A board member of Hossin Steel, he kept his horde of Conglomerate lawyers, investors and other crony friends coddled in luxurious apartments within the most secure depths of the station. Beyond the lines of elite bodyguard mercenaries that not even the most decorated New Conglomerate grunt had the authority to access. Rebellion paymasters like Doran and his clique lived a life completely aloof from the blood and dirt. Their desperately-needed vehicles and weapons gathered dust in the vehicle bay while real soldiers like Marius slogged on – camped out for days, months, years in the chills, on the front line, fighting, hurting, dying and dying again for this so called ‘Freedom’ they were promised in the draft line.

‘Freedom’, hah! Marius spat on the floor, specks of blood splayed across the shrivelling snow. This war was just good business for the ‘Suits’. It was only the fresh memories of the Republican murders on Cyssor that kept him going now. After eighteen months of service, after seven lives served...

A shout shook him from his daydreaming. “ACRE, COMMS!”

Marius twisted his cumbersome battle suit as quickly as it would let him. Lieutenant Landiss, in his striking blue beret, motioned theatrically to his ears. Marius, confused, shrugged and shook his head. Landiss bounded over, evidently frustrated.

“Acre, why are you ignoring direct orders?”

His face carried an uncharacteristic grimace, highlighting the long scars running from mouth to ear under his thick stubble. Even respawns can’t repair the wounds you get before you join the Force. Marius’ voice shook with reverence as he spoke to him.

“Sorry sir. My visor and comms are down; I’m heading to stores to pick up another.”

Landiss, glanced briefly at his helmet with deep black eyes, then his face relaxed into his typical reassuring smile. He placed his hand on the young MAX-operator’s shoulder.

“Wooh, you took a lucky hit there Acre. Can you hold out here for ten more minutes? Michaels just got rushed to med bay… I think he lost an arm. You’re the only MAX unit we have left in the platoon for now, at least until they get the Nanite bed on the go. Delta squad just called in that the Republic are massing infantry at the North gate again. We’ll need your cover, just in case. Can you hold on for me just a little longer?”

Marius’ heart sank, but he nodded dutifully nonetheless.

“That’s right. You’re doing a great job, Acre. You saved lives back there, I saw it. Keep your head up, word on the grapevine is that we’re hauling out this evening.”

Landiss winked joyfully as he turned back to the point. Marius’ young heart swelled with pride. The legends about Landiss ran thick in the squad. Some say he’d been in the struggle since it began; that he had killed and died more times than Marius had spent days on the front line; that the only reason he wasn’t already Commander was that he was too popular with the grunts for the Suits’ liking. Whatever the truth, Lieutenant Landiss was a true legend on Esamir, and the Platoon would follow him to the centre of the Terran warpgate and back if he’d ask them to.

A faint sound interrupted his thoughts. High-pitched squeals echoed in the sky some kilometres away. Only one aircraft made such a sound. Terran Mosquito fighters.

“Sir!” he faltered “do you hear that?”

Landiss paused for a second, a curious look on his face.

“My ears aren’t what they used to be Acre, what is it?”

“Sounds like Skeeters to me sir.”

Landiss quickly cast his eyes up into the sky, seeing nothing behind the drifting clouds. The squad knew something was up – the shouting picked up intensity and the clicks of armed weapons once more behind the barricades. He buzzed the command channel.

“Hive this is Alpha, any crows in field? Over”

“Negative Alpha, field clear. Orders are hold your ground. Over.”

“Roger. Over and out.”

The roar of distant engines broke through a gap in the clouds; screams of fighter engines tore through the sound barrier. Looking up to the bright sky, Marius made out several inky dots on the horizon.

Landiss cursed under his breath “Well, shit…so much for radar…”

“This could be their push Acre. Where’s my cigar?” He pulled out a seemingly-ancient Havanan “Could you light that for me?”

Dutifully, Marius fired up his in-suit welding flame, almost singing Landiss’ face. Seemingly unperturbed, the Lieutenant buzzed Command a second time.

“Hive this is Alpha, crows in flight – I make out five, no six… repeat…”

Static…

“Hive this is…”

“...Good luck Landiss...”

Suddenly, an overwhelming grinding sound erupted from the interior of the base and the roar of engines enveloped the squad. A column of fresh armour burst out of the vehicle bay, streaming past Alpha squad at top speed. New Conglomerate insignia gleamed proudly on a trio of spotless Vanguard heavy tanks, followed closely by four ‘Sunderer’ armoured personnel carriers covered in row upon row of bulging ammunition pouches. The convoy showered the stupefied group with loose mud and gravel, headed directly for the North gate. Straight for the Terran front line.

A shriek of afterburners nearly bowled Marius full over and the centre of the base was blinded in burning white flame. Lumbering shadows of enormous troop transports rose from the landing pads that ringed the interior of the base. Six Reaver gunships catapulted out above them, taking up V formation majestically ahead of the unsteady behemoths. As a unit, they hovered metres above ground for a few seconds, then burned towards the North gate, fraying the soldiers below in the intense heat of their booster engines.

Some of the squad began to cheer and whoop as if they were saved. But Marius just stared in disbelief. Did they have any idea what was over the wall? This was suicide. The Terran armour turned their turrets towards the oncoming convoy, firing their engines into life, licking their lips at the prospect of long-sought destruction. The Conglomerate force slowed and tentatively, edged nervously through the bubble and…

Nothing.

The Conglomerate Reavers, inched into the grey skies and casually drifted into the distance, Galaxy troop transports vacillating behind them. In a matter of seconds, they were shrinking specks on the horizon.

No shells fired, no explosions, no carnage. As the last lightning tank pierced the blue glow, Marius felt a wave of nausea. Something was very, very wrong here.

“What. The…” mouthed Landiss in disbelief, then his face snapped in sudden, horrified recognition “They’ve left us… They’ve… They’ve come for me…”

Marius head was spinning as he desperately tried to compute what was going on. This made no sense at all! No... Wait... The Suits must have cut a deal with the Republican bastards. Marius pictured the macabre meeting. A field tent just metres from where Marius bled… “The base and those ‘irritating’ revolutionaries for your lives. No need to get your clothes dirty in some petty base battle … It’s not like you want the War to end, is it? War is good for business, right? In the end, it will be us, you and me, versus them…”
Lieutenant Landiss, shaking a little, somehow maintained his cool, tried to buzz command once more.

“Hive, this is Alpha, do you read? What’s going on?... I repeat, Hive, this is Alpha…”

He received only static. Landiss mashed his cigar with incredulity. The distant Terran aircraft were surely just minutes away. He switched to squad chat.
“Alpha, expect galaxy assault and air bombardment. Hold the generator at all costs.”

Two rocket-equipped heavy troopers jogged over to the pair. The first, wearing white forest camo armour had blonde hair billowing behind her slim back. She removed her helmet and Marius was greeted with a familiar, heavenly vision: Isla Aldon. Her flowing blonde hair bathed a delicate, pale, small-featured face. Her white-blue eyes pierced through him, and for a second, he forgot where he was. She gleamed at Landiss as she approached, even though her face was etched with worry.

“Stuart – I mean Sir – do you have any idea what just happened?” She said, suddenly red-faced.

“No, Sergeant, I can’t reach base on comms.”

“That was the Mercenary Corps?” interjected a third, gruff, angry voice. Corporal Vickers didn’t waste time on bullshit.

“Yes Vickers, that looked like all of them.”

“They cut the spawns, didn’t they?” he growled “I mean, let’s not cut crap here. I have a son –"

“VICKERS, shut it!” Aldon cried.

Sergeant Aldon sighed. She held her slender hands to her face, as if agonising in thought. The question hung heavy in the air, un-answered. Landiss broke the silence.

“We can’t do anything about that now. We have to get the platoon inside the main base. We can’t hold the yard with thirty. Aldon, get the message to Delta squad, I’ll call in Beta and Charlie.”

He’d barely finished when cries of alarm burst from the squad.

“INCOMING!”

Marius swooped around 90 degrees to face the dying base shield, its keen glow now only a fading spectre atop the hulls of the approaching armour. Two pitch-black Prowler battle tanks had already passed over the threshold of the outer wall and turned their turrets to bear on Alpha’s barricade, exposed dead in the middle of the courtyard.

“TAKE COVER!” screamed Landiss, as the first shells from the armoured column whistled through the air to slam into the side of the generator building, exploding into a dense haze of smoke and powder. A second came apart in front of the temporary steel barrier just metres from where Marius stood, blowing two unprepared soldiers flat onto their backs and showering the squad in glowing shrapnel.

“AV UP FRONT!”

Before Landiss had even finished his command, two rockets streaked past Marius, one collapsing into the side of the first battle tank, tearing a hole through the side of the main turret. A bright flash burst from under the second, white heat erupting from the ground. Shattered iron plates spewed from the centre of its broad hull as it crunched gently into the back of the first immobile Prowler. Thank God for minefields…

A ragged cheer rose from the line, quickly extinguished by a thick burst of rifle fire that pinged off the front of the crenelated barricade. The infantry were coming.

“SQUAD! WE ARE PULLING BACK. FALL BACK!” Landiss cried over the tumult.

Marius took up position at the rear of the squad as they filtered back to base, slowly stepping backwards with his front to the exposed gate. Several more Terran tanks, cautious now, edged gingerly past the flaming wreckage in front of the shield, accompanied by streams of infantry that used the thick smoke as cover. Soon enough, bullets started dinking off the buildings sprawled around Alpha squad’s retreat.

Switching to long-range slugs, Marius let off a few speculative shots off at the distant muzzle flashes, forcing the distant aggressors behind cover for a couple of precious seconds. Just enough time for Marius to reload. Taking his time to aim and cover, he soon realised that he was more than ten metres behind his retreating squad, exposed in the middle of the yard. But he didn’t have time to panic.

“ACRE! HOT DROP ON YOUR SIX!”

He turned up just in time to see dark figures crash into the snow around all him. Marius let off the first shot before even checking their uniforms, blasting straight through an engineer’s backpack. The second and third shots broke the front leg and smashed the Medic’s helmet. The rest of the clip crippled the barricade that a third young soldier clung to helplessly, now weapon less and bleeding in the reddening snow.

Desperately, Marius reloaded, just as bullets started to thud into his suit from the all sides. Protocol forgotten, he covered his bare face and ran at full pace towards the base. A shot almost tore straight through his back armour. Winded, he lost his footing and clattered into a pair of overturned barrels.

“ACRE!!”

Staccato bursts clacked rhythmically from in front of him and a grenade exploded, showering him with rocks and dirt. Suddenly, two arms grabbed him at both shoulders; allowing him to recover control over his legs once again. Powering to full height, he found himself looking at the wide-eyed faces of Landiss and Nakano.

“Three grunts behind wall on right.” Landiss cried, his voice intense but calm.

Marius nodded breathlessly and threw himself back to face the battle, more confident now covered by his two squad mates. He pounded shot after shot at the generator room complex, keeping heads down, guided backwards by Landiss’ steady hand on his shoulder. The bullets clattered around him and all he could do was grit his teeth and trust his composite exo-skeleton to hold together as he limped the last few metres of exposed ground. Behind him, the shouts of his squad became clearer, calling out targets, laying down covering fire. Finally, with a sea of red armour and infantry piling into the courtyard just 200m in front of him, Marius was behind the reassuring blow glow of the inner base shields.

Catching their breath, Alpha watched helplessly as the battle for the outer walls turned into a tragedy. Delta squad were now caught in a death trap as Terran shells pounded them from all sides. The last three soldiers – men and women who he was eating with in the mess hall just yesterday – fought to their last bullet in a desperate last stand. A sniper’s bullet cut through Evans’ helmet. Jacobs took down two oncoming light assault troopers before she was three-shotted through the chest. Sergeant Gunning, lost behind the last battlement, unpinned a grenade and fell onto a squad of massing Terran heavy troopers, unleashing a final cacophony of destruction that echoed across the entire base. Then, all of a sudden, there was complete silence.
Delta squad was no more.

Marius held his face in his hands, suddenly shaking with silent terror. He looked around the haggard faces of the eight troopers who remained on base. No spawns and no support. Alpha squad were on their own .

Last edited by Sonny; 2014-01-20 at 07:24 AM.
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Old 2013-01-22, 09:54 AM   [Ignore Me] #2
Micro
Sergeant Major
 
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Re: Alpha Squad


Very well written! I love it!
Can't wait for more!
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Old 2013-01-24, 11:18 AM   [Ignore Me] #3
CraazyCanuck
First Sergeant
 
Re: Alpha Squad


Well done. Bring on the next chapter
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Old 2013-02-28, 09:58 AM   [Ignore Me] #4
Koadster
Sergeant Major
 
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Re: Alpha Squad


LOVED IT! I was imaging in my head, in PS2 this was happening.. would have made a killer movie!

One thing made me sad though... I wish base sieges in PS2 lasted days or atleast hours instead of 5mins.
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