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Fan Fiction: Task Force Door Keepers 
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Post Fan Fiction: Task Force Door Keepers
Onboard the ECS 103 Europe
TF Doorkeeper
Esperanza Jump Point
20 October 2160

Sometimes, the short straw jobs do become the most important ones… even when it’s likely anything that DID happen would mean it could be the final one. Not for the first time, Fleet Admiral Nema Dakkar mused this as she looked at the master plot of her small fleet versus the expanse ahead of them.

With the Scouting crews being overdue, the Prabu supply ship had returned and a minor panic had set in among the Admiralty. Without knowledge of about what had happened to the ships sent out, arguments developed within the halls of Command as to what direction to pursue. Much hand wringing was done and when the screaming stopped, long time theoretical plans became primary ones as established plans got revised or tossed. So much was NOT known about either the Loroi or the Umniak though they at least had some ideas as to potential reception. What was known about at least the latter race… did serve to spur some focus.

Humanity’s natural revulsion to insects helped with that focus… and in turn, the various Tech-houses really ramped up their R&D plans. The Orgus ship was seriously studied and at least two moments of sheer brilliant experiments bore results.

The first was the combined retro-engineering the engines of the Orgus vessel and its systems. Not that it was an incredibly fast ship but it had been able to go twice as fast as the swiftest Earth craft… and its dampeners (for lack of a better term) were as advanced as the engines. The scientists at Technodyne had managed to get a leap ahead here and no time was wasted in beginning to engineer new systems to upgrade and or build into new ships. This also helped with torpedo systems but the quirks were still being worked out there. That the torpedoes were ready before the software was strangely appropriate, given Humanity’s usual creation curve….

The second was no less of import but more in terms of firepower. Franklin Labs of Mars had studied the hell out of the shipboard power systems and wiring… which led to a means to enhance the power of laser weapons and in turn assist Daammgard Systems with their Mjolnir’s focusing. Both systems gained in power and range- half again for the Lasers and a third for the heavier cannon.

These advances were not without danger- at least one prototype of the new Mjolnir blew up during testing… but the error was found and a correction implemented. And of course, the *fixes* were shipped out to the fleet because time was considered of the essence.

Nema let out a quiet snort at that last thought. Indeed…. Time is always of the essence until you either run out of it or discover you had plenty. At least some of the upgrades made it to the task force…

She turned from the Master Plot and strode to her command chair. “Mister Sanchez,” She called out in her clipped English to her Exec. “Bring the fleet to General Quarters…”

“Aye Aye,” Sanchez replied and tapped a button on the console next to him, a grim smile on his face as speakers throughout the ship and on other craft within the nine ship fleet…

“Attention All Hands, Task Force Door Keeper, Attention All Hands…. ACTION STATIONS…. All Hands Action Stations…. General Quarters, General Quarters, General Quarters….”
***

ECS 204 Brasilia

As the sound of the general call echoed throughout the fleet, the Captain of the Brasilia shook her head as she studied her hands. Steadier than I thought, Captain Alexis Netarvich thought to herself as she then looked up at her bridge crew and their bustling going through systems checks. You knew this was a dangerous mission to volunteer for… why are you worried now?

Netarvich’s Exec turned to his captain. “Ma’am…. All stations report Green Status.” A pause. “Even Medical.”

A slight chuckle as she leaned back into her command chair, hands forgotten. “Well then, Mister Hopkins, signal Flag that we are Ready as we are going to be...”
A nod to communications and Hopkins replied. “Done and done.”

***

Similar scenes played out on the Yorktown, Agincourt and the two Fire Support destroyers- Freeman and Cunningham as they all reported ready to Flag. Bringing up the rear of all the ships was the two Haynes class frigates McGarry and Moss, and the attached transport Prabu… who had done an excellent job in turning around from their last mission and joined up a few days prior.


Sanchez looked at the status board of the fleet and spoke. “All ships report ready, Ma’am”

Nema was silent for a few hearbeats then tugged at the cuffs of her uniform coat. With turn of her head, she acknowledged the news. “Very good. Fleet wide broadcast please.”

The communications officer to the right of the bridge quickly tapped a few commands in. “Set and ready, Ma’am.”

“Very good, Ms Lyon. On my mark…. Mark.”



The voice of the Indian Captain was clear and sure, her accent present but strongly subdued in her clipped English as the message was sent to all ships….


“To all hands of Task Force Door-Keeper… We are now embarking on a trip into the unknown that a hundred years ago would have been considered a flight of fancy… science fiction and indeed, many a novel has been written on subjects of space, aliens and the possibility of contacts with said aliens.

We have been fortunate in that our first meeting was peaceful… but with it came news of conflict far from our range of systems.

For some… This would be impetus to remain where we are and not seek out new worlds nor races. But there is one truth…. A fundamental one inherent to our species… WE must explore.

Be it the deepest reaches of the oceans or the blackest voids of space…. The need to see what’s out there is part of our DNA, be it a small part or large… As has been pointed out, We may brave Human Laws but we cannot resist natural ones.” She paused here, a slight smile upon her face as she added a variation of another quote of a favorite…

“The Human Mind delights in Grand Conceptions of supernatural beings…. And in places those beings dwell. And it is this delight that helps fuel our drive forward and outward.
And woe unto us to remain content in the now when the future is waiting, like the rest of the universe to be explored.

We already know the dangers involved in our profession… and the possibility of Conflict as a result of what we are about to do. But do we must… for the lack of knowing what lies beyond… will surely drive us mad if it did not drive us forward…. For it will help us in our Journey forward.

Our Scout brothers went first and who knows what sights they saw for none have returned. And so… We go again. This time to where they set off from… for any coming to us is likely to go through there.

We go in force in case of conflict… and believe me when I say we are not looking for a fight. We know how to fight, to be sure… but it is also important in knowing when one should. I trust that I have that understanding as does those who sent us here.

We know how to fight and when one should… and if The Gods are willing, we hopefully will not have to prove we can. And if we must, let us not be found wanting…”

Fleet Captain Nema Dakkar, all five foot six of her, sat up straighter in her chair if it were even possible to do so. Not one to show emotion of any kind when events were serious, a tiny bit crept into her voice as she spoke the next words. “All ships…. Stand By to Jump.”

***

Across the fleet, navigators rechecked their settings… the movement plan had a specific order and it had been practiced repeatedly on the way here. If nothing else, Dakkar had plans and contingencies drilled into her fleet’s command staffs… and even made it a competition between them on who could master the plan first.

And master it they did. Now that it was time to put it into practice, not a single command wanted to be the one to blow it.

All eyes were on speakers…. And Navigator hands hovered over jump drive controls.

***
Nema’s pause seemed like forever… but in reality, the time was only five seconds.

“Task Force Door Keeper…. Initiate Jump!”

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The Philosophical Kensai

Still trying to master my craft...
As all Saints of the Sword do.


Sat Oct 05, 2019 8:14 pm
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Post Re: Fan Fiction: Task Force Door Keepers
Nice ! Though I gotta wonder if the TCA would actually send out even more ships in the event of all the Scout vessels failing to return.
Personally I would wait and develop as much tech advances as I could.

This was just a one-shot right ? or do you have plans for anything further?


Tue Oct 08, 2019 9:30 pm
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Post Re: Fan Fiction: Task Force Door Keepers
Username wrote:
Nice ! Though I gotta wonder if the TCA would actually send out even more ships in the event of all the Scout vessels failing to return.
Personally I would wait and develop as much tech advances as I could.

This was just a one-shot right ? or do you have plans for anything further?


I thought about this a bit... and I can see the TCA sending a small fleet to the point the Prabu had been at originally. If the Scouts were late coming back, they'd be there... and its not like Humans don't send more resources down rabbit holes now. :)

Its a race... Bellamarine would be top of the line for the time frame it was built.... but with the minor tweeks in hte story, it's behind the curve.

If an enemy studies the ships, they won't expect an increase of ability in gear- which is an edge.

The Japs knew all about the p-36 and p-40's along with early carrier birds. Better craft was in play within three to five months for land fighters... and within 7 months for Carrier based. Not in time really for Midway but pretty close.

I do have some plans for other stories in the time line... I need to read up on Sub Tactics and go over what the Boss has written on bug tactics/gear/sensors before I do anything resembling a engagement.

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The Philosophical Kensai

Still trying to master my craft...
As all Saints of the Sword do.


Wed Oct 09, 2019 5:20 pm
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Post Re: Fan Fiction: Task Force Door Keepers
(Filler background piece)

Marine Berthing Spaces
ECS 103 Europa

The Marines on board the flagship didn’t have much to do when the ship was at action stations normally but with this Fleet Captain, orders were passed down via the chain that all marines were to be part of DC parties if they were not actively resisting a boarding or being sent to board.

Some of the younger marines bristled at this- they were aboard to shoot things, not fix them damnit- and the grumbling reached platoon sergeant ears.

Which is why Master Gunnery Sergeant McCoy showed up at the cabin of the Marine Commander. A rap on the wall of the open hatch got the attention of the occupant inside.

“Enter!” The voice of Marine brevet-Major James (Jim) Ganic was heard from within and McCoy entered the compartment.

“Major… Got time for a chat?’ McCoy led with, the unspoken agreement that this was off record.

Jim came out of the back area of the compartment, wiping his hands on a small towel. “A Chat? To what are we discussing?” A smile graced his face though not his eyes as he watched his mohawked senior NCO.

McCoy came in and took a seat in one of the chairs. “Some grumbling… and before I nip it in the bud, I need some history, Boss.” The Senior Non-Com leaned back in his seat. “Its minor but there is some resentment over Dakkar and her make-work orders.”

Jim listened and chuckled. “The men don’t like being on Damage Control, do they?” He asked as he reached into the small fridge for a bottle of what looked like tea.

“Nope…” Was the reply. “As Corp Kissinger put it, he signed up to break shit, not fix it….”

A shake of the head as Jim handed the bottle over to McCoy before fetching one for himself. “Ah Kissinger….” He mused as he popped the top of the bottle in hand.. “What do you know of Captain Dakkar, Augie?”

A shrug as Augie popped his bottle open. “Not that damn much, Jim,” He said as he used the Major’s first name; the two had known each other for years and the standing rule was no ranks for off record conversations. “All I know of her is she’s an engineer with a creative streak and a mind like a titanium trap. Supposedly was Wet Navy before joining the spacers…. Which explains her age, I suppose. Not many spacer officers over thirty-five unless they Flag Rank, much less the rumored fifty she supposedly is.”

Jim took a pull from his drink. “Well… you got some of it right. Nema is 56- was a Wet Navy Captain for a bunch of years before she aced the entry exams.”
“56?”
“Yep…. And has a degree in Nuclear Physics as well as Aerospace Engineering,” Jim added. “I think there is another degree or three in there too… I recall seeing it in a record somewhere. Eidetic memory too… which can be spooky as hell at times.
Not that I know her that well… We’ve known each other professionally for years back when I was part of the Joint Forces Commando. Launched once from her boat…”

He paused, remembering the mission in question. “Her boat retrieved us too… while we were being chased by god knows what.”

Augie looked at his commander. “She was the one that yanked you guys out of that shitshow off Mindoro? The one with like a dozen speed boats and all the AK’s?”
A nod. “Yep.”

The Gunny shook his head. “Ok…. That explains a few things. She was a sub captain. Goddamn ballsy…”

Jim nodded again. “It was ballsy as hell move on her part to surface in that mess… Subs not exactly being resistant to guns... But she doesn’t run and her crew are all good shots… Or at least they were that night.

Expects the absolute best of her people and lives to her expectations too. From what I understand, those who served with her will say she is the reason why they got where they went in their careers. And it wasn’t until that mission that I understood her saying- ‘Amateurs practice until they can get it right… Professionals practice until they can’t get it wrong‘…”

“I’ve heard that saying,” Augie said. “And it does make sense, after a fashion. Muscle memory and all that.”

A sip. “Damn true statement… But yeah, I’ve been friends on a pro level with her since around then. I made a point to send her a gift when she got accepted to the Fleet here. And I would not be surprised if she brought it with her…”

A lifted eyebrow. “A gift? What gift do you get a sub captain going into space?”

A chuckle. “Her very own twentieth century SOCCOM. Inappropriate as hell, I suppose… but she does know how to use it. She used to carry an ancient Webley that was her fathers... Anyway, If we wind up being boarded, don’t expect her to sit there and take it…

A laugh. “Gods, I hope she never gotta prove that.”

“You and I both, Augie. You and I both…”

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The Philosophical Kensai

Still trying to master my craft...
As all Saints of the Sword do.


Fri Nov 01, 2019 7:07 am
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Post Re: Fan Fiction: Task Force Door Keepers
Somewhere in the Wastelands
31 October 2160

The Human Fleet jumped into being more or less in formation as it had several times since Esperanza, patrol frigates forward and to the sides and the rest of the ships surrounding the Europa. As soon as the ships materialized, over the next seven point eight seconds every craft triggered maneuver thrusters to address positioning issues…. And then went dark.

No Lights. No Emissions to speak of related to signals… nothing. Nine small pools in space of nothing… which is how the fleet’s commander wanted it.

***

Nema sat in her command chair and listened to the quiet bustle around her. Stations reported status and Sensors watched their systems like a hawk hunting for a tasty rabbit, looking for any EM signatures- human or otherwise- that would show on passives.

After a full minute, the Sensors Officer turned to Nema. “Silent Running Protocol check complete, Ma’am. Fleet is 100 percent compliant to our sensors. No local EM signatures detected. Initial System scan indicates no unknown signals.”

A nod. “Very Good, Lieutenant. Please check drone status and launch when ready.”
A glance by the officer at the status board to verify- she had been expecting this request- and her gaze returned to the Captain. “Ma’am, Recon Drone ready for deployment. Awaiting your word.”

A slight smile. “Very Good. The Word is given.”

The Lieutenant turned back to her station and tapped a few keys. “Recon Drone launched.”

***

From the forward bay of the Europa, a craft the size of a 20th century SUV launched and streaked its way on internal thrusters, the engines shielded from view. The vessel trailed a microline tether which detached about a thousand meters out.

As the tether reeled back in, the newly freed device scooted away and headed deeper into the system, its passives just as good as the parent ship’s. A directional com-unit maintained connection with the fleet and unless one knew what to look for, the signal would be missed.

The gamble was that whomever might be out there… would miss it.


Not that there was anyone present to SEE anything. At least alive…

***

Some two hours later, Nema was in her stateroom thumbing through a manual, a large caliber pistol in partial disassembly on a tray with cleaning supplies next to it when her comm chimed. “Dakkar,” she spoke as she laid a finger on the answer button.

“Captain,” It was Lyons. “Mister Sanchez requests your presence on the Bridge. Recon found a derelict vessel.”
A lifted eyebrow. “Indeed. I will be there in about two minutes.”
“Aye aye”

Nema reached over and with a practiced motion, fast wiped off the cleaning solution and reassembled the pistol. Siding the magazine back into the weapon, she returned it to the custom leather holster and placed it back on her stateroom desk. She did not need to be armed right this second… but having it ready for use made sense.

Putting on her tunic, she straightened it out and headed for the bridge.

**

As she entered the Bridge, Sanchez looked back to the lift door and rose from the command seat as the Marine on duty at the door called out, “Captain on the Bridge”

“As you were,” Nema commented immediately and stepped over to Sanchez. “Details, Mister Sanchez….”

“Minimal, Captain. Right now, we have what appears to be a Bennet Class ship drifting oblique to the galactic plane,” He said as she took the seat. “No EM Signature to speak of and her engines appear to be fully offline. Drone is going in for a closer look.”

She took in the holo-plot in the air in front of her. “No other signatures or anomalies?”
“No ma’am… If not for sharp-eyed analysis of the quarter hour ping, we might have missed her for another hour or so. She would have been found but not this fast.”

Nema looked at her XO at that statement. “Oh?”

Sanchez nodded. “Yes ma’am… McKinsley noticed the anomaly and I ordered the drone to close with it. IF it was something, I wanted proof before I disturbed you.”

“Very good. How soon to intercept?”

“About thirty five minutes until I risk another data-ping. Drone should be able to identify what ship it is by then.”

She pondered this. “Understood. Good job,” She said and turned to leave. “In thirty minutes, take the fleet out of Silent Running and put us at Yellow Alert. Please request Major Ganic to the bridge at that time as well.”
She smiled. “We may have some work other than fixing things for his men…”

“Ayeaye” Sanchez replied as the Captain exited the bridge and he sat back in the command seat. Looking over at sensors, he chuckled. “Ok… lets get some cleaner data, folks. If ANYTHING seems goofy, tell me…”

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The Philosophical Kensai

Still trying to master my craft...
As all Saints of the Sword do.


Sun Nov 03, 2019 9:28 am
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Post Re: Fan Fiction: Task Force Door Keepers
(Marine Berthing- Europa)

The com in Major Ganic’s berthing chirped. “Major Ganic, Bridge”

Jim looked up from his tablet, a book on its screen. Getting up he went to the panel by the room desk. “Ganic.”
“Major, Lt Lyons. Captain requests your presence on the Bridge in ten. Yellow Alert also in ten.”
A sigh. “Absolutely. I’ll be there. Ganic out.”

Jim turned to his chair and grabbed his uniform blouse. This should be enlightening… She never calls me to the bridge.

Exiting his stateroom, he saw Augie in the common space given to the NCOs and officer. “Guns… Stand-to in ten”
Augie for his part, never looked up from the tablet he was looking at. “Right… Drill?”
Jim answered on his way out the door. “Not if I am going to the Bridge…”

Augie looked up at that and caught sight of the door closing. “Ah fuck.” Getting up, he stepped over to the passageway that led to the platoon space. If the Old Man was going uptown, life was going to get interesting.


(Bridge, Europa)

Jim entered the bridge just as Nema was settling into her command chair, skin-suit on and of all things, her holster strapped on. In the holo tank was something he had not been expecting- the image of a rather chewed up Bennett Class scout.

As he stepped near her, the chimes for Yellow Alert sounded.

“All Ships, All hands…. General Quarters… Yellow Alert…. All Ships All Ahands…. Yellow Alert…. “


The Marine looked over at the Naval Captain. “I take it this is why you wanted me up here?” He said with a nod towards the holo-tank.
Nema was silent as she studied the imagry. “Major.. that is the ECS-150 Utsumi… or what appears to be, at least.” The image rotated in the tank. “She was spotted by sensors about an hour ago and we have been refining data while closing.

It would appear she was engaged by weaponry unknown but obviously potent judging by some of the scorching. Signs of what may be a breaching pod are present on the lower decks-“ She lifted a small infrared laser pointer as she halted the image’s spin and activated the laser to point out specific spots. “- at this location and this location. It is unknown what may have been encounterd… but given the ship made it to the old Rendezvous site, one suspects that they were attempting to get back with a warning.”

Jim studied the image. “I suspect the warning did make it but about whom is the question.”

“Precisely,” She said. “I daresay your men are about to have an opportunity to do something other than fix things…”

He winced and mentally shook his head. He should have known she would know about the grumbles. “Yes it does, Captain. How soon do you think?”

“Call it about fifteen minutes, Major. I strongly recommend caution and lethal munitions,” Nema commented. “Whatever did this may still be aboard and to borrow one of your sayings, a tad 'pissy' and in no mood to talk…”

A chuckle. “Yeah… I imagine so. Permission to go brief the teams going?” He asked, knowing that a data package was likely already sitting qued on his platoon screens.

“Of course. This is your business, Major. My job is to get your there… and get you out if needed.”

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The Philosophical Kensai

Still trying to master my craft...
As all Saints of the Sword do.


Sun Nov 03, 2019 3:58 pm
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Post Re: Fan Fiction: Task Force Door Keepers
Shuttlebay

Major Ganic looked over the two teams with a poker face from hell. Quite possibly the most important mission for the Corps ever and he was not the one boarding first. In the planning session, it was determined that one of them had to stay behind as a just in case measure… and he lost the RPS test with McCoy. Didn’t mean he wasn’t going… just meant he wasn’t boarding with the first groups…

Damnit.


“Alright Marines…” The aforemented Master Gunnery Sergeant McCoy said. “Lets go over it again. Once we are within fifty meters, directed scan. Once scan complete, 103-1 will approach the ship and attempt to link with the emergency docking hatch on the dorsal side. Once we link up with the hatch, Winks will try to power it up, get a systems scan if its even possible… and get the hatch open.

Kissinger, once it’s open, you and Montgomery are through the portal and will secure the area followed by myself and Masterson. Winks will bring up the rear along with Mongo with his SAW. Per the Captain, lethal munitions ARE authorized but pick ya damn targets….”

The marines all nodded, with Kissinger having a big grin. “Why not have everyone have the Boarding Shotty’s, Gunny? If we are going lethal, those leave a big damn mark…”

“Because you might need more than ten rounds, smart ass. I’ve seen you shoot.” Laughter answered the comment from the rest of the marines. “You got the sub gun and you’ll like it.”
“Ayeaye, Gunny…” Kissinger said. “You get to catch Montgomery if she has to shoot though…”

More laughter from the squad as Montgomery slugged Kissinger on the shoulder. “Laddie… ‘tis why I have Magboots,” the diminutive red haired marine retorted, her Scots accent lacing her words. “So I dinnae drift off when I’m killin’ things in space. I’ve more sense than thae gods gave a gnat as opposed tae thae likes o’ you… An’ I a betta shot too…”

Some more laughter then McCoy made a “cut it” gesture. “ANYways… once in, we clear the passages and head to the bridge. 103-2 will attempt to board through the port side umbilical once we are starting for the bridge and they will head to Engineering.
Gunny Aldric, your team will see to the power core as to if it can be re-powered up or not. If not, then we rig your shuttle for emergency power as we trained for.”

Gunnery Sergeant Aldric grunted around his ever-present pipe from his position with team 2. “Should be a walk in the park, McCoy. If it can be powered up, Corporal Sterling will get it done. I’ve doubts though… That ship looks like shite.”

“Yeah… but the hull looks intact enough- the engines didn’t look like slag. Hopefully the datacores aren’t scrap.” Corporal Sterling spoke up, after looking at the datapad with Bennett schematics in his hand. “If they are, then I’m gonna need a miracle; the Shuttle can’t run much bigger than a Stein-class Cargo Craft powercore.”

McCoy shrugged. “Either way, we worry about it when we gotta worry about it.” A steely eyed gaze over the squads. “Any questions?” When none was forthcoming, McCoy nodded. “Alright then… Marines, grab your kit, gun up and let’s get it on…”

The squads turned around and went to where their gear was grounded. Each Marine was in the latest Hahne-Kedar Janissary combat armor- a tortoise shell style that encased the torsos and major limbs (bracer and greaves). The helmets were armored affairs, with a vision slit giving 120 degrees of view. It connected to the armor at the collar and offered the wearer the ability to toggle between normal and infrared, with a mod to allow point targeting without using sights.

Most marines used the targeting add-on as missing a shot in this environment could go poorly…

All the marines carried a heavy pistol in addition to their primary weapon- either a semiauto shotgun or a bullpup 7mm Carbine. The SAW that Mongo, a beefy two meter tall Marine carried, was a variant of the 20th century RPK capable of using either its drum magazine or the ones issued to the marines with the Carbines. All carried grenades- everyone was issued two flash-bang style and one fragmentation. Each marine carried a small wound kit and several armor patches. The auto-seal nature of the armor usually worked but one could be never certain…

Winks carried a compact tool-kit as well as an Engineer’s tablet; the tech-minded marine always swore he could get into anything with both and had proven it several times. This go, everyone hoped he’d not have to again. Sterling on Team 2 carried much the same- though his kit carried an additional micro-plasma cutter because You Never Know.

All in all… it was a very well armed group that boarded the shuttles.

Jim watched the marines board the Shuttles and registered Nema’s presence next to him. “Before you ask, yes I wish I won.”

Nema was silent. “I understand, James. But even I learned that you have to trust those you trained to do their work and to do it right.”
He sighed. “I know… “


Assault Shuttle 103-1
Rendezvous Point Alpha


Soundlessly, the craft and its sister vessel, 103-2, drifted from the shuttle bay of the Europa on minimal power. Aboard each was a six man combat squad of Terran Marines and within a half-minute, both craft scooted through the space separating their parent craft and the derelict scout.

Behind them, the Fleet went dark again as Silent Running Protocols were enacted once more.

If someone stumbled on them while this was going on, the fleet might get the jump on whomever it was…. Or at least make them wonder what those black voids were in sensors, if even noticed.

103-1 stopped about fifty feet from the wreck. The craft’s sensors, while not super robust, were potent enough to detect energy and EM signals from a target supposedly lying doggo. The better to avoid a site ambush.

When nothing blatant showed on systems, the shuttle closed with the craft. After what seemed like an eternity to those watching from the fleet vessel, the shuttle locked onto the hull and work began getting in.

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The Philosophical Kensai

Still trying to master my craft...
As all Saints of the Sword do.


Thu Nov 07, 2019 3:06 pm
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Post Re: Fan Fiction: Task Force Door Keepers
Assault Shuttle 103-1

The marines of 103-1 waited as patiently as possible while the wizardry of Winks worked on getting the hatch to cycle. And Winks was interspersing every mental review of a Bennett’s systems with a few choice words on the parentage of it’s designers…

Finally, after what seemed like an eternity, the hatch light flashed green. “That did it…” Winks said as he slid to the side, his tablet still attached to the access point. “No blips on the other side, basic engineering scan shows temp at about seven Celsius… Oxygen is at 18%... and I can’t tell if there is any other gases in the mix. Grav is still on and present. Better than expected I guess. Opening in four…. Three… Two… One…” And he cycled the hatch open.

First one through was Montgomery, her shotgun pointed forward and sweeping the area. Kissinger with his Carbine did the same and after four seconds of search, McCoy and Masterson stepped through followed by Mongo then Winks. McCoy shined a light on the wall looking for signs of battle and didn’t note any. Taking stock, he nodded to himself and tapped Montgomery on the shoulder. “Move Out…”

And she did, the rest of the marine contingent covering her as they all advanced up the hall. McCoy tapped his com and spoke low. “Tango Alpha in and advancing…”

ECS-103 Bridge

Nema and Jim watched the first team advance up the hall on the split screen as the other team worked on getting in via the port Umbilical. And it was the port squad that found the first…. Casualties.

103-2

“Gunny…” Specialist Sienna McKenna called out to her team lead as she crossed into the hallway outside the docking chamber. “Vics…”
Aldric stepped forward to shine his light and cam on the bodies. “Well now…” Was all he muttered as he took in the sight.

Laying sprawled on the passageway was three very dead crewmen armed with what looked to be light weapons- tasers from what it looked like- along with one sharpened pool cue. The bodies were in various states of damage but all looked like they had been stabbed or slashed, with one person nearly headless.

Aldric reached down to the most intact of the three and closed the deceased’s eyes as he examined the wounds. “Penetration trauma… some exsanguination… and possibly less than a week old.”

McKenna let out a start as she continued to cover down the hallway. “What?” Before Gunny could reply, Sterling spoke.
“Possible… it’s cold in here but blood will still congeal and dissipate. Considering the oxygen levels in the air still… there may be survivors if they have supplies. There also may be remaining Xenos on board too…”

At that, the rest of the marines in Team 2 paid Real Close Attention to everything around them and in the passage way.

“Aye… time to let McCoy know,” Aldric replied and shifted channels. “Tango Alpha, Tango Bravo”

103-1

[-Alpha, Tango Bravo]
McCoy lifted an eyebrow and answered. “This is Alpha.”
[Situation change. Found three ships crew KIA. Non-projectile Penetration Trauma mostly. Estimate no less than a week old.]

McCoy blinked. “Week old?”
[That’s our guess. I’m no doc but I know a thing or two… Sterling agrees. Not much more than a week ago. That we still have Grav also lends to this thinking too.]
“I did wonder about the Grav thing… Alright, this changes some shit but not a lot.”
[Agreed. We are moving for Engineering right now. If anyone is actually left it will be there or Sickbay. Our victims had tasers]

McCoy considered this. “Or even the bridge…. But I’m thinking you might be right. Charlie Mike it. Will advise when we get to the Bridge. Stay frosty… what ever killed them may still be kicking too…”
[My Mother did say to never say you were bored- the universe has a way of fixing that.]
Laughter. “Yup… She’s right. Good luck.”
[Mother was pretty smart… Same to you. Bravo out.]

_________________
The Philosophical Kensai

Still trying to master my craft...
As all Saints of the Sword do.


Fri Dec 27, 2019 7:55 am
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