Mission 23


“Alright, I’m in position. Go, now. Just like we planned.”

Ravenshaw unslung her rifle off her back, resting it on the ledge of the roof. From atop the observatory, she was able to survey the whole site, carefully scanning the area. She eyeballed a few locations that could easily hide a pod of aliens- a shack, a semi, some HVAC units. She brought her eye down to her scope, fiddling with the focus, as she heard the sounds of running footsteps float up towards her. She glanced down and saw Sans Leon sprinting out of the observatory, towards a stack of crates. He waved, and Blacksmith and Xethyr Grey ran out as well, dispersing among the cover provided. Taking one last look around and not seeing anything, she said into the radio, “Bring out the VIP.”

More sounds of running footsteps and Catherine Vincent ran out, the man in the labcoat right behind her. As they were crossing the open ground, Ravenshaw saw a flash of movement from the shack near Leon as he shouted, “Contact, contact!”

3 Thin Men suddenly dashed out of the shack, and Ravenshaw tracked their movement. Leon fired a blast from his scatter laser, killing one. Ravenshaw got another with her laser rifle, but the last slipped behind what looked dangerously like a hazmat tank. From down below, Leon was directing Vincent to get the VIP to cover while Ravenshaw shouted, “Hold your fire! Don’t pierce the tank!”

Ravenshaw looked through the scope of her rifle, watching the ends of the tank. She steadied her breathing, slowly filling her lungs with air through her nose and exhaling through her mouth. She kept her finger on the trigger, looking for any sign of movement, when there was the unmistakable silhouette of a Thin Man’s arm. She kept herself from shooting, and was glad she did when the arm disappeared back behind the tank.

“One target, eastern side, no danger to any of you. Keep moving the VIP to the Skranger,” muttered Ravenshaw, keeping her eye to the scope. Suddenly, the Thin Man lurched and spit at her, and she instinctively fired. The laser bored a hole through the alien’s head, and she had half a moment to feel relief when the poison barb bounced against her armor, popping and releasing a cloud of noxious smoke.

Immediately, her eyes started to water and she coughed, feeling the burning sensation start to filling her lungs. She started to hack violently and stumbled out of the cloud, waving her hand in front of her face to clear the air. Her earpiece exploded with concern from the squad, and she sputtered out, “I’m fine, keep it moving you idiots.”

Ravenshaw leaned against the ledge, gulping down fresh air and blinking her eyes rapidly. She could feel the foul air being cleared out of her lungs, but heard the sound of plasma fire off in the distance. She looked up through her watery eyes, seeing only blurs. She rubbed her eyes, trying to clear them, while she set up her rifle on the ledge once more. There was the sound of laser fire bring returned and shouting, and she was finally able to see that the squad had run across another pod of Thin Men. Two had already been slain, and she watched Xethyr Gray pop out of cover and fire a laser, killing the remaining Thin Man.

“Good job guys,” Ravenshaw said hoarsely, “Anyone hurt?”

“Negative, Drac 1. We’re all good.”

“Alright. You’re pretty close to the Skyranger, but don’t get complacent.”

Vincent still retained close custody of the scientist while Leon, Blacksmith, and Gray all fanned out in front of her and Paddon pulled rearguard. The squad had cleared ground with impressive quickness, close to the Skyranger, but there was still the matter of the semi. She saw Leon start to approach it, and said over the radio, “Be careful, Drac 4.”

“What do you think I’m doing?” he replied sarcastically, creeping around the corner. She heard him shout from a distance, running back around the semi. The out of sight enemies fired from behind the semi towards Vincent, who shoved the civilian to the ground. The squad tried returning fire to no avail, and quickly Vincent unslung her rocket tube and aimed it at the semi. She fired the rocket and it slammed against the semi, both the ordnance and truck detonating. A black plume of smoke flew into the sky, and with little prompting, Vincent picked up the civilian and made a dash for the nearby Skyranger. They both dashed past the semi and out of sight, but after a few short moments Leon called out over the radio, “The VIP is secure, Drac 1. We’ll hold the area for you here.”

Ravenshaw raised her eyebrows, feeling a mixture of surprise and pride at the squad, before replying, “Roger that. Moving to you now.”


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