OEPRATION LOST FOG
MACHESTER, UNITED KINGDOM
“Watch the left, watch the left!”
“They’re moving around the shack!”
Ran listened to the shouts from the squad as he scanned the area around the shack. It had become the focal point of a pitched battle as the squad engaged two Heavy Floaters and 3 Mutons, though they appeared to be sporting significantly improved armor and weapons. Suddenly, Ran caught a flash of movement from the roof of the shack and saw a Heavy Floater rocketing to a higher altitude.
“Take it down!”
The alien brought the full force of the squad, plasma and laser piercing its armor until it was a twisted mass, and it fell to the roof of the shack with an audible thunk. The second suddenly dodged from behind the shack, but was quickly dispatched by a shot from Oranis’s railgun.
“Reloading!” called out Oranis. Taking advantage of the brief reprieve, Maxwell tried to get the squad to fan out amongst the cover provided, saying, “Keep your weapons topped of. Stay alert.”
Ran quickly loaded a fresh plasma battery into his rifle, and he heard the click from Man’s laser rifle as he did the same. Suddenly, one of the Mutons in red armor thrust himself out of cover and attempted to cross the short gap between the shack and the train, but was intercepted by the squad’s fire. Ran watched his plasma bolt connect with the alien, boring a hole through its torso armor and dropping it, but he heard the rapidly fire of a heavy plasma and Oranis shouted, “2 on the right!”
Instinctively, Ran ducked, but saw Burning Man absorb the volley a few feet away. His Titan Armor crumpled under the force of it, small rivulets of metal flying off as he fell to the ground.
“MEDIC!” shouted Ran, adjusting his rifle to get a view on the new threats. He saw 2 of the Mutons on the right side of the building, firing down at the squad, before Ran could retaliate Topnotch had already fired a rocket in their direction, detonating directly on one of the Mutons. For all their armor it clearly stunned the Mutons, allow Comrade to sprint back towards the snipers’ position. Ran fired a plasma bolt at the lead Muton, but was horrified to watch it go wide as the aliens collected themselves and started to reposition themselves behind cover. Thankfully, Maxwell was able to lob a grenade under them, keeping the pressure on. With their cover shattered, Oranis lumbered in front of them and sprayed his flamethrower, dousing the area in flaming jelly. The jellied Elerium stuck to the alien armor as they staggered backwards, screaming as the flames quickly consumed them. They fell to the ground, smoldering corpses inside their armor, and Oranis called out, “Contacts down!”
Ran glanced over towards Comrade and Burning as the squad’s medic pushed the medikit into the wound, injecting the medical compound into it. Burning gasped and started to stir, though he didn’t sit up.
“Chimera 7 is stabilized,” reported Comrade over the radio, “Though he won’t be able to continue on the mission.”
“Roger that. Make sure he’s in a safe place, we’ve gotta continue sweeping the AO.”
Comrade looked up at Ran, confused, and replied, “Sir, I don’t think it’s safe-“
“You’re a soldier first and medic second, Chimera 4. Get him in a safe place and rally on the squad.”
Ran dashed over to Comrade and helped him pick up Burning, before moving him into a position behind a stack of pallets. He was barely conscious, muttering to himself, and Comrade placed him gently on the ground, leaving a canteen next to him. The two soldiers ran over towards train tracks where the rest of the squad had gathered and Maxwell made a gesture to be quiet, signalling 3 contacts nearby. Ran quietly slipped into a nearby boxcar that offered a view of the highway that ran under the tracks, and saw 3 Mutons spread out among the cars below. They were obviously alert, having heard the battle that had taken place, and Ran kept a low profile as the rest of the squad moved into position. After a few moments of quiet, he heard the Oranis’s mortar fire as it landed in between the 3 Mutons, spraying them all with the shrapnel. Ran fired with his plasma rifle and dropped one of the Mutons, while a flurry of laser fire dropped another. The remaining Muton sprinted deeper into the highway, trying to flee the squad, but suddenly stopped, dropping its rifle and clutching its heads, before falling to the side.
Ran kept his rifle trained on the alien, waiting for it to get up, before asking over the radio, “Hey, uh, we’ve got a Muton down there playing possum down there, I think.”
“It’s down. I nailed it my, uh, mind, I guess. Psionic stuff,” replied Comrade.
“Right,” muttered Ran, scanning the rest of the highway. He looked for any more signs of movement, but saw nothing. “Anyone see anything else down there?”
“I got nothing,” replied Maxwell. “I think this may be it. Small AO. Chimera 4, collect Chimera 7 and get him back to the Skyranger. We’ll sweep the rest of the site, but I don’t think we’ll find anything.”