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Op Wackamole, Part II

Posted on Sat Jul 25th, 2020 @ 10:25am by Chief Petty Officer Leslie Calhoun & Gunnery Sergeant Flarn & Staff Sergeant Gaagii & Sergeant Shayla Kunadt & Lieutenant Ameri Ó Flannagáin & Petty Officer 2nd Class Samuel Renfroe EMT-P & Major Cornelius Tremble & Sergeant Azure Thompson & Corporal Tyrigus Fry & Corporal Rairror Thoran & Private 1st Class Aiden Pearce
Edited on on Tue Aug 11th, 2020 @ 6:30am

Mission: Episode 10 - New Home, Same Pioneers
Location: Planet Designate Ahemait C310100-B
Timeline: MD005 2000 hrs

Last time, on USS Pioneer / Operation Wackamole Part I

The Hawkeye tumbled in deep space, her engines propelling her slowly. Ever so slowly at three quarter impulse, the shuttle’s aspect tumbling as I’m moved along a general course that would bring them into a passing orbit of
And Now The Coninuation...


“Planet Designate Ahemait C310100-B in same named system, if you want to call it that,” Neil stated from the shallow dais off the entrance of the Snake Pit.

The marine captain ran his eyes over his assembled marines, making sure they were paying attention. He knew that they were or Flarn would have theirs guts for garters, but…

Well, some habits die hard.
Eight minutes into the briefing

"No questions from me sir, but if I can be forwarded the data we have on the planet so I can look at it myself. Getting a better lay of the land would make me feel better. Plus another set of eyes it is always a good idea. Do some recon of my own before we get there." Adelaide suggested, and requested, from the group of others.

"Data packets and preliminary infil exfil information will be dumped to your streams after the briefing. I suggest everyone study it and know your role going in, as always. Final brief will be aboard the Hawkeye once we're at H hour."
And now the continuation……

Neil turned his eyes from his mission station and let his body follow with it, twisting in the chair to face rearward into the Hawkeye’s bay. It was crammed with suited Marines and they were all watching him. They’d climbed into the suits over the last three hours, taking turns getting into the MARVEL-EAS battle armor, which earned them their M/ (for mobile) pay. He’d heard Lance Corporal Fry referring to the tech as fart incubators and he nearly chuckled again.

Instead, he used his parade ground voice to get their attention and said, “Ok, listen up Marines. We’re about to hit atmo. While Lance Corporal Kunadt takes us on an elevator ride, keep your mag locks in place and suit’s sealed.” His eye flicked to the upper corner of his contact and he blinked twice, activating the holo projector in the roof of the drop ship.

A representation of the Hawkeye dropping into orbit at pace, then leveling 15 meters from the ground and traversing rapidly over the planetoid’s surface, dropping three colored lights in it’s wake played out and he said. “Three teams dropping in search grids around what SI thinks is the area that the power spike may have originated from.”

The Hawkeye flashed from orbit and moved to a spot over the poll and Neil continued. “Per SOP, once we’re inserted The Hawkeye, will take up a low orbit and deploy the Halo.” The holo retracted, following the drop ship as it orbited the planet, dropping micro satellites. “By the time we cover the first grid, we’ll have eyes up and then we continue the search in spiraling grids until we find something.”

One by one, he met his Marines eyes and they all nodded their understanding. Glancing to his right, he looked at Ameri and Billy. “Lieutenant,’ll piggy back in the drop with us. Hold tight while we secure the LZ, then we’ll get to work.”

"Understood," Ameri said to acknowledge their orders. She was ready to do what she could to help with this mission.

Billy nodded grimly that he understood what the Captain had ordered. However, he could not believe that he was about to do this, he was after all just an analyst. What was more was that he was going to be married soon, this was not the time to go risking his life. "Sir yes sir!" he replied.
Twenty three minutes later….

The high speed insertion hadn’t made anyone particularly sick. The Hawkeye’s internal dampeners had taken most of the queasy feeling of your lungs beating your brain rapidly from their abrupt, albeit brief, relocation as the drop ship dropped through orbit, before Shayla jerked it onto a course and the payload ramp at the back opened. When the individual (red, green, yellow) lights had flicked on, the Cure had deployed.

First, the RECON platoon had jumped from the speeding drop ship, followed by first and second fire teams. The Command team had last, with Ameri and Billy attached by papoose to he and Azure’s battle armor.

Command team’s landing had went well enough. No one had died and the two Fleet personnel had detached and stepped down from the mounts as the Marines spread out, checked the LZ while Neil dropped the communication puck. The puck bounced once then went to hover 100 meters in the air and would follow them as they went, giving their scanners more of a read.

The surface of Ahemait was a craggy, dusty landscape as promised, bathed in the slightly off-putting blue light from the system’s sun. Neil let his eyes roam, looking for movement or something that might occur to be out of the ordinary.

Azure looked around. "What a great spot." She said. "Bumer, I didn't bring my holocam. She turned to Etah. "What do you think, Petty Officer?" The Corpsman asked.

Gaagii and the RECON Team landed with little to no incident. The Navajo man immediately disappeared with his team into the brush. They were snipers and pathfinders. As such they will be seldom seen and seldom heard. They proceeded through a small forest and into the crags of a mountain range. Within a couple of hours Gaagii found a set of boot prints. The only thing he could recognize was that they were left by environmental suits. Using hand signals he told his team to follow the prints and maintain radio silence.
* * * *

Flarn took his Rifle Fire Team head on, ordering the team to move out as soon as they landed. "Corporal Fry take point, and I want active scans. If there is anyone out there I figure we can know them and they can know us. Pearce I want you to be ready for anything. The only bad Corpsman is a dead one. So if the shooting starts keep your head down and take care of our men. Now let's get it done."

Once the rest of The Cure had off loaded and began their high speed insertion, Shayla took the Hawkeye up and out. She headed for the far side of the planet and initiated a low orbit. She knew that this was a reconn mission for Intel only so as quickly as she could she donned her flight jacket and placed her EAS suit in the jump seat. Kunadt shut all systems down and ran the bare minimum only. Her idea was that if she were scanned she would read as simply something in the background. "Well here is to getting all of the information that is needed, and hopefully before I freeze or fall out of the sky..." She whispered to the empty ship as she zipped up her coat.
* * * *

Corporal Fry slogged through dust detritus, the repetitive nature of controlling his leg muscles carefully...not over tensing but mainly letting the suit's servo's do the work was still tiring. He could feel his thigh and calf muscles complaining after only ninety minutes and was toying with asking the Sergeant for a break when his HUD registered an aspect change in the SIGINT suite.

Specifically, a burst transmission lasting only two seconds but it was there and his suit's systems kicked in and Fry began moving forward with more of a purpose, his stressed muscles forgotten. He found the tracks they'd spotted again as well as he took cover near some boulders. Keying the team net, he said, "Sergeant. I think we've got something." His head cam took several stills and sent those back to his team as well. They'd found a rather large antenna...

Flarn had seen everything that Fry sent. "Stay put Corporal we will catch you up and proceed together. Moments later Fire Team One regrouped at the antennae. "What do you make of it?" Flarn asked as his suit began to scan the device.

"Roughly 2 klicks square. Looks like they're using the natural surface as the deflector," Fry reported as his tricorder reported back. "Looks like it's all been coated with something to brighten up the signal. There's a low grade, power signature roughly a klick and half that way." Fry gestured vaguely and diminished the tricorder feed on his HUD.

Flarn hustled up to Fry's location. Once there he could see what the Corporal had seen. "Let's move in for a closer look. Be ready to destroy that thing if needed." Flarn said as he indicated his team was to to move out.

Fry updated his HUD with a way point, roughly coinciding where the tricorder thought the power was coming from. Then he said over the team net, "Aye aye, sergeant." Then he began jogging toward the waypoint, the suit's enhancements helping him cover an amazing amount of ground.

The corporal had covered approximately half the distance when his suit's indicator's went bright red with a terrain warning.

Unfortunately, it was seconds too late as he landed on the ground and one leg, then the rest of him disappeared below the surface into a roughly two meter crater.

Flarn watched on his HUD as the Corporal made his way as ordered. A Tellarite cuss word was heard escaping his lips as he saw Fry fall into a crater. "Pearce stick tight we have to go see what happened there. Fry check in. Are you in the green?"
* * *

Neil and the HQ Fire Team had covered two of the grid squares in their search pattern before they turned up an antenna array. It was built at the bottom what his sensor adjudged to be an approximately fifteen square kilometer in diameter by four kilometer deep canyon. Whoever had put it there hadn't thought it necessary to blend it into the surface.

Obviously, they hadn't expected foot traffic.

The roughly kilometer in diameter antenna stuck out like a sore thumb and Neil was fairly sure he didn't want to be near it's surface if it switched to transmit. Activating his team net, he called up the tag-alongs. "Lieutenant O'Flannagain, Chief Calhoun. I think we found the problem..."

Ameri looked at it and nodded. "That is definitely the problem." She looked over at Billy to hear the Chief's reaction.

"Agreed. The question is what if anything will happen if we shut that thing down. We are in a Catch 22." Billy replied as he looked toward the antenna. He wondered who the hell would build an antenna down there and make it so hard to get to. What if repairs had to be done?

Azure scanned the antenna and received data that she didn't entirely understand. "Not exactly inconspicuous, is it?" She asked.

Neil chuckled, "Well, what's the point. Who would come out here and take a walk?" Then the Marine CO turned to his comm's suite and began updating everyone's HUD. "Ok, looks like Fire Team 1 has a natural antenna array as well. This place is a really deep space Listening Post. Let's move out."
* * *

As his fire team landed Samuel stumbled slightly as he fully got accustomed to the suit yet, he cycled through the information the hud in his helmet. "well landing got been better but no hurt but my side." He said in his southern drawl.

When Fire Team landed, Rairror took point. The area was arid and dead, it reminded him of the Dilithium mines on Zarlith IV, that his former masters owned. Looking around his Hud picked up movement.
* * *

Fifteen minutes later, Neil and the others had reached the base of the antenna, which was set just two meters above ground level. They'd been walking in the shadow of the antenna's dish for half that time. From a distance, they spotted a hatch and kept it under surveillance for nearly four minutes while they attempted to map out, any anti-personnel devices and sensors. Finally, Neil said "Well, it all looks passive..., but we're not going to ease in."

"Ameri, you and the Chief have a minute to crack your way in or we'll blow that hatch. Let's move up, Marines!"

"We're on it!" Ameri turned and looked at the Petty Officer. "Let's do this!" She said with determination and headed over to get to work.

Billy followed her over and quickly unpacked the equipment. "I think the first thing we should do is attach the translation circuit. Hacking this thing is going to be a lot easier if we know what the screen says."
* * *

Sergeant Eubilex paused at Thoran's report and opened his mouth to say something when flashes appeared above the rim of the deepening, rocky canyon they'd been following. His HUD picked up incoming ordained and he opened his mouth to call out but the round landed among Rifle Team Two's position before he had the chance.
* * *

Rairror took up a defensive position to allow the rest of the Fire Team to take cover. Using his HUD to scan the rim. He picked up some unfriendlies and fired his main weapon. Part of the cliff was atomised and the shooters fled.
* * *

Shayla sat in her seat and began to slightly shiver as the lack of life support began to take hold. She knew from her own wrist mounted indicator that she had about another 30 minutes and then she would have to put her suit on just to survive. God damn it Cap get the information already I am freezing. She thought, and then as if on cue her the passive sensors went off. The indicated something that needed her attention. When she looked her normally tan face blanched pale white. It seemed that she read weapons fire. "Frak what the Frak is this sh$t." She worked hard to both get a hold of Tremble and a fix on the weapons fire.
To Be Continued...

A Joint Post by:
Captain Cornelius Tremble
Marine Commanding Officer/Second Officer, USS Pioneer

Corporal Tyrigus Fry
Rifleman RFT 1, USS Pioneer

Lieutenant Ameri Ó Flannagáin
Chief Operations Officer, USS Pioneer

Corporal Azure Thompson
Corpsman Command Fire Team, USS Pioneer

Lance Corporal Rairror Thoran
Munitions Specialist RFT 2, USS Pioneer

Chief Petty Officer Leslie Calhoun
Data Systems Analyst, USS Pioneer

Staff Sergeant Flarn
Rifle Fire Team 1 Leader, USS Pioneer

Sergeant Gaagii
RECONN Fire Team Leader, USS Pioneer

Lance Corporal Shayla Kunadt
EVAC Specialist, USS Pioneer


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