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HOP 1

Posted on Thu Apr 5th, 2018 @ 5:14am by Gunnery Sergeant Flarn & Staff Sergeant Gaagii & Sergeant Shayla Kunadt & Major Cornelius Tremble & Sergeant Azure Thompson & Corporal Rairror Thoran
Edited on on Thu May 31st, 2018 @ 9:31pm

Mission: Episode 2 - The Enemy Within
Location: Holodeck 1 - Deck 5
Timeline: MD004 1300 hrs
Tags: SD 71378.1300



The EVAC shuttle was intended to hold ten people maximum. The Marines had squeezed in twelve, with some difficulty, but it had thrown the entire flight profile of the shuttle off. Through the main viewscreen, a landscape of green vegetation stretched as far as the eye could see. Only the occasional brown spot indicated that there was any kind of break in the canopy.

Shayla's hands danced on the console, adjusting the power output to the starbord thrusters in an effort to smooth their ride. Making matters even more complicated was the unpredictable weather pattern they were operating in.

"Winds are picking up, sir," Shayla, as the shuttle lurched to the left and then back to the right, sending the Marines against the walls.

Jack nodded, his combat helmet low and tight around his head. He and the rest of the Marines were wearing standard Starfleet tactical armor and the lighter phaser rifles he preferred.

"Just get us down in one piece and we'll be ok," Jack shouted over the whine of the engines.

"LZ in four minutes, sir," Shayla replied.

"Maybe I shouldn't have had that breakfast burrito." Azure quipped as the shuttle shook her and her comrades around like pebbles in a tin can.

Tremble ran a practiced eyes over the kit of the marines nearest him, overheard the medic and quipped, "My fatigues are mottled enough for this, don't think about adding a biological component to them, Corporal."

"Wouldn't dream of it, Gunny." Azure replied.

Flarn sat in the jumpseat next to Kunadt as was his duty as First Sergeant. First Sergeant, First Dead as the position was know. He had his typical Tellarite scowl upon his face. One could never tell if he was happy or not, as his facial expression never changed.

Gaagii was applying camouflage makeup to his face. His long hair was securely tucked up into his combat helmet. All of it except for a single braid with a feather attached to it. His tomahawks sat holstered on either side of his hips. Gaagii's fatigues were mussed and covered with various forms of grime. It suited the Recon Specialist best for blending in. He looked at his Andorian comrade and in his practiced soft spoken voice he said "Is this your first Corpsman?" a small smirk crawled across his lips.

"No, just a little motion sickness, one of the 'benefits' of my unique physiology." Azure said.

"If it helps, my people have a saying. Like a bird on the gale. If you let your muscles relax much like a birds wing, your body will move with the vibrations as opposed to resist them. It is the resistance that causes illness." He said smiling as he leaned his head back against the wall of the shuttle.

Rairror listened to the banter among his colleagues and smiled before returning his attention to his weapons.

"At least we're not taking fire the way in on this one. There's nothing like feeling the hull heat as the shields on these things burn out and the metal starts to slag. Then you know you're in for a hot LZ, if you're lucky!" Tremble grinned. "Why one time, I was able to actually walk through a hole in the hull."

Shayla's eyes moved between the computer readout, which was giving her data on lift, thrust and lateral movement, and the shuttle's windows. The craft slewed to the side and she let it roll with the wind, taking control halfway through the roll and putting the shuttle into a circular landing circle.

"We are coming in hard, everyone!" She yelled. "Sensors indicate hostiles within 500 meters!"

Jack locked eyes with his senior noncoms. "Stay with detachment! Do not get separated. Look out for your buddies. On me at the rally point!" Jack yelled. They'd all been in briefed before the mission so he knew that they knew the rally point was on a small hill just east of the LZ. The hostiles were probably going to cause problems.

The shuttle's nose came up, flaring the craft's rear as it settled to the ground with a loud bang. Shayla hit the quick release button for the ramp and the interior of the shuttle went from climate controlled to swamp in an eye blink. The wind that had been buffeting them rushed inside, the sound filling their ears, the smell of the jungle filling their noses.

As the ramp hit the ground, Tremble slapped the release for his own tie downs and hit the ground running with his Sapper Team as they exited the shuttle and set up the short permitter around the shuttle while the other teams headed for the tree line. His rifle up, he scanned his area of responsibility. Everything looked quiet. He shifted through several filters with his goggles. There were no heat signatures and with no incoming fire, he keyed his com. "LZ secure. Peavy, Flash. String our perimeter security on the double and then we double time it to the rally point."

Tremble brought up the repeater for the shuttles sensors and security features, double checking the IFF transponder signatures and the shuttles antipersonnel phaser turret. They had five minutes to get this end secured and hit the trail. He planned to get it done in four.

Gaagii ran down the ramp followed by the rest of the RECON Team. He drew his tomahawks and led the team into the brush. They set up a tracking line in an effort to keep track of the enemies comings and goings. They headed for the rally point with all due haste.


The last of the marines exited the shuttle and Shayla yanked back on the stick. =^=This is HOP 1, infiltration is complete. Taking up overwatch position. Renegade out=^= Shayla said, using her call sign. She felt the shuttle thrum as its engines worked to overcome both the planet's gravity and the winds, which were still strong. The ramp closed and the sound cut off as if someone had flipped a switch. Outside she watched as the ground fell away, the individual trees merging together to become one large swatch of green. She programmed in her figure eight covering pattern and began scanning the surface. Her secondary role after infiltration was complete was to be the eyes and ears for the Marines on the ground.

"Good luck, guys," she muttered to herself.

[Surface of Wexton II]

Jack lead the way up the hill , Corporal Thompson right behind him and the rest of the Command Fire team on his left and right, forming an arrow head shaped formation. "Corporal Thompson," Jack said as he climbed. "Comm check with HOP 1. Make sure we can call of exfil if we need it."

"Aye, sir." Azure said. Activation her cooms, she said. "M11 to HOP 1, comm check."

The jungle around them was thicker than he'd expected from the mission intel briefing. He couldn't see more than ten meters in any direction and most of what he could see was broad leafed vegetation from the local trees. Once they reached their rally point, he would be able to get the Marines pointed in the direction of the research station. The scientists there were being held captive by the Wexton II, the local indigenous population.

As she waited for a response, she examined the vegetation around her for potenial threats, be they flora or fauna.

Shayla toggled her coms. "This is HOP 1, reading you five by five, M11. Standing by to assist as needed." She was passing through her second figure eight when the comm check came in and at nearly the same time she realized there was an unknown force moving towards the Marine rally point. "M11, be advised that you have an unknown group of approximately five inbound to the rally point. ETA is thirteen minutes, over," Shayla said.

"Sir, comms check out, but we have company. Five possible unfriendlies incoming, thirteen minutes from our rally point and closing." Azure reported.

As was standard procedure Gaagii had an open comm link to the Command Team. He had taken his men into the brush and headed toward the rally point. The idea was to prevent the main body of the unit from being flanked. When he heard Thompson's report he ordered his team to take up sniping positions. He himself concealed himself beneath a large outcropping of vegetation. "RM1 to Command hostiles within the cross-hairs. Request permission to engage." His normal soft voice was even lower on the comm as he whispered to keep concealed.

Jack held up a hand and the rest of his fire team dropped into defensive posture. "This is Command Actual. RM1 you are free to engage hostiles. Keep me updated, over," Jack said. He could see the position of the enemies on his HUD and made an adjustment to their route. "Ok, command fire team, lets get to the rally point," he said and led the way.

Flarn led his team up the hill along side the Command Team. He used standard hand signals to indicate a box formation around Command. His Marines obeyed without question. However, the stress of seeing the possible overwhelming forces was weighing heavily on the Rifle Team's minds.

***
Four minutes and fifteen seconds after touch down, Tremble and his Team finished their sweep and began trailing the other elements with Flash on Point and the others strung out as they'd trained. Given the jungle environment, they were moving cautiously, each Marine altering their scanning area but moving fairly fast, given the other Teams had already traversed through.

Tremble started once as a blue, winged something or other flushed as he nearly stepped on it. Grunting as he resumed his pacing, he heard a snicker behind him and cast a glance back at Peavy, bringing a single finger up to his lips before getting back to business.

***

Gaagii drew up his scope and had an enemy Sergeant in his scope. When he heard the order from command he ordered his men to open fire. Select targets and enemy officers first. He had one of his men keep his sights on the rally point, and take out any targets that may make a run at the command team. Gaagii re checked his sights and pulled the trigger, the Sergeant had no idea what hit him as his head exploded with phased energy. One by one the enemy officers began to fall.

Flarn and his men took up a perimeter around the rally point. The Tellarite's gruff voice could be heard over the din of battle. "Alright men no gets past this line. Firing lines engage, corpsmen to the rear. Move it, move it..."

***
Slipping through the undergrowth, Tremble and his team made it to the rally point on time and immediately went to work assembling the weapons systems they'd brought. Each member of the sapper team had lugged in two tubes for the MLRS system and parts for the 60mm multi role mortar. Peavy began lashing the smaller system together off to one side while Flash and he assembled the mortar.

They had everything set in five minutes and Peavy entrenched in a fox hole away from both launchers, with perimeter security drones in place and reconnaissance drones up. They were all micro drones, which might last an hour, but that should be all they need.

Stripped down of all the heavy gear, he and Flash knelt in cover, tuning in their HUD's with the team nets. Tremble reviewed the feed, then activated his mike. "Command, Team 2. You should have telemetry and support element is online as needed."

He hefted his pulse phaser and he and Flash started out at a trot, "Moving to point Bravo and preparing for entry."

***

Jack listened to the information coming in from the other fire teams. He looked at the HUD on the inside of his helmet. It looked like his NCOs knew what they were doing, which was a relief to him. He'd never worked with any of them and there was always a chance that they would be complete cock ups.

"All fire teams, this is Command, engage all enemies and neutralize them. Refrain from lethal force unless necessary. I want some people to talk to after this is finished. Remember, we have hostages somewhere to rescue."

***

"Copy that..." Gaagii's voice sounded through the comm channel. He then gave the order to his men to engage all hostiles, shoot to incapacitate. Being the Reconn team he made sure his team kept moving as they fired. He wanted to get his team ahead of command so that he could report what was ahead.

After about fifteen minutes of shooting and moving the team arrived at the edge of the forest and saw a small compound. "Command Actual this is RT1. We have arrived at a small compound around the rear of the compound. We are out of sight and in the tree line. The compound is moderately guarded and at least four hostages can be seen outside. We are taking up sniping posts at the tree tops. Awaiting further orders before engaging."

Jack picked up the pace.

There was a moment in Flarn's mind where he wondered if even Jack knew what would happen next in this training scenario. He has to know he programmed the darn thing he thought. Then he cleared that thought from his mind and got back to work, he had to believe it was real to do his job effectively. He ordered his men to box in command and keep moving. The preliminary order was given that once they were to arrive at this compound his unit would set up a perimeter. His final thought in this moment was where the heck was Tremble, they would need those explosives if they were to take the compound down.


Jack and the command team were maneuvering to position themselves to the right of team 1. He thought about the geometry of their deployment and came to a decision.

"Corporal Thompson, see if you can pick up any of the enemy radio transmissions. I'd like to know what they have planned. They've probably picked some of us up on their sensors," Jack said and then toggled his own coms with team one.

"RT, this is Command Actual. Hold in place. We are conducting intel ops before final push. Team 2, target the structure with drone ordinance. I want that fence down on my command."

"Sir, I've managed to tap into their comms, they're planning an ambush. They plan to let us in and the surround us." Azure reported.

Jack nodded. "Good work, Thompson," he said and then clicked onto the team wide comms. "All units be aware enemy has assets in place for an ambush. Form perimeter and the following coordinates," he said and gave the teams information that allowed them to encircle the ambush line.

"Mortar support you are a go, to fire at the ambush locations," Jack said and hunkered down. Some of the mortars would land nearby. He motioned for the rest of his team to do the same.

Tremble heard the order over he team net and within seconds, Peavy keyed in the fire mission. The mortar went into action then and fired three rounds of Anti-PersonEl Suppressant High IntensTy rounds.

He and Flash continued moving, picking up the pace at that as they angled slightly then on a more direct route toward the compound. Bodies appeared suddenly before them and he hand Flash paused, firing their rifles in controlled, steady shot.

"On target," Peavy's voice came over his earpiece. "Three more rounds on the way. Looks like we broke up the party."

Then Tremble and Flash were running again, rifles up. "Three man recon team engaged and neutralized. Heading for entry point Alpha for breach. Fifteen seconds..." Tremble stated as he dodged a rather large tree and charged forward.

Flarn had his men setting up the perimeter and it seemed that he had two that had forgotten to put on their eyes and ears. Jenkins and Erikson got caught in the residual blast from the mortars and were disoriented on their knees grabbing their heads in pain. "Command Actual this is RF1 I've got wounded, I repeat I've got wounded. We need a corpsman to my location." Flarn knew that this was a training mission and that they were only simulated wounds but they needed to handle this as if it were real. The Lieutenant would expect nothing less. Flarn would deal with these two and their mistake later.

"Command Actual this is Reconn, I have eyes covering a path. We will plow the road for the corpsman." Gaagii's soft tones came over the comm channel.

"Roger that, Reconn," Jack said. "Proceed!"

One by one enemies began to drop and those that were not targeted turned to face the treeline. They were looking for the snipers. Gaagii and his men were picking off the enemy soldiers one at a time and a clear path began to form. "Reconn to Thompson the road is clear, repeat the road is clear. We will hold them back while you go in."

"Understood, Reconn." Azure said bringing her rifle into position and marched forward.

He and Flash broke cover at a sprint, heading for the primary entry. They flanked the door and he Tremble turned to provide overwatch while Flash pulled out the breaching gear. First he shorted out the door controls and the forcefield projector on the door, then he set the shaped charges.

Flash tapped him on the shoulder and they flanked the door again and turned. And waited for the entry team for nearly five beats as they moved up. Cornelius nodded at Flash, knowing the entry team would prefer a few seconds to set everything.

But, they were late and timing was everything. Flash hit the detonator and the door vaporized, secondary charges cur-thunking to stun anyone inside the door and Tremble activated his mike.

"GO GO GO GO," he yelled, after two beats went by. "What are you waiting for, an invitation?" Scowling, he switched channels as the entry team finally hit the door, "Peavy, set the automatics and self destructs, then fall back to the extraction point, post haste Marine!"

When the last of the entry team had passed him, Tremble and Flash watched the tree line and prepared to run point for the extraction, once the entry team had acquired the hostages and were set to fall back. He checked the timer in his HUD and glowered, biting his tongue and went back to scanning his area of responsibility.

From entry to exit, the rescue team took two minutes. Tremble's HUD tracked their progress as they cleared rooms quickly and fairly efficiently. There were a few stumbles, but all in all the Marines knew what they were supposed to do.

They were just a bit rusty, but the muscle memory was there.

The team extracted three hostages and exited quickly. He grinned as the entry team reported in, "Three hostages, mobile and ready to go. We've recovered some intel and exiting now."

"Roger, Entry. Moving to extract point. Shake it off if you want to make the ride home." He slapped Flash on the shoulder and they both surged away from the structure, the younger man moving ahead to take Point while Tremble followed close. As they entered cover, he caught a flicker coming at him from one side and he moved to avoid the enemy combatant that lunged at him, swinging an apparently defunct energy rifle.

Tremble didn't even think as he ducked the enemy's swing and he stepped in close, blocking the follow up with his left hand while jabbing the knuckles of his right hand into the being's throat. It went down with a gurgle and he followed up by bringing his booted foot down on the side of the beings head, effectively breaking the neck.

Oops. Staring down he berated himself for not reigning in his instincts. This was supposed to have been a low to no body count op, but adrenaline had kicked in.

Gaagii watched Tremble and his team do what they did best and knew the mission was drawing to a immediate close. He used hand signals to order his men to the extraction point and they began to move post haste. Gaagii for his part kept an eye on Tremble's team as they made their way to the extraction point. He figured someone had to keep the enemy at bay so everyone can make it out. He saw a man approaching Tremble from the rear with a knife drawn. Gaagii checked his range and took a few breaths, in and out he breathed. On the third breath he held it in and pressed the trigger on his rifle as he let the breath out. The phaser blast went right by Tremble's ear and nailed the enemy in the chest. Gaagii then moved toward the extraction point, taking another sniper nest closer to that point.

Weapon's fire broke him out of his momentarily musing. He turned, saw the knife wielding enemy down and swore.

His second mistake of the day in nearly thirty seconds. He checked his HUD, waived toward where Gaagii was likely already bugging out and sprinted after Flash as he saw the entry team coming up behind him. "Keep your eyes peeled, Marines. There are lone stragglers milling about."

Flarn ordered his men to the extraction point. For his part he guarded Thompson as she tended to the two injured. "Thompson, they good to move we need to get out of here." He grunted as he shot down enemies from all directions.

"Two more minutes, Sarg." Azure without looking up as prep'ed the injured for medevac.

After a minute and a half, she said. "They're stable, Sarg, let's Oscar Mike."

Flarn picked up one of the men in a walking assist with Thompson taking the other and they made for the extraction point with all haste.




Jack looked around him at the other Marines. They were all tired. Some of them were leaning against the walls of the holodeck. Only Corporal Kunadt looked relatively fresh but he knew that was probably a facade. The pilots never wanted to let anyone know they were tired or stressed.

"That was well done, people. We have a lot to learn but for our first time working together, you all performed well. Lets get some chow and some sack time and we will review the entire engagement tomorrow. NCOs lets make sure everyone is squared away," Jack said. "Dismissed."

Tremble saluted as the LT dismissed them then turned and watched as Peavy and Flash racked their holo-generated weaponry and headed for the doorway. "Right, good work you two."

Flarn, and Gaagii and their teams all snapped to attention and saluted the Lieutenant. Flarn grunting and mumbling about his men needing to double check their gear next time. Gaagii was impressed with his team and how they cleared the road. He simply removed his helmet and stowed his gear retying a feather into his hair when he was done. He gave a smile to the pilot and left.

Tremble remained behind, watching the rest of the Marines file out and he racked his own weapons. He unbuckled his helmet and pulled out a canteen, drinking down. His mind was already working through the mistakes he'd made and he sighed, "Well, better to die in training rather than for real."

He headed for the exit himself then, deciding to get cleaned up and decompress.


A Joint Post By

1st Lieutenant Jack Cunningham Jr
Marine Commanding Officer/Second Officer, USS Pioneer


Gunnery Sergeant Cornelius Tremble
First Sergeant, USS Pioneer


Staff Sergeant Flarn
Team Leader Rifle Fire Team 1, USS Pioneer


Sergeant Gaagii
Team Leader RECONN Fire Team, USS Pioneer


Corporal Azure Thompson
Corpsman Command Fire Team, USS Pioneer


Lance Corporal Rairror Thoran
Munitions Specialist Rifle Fire Team 2, USS Pioneer

 

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