Lieutenent Chris Godwinson, laid against a low ridge, his breathing controlled as he surveyed the situation. It had been a routine milk run against the Titan weapon plants orbiting Neptune. It was a simple in and out attack, the Assault shuttle was to enter the plant docks in the guise of a freighter transporting titanium oxide. In theory, the 34th light Infantry platoon was to board the docking platform as soon as the shuttle landed, and quickly dispatch the guards in the immediate docking bay area, then proceed attacking inwards through the base, until reaching the mineral stock piles. There they were to pirate the Titox warehouses.
But something had gone wrong, yes something had gone wrong. There had been an intelligence leak. The Titan forces at the weapons platform had been ready. Heavy Anti-Spacecraft RR-Guns had laid ready for them. They heavy HE rounds tore through the shuttle's armor like a dagger through cloth. The pilot had attempted to rescue the operation from being a total disiaster by trying to land the shuttle on a near orbiting asteroid, and call for help. Thet too had failed miserably. The landing was less than succesful, and the shuttle blew its engines and power generators. To make things worst, orbitting satellites had jammed their com-links redering them unable to contact allies.
A Titan drop ship arrived not long after, deploying a regiment of the Titan Elite Jump Trooper Corps. Seeing no alternative, Collective expeditionary force Commander James Howard, had the platoon dorn Combat armour and life support gear, then using the shuttle to block his force from the enemie's line of sight, he lead the platoon behind a low ridge where they took cover, and fortified themselves for the inevitable assault.
So there he was, Lt Godwinson chanced a glance above the ridge, and glaring through his binoculars, he sighted the enemy force no farther than 3km away. Easy distance on Drop Packs was his first thought. He saw the team's long rifleman Major Edward Gordon, did the same with the telescopic scope of his Particle Accelerator. Leveling the gun to his shoulders, Major Gordon, rested his elbows against the ridge, and pulled the trigger. The sucking sound of accelerated particles sounded through their sound receivers. Lt Godwinson turned back towards the Titan Forces in time to see the PA blast pierce through the body of a lightly armoured Jt on a death board, and continued to hit the Elite Jump Trooper on the Drop pack behind him. The target seemed to evaporate before his eyes. He knew there was blood, but he was too far away to see it against the darkness of spece.
Gordon took aim again, but this time was halted by Cmdr Howard's raising of hand. 'Listen men,' Howard began. 'They know we're here. They'll come. No chance in hell of escaping of that shuttle. We might as well face it, we're gonna die. But before we do, we're gonna take down everyone of those Titan bastards with us!' That bought on a cheer from the platoon, as well as low wimpers from some of the new recruits who never knew death, much less combat.
'So heres the plan,' Cmdr Gordon continued. 'Snipers are to line up against the ridge. Wait for my order till you fire. With any luck, one shot may just panic one of em' to jump right into another one. Combat Infantry man, stay behind the ridge until they come within the effective range of your assault rifles. Heavy Weapons men, Begin Immediate bombarding of the enemy position. Medics, stand by!. GOGOGOG TROOPS!!!'
Lieutenent Chris Godwinson was a hardened Combat Infantryman, he followed the orders immediately, and jumped down. The 0 gravity of space, made only a little better by the existence of the asteroid, made for a slow descent to the ground behind the cover of the ridge. Pulling his Kucher AR249 Assault rifle from where it hung from his back, he loaded a 6.4 mm rifle magazine into the rifle chamber, and bough it up to his waist in the ready position. A low whining sound alerted him that his PF field generator was firing up.
'Report in team.' Cmdr Howard called over the radio, and was replied with a status report by each of the men in the platoon, consisting of some 30 troops. 'All right then, excecute, I repeat, EXCECUTE!.'
He got the response he wanted shortly. The Heavy Weapons Troopers had taken up positions between the snipers, and immediately began unloading rounds of Rocket propelled grenades (RPG), high HEs, and Plasma shots towards the enemy position.
'All Right, Snipers, FIRE.'
The snipers all pulled the trigger on their PAs simutaneously, sending shots of accelerated particle towards the Titan Jump Trooper regiment. And so the battle began. Through his binoculars, Commander Howard could see how his first bombardment had massacred the Titan Unit. But that was not enough. The survivers of the initial attack, rushed towards their position, zigzagging towards the ridge. Cmdr Howard cried out at regular intervals, prompting the snipers ' fire. But at the speed the Jts were approaching, and the range between them that was rapidly diminishing, few of the snipers hit their target, and even some of those that did, couldn't manage to fall their targets. Even the Heavy Weapon's fire which had so drastically cut back on the number of the Titan Unit during its initia bombarment did now, little more than create clouds of smoke for the approaching Titan jump troopers to take cover under. They were less than 100 meters from us now and closing fast. Some of the recruits attempted to take cover behind the shuttle. But to Godwinson, he knew it was useless. If the Jump Trooper Unit closed any further, they could easily be flanked.
'All right,' the voice of Commander Howard broke through the Intercom, snipers fall back. Heavies, fall reload, then continue role of fire support. Infantrymen, move up NOW!'
Chris and the other Infantrymen jumped over the ridge to see the Jump troopers were almost upon them. Crouching, he brought the gunsights of his Kuchler to his eyes, and strafed left and right at the rapidly approaching Jump troopers. Several fell, to both his fire, and that of his squadmates, but this was not enough. A small group of survivors broke through the deffense line of Infantrymen and flew over the ridge, spraying the vulnerable Heavies and Commandos with Drop Pack Blaster fire. The entire rear line was eaten up in less than a minutes and Commader Howard ordered a hasty retreat to deffend the back lines. Chris moved back and leaped off the ridge. Landing in a crouch. He bought his gunsights up, the cross hairs landed on a boogie, and he pulled the trigger, sending three shots into the skull of one Jump Trooper. He felt a scorching feeling on his left ribs, and looked down to see scorched armor where a blast had penetrated the PF field and landed. He leaped to the right, rolled and bought his rifle up again. Seeing a clustered enemy formation, he pulled the trigger of his rifle grenaded launcher. A grenade launched straight into the clustere and the resulting explosion launched the Jump troopers into all direction. The others quickly too advantage of that. Autocannon fire sprayed the entire length of the enemy line. The Infantrymen, ducked to advoid friendly fire and moved up. Several more Jump Troopers fell to the MG rounds. Now numbering twenty or so troops, the Titan unit quickly regrouped, and rushed the fortified Collective platoon. Chris looked around in horror as he saw friends and squad mates tore to shreds by the rail gun rounds. Bringing his rifle up, he sprayed the approached hostiles, but they rushed past him like a gust of wind. Swivelling around to track his targets, he sprayed them with fire. However, the almost wall-like mass of bullets being fired by the Collective troops seemed to have little or no effect on the approaching Jumpers.
'Fall back,' Cmdr Howard shouted over the intercom. 'Hit the dirt!'
Following orders, the Collective forces lept back and got face down in the dirt. Chris checked his gauges, another hour or so left. This shouldn't last long. The Titan Jumpers had regrouped and were already rushing their position.
'Pull Grenades Men!' the commander ordered. As the his troops pulled the standard issue frag and WP greandes from their belts. 'Pull Pins!' The troops pulled the pin from the grenades, starting the fuse. 'THROW!'
The Titan Jumpers had no time to react, as they were already moving too fast. They hit the grenades like a car slamming into a concrete wall. The resulting explosions were awe-inspiring, but in the vacume of space, it almost looked as if the flames never were.
The Collective troop jumped from the ground, and their strafe fire dispatching the last of the Titan troops.
'Report IN!' the commander called and was answered with shouts of 'CLEAR.'
Except for one man. Chris Godwinson saw a shadow appear over the rocky surface of the asteroid, he looke over his back and saw the dark menacing form of a Titan Heavy Assault Shuttle floating over him. At first he just stared at it, his blood running cold, unable to speak. Until he finally mustered to courage to give the warning. 'Commander, you six!' He cried out.
The entire platoon looked back, and saw over sixty Titan troops pour from the shuttle onto the asteroid's surface. 'Fire in the hole!.' He called out as he pulled his own personal weapon, a gauss cannon, and launched a shot at the shuttle. It hit and the shuttle shook violently, the pilot, immediately pulled the shuttle away to a safe distance. The Collective troops, retreated, trying to storm the Titan land point, but the assaulters were too fast. How could he have been so stupid Commander Howard asked himself. The first thing they learned in the military academy was to always watch their six.
Heavy Weapons fire poured from the Titan Landing Point, and the collective Infantrymen had to duck low to avoid the worst of it. The Heavy weapons fire quickly cut down the size of the collective's already small platoon. Lt Godwinson climbed hastely up a high rise to get to the landing point. Titan had the height advantage as well. He looked up in time to see a man scaling the cliff above him clear the rise. Then he saw him less than a second later, being repulsed into space by a still live RPG in the chest. The element of surprise was gone. Weapons fire rained down the cliff, making the Collective troops have to hug it's wall.
Clearing the rise and leaping into the prone position, the Collective Assaulters, laid on their stomachs and sprayed the Titan forces with weapon's fire. His weapon drying up, Chris opened the chamber, and tossed away the empty cartridge within and replaced it with a full clip. As he was doing this, he didn't see the Bio Chem trooped, coming out from behind a hill. He felt no pain when the tranquilizer hit him as he was about to bring his weapon up again. It made him feel dizzy, but also gave him a feeling of escatasy. His vision blurring, as the darkness of space turned to blue swirls before his eyes, he blanked out.
To be continued...