Xenonautical Adventures – Part 13: New Dangers
1st of November, 1979, 20:49
Foxtrot-1 engaged and managed to shoot down the new contact. We are still not sure what it was, but some sort of attack craft seems obvious.
The pilot claims it only went down to a lucky hit. The first Avalanche Torpedo didn’t even make it shiver, but the second apparently managed to hit an engine port or something like that, and the craft spiralled into the ocean. It’s a shame we won’t be able to retrieve it, but best to not have it roaming free.
The pilot recommends more firepower next time, but we might not have that luxury, so I told him, and sent note to the American base, to keep that weakness in mind.
I wish we could afford to build a second Foxtrot.
1st of November, 1979, 21:30
Foxtrot-1 isn’t even home, and another warship reports attack not far from where we shot down the other craft. The FGS Falke IV this time.
Foxtrot-2 can’t reach. Maybe we can send Foxtrot-1 again after it’s re-armed.
1st of November, 1979, 23:07
Foxtrot-1 is on the ground. The flight crew are working as fast as they can.
I wait for more reports to come in.
1st of November, 1979, 23:31
As I sit in the ready room, a report comes up from the research lab. Their report and recommendations for stunning aliens. Gas and cattle prods, huh? I will outfit the men with these things as backup, but I’m also going to tell them to not take any stupid risks.
I send word back to them to start on the alien alloy fabrication project.
An oil rig was attacked out there. Foxtrot-1 is still hours away from being ready.
2nd of November, 1979, 03:37
We just had another report, and one an hour ago. Foxtrot-1 is pretty much ready. I have ordered launch.
This must work.
2nd of November, 1979, 06:20
Foxtrot-1 has found the second craft. Same as before. The research team have dubbed it a Corvette.
The craft looks to be centred around a large central gun. I tell Foxtrot-1 to intercept and do again what it did last time.
2nd of November, 1979, 07:05
No luck. Both torpedoes were direct hits, but the UFO is still airborne. Foxtrot-1 has aborted and is heading home.
We tried. If we’re lucky, it will follow, into range of our Condors. They should be able to finish it off now.
2nd of November, 1979, 10:19
Foxtrot-1 has landed. I have not gotten much sleep. Our second pilot is standing ready in case we need to launch Foxtrot-1 again. We have no idea of the alien capability of making repairs mid-flight.
No more reports of attacks have come in, though. Maybe we drove it off?
2nd of November, 1979, 20:46
No more reports. I have to believe we managed to drive it off. I am calling it an early night for my sake. They’ll wake me if anything happens.
3rd of November, 1979, 07:21
I feel like I need to go to down to the medical centre myself, today.
Major Merrywhiskers has seemed restless lately. Perhaps she’s picking up on my mood? Or the base in general? Things have been pretty hectic around here, after all.
3rd of November, 1979, 09:04
The doctor insisted on keeping me for observation for the next 24 hours. The communications officer said she’s look after Major Merrywhiskers.
I have also been informed that the prototype laser rifle is complete, and I am sorry I won’t be able to go have a look at it until tomorrow. I will have it assigned to Lt Beargal on the next mission.
I gave permission for the engineers to start working on a prototype laser carbine next.
4th of November, 1979, 06:09
A Corvette has been detected north-east of us, just off the coast. Could it be the same one?
The doctors are reluctant to let me go, so it’s from the medical bed I give the order to launch both Foxtrot-1 and Condor-1. From our earlier encounter, I believe that’s sufficient.
4th of November, 1979, 06:39
A second contact has appeared. Scout. It’s all the way at the edge of our range to the west, but I still order them to launch Condor-2. It might come closer instead of heading further out.
4th of November, 1979, 09:01
“Squadron-1 reporting success, sir! Corvette going down!”
The doctors were finally willing to let me go, as they initially said 24 hours, but they want me back afterwards. I am feeling a little weak, granted, but I’m still clear-headed.
“Understood. Launch Charlie-1 and set course for the crash site.”
It will take them a while to get there. I hope they do okay.
4th of November, 1979, 09:08
“Condor-2 also reporting success, sir! Scout has been shot down!”
“Understood. Organise an air strike on the site.”
I almost wish we could respond to both, but maybe that’s just the illness talking.
I’ll give it an hour, then head back to the medical centre.
4th of November, 1979, 10:42
I am back in the medical bed, feeling somewhat woozy. I’ve entrusted operations to the XO, but I’ve asked them to keep me up to date.
Europe is being hit again, as well as the western parts of the Soviet Union.
I am told they are calculating the possibility of sending Foxtrot-2 to check out Europe, but no guarantees.
4th of November, 1979, 12:46
I’ve been informed that Foxtrot-2 encountered and shot down a Scout over the Atlantic Ocean, though strafing attacks are still happening to the Soviets.
None of our fighters are ready yet. It will take a couple of hours.
4th of November, 1979, 13:42
Corvette has entered our radar range. We still don’t have any fighters ready. They will launch ASAP.
I just hope that’s not too late.
4th of November, 1979, 16:56
Foxtrot-1 and Condor-1 are finally ready, and apparently the UFO is coming right at us.
This feels like it’s cutting it close. It is less than an hour away.
4th of November, 1979, 17:13
Charlie-1 have reached the crash site. They have been ordered to land and engage. I wish I had given the order.
May they come back to us in one piece.
The final Corvette apparently turned around once our fighters were in the air. Squadron-1 is hunting it now.
Charlie-1 Response Team on the ground. Night-time mission. Flares have been distributed. Weapons at the ready. Dropship doors opening.
There’s a bitter draft just as the doors open, but otherwise there doesn’t seem to be much wind tonight. Good conditions for testing the stun gas.
The pilots reported flashes of alien weapon fire as we were coming down, but now the night is eerily silent, and we fear the worst.
We spot the lights of the outpost to our north-west, and Lt Cuftbert calls out an alien standing close to one of the lights.
The thing goes into hiding behind the rocks behind it, and Cpt Riddium figures now is as good a time as any to test out the gas and loads a stun rocket into his launcher.
Lt Cuftbert keeps watch to make sure the thing doesn’t retreat further, and Cpt Riddium fires at the spot just outside the corner it’s hiding in.
A somewhat disturbingly purple cloud spreads out from the site of impact and rushes in between the rocks. We hear a shriek cut off by violent coughing, and see the lizard come rushing out of the cloud of gas, but collapsing at the edge of it.
Meanwhile Cpls Berwolf and Malo secure the area east of the dropship, and Lts Beargal and Herr secure the west. No alien sightings.
The remaining half of the team slowly advance on the outpost, but barely a minute goes by before a second lizard comes running down from the outpost. It’s holding a new type of weapon we haven’t seen before.
Lt Cuftbert makes sure it doesn’t get close enough to use it.
With the dropship secure, the team spread out in a wide line and advance on the outpost, making sure to watch our flanks on the way.
A solitary building comes into view, with broken windows and smoke oozing from it. And standing to the side of it is one more lizard, holding yet another new type of weapon. It looks very big.
Cpl Berwolf raises her laser sniper, and in one shot the lizard and its weapon are dropped.
Sgt Wanyal spots something in the door of the building, but as it isn’t moving, she goes alone to investigate as the rest of the team advance around the sides, throwing flares ahead.
What she finds is enough to unnerve even the strongest soldier. The two residents brutally murdered, and some new kind of creature lying dead beside them. It has way more pointy bits than any thing by rights should have.
She makes absolutely sure it is dead before she moves on.
After a careful and thorough search we find nothing more to our north, but through the trees to the east Lt Cuftbert spots the UFO.
The team converge on it and secure the area outside, as we take in the size of it. Even a large passenger jet pales compared to it, if you consider its width. And of course the door is right underneath the huge cannon in front.
At least the door is easier to approach, as the front lacks the protrusions of the Scout.
We assemble in front of it, and wait for a few minutes. Nothing comes out at us, or even opens the door to take a look. Come to think of it, we haven’t heard the distinct opening sound of the alien doors since we landed.
Lt Herr creeps up to the hull and triggers the door. Inside is not the large control room we are used to from both the Scout and the Light Scout, but a narrow hallway that probably leads to doors further into the ship. Clever. Come to think it, you probably wouldn’t put your controls right underneath the big gun anyway.
Before the door closes again, Sgt Troidell lobs a stun grenade in there, and we’re rewarded by a short shriek.
We keep the door open to help the gas dissipate, but even then it takes a while with such confined quarters.
When it’s finally clear, we start moving in, carefully. We make sure to cover eachother, but we don’t really realise that it might have been dumb to bunch up until the door on the right opens and an armoured hand throws a grenade our way.
Everyone ducks for cover as best they can in the narrow corridor, but surprisingly the Jackal armour absorbs almost all of the impact. Cpl Berwolf gets lightly singed, and Sgt Troidell gets a nasty burn on her left arm. The rest get away with only smoke from their armour.
Lt Beargal and Cpl Malo move up with Sgt Wanyal, while Lt Herr quickly dresses Sgt Troidell’s burn, then helps her put the shotgun away and pull out her stun baton. Sgt Wanyal pulls hers out as well.
Sgt Troidell comes up, eager for revenge. Whatever threw that grenade might be something new we can also take home with us.
The door opens again, and the thing comes stepping into the room. Huge, imposing and armoured, this is possibly still a lizard, but of a class we haven’t seen yet.
There is no hesitation as it opens fire on Sgt Troidell, forcing her to take cover as she suffers another burn. Though we would have liked to take it alive, Lt Beargal makes the right call and fires along with Cpl Malo. With a burst from both a regular assault rifle and a laser rifle, the thing drops like a sack of rocks.
From the other door another lizard appears and trains it rifle on Sgt Wanyal, but she is ready for it. Ducking under the blast, she steps right up to the alien, and smacks it in the neck with her stun baton, putting her full strength behind the blow. It trembles for a few moments from the electric shock to its system, then falls over, bleeding lightly from the point it was struck.
This mission is over, and both us and the clean-up crew have several new things to bring back with us.
4th of November, 1979, 17:59
Charlie-1 is in the air again, and only minor burns reported. Sgt Troidell got the worst of it, it seems.
Apparently they’ve secured quite the haul, including a new species of corpse and a live prisoner. I hope they can keep it under control for the flight home.
I’ve gotten a visit from Major Merrywhiskers. She insists on licking me whenever she’s not dozing.
4th of November, 1979, 19:12
Squadron-1 have shot down the final UFO. With Charlie-1 still in flight, the XO ordered an air strike on the site.
Maybe that will keep things calm for a few days again.
I should get some rest. I want to be there when Charlie-1 gets back home, regardless of what the doctors say.
5th of November, 1979, 01:45
I probably should have stayed in bed, but the day I miss a homecoming is the day I’m dead.
Sgt Troidell was taken away to the medical centre, and I will be going back there soon myself.
I congratulate them all on a job well done, and have a look at our prisoner. My first time seeing a live lizard. I expected more fear, or more awe, or more… something. I mostly just feel cold.
Before I leave, I ask Cpt Riddium to make sure I get a copy of the mission report.
Upon later review, I promote Sgt Troidell to Lieutenant, and Cpls Berwolf and Malo to Sergeants. I also feel that at this point, both Lt Beargal and Sgt Berwolf have earned an Order of Gallantry.