Xenonautical Adventures – Part 14: War Zone
5th of November, 1979, 07:16
I am feeling somewhat better. I’ve been promised Major Merrywhiskers will be coming to visit again this morning.
The chief of research came down to see me. On business, of course. The influx of new research material is making their ‘future projects’ pile quite big. I agreed that we’d be setting up a second laboratory. It will be based in the American base, but he said they’d still be able to work together. I’m not sure how that works, but I’m just going to trust him on this one.
And apparently the paperwork for getting us some more engineers ended up a bit lost, so the new engineers will be delayed. Save me from bureaucracy.
5th of November, 1979, 17:23
The autopsy report on the new alien species is chilling reading.
It seems we were lucky that the civilians managed to kill it before they were infected. We could have had an infestation on our hands.
The analysis of the new UFO isn’t quite as grim, but it still isn’t good. These things are tough, and the science team still just calls it ‘medium-size’.
Do they have bigger warships? Or do the bigger ships serve a different purpose?
6th of November, 1979, 07:10
I am back in my office, with Major Merrywhiskers on my lap. I have decided I am no longer sick, and the doctors seemed convinced enough to let me go.
The American base finished their second missile battery during the night.
Can we really afford to defend a third base? I don’t know…
7th of November, 1979, 07:55
This nasal spray makes me feel awful for ten seconds, but I feel quite good after that.
The world has gone quiet, so I’m taking Major Merrywhiskers to the workshop to look at lasers.
7th of November, 1979, 09:04
The laser carbine is complete. The very idea of a laser shotgun intrigues me. The test firing goes okay, and it seems ready to use. Alright, then. Final prototype to make is a laser pistol.
I will assign our prototype carbine to Sgt Wanyal for field testing.
8th of November, 1979, 07:59
The days are getting shorter and shorter. Which just feels like it’s stacking the odds against us when it comes to having to undertake more night-time mission.
In better news, our extra engineers have arrived. For the American base too, I’m told. So we should be able to produce equipment faster now.
8th of November, 1979, 11:41
Major Merrywhiskers has ripped her new catnip mouse to shreds, and is currently failing to climb onto the couch.
8th of November, 1979, 22:38
The engineers seem to have worked overtime to finish the laser pistol. I guess Lt Herr will have a new toy as well.
I am tempted to ask them to keep producing weapons, but I don’t think we have the funds to outfit everyone yet.
We have to make sure to get the new laboratory and the Euro-African base operational and then see what we have left.
Though if we pick up more funds along the way…
9th of November, 1979, 08:06
I am strangely enjoying this respite now.
The global death toll is approaching four thousand, and every day they stay away is another day we get to prepare.
It is becoming that time where I expect a new incursion, though. We will see how today goes.
9th of November, 1979, 09:09
“Contact, sir! Confirmed extraterrestrial contact!”
I hate say I called it. Corvette detected over India.
“Launch Foxtrot-1 and Condor-1 in a squadron. Have them chase it down.”
9th of November, 1979, 09:12
“Sir, we have a second contact! Just east of us!”
“What is it this time?”
“It’s… we haven’t seen this one before, sir. It’s very small. Even smaller than our Condors, but it’s definitely extraterrestrial.”
“Launch Condor-2, intercept course.”
Another new type? I have to assume it’s one-ma- one-alien craft at that size. Their version of an interceptor?
9th of November, 1979, 09:31
“Small UFO intercepted and shot down, sir! Clean-up crew heading to crash site now!”
“Understood. Something that size can’t have much range though. Have Condor-2 fly out to where we detected it and see if they spots anything.”
I am not excluding the possibility that the aliens have set up ground bases of their own by now.
9th of November, 1979, 10:36
“Condor-2 has completed its patrol and found nothing, sir!”
“Understood. Have them return to base.”
It seems my hunch was wrong. For now.
We also received a report from south of Australia. We don’t have the range for that without Foxtrot-1, unfortunately.
9th of November, 1979, 11:19
“The Corvette has been engaged and shot down, sir! Squadron-1 returning home!”
“Understood. Launch Charlie-1 and set course for the crash site.”
With our luck, it seems about time we’ll get a UFO full of grey aliens, or maybe a horde of those reapers.
We also have a report of activity off the west coast of Africa, but too far away for Foxtrot-2, yet.
9th of November, 1979, 12:51
Squadron-1 is back home. By our estimation, Foxtrot-1 can just barely reach the south-side of Australia. We might try that once they’re refueled and rearmed.
9th of November, 1979, 15:27
Foxtrot-1 is ready, and has been launched, with course for the south Australian coast.
9th of November, 1979, 15:32
“Charlie-1 has reached the crash site, sir!”
“Understood, have them land and engage.”
Charlie-1 Response Team on the ground. Night-time mission. Flares have been distributed. Weapons at the ready. Dropship doors opening.
Even over the sound of the Charlie’s engines and rotors winding down, we hear gunfights happening in the area.
The sheer amount of ballistic weapons we’re hearing must mean the local forces are putting up quite the fight.
We quickly secure the area around the dropship before splitting into two groups.
Cpt Riddium heads north along the train tracks with Lt Cuftbert and Sgts Jonely and Wanyal.
Lt Beargal heads east towards the sound of gunfire with Lt Herr and Sgts Berwolf and Malo.
Initally we find nothing, but Cpt Riddium’s group quickly runs into opposition to the north. A lizard attempts to fire on Sgt Jonely from a distance as he heads up the left track, but it shows how bad their sight is, as the shot doesn’t even come close.
Lt Cuftbert returns fire, but the train tracks make her footing a little awkward so one of the shots happen to graze Cpt Riddium.
Sgt Wanyal sees a second lizard run behind a rail car to our right, possibly trying to get behind us. She jumps between the cars and ends up right in front of a somewhat startled-looking lizard.
She fires the first shot, dodges the return shot, and finishes it off with a second blast from her laser carbine.
That settles things on the western front.
Lt Beargal’s group’s only discovery so far is a dead lizard outside a building ahead.
Progress has been slow, because there’s been a lot of corners to check out, and Sgts Berwolf and Malo hit a dead end in a park.
The sound of gunfire has been dying down as they advance.
Lts Beargal and Herr get to a shot out building ahead of the Sgts, and find a lot of dead bodies. A single lizard is standing in a doorway, its rifle pointing at something in the room beyond.
With that dealt with, they move into the building. There are several dead aliens, and dead humans, but there are still some live humans too.
Lt Herr starts treating injuries while Lt Beargal secures the building. Sgts Berwolf and Malo find more dead bodies in the lot outside, and they can now see the UFO beyond the building. This was where they poured out, huh?
Two dead reapers, a handful of lizards, and several dead human guards. It seems we narrowly avoided a reaper outbreak this time too, as they were both killed before they could infect anyone.
As we approach the UFO we see a lizard is keeping guard on the door, but it runs inside upon spotting us.
We take up positions outside and make sure the lot is empty as we wait for the rest of the team to catch up.
The door doesn’t open again, so it seems to remaining lizards have sought refuge inside. From what the research team said, it seems unlikely there would be any more reapers.
Once we are all gathered around the entrance, Sgt Wanyal steps up and opens the door. We look inside, but nothing is immediately visible.
Sgt Wanyal carefully steps inside, and only her reflexes save her as a bolt of plasma aimed at her splashes against the wall. She sees one of the aliens with the armour on it, and retreats before it can take another shot.
Having been given the signal, Lt Herr steps up and lobs a grenade in there. We hear an enraged shriek cut short by coughing and then silence, and we wait for the gas to clear out.
As we then advance into the front room of the UFO, we were unprepared for the ship to have another armoured one. We thought these were officers, and that a ship like this would only have one.
So when we step out of the hallway, we are ambushed.
Lt Beargal takes a direct hit, and we try to retreat. The armoured lizard pursues us though, and scores another direct hit on Lt Beargal. The force knocks her right into Lt Herr who was coming inside to help and they both fall over.
Sgt Wanyal steps into a defensive position over Lt Beargal and unloads two quick rounds from her carbine. The armour and the lizard underneath basically melt together.
Lt Herr gets up and puts down the second alien with his pistol before turning his full attention to Lt Beargal.
Sgts Berwolf, Jonely and Malo file into the UFO, and after a brief firefight they’ve cleared out the back room as well.
We carefully get Lt Beargal back to the dropship, and Lt Herr believes she’ll make it. Though she’ll be out of service for a few weeks.
Charlie-1 heads home.
9th of November, 1979, 16:06
Almost lost Lt Beargal. Almost lost another friend.
Apparently it was already a war zone when they got down there. I am impressed at how well humanity seem to be fighting back, even without Xenonaut equipment and training.
We had a report of a strafing attack outside of Cape Town.
9th of November, 1979, 16:49
Another attack further off of the coast of Cape Town. Can’t you just get into our range, you bastard?
9th of November, 1979, 17:48
Foxtrot-1 has discovered a Scout off the north-west coast of Australia.
Hopefully he has enough fuel to shoot it down.
9th of November, 1979, 18:04
“Foxtrot-1 has shot down the Scout, sir! Returning home now!”
It’s weird how routine these feel now. The pilots have learned how to launch their payload and get out before they ever get in range of the UFO’s weapons.
Only one rogue out of reach now, and it’s one we can’t reliably shoot down, if it’s another Corvette.
We’ll see if it gets close enough to either of our bases.
9th of November, 1979, 18:12
You have got to be kidding me. Abduction reported near a ranch in the middle of Nowhere, Australia. There were two UFOs down there?
Foxtrot-1 is still nearly 3 hours away from landing, so there’s no way we can respond to that, not until it’s past midnight.
9th of November, 1979, 19:53
Charlie-1 has landed and Lt Beargal is rushed off to the medical centre and into intensive care.
A doctor is on-hand to look at Cpt Riddium’s injury as well, but it seems Lt Herr already did what could be done. In a day or two he shouldn’t even feel it.
I am tempted to use the funds we got for the alien equipment to build more weapons here, but I have to allocate some to the American base as well.
As I review the mission report later, I realise that this is Cpt Riddium’s tenth deployment against the aliens. I think he qualifies for a Service Medal for that. Lt Beargal will be presented with a Crimson Heart once she’s well enough, and Lt Herr and Sgt Wanyal have both earned an Order of Gallantry.
I also feel like both Sgts Jonely and Wanyal are ready for Lieutenant rank now. May they wear the star proudly.