Xenonautical Adventures – Part 15: Caesan Gassed
9th of November, 1979, 20:22
Foxtrot-1 is on the ground. I’ve told the ground crew to refuel and rearm as quickly as they can. I know it will still take hours.
I return to the ready room.
9th of November, 1979, 23:49
It seems the UFO flying around Africa has moved closer to us. An offshore platform north-east of Madagascar was attacked. Foxtrot-1 can get there. However, they’re still mounting the first torpedo, so it’s not ready to fly.
We’ll have to keep waiting.
10th of November, 1979, 00:13
A sighting in the south of Australia, right outside Adelaide.
Foxtrot-1 could reach that, too. I’ll have to make the decision once the rearming is complete.
10th of November, 1979, 03:49
Foxtrot-1 has been dispatched back to the Indian ocean. A fishing fleet was attacked in the early morning light down there.
Thankfully the Corvettes are much slower than the Foxtrot.
10th of November, 1979, 06:54
We’ve found the Corvette. Foxtrot-1 has altered course to intercept it. Let’s drive it off, and maybe even get it shot down? Our pilots have more experience now.
10th of November, 1979, 07:14
The Corvette is going down. Foxtrot-1 is reporting minor damage, so I assume they pulled some crazy stunt to get this done.
There’s still one UFO flying rogue outside Australia, but unless it flies within range of Foxtrot-2, there’s very little we can do for a while.
10th of November, 1979, 09:31
It’s hard to keep my eyes open, but the report on that small fighter-craft we encountered is at least fairly interesting. I wish these UFO incursions wouldn’t keep me up all night.
The research team haven’t really felt like being creative here, so they’ve just dubbed the thing a Fighter. I guess descriptive trumps creative. Whole squadrons of these things flying around, though? That sounds awful.
I wonder if there’s a way to knock one of these things out and haul it back here for study?
10th of November, 1979, 10:28
Foxtrot-1 has landed, and I feel close to collapsing. I’m going to have to attempt to grab some sleep. I have told the XO to wake me as soon as something happens, or Foxtrot-1 is ready to fly out again.
Major Merrywhiskers woke up when I came in, and now wants attention. I guess I can allow her in bed with me just this once…
10th of November, 1979, 13:56
I woke up about half an hour ago. Bad dreams.
Major Merrywhiskers has been chewing the tips off of my shoelaces. I’ll have to ask the quartermaster for new ones.
The report for the alien alloy fabrication project is in. I must admit the science parts of it are a bit out of my league, but I’ll instruct the base personnel to keep an eye out for off-duty scientists wandering about.
Being able to construct our own craft out of this stuff seems a bit like a dream. And not a bad one. Maybe we could make an interceptor that could fly around the world? Or into space?
Though to catch up while we wait for the American laboratory to be up and running, I have asked them to work on heavy lasers now. The captured alien can stay in its coma for a while longer.
11th of November, 1979, 00:20
The Euro-African command centre is operational. Construction of hangars and radar array, along with some basic living quarters has begun. I approved a workshop as well, so we’ll just have to hope that was not a bad decision.
11th of November, 1979, 07:54
The world has calmed down again. The UFO that plagued Australia got away, but we managed to deal with the rest.
That should give us a couple of days, hopefully. I will be spending more time with Major Merrywhiskers. Maybe take a walk.
12th of November, 1979, 07:33
I have ordered another inspection of our gear now that we might have a day or two without attacks.
Major Merrywhiskers will join me in the workshop, though with all the new gadgets they have in the laboratory, it’s probably best to leave her out of there. She still doesn’t really like the scientists.
12th of November, 1979, 09:21
More reports, this time from around Indonesia. Foxtrot-1 is ready to go.
Best of luck, this one is faster than the others.
To make things worse, a fishing fleet off the coast of Norway was attacked.
12th of November, 1979, 10:12
And now Africa too? Does this mean it’s a full incursion again already? Nine more days… nine more days was all we needed.
12th of November, 1979, 10:33
“Contact, sir! Confirmed extraterrestrial contact!”
Scout UFO detected south of Manila in the Philippines.
“Have Foxtrot-1 alter their course to intercept.”
Foxtrot-1 was almost there, anyway.
12th of November, 1979, 11:24
“Second contact, sir! Confirmed extraterrestrial contact!”
Just south-west of where the last one was, and there’s a report from the Pacific Ocean. Not far enough out that Foxtrot-2 can get there. Maybe best to wait for an opportunity to reach Europe or Africa.
“Foxtrot-1 reports UFO shot down, sir! Just outside Taipei, Taiwan!”
“Understood. Have Charlie-1 on standby, but I’d like to know more about the extent of this current incursion before we launch.”
“And launch Condor-2 with intercept course for the second contact.”
Considering its current course away from us, Condor-2 might not get there, but these UFOs have shown erratic movement patterns before. It could turn around.
12th of November, 1979, 12:19
“Third contact, sir! Confirmed extraterrestrial contact!”
Are they just throwing these Scouts at us now? Well, the one from the Pacific has come closer. Time to see if we can catch it.
“Launch Condor-1! Intercept course!”
12th of November, 1979, 12:44
“Second contact is off radar, sir! It disappeared too far out for Condor-2 to reach!”
“Understood. Have Condor-2 return to base.”
One slipped away. For now. There’s still a lot of day left.
12th of November, 1979, 13:38
“Condor-1 reports Scout shot down over South Korea’s south coast, sir!”
“Understood. Arrange an air strike for the crash site outside Taipei, and launch Charlie-1 with course for the South Korean site.”
Conveniently this one is closer, but I also don’t want to wait too long and give the aliens time to get into such a large city as Taipei.
Nothing else seems to be getting close to us, so we should focus on dealing with what we have.
12th of November, 1979, 17:03
“Charlie-1 has reached the crash site, sir!”
“Understood. Have them land and engage.”
It’s going to be dark there now. How long has it been since our last day-time mission?
Charlie-1 Response Team on the ground. Night-time mission. Flares have been distributed. Weapons at the ready. Dropship doors opening.
A farm at night again? That brings back some unpleasant memories.
As we are going for a Scout this time, we discussed the plan beforehand. Cpt Riddium is going to save one gas rocket that we fire straight into the UFO’s control room, where the aliens tend to bunch up.
We start getting off the dropship, immediately throwing flares into the darkness to secure the area around us.
The back seems clear, and Lt Jonely and Sgt Malo check the side exits. Lt Jonely is about to throw his first flare as one of the grey aliens steps out from behind a ball of hay at the edge of the darkness.
Lt Cuftbert spots it too though, as she turns in that direction after heading off the back ramp. Quickly she grabs the gas grenade on her belt and throws it right at the blue-jersey’s feet.
The thing is thrown off its feet by the force of the explosion, and it’s clear that it’s bleeding. We don’t really consider it a priority to check whether it died or is simply knocked out, so we simply move on.
The field to our west and the enclosures to our east are clear, and the north is blocked off, so we head southwards.
Alien plasma fire flies across the field of grain, though not at us. Instead we find a farmer with a shotgun huddled behind a singed hedge.
Lt Cuftbert knows a bit of korean, and manages to communicate enough to know that apart from the one we took out and the one shooting at him, there shouldn’t be any more aliens that have tried to come this way.
Sgt Jonely suddenly feels a pressure on his mind, and shivers despite himself. After the briefing we got based on the American team’s first mission report, he shares this with the team, and we feel it’s a safe assumption that there’s one of the purple-jerseyed aliens on the ship.
We move up to the edge of the wheat, and Lt Jonely throws a flare.
It lands right in front of another blue-jersey, which fires at Lt Jonely in response, but only manages to kill some grain.
Sgt Berwolf proves a better shot, and scores a direct hit which causes the alien to get knocked over.
Though as we move closer, it starts to get up again, somehow alive, but Sgt Malo quickly puts a stop to that.
Our progress through the wheat field is slow, our memories still on what happened last time, but nothing shoots at us, and the only thing we hear is the UFO door opening and closing a few times in the distance.
Even as we come up on the UFO, nothing is moving, and there’s no more activity at the door either.
Maybe so many of them died in the crash, that they didn’t want to send more than two guys out to check on things?
As the area seems clear, and most of the team are setting up in front of the UFO, Lt Wanyal heads off on her own to check behind the shed, just in case.
She dives back inside the shed and yells out for smoke.
Lt Herr is on the ball, and rolls a canister in there, which provides a thick cover. A plasma bolt flies through, possibly trying to clear the smoke away, but only making it worse.
Lt Wanyal pulls out her stun baton, lets the smoke clear a little, and then leaps into action.
She comes around the corner and finds the alien is not here, but she hears the plasma rifle charge up behind her. She twists around in a move that Major Merrywhiskers would approve of, and the shot merely splashes off of her armour. The blue-jersey doesn’t get a chance to fire again before the stun baton is brought straight down on its forehead.
With that done, Cpt Riddium sets up in front of the UFO, and raises his rocket launcher. He gives the signal to Lt Niña, who steps up and opens the door, then quickly gets out of the way.
Cpt Riddium swiftly scans the interior for a good target as all the aliens are turning to look in his direction. One, two, three, four, five of them, in various jerseys. Not important now. That glowing box!
The rocket flies straight and true, shattering against the alien alloy and flooding the UFO’s control room with gas.
It seems like only one of them drops immediately, because a couple of shots fly out before things go quiet in there.
Unfortunately one of those shots hit Lt Cuftbert, and melts part of her armour away to give her a nasty burn.
Sgt Berwolf fires a couple of suppressive shots in there as Sgt Malo throws a smoke grenade in front of the door so the aliens can’t see. This gives Lt Herr the opportunity to run up and administer first aid to Lt Cuftbert.
After giving it a minute, Lt Niña opens the door again to see if anyone’s left. Apparently one blue-jersey managed to escape the gas, but it fails to escape his shotgun.
As the gas clears out, we head in, but it turns out we got them all. We inform the farmer of our success, and bring Lt Wanyal’s friend back to the dropship with us.
Charlie-1 heads home.
12th of November, 1979, 17:37
Hearing them report mission success with no casualties lifts a weight from my heart. They’re even bringing home a new friend.
We’re not out of the woods yet, though. There’s at least three more UFOs at large in the world. Foxtrot-1 is ready to go, but we don’t know where to send them yet.
I should have some food brought up here.
12th of November, 1979, 18:12
A military aircraft was shot down on the Libyan border, close to where our Euro-African base is being set up. I’ve launched Foxtrot-1 in that direction.
12th of November, 1979, 21:28
Charlie-1 have landed, and Lt Cuftbert has been dragged off to the medical centre. It’s been a while since I’ve seen her this angry.
Our new prisoner was carted off to the holding tanks at the laboratory. We’ll deal with it later.
The team seems in fairly good cheer. I’ll be awaiting their report.
13th of November, 1979, 01:44
Foxtrot-1 came home with no sightings. It was so far out they didn’t really have the fuel to patrol.
Based on the mission report from the last one, it almost seemed routine, though the plan about gassing the inside of the UFO was clever. Just a shame about Lt Cuftbert’s injury.
Even so, I feel there are some candidates ready for promotion. Sgts Berwolf and Malo have earned their Lieutenant stars by now, and I think both Lts Cuftbert and Herr are ready for Captain.
I should get some sleep while Foxtrot-1 refuels.