Xenonautical Adventures – Part 23: Italy in the Crosshairs
12th of December, 1979, 08:41
I got some rest. That’s pretty much the best I can call it.
The clean-up crew will be getting the salvage back here before Charlie-1 gets home, with it being so far out. That cargo plane they use is clearly extraordinary.
Now, about that medal. I was thinking something like… Medal of Honour. No, that sounds daft. Medal of Valour? Valiant Cross? Something like that. I’ll consult Commanders Dosjevsky and Marabello for their input.
12th of December, 1979, 18:35
They’ve finally landed, and half the team have been carted off to the medical centre. Cpt Herr looked in particularly bad shape.
The Commanders and I decided on Citation for Valour, and I presented it to all of them upon their landing. The rest I am going to leave for after the combat report.
12th of December, 1979, 20:44
So the base was guarded entirely by mechanical beings? Is it even possible to take one of those ‘alive’, as it were? I guess I’ll wait for the autopsy to see what the Chief has to report.
Now to update the records. The whole team have their Citations for Valour. Cpt Herr got a Crimson Heart. Cpt Cuftbert got a Service Medal and an Order of Gallantry. Lt Jonely got an Order of Gallantry. Lt Berwolf now has an Order of Merit.
And Lts Beargal, Jonely and Niña are now Captains.
I do raise the question of how long that base has been there. I’m not sure there’s any good way to tell, but I assume we’ll be finding more in the coming months.
13th of December, 1979, 05:05
Night report: Alien fighter squadron detected over the Netherlands. Condors 5 and 6 are being launched to intercept.
13th of December, 1979, 05:14
Night report: Suspected Corvette detected over Italy. Foxtrot-3 has been launched to intercept.
13th of December, 1979, 05:16
Night report: Suspected Corvette detected over Iraq. Foxtrot-1 has been launched to intercept.
13th of December, 1979, 05:31
Night report: Suspected Corvette detected over Zaire. No interceptors available with range.
13th of December, 1979, 05:35
I have been dragged up. Apparently Europe is flooded with UFOs, and one has been shot down over Italy. Commander Marabello is requesting permission to launch Charlie-3.
I grant him permission and then look at the reports on my desk. I guess the analyses from the alien base are done. All right, let’s look through them. After I’ve gotten a cup of coffee, because I have a hard time seeing straight yet.
The aliens really couldn’t have waited a few more hours?
13th of December, 1979, 05:54
I receive the news that the fighter squadron has been shot down, also over Italy. I can’t imagine the Italian government being too happy about all the fuss.
Okay, the reports. The first two are the ‘autopsies’, or at least analyses of the two robotic aliens we found at the base. I looked at the ones the Chief has dubbed Androns first. I am not sure if I agree with his point about having a bi-pedal robot be a lesser choice than one with wheels or tracks, but I suppose it is curious how far they’ve gone to make these basically look and function like… well… us.
Those hovering discs we found the Chief has dubbed Light Drones. Considering the short-range burst Cpt Cuftbert suffered during the assault, I guess we should be happy that it’s low-intensity plasma.
This doesn’t really answer my question as to whether it’s possible to capture these things for a closer study, but the internal structure of the Androns would suggest it’s at least plausible to disrupt it so the thing gets disabled.
Finally there’s the analysis of the alien base itself. Apparently the Chief had a report, but the Lt-General intercepted it and replaced it with a more intelligence-focused report. I am curious about what the original report said. The only thing left is the suggestion for an upgrade project for our own base structures based on what we found down there. Going by the attached notes, it seems the Chief is quite excited about the prospect.
I do think we should venture to capture these bases if we can, but it’s nice to know we have an option if we do find ourselves outmatched.
13th of December, 1979, 06:38
Charlie-3 have reached the crash site, and are setting down.
Unfortunately only some of them have body armour yet, and no laser weapons. Still, daylight should help them out, right? I really hope they’ll be okay.
Charlie-3 Response Team on the ground. Day-time mission. Weapons at the ready. Dropship doors opening.
Are there really so many farms around the world? Or do the aliens just aim for them?
Regardless, there was a lack of proper landing spots in the area, so we had to set down on a cabbage field at the outskirts. We’ll have the farmer send the reparation bill to the world council.
Speaking of, we find the farmer and two farm-hands waiting for us just outside the ramp. After getting off the dropship and looking around, we confirm there’s no chance of anything sneaking up on us as we go to interview her.
Apparently they fled as the UFO came crashing down, and managed to get away without actually seeing any of the aliens. So they can’t really help us with what we’re up against, but we haven’t noticed any signs of mental attack, so that would indicate we’re dealing with lizards. But there are also no signs of a Reaper infestation… it seems it would depend on what was killed in the crash. Really we are no wiser, but at least the civilians are safe.
Cpls Dima and Kittan lead the advance onto the road. Apparently the quickest route to the barn is to head left to the tractor, up through the barley field, and then take a right. So we’ll do that. Cpl Young and Pvts Scouter and Tomalinsky will join them. Cpls Campster, Ruts and Wulf will head westward to make sure these southern fields are clear.
We go slow, watching both ways on the road as we head towards the tractor. We are well aware that it is basically a giant blind-spot. Cpl Dima heads around first, holding securely onto her shield.
Cpl Dima quickly drops into a crouch and shoots the alien straight in the chest. It doesn’t die immediately, but Pvt Scouter is close behind and finishes it off.
Now that we’ve confirmed what we’re dealing with, at least we don’t have to worry about reaper attacks.
Cpl Kittan forms up with the rest, and she watches the road east along with Cpl Young, just in case something comes down towards them.
Cpl Wulf heads further west, though as the fields look clear, Cpls Campster and Ruts head up to the road to join the others. It is Cpl Ruts who spots the second grey.
It is really far away, way outside of pistol and shotgun range for those by the tractor. If only we hadn’t left Cpl Spectre behind. Cpl Ruts starts setting up the LMG, while Cpl Campster, Cpl Young and Pvt Tomalinsky all take their shots. They score a couple of grazing hits, but nothing major. It begin moving rapidly southward.
Cpl Dima moves around the tractor to get a good look at the grain field, and she spots a third grey sticking its head up above the stalks before it ducks back down. She sets up his shield to guard against that one in case it comes towards us. Cpl Kittan and Pvt Scouter start moving west to try to catch the second grey, but it ducks behind the hedge and runs into Cpl Wulf.
The alien takes a shot, but Cpl Wulf is ready and drops the rocket launcher to get out of the way. She pulls out her baton and closes the distance before the grey can attempt another shot, and down it goes.
While Cpl Wulf is picking her rocket launcher up again, Cpl Young and Pvt Tomalinsky are suddenly assaulted by a hail of plasma bolts from behind, a couple of which strike Cpl Young across the back.
He quickly turns to see who fired, and sees one of those flying discs. We forgot that the greys tended to bring those along. They both move around to the front of the tractor to seek cover, while Cpl Dima moves around the other side to present her shield to the thing. Cpl Ruts is now all set up, and seeing a fairly clear line of fire, he turns the LMG on the disc. About half the shots hit the tractor and spook those gathered around it, but at least one shot hits the disc too, even if it doesn’t go down.
The third grey has started moving into the field, so Pvt Scouter sees his chance and quickly takes it down. Cpl Dima’s shield weathers another barrage from the disc before Cpl Young moves up and finishes it with a shot straight into the glowy bit in the front.
With all immediate threats dealt with, we take a moment to breathe and look at Cpl Young’s injuries. The burns are not too bad, fortunately, so the burn gel should take care of the worst of it. He’ll probably be walking stiffly for a few days.
Cpl Wulf has found another way through the hedge down west, so she calls Cpls Campster and Ruts over to help her check it out. The rest of the team start making their way around the edge of the barley.
Cpl Wulf peeks through the opening, and spots a grey in a shed, so she quickly ducks back behind the hedge while waiting for Cpls Campster and Ruts.
Once all three are ready, we peek through again. We can’t spot the alien now, but our guts tell us it’s still in there. Cpl Wulf moves up behind a log to the right and gets her rocket launcher ready. Cpl Ruts creeps up towards the shed with Cpl Campster right behind him.
Suddenly the far door is thrown open. Nothing comes running out, so Cpl Wulf decides it’s probably best to just blow up the whole shed.
Unfortunately her aim is a little hasty, so the rocket gets triggered by a rock and detonates. She hurriedly reloads, but Cpl Campster slides into cover behind a rock and gets a good line of fire on the alien, so he takes the shot.
Meanwhile the rest of the team has gotten past the barley and found the UFO. We even did a quick sweep of the barn, but found nothing, so we take up defensive positions in front of the UFO while we wait for the whole team to gather.
Cpls Campster, Ruts and Wulf makes a sweep of the western fields before they head towards the UFO.
Once we are all gathered around the front, Cpl Kittan moves up to open the door so we get a look inside.
No live greys spotted, but it is an open front room, so Cpl Wulf reloads her rocket launcher with a gas rocket. Still, it would be a waste to fire if there was nothing alive in the room, so Cpl Kittan ventures quickly inside and checks both sides. They’re empty.
So we prepare an entry team instead. Cpls Dima and Kittan will be in front, with Cpl Campster and Pvt Scouter behind.
We go in and very slowly make our way up the corridor. From earlier reports, this has typically been where aliens have come running out to attack, at least when it’s been lizards. We have less reports from greys in these kinds of ships. As we reach the end and make ready to look around the corner, we suddenly come under fire from the left. As she was turning in the other direction, one of the shots hit Cpl Kittan.
We can’t really get off any clear shots, nor can we really move to let Cpl Campster or Pvt Scouter come forwards, and there’s too much stuff stacked everywhere to safely throw a grenade. Still, when the blue-jersey pops his head up again, Cpl Kittan nails a shot right between the thing’s eyes.
Pvt Scouter has taken out his med pack, and starts looking at Cpl Kittan’s wound. We see a red-jersey dive out of sight, so Cpl Dima takes up pursuit. She doesn’t trust possibly missing in here right now, so she swaps her pistol for her baton, and charges forward with the shield. She sees the grey, and it sees her. It fires before she can get close enough, and as battered as her shield is by now, it doesn’t hold. Thankfully she only suffers a light burn to her hand, and is still able to leap forward and strike the red-jersey in the throat.
Cpl Kittan insists she’s fine and has had worse, so she volunteers to breach the left door, while Pvt Scouter goes for the right. It’s Cpl Kittan who finds and puts down the final grey, and as such the ship is ours.
With the adrenaline now starting to drain, we help the wounded back to Charlie-3, and inform the farmer that her farm is now clear, and someone will be along shortly to clean up the mess.
Charlie-3 heads home.
13th of December, 1979, 07:20
Charlie-3 reports a successful mission, and I am glad about that. Looking forward to their report. Though, we have also gotten a blip from south of Australia. If only Foxtrot-1 wasn’t already out flying.
13th of December, 1979, 07:37
The UFO in Africa has landed. I am tempted to order Charlie-3 to immediately fly out once they have landed, but… I think it would probably be better to use the time this gives us to refit Foxtrot-3.
13th of December, 1979, 08:44
Foxtrot-1 has shot down a Corvette over Turkey, and are heading home. This will take a while to get ready for a trip to Australia.
The combat report from Charlie-3 has been faxed to me, and I’ve looked it over. Not much to comment on. I suppose they were lucky with how the officer was already dead.
Pvts Scouter and Tomalinsky are now Corporals, and Cpls Kittan and Young are now Sergeants.
I have a feeling this is going to be a long day still.