Xenonautical Adventures – Part 30: Desert Sniper
27th of December, 1979, 08:04
Charlie-2 has landed, and Foxtrot-2 has found a medium-size contact over the Pacific. Unfortunately they don’t have enough fuel to intercept, so they were forced to return to base. I look at the report Commander Dosjevsky sent over from the ground mission.
I agree with the assertion that Cpl Guard deserves to become Sergeant, and that Sgt DeHaan should be a Lieutenant, but I must admit I expected something for the others too.
Looking at their records, Lt Vecre has earned an Order of Gallantry, while Cpt McNutcase has earned the Service Medal.
27th of December, 1979, 09:43
Incident off the coast of Angola. Foxtrot-3 is still not ready, so Condor-6 has been sent to investigate.
I am considering that maybe we should have built two Foxtrots per base. A bit late to consider now, but I might want to budget for that in the future.
27th of December, 1979, 10:31
Charlie-3 has landed, and Commander Marabello has sent over the report. Three cases of minor injuries, and Sgts Mumbles, Spectre and Wulf recommended for Lieutenant rank. I am okay with that.
Also, Lt Campster was especially active this mission. He’s earned the Order of Gallantry, and the Military Cross all in one, for taking down five aliens in that single mission.
27th of December, 1979, 11:58
Condor-6 ran into a medium-sized contact off the coast of Nigeria. It’s heading north slightly out from Condor-6 path, but hopefully they can swing around and catch it.
27th of December, 1979, 12:34
Condor-6 shot down a Corvette over Nigeria. I was tempted to order it bombed, but Commander Marabello raises a good point that we absolutely need the funds. The base has also gotten more of their equipment now, with only a laser carbine missing.
Lt Dima has been told to stay behind, because the doctor looked at her hand, and said she’ll be fine, but she probably shouldn’t lift much of anything with it today. Sgt Scouter will be stepping in. But do we give him the laser pistol, or let him keep the shotgun? With the element of uncertainty, and the proven lack of effect ballistic weapons have against androns, I am going with the safer option.
Charlie-3 launches. They’re not getting many breaks, poor people.
27th of December, 1979, 16:41
New incident in the Pacific, this time Foxtrot-1 is closer, by a hair. I was tempted to send both them and Foxtrot-2, so hopefully at least one of them would end up on the right path of where the thing is going to go, but I held back. If something happens closer to the North American base, we need Foxtrot-2 ready.
27th of December, 1979, 17:09
Charlie-3 has reached the crash site, and are setting down to engage. Good luck, soldiers.
Charlie-3 Response Team on the ground. Night-time mission. Flares have been distributed. Weapons at the ready. Dropship doors opening.
It’s not long since the sun went down, but the area is already pitch black. We’re practically at the edge of the desert, yet far enough in that we probably won’t see anything beyond cacti and rocks here.
We quickly rush off the dropship and start throwing flares. Nothing immediately reveals itself, and it seems like even the insects have fled the area as the night is completely quiet.
After about a minute a Reaper charges out from among some rocks. Sgt Young takes a shot and misses. Lt Spectre does not.
Time to head out. Sgt Scouter and Lt Spectre head up the narrow pass to the north. Lt Wulf goes with Sgts Kittan and Young towards the north-east, where there seems to be a clearing beyond the rocks. Lts Campster, Mumbles, and Ruts head off to the east to see what they find.
Lt Spectre and Sgt Scouter barely get going before a second Reaper comes running down the pass towards them, but Lt Spectre swiftly sends a laser bolt straight through the thing’s chest.
Having yet to see any Corvette carrying more than two Reapers, and highly doubting there would be any civilians to turn out here, we relax slightly. We’re still going to progress carefully though. Reapers also means lizards, and they like to hide among the rocks.
The first one to spot a lizard is Sgt Kittan, once they get past the rocks. This time Sgt Young doesn’t miss.
Shortly after, Lt Mumbles spots another one. Lt Ruts spins up his scatter laser and pins the thing down, then Lt Campster finishes it off.
After that things go quiet for a bit. We keep moving out, throwing flares every couple of metres we move, and closely watching the rocks and the sand.
After several minutes, Lt Spectre thinks she spots movement at the edge of her vision, but she can’t see properly. She sends a short request to Lt Wulf, who is close enough to throw a flare towards that area. Lt Spectre sees a lizard pressed up against a rock, presumably trying to sneak up on Lt Wulf, and she aims her rifle.
With another one down, Sgt Scouter and Lt Spectre keep advancing, and quickly find the crashed UFO. Lt Spectre sets up to guard the door from a safe distance, while Sgt Scouter takes a look around the side of the UFO. While it is hard to tell from the outside, the amount of holes and smoke billowing out would suggest this one is very damaged.
As Sgt Scouter comes around the front again and takes up a defensive position off to the side, a lizard opens the door and looks out, only to be shot by Lt Spectre who was fully set up by that point.
It only takes about another five minutes before the rest of the team have finished combing the area and found no more aliens running around.
Sgt Scouter throws a gas grenade inside as he sees the others approach, and we form a boarding party. Sgts Kittan and Scouter go in front, while Lts Mumbles and Ruts go in behind them.
Though the gas disperses, there’s still plenty of smoke coming off of various destroyed instruments in here. We soon discover that all the remaining aliens are dead. It seems their power supply blew up in the crash, and most of them didn’t make it. The one at the door was the last survivor on board.
We make a final check to make sure everything is actually dead, and then head back to Charlie-3. After the chaos from last mission, this was almost anti-climactic. Charlie-3 heads home.
27th of December, 1979, 17:58
From the initial report, apparently Charlie-3 didn’t have any problems down there. They are heading home now, and I’m curious how their final report will read.
It just occurs to me that I’ve kinda forgotten to sleep. I hope Major Merrywhiskers is okay.
27th of December, 1979, 19:41
Foxtrot-1 intercepted and shot down a Corvette over the Pacific ocean. Let’s hope that was the end of it. I’m staying up for Charlie-3’s report, but after that I will probably just crash.
27th of December, 1979, 23:24
I think I dozed off in my chair a bit, but now the report is here.
Apparently half the aliens died as a result of the crash, which I think is a new record. I approve Commander Marabello’s recommendation that Sgts Kittan and Young be made Lieutenants, and then I go straight to bed. Now if only the aliens could keep quiet overnight.
28th of December, 1979, 07:20
How is it morning already? I protest most profusely. At least Major Merrywhiskers seems to have lots of energy, as she got into the cupboard under the sink and knocked over a bottle of bleach. Thankfully she doesn’t know how to get the top off, or it might have been a real disaster. It made quite the ruckus, though.
28th of December, 1979, 11:12
I decided to pay a visit to the workshop to look at their upgrades. There was a minimal staff today, as I did give them the rest of the year off, but the good Comrade didn’t mind giving me a quick tour. I must admit the terminology went a little over my head, but at least he seemed content with how everything worked, or if he wasn’t, he was fixing it.
28th of December, 1979, 20:49
Not much left to do before New Year’s now but clean and do maintenance on everything. And hope the aliens wait until next year to start any more shit.
What sort of culture and holidays and such do they have, I wonder? Every creature we’ve seen so far has seemed born and bred for combat, with true sentience only granted to the few, and a sense of self not really being present. What sort of a culture would such a civilisation produce? I suppose we might have to go to their planet to find out. They have probably sent only their military here.
29th of December, 1979, 07:57
I slept in a whole half hour today. I was thinking of stretching it to an hour, but Major Merrywhiskers was making noises in the kitchen, and I had to investigate. Turned out it was nothing, but you can never be sure.
I suppose I’ll have to drop by the laboratory today to see how they are cleaning up.
29th of December, 1979, 12:17
When I come back from lunch, I find a report waiting on my desk. The scientists in North America have completed their analysis of what they call the Alien Heavy Plasma.
I had seen the thing before we shipped it over, and by the size of it, I must admit I sort of expected something equivalent to our LMG. But from the description of the thing; a shorter, thicker barrel, limited range, high power; it sounds more like a very large pistol. Curious.
So far we have taken out all the lizards carrying them from range, so we’ve never seen it fired in the field, and I must admit I sort of hope it will stay that way.
The final note on the report was simply a statement that they were now starting study of the final weapon. To me that one looked most like a sniper rifle, but if I was wrong about this thing, maybe I’m wrong about that too.
29th of December, 1979, 21:48
The lab was fine. The Chief even let me look at how their new jet design was coming along.
Not much else of import happened today. Two more days. Just two more days.