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Old May 26 2013, 06:42 PM   #163
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Re: Agamemnon Voyages: The God Particle

Zenith, 2372

Lure Mer’iab had his orders but for the first time in his life he could see no way of how to follow them.

It was an entirely foreign experience for him, one he had never before experienced, not as a young man serving the Thane’s army, not as a cadet or a Starfleet officer.

And yet they had been simple enough: Stay alive.

As it turned out, there was absolutely nothing simple about them, considering the circumstances.

“Fall back, fall back,” he shrieked to the forty-odd men which remained of Omega-Two. They had successfully eliminated every trace of the Omega molecule and fought off a Xenarth push on their position thanks to Sh’Fane and her team joining the battle at a critical juncture. They had blown the Omega generator and retreated towards their extraction point.

But things had deteriorated quickly after they had parted ways with Omega-Three and they soon found themselves cut-off from their escape route.

Re-routing to the captain’s location had made sense until the Xenarth had taken that option away as well and they found themselves surrounded by the enemy on all sides.

“There is no place to fall back to,” Lieutenant Yuen said even as he fired his phaser rifle at the incoming Xenarth troops.

Mer’iab knew him to be right. Even if they could find a way around the enemy somehow, there was nowhere to go. All the shuttles had since departed. Mer’iab and his team had been left behind.

“We are too exposed here,” said the security chief. “Sergeant, find us some cover,” he said to the Andorian Marine who promptly nodded and then took two men to follow his orders. Mer’iab had recently developed a newly found respect for Andorians, particularly those wearing Marine colors.

“A.J, watch out,” Yuen shouted and then shoved the science officer aside when a lone Xenarth warrior had breached their perimeter and struck out at what had looked like an easy target of opportunity. Yuen managed to get her out of the razor-sharp spear’s way but not quickly enough not to be impaled by it himself.

“Chi,” Elborough cried out when she saw him getting struck by the Xenarth weapon and then scrambled back on her feet to get to the security officer.

But Mer’iab was at her side in an instant, holding her back with one arm and firing his rifle with the other which he unloaded with pinpoint accuracy, instantly killing the attacker.

“We’re sitting duck out here,” he said. “Where’s my cover?”

“We’ve located a reinforced chamber about fifty meters down this corridor. We should be able to defend that position for a short time.”

“I’ll take it.”

“Sir, I think you should know,” said the Marine, “there is only one way in or out.”

Mer’iab fully understood this. Easy to defend but impossible to escape. “It’s better than to be slaughtered out here. Move it people,” he said.

“What about Yuen?” A.J. said, still being held back by the Aurelian officer.

Mer’iab glanced at the Chinese man on the floor, his blood already pooling around his body. A couple of corpsmen were already tending to him but judging by their grim faces, they were not having much success. “Can you move him?”

One of the Marines shook her head.

“Sir, the perimeter is collapsing,” the sergeant called out.

Indeed the personnel which had been tasked to hold back the Xenarth was no longer able to slow them down. At least two men had already fallen.

“Fall back, fall back, now,” Mer’iab shouted to his men and then looked at the corpsmen. “Bring him.”

“No, he’ll die,” the science officer said.

But Mer’iab didn’t have time for this and she swooped up the young woman easily and carried her against her will as they began to move away from the incoming Xenarth soldiers.

They made their retreat to the chamber in mere minutes and with a limited number of casualties. And the sergeant had been right, the multi-level design and narrow entryway made it a good place to defend. He had no illusions that it would be a last stand. Escape seemed impossible. Already he could count a dozen wounded men which were no longer able to carry a weapon, including Lieutenant Yuen who had been a capable second-in-command.

Elborough had angrily freed herself from his grip once they had arrived at their destination and rushed over to were the corpsmen had placed him, fighting a desperate battle to keep him from bleeding out which had become even more of a challenge since they had been forced to transport him without proper precautions.

“Sergeant, I want you to set up people on all three levels and have them aim at the entrance. Shoot anything that comes through there and then find me a way to block it up.”

The Andorian nodded sharply and went to carry out the orders.

He checked in on the most gravely injured of his men next only to find that the corpsmen had apparently already given up.

“Sorry, sir,” she said. “There’s nothing more we can do.”

Elborough was sitting next to the dead security officer, sobbing. She was looking up at the tall Avian when he approached. “He was going to ... he was going to by me a drink back on Agamemnon.”

He considered her for a moment.

“None of us are getting out of here alive, are we?” she said between sobs.

Mer’iab knew the answer to that question but was unable to bring himself to say it. Then, with newfound purpose he turned to find the sergeant. “How much more explosives do we have?”

It took him only a few moments to check in with the men tasked to carry it. “We have four canisters of tri-cobalt left,” he said. “Probably enough to blow this entire level.”

Mer’iab nodded. “Give it to me.”

“How much do you need, sir?”

“Give me all of it.”

The Andorian’s eyes widened with surprise but he quickly collected what he had been asked for and handed it over.

The security chief found the detonator and within moments he had the entire thing rigged to blow. He swung the explosive-filled backpack over his shoulder and headed for the only exit.

“What are you doing?” Elborough asked him after having watched him put together the tri-cobalt.

He stopped halfway to the exit and looked at her.

“What are you going doing?” she repeated but obviously already aware what he was planning. “Don’t.”

But Mer’iab didn’t respond. Instead he found the Andorian sergeant again. “You are in charge,” he said and then dashed to the exit without another word.

He was immediately greeted by a hailstorm of weapons fire which he managed to dodge only barely and not without taking at least three shots, two of which grazed him and singed away parts of his flak vest and uniform underneath, one ripped right through his left wing and came dangerously close to hitting the backpack.

“Hold you fire,” he shouted. “Hold you fire,” he said again and then threw away his phaser rifle, causing it to clatter on the floor not too far away from where the Xenarth had taken up position.

They stopped for a moment and Mer’iab took that opportunity to jump into the open, fully away that he was taking a huge gamble that they wouldn’t shoot him down the moment they had a clear shot.

They didn’t. Instead one of their numbers, likely and officer but Mer’iab was hard-pressed to see any kind of distinction, took a step closer.

The Aurelian loosened his backpack and dropped it on the floor between him and the Xenarath commander and not far from where his rilfle had landed. The bag opened up and a number of canisters rolled out. The Xenarth took a step backwards but when he realized that the canisters where idle he stopped once more.

“One of those things just took out that Omega generator in what can only be called an expressive display of destructive power,” he said as he considered his counterpart carefully. “Now consider what six of those things can do,” he added and revealed the detonator in his right hand. He flipped open the safety cap and then pushed down on the dead-man’s switch, arming the primers.

The Xenarth clearly understood and took another step backwards. Then he considered his winged opponent carefully. “You detonate those explosives and you and your people will also die.”

Mer’iab nodded.

“We are prepared to die for protecting what is ours,” the insectoid said firmly.

Lure Mer’iab had his orders but for the first time in his life he could see no way of how to follow them.
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