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Aliens Adventure Game: Forced Entry 2 (Part2): 2012-01-30

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Coombs and the two technicians stood on one side while Henson and Anderson stood on the other in places where they had overlapping fields of fire but also where Henson had a clear line of sight on the corporate civilians.

The door stopped shaking.

“What are we going to do, Lieutenant?” Henson asked.

“I don’t know,” Lt. Smith said. “I’m not thinking straight right now. I think that thing poisoned me.”

“Poison?” Simmons said.

“Take a seat, sir,” McVenner said. “Take a breather.”

“Everything’s just ... soupy,” Lt. Smith said, moving to a corner of the room.

McVenner kept an eye on Coombs and his men.

“Hey Corp,” Simmons said.

He gestured at his helmet. McVenner nodded and went to the secure channel. Lt. Smith fiddled with his helmet too.

“I don’t want to spook Henson or Anderson, but that’s the only way out,” Simmons said, nodding at the main door.

“Yeah,” McVenner replied. “We’ll have to deal with that thing. There’s four of us. We should be able to get it before it gets in the room.”

“We did a great job of it last time.”

“There’s definitely too much space.”

“I say we don’t get separated, you know?”

“You made your point.”

“Actually, I’m more worried about is what the lieutenant told us. They were heading to the airlock, you know?”

“Yeah?”

“One of those things was inside the airlock. What’s on the other side of the airlock?”

“Yeah, our only way out of here. There’s only one left though, yeah? From what we figured? Last one’s out there, right?”

“Far as we know.”

“So, we deal with that one, we’re free. Free and clear.”

“How do we know they don’t have more of the crewmembers somewhere else?”

“Guess we don’t.”

“And what happened to the one that started all this mess in the first place?”

“Don’t know. Look man, I’m half tempted to open that door and blow that thing to hell. There’s four of us!”

“Probably not out there anymore.”

“Lieutenant’s got his side arm.”

“You see how these things work. They’re not stupid. They’re not that stupid. This thing’s not sitting out in the hallway, waiting to get shot. It’s run off somewhere. It’s going to ambush us. Again.”

“I don’t know. It came running at you pretty quick.”

“Yeah. Cause I’m like the zebra.”

“So, go open the door.”

Simmons looked at him.

“That’s a joke, private,” McVenner said.

“I didn’t say I was a gullible zebra,” Simmons replied. “I’m like the gazelle, you know? And it’s like the lion, waiting to pounce on me.”

“We’re going to have to deal with that thing.”

“All right. As much as I hate to say, we’ve got to figure out real quick ...”

“I’ve half a mind to turn around right now and blow those eggs to hell.”

There was a crackle of static.

“Can you hear me?” Lt. Smith’s voice crackled across their channel.

“Yeah lieutenant,” Simmons said.

“Damned radio’s damaged,” Lt. Smith said, static distorting his voice. “I don’t think I can do the secondary ... comm ...”

His voice came and went.

“You’re breaking up pretty bad, sir,” McVenner told him.

Smith clicked off their channel.

“We still don’t know about Kemps,” Simmons said.

“There’s been no sign of Kemps,” McVenner said.

“Yeah, but if the Ell-Tee’s okay, Kemps is probably okay too.”

“Maybe.”

“And what about Brobski? I didn’t see him in the cargo bay. We could go check it out. We could go check the cargo bay, maybe.”

Simmons looked at the lieutenant.

“They don’t pay me enough to make decisions like this,” McVenner said.

Simmons suggested that they could let the civilians carry the weird pods that Coombs wanted taken back to the Mendez. He noted he was not going to touch the stupid things.

“If they want to take them, they can get them,” he said.

“I’m not going to let them take these things back to Earth, man,” McVenner said. “You saw what just one of those things did here.”

“This whole things FUBAR,” Simmons said. “It’s your call.”

McVenner motioned to his radio control and the two switched back over to the open channel.

“You two,” he said to the technicians. “Get gravity back on.”

They looked at Coombs.

“Do it,” he said.

The two men got to work.

“It’s going to take a while,” one of them said. “About a half an hour.”

“We’re missing some guys,” Simmons said. “You want to take the time to address the situation here? I could take a scout team to go look for Kemps and Brobski.”

“Who you going to take with you? Anderson? Henson?” McVenner asked.

“I figured I’d take both of them,” Simmons replied. “You can hole up here.”

“That’s not a good idea,” McVenner said.

“We still need to transport these,” Coombs said, gesturing towards the fleshy things on the floor.

“We’re not transporting anything until the immediate, hostile situation’s been dealt with,” McVenner told him.

“Very well,” Coombs said. “How do you intend to deal with it?”

“Well, it would sure be nice if we could use the other eight guys on the ship to come over here and lend some firepower to us,” McVenner growled. “That’d be wonderful.”

“No, that’s your job,” Coombs said. “Corporal.”

“Well, I got four live bodies left, sir.”

“And how many of those things are there?”

“You tell us,” Simmons said.

“Yeah,” McVenner said. “Maybe one. Maybe more.”

“They all look alike,” Simmons said.

“Can you not handle one?” Coombs asked. “Minus your lieutenant. He looks pretty badly beaten up.”

“Four of us?” McVenner said with a sigh. “Maybe.”

“There you go,” Coombs said. “Then we can transport these back to the Mendez and go home.”

“Have you been in touch with the pilot in the dropship?” Simmons asked.

“Yes,” Coombs said. “Yes, I have.”

“Is still okay?”

“Uh-huh. He’s fine. He’s sealed up nice and tight.”

Simmons switched back over to the private channel and McVenner followed suit. They saw Lt. Smith touch his helmet as well but, after a thick crackle of static, he touched the radio control on his suit again. The static stopped.

“You think we could get back to Mendez on one of those little lifeboats?” McVenner asked.

“Yeah,” Simmons said.

McVenner asked Simmons about the rocket launchers in the security locker near the bridge. Simmons told him there were probably a half-dozen rocket launchers and a crate of rocket magazines.

“This is a little extreme,” McVenner admitted.

“I’m all about extreme,” Simmons said.

“All right, we go EVA with all of the explosives we can get out of that weapon’s locker. We go strap all that crap to the dropship and blow it to hell. Waste the eggs. Waste Coombs. Waste the two technicians. Get the rest of the team, get aboard the lifeboat, get back to Mendez with some kind of cooked up story about how everybody got killed. We’re the only survivors. We get on the Mendez and we go home.”

Simmons looked at him.

“You know, corp, that’s pretty extreme,” he said slowly.

“I told you it was extreme,” McVenner said. “Or, if it makes you feel better, we take the two techs with us.”

“No, I really don’t give a damn,” Simmons said. “I was just saying it’s extreme. But, yeah, I’m good for that.

They switched back to the open channel.

“Sir?” McVenner said.

“Yeah,” Lt. Smith answered.

“You okay to stay here with Anderson?” McVenner asked. “Keep an eye on these guys?”

Lt. Smith nodded.

“All right, we’re going to take Henson with us to the weapon’s locker,” McVenner said. “Get something with a little more punch to deal with this bug.”

“Good idea,” Lt. Smith said.

“You got Anderson,” McVenner went on. “He’s got a little more level head.”

“Hey!” Henson said.

“Shut up, man!” McVenner said.

“What are you talking about?” Henson said. “I got plenty a level head.”

“Check your ammo, Henson,” McVenner said.

“I checked my ammo,” Henson said. “I’m full. Corporal.”

“Good, you’re going to need it,” McVenner said. “You’re with us.”

“Better than being crammed in this hole with these things,” Henson said, gesturing at the pods.

“Shut up Hennie,” Simmons said.

They went to the door to engineering.

“All right, everybody, weapons hot,” McVenner said.

“Hell yeah, they’re hot!” Henson said, double checking the safety on his pulse rifle.

“Henson, look, all joking aside, we don’t need anybody to be a hero,” Simmons said to the man. “You’re a marine. You remember your training.”

“I will,” Henson said.

“Not going to let any of us eat it,” Simmons went on. “We’re making it out of here, you got me?”

“Damn right, Simmons,” Henson said.

After making sure there was a clear line of sight from Henson, crouched in the narrow passage, and Simmons, who stood behind him, McVenner pressed the button to open the door. The heavy portal slid halfway open before it jammed. There was nothing in the chamber beyond though there were long deep scratches in the walls near the door and in the door itself, as well imprints in the solid steel where the thing had tried to bash its way through. A panel floated in the air nearby. A careful check of the room proved it empty.

“Henson, don’t forget to check up,” Simmons said. “They can climb on the walls. They can do all kinds of stuff.”

“Man, I hate these freaking things,” Henson muttered.

“You have no idea kid,” Simmons said.

“Where we going?” Henson asked.

“We’re going to the weapon’s locker,” McVenner said.

“Oh yeah!” Henson said.

They crossed the room outside of engineering, Henson on the right, McVenner in the center, and Simmons on the left. When they reached the black opening that led to cargo handling control, Henson kept his rifle pointed at it as they passed and turned to cover their flank as they made their way across the room. When they reached the open door that led to the passageway to Deck 3, Simmons touched the switch and the door closed.

They reached the door to the vertical shaft to the bridge and McVenner opened it to reveal the narrow, stairwell-filled shaft. McVenner took point, Simmons gestured for Henson to follow, and he brought up the rear, moving backwards and closing the door behind him.

McVenner stuck his head up through the opening to the bridge but, aside from the floating body, saw nothing moving. All of the other doors were closed and none of the lights were functioning, though some light spilled into the room from the various panels and controls. They policed the room but found nothing living within.

They made their way carefully to the security locker and took a single rocket launcher, which Henson was ordered to carry, much to his delight.

“This place is pretty tight,” Henson said, looking around. “Isn’t it going to do us as much damage as anyone else if we fire it off in here?”

“You’re not going to pull that trigger unless it’s at max range,” McVenner said. “You’re the first shot.”

“Shouldn’t I have my pulse rifle and not ... the missile launcher unless it gets to max range?” Henson asked again. “The places in here are pretty tight.”

“Yeah, look, we’ll have our rifles up and ready, okay?” McVenner said. “If we spot that thing far off, you take a shot at it with that tube. Clear?”

“All right,” Henson said.

Simmons and McVenner took charge of the weightless crate of rocket magazines, though McVenner hooked one to his suit. The three men then proceeded down the stairwell to Deck 2 and then down the tube to Deck 3 to the main passageway there. They could still see what looked like movement at the forward end where the alien’s acidic blood was still eating away at the main stairwell where they’d found two of the things.

They moved to the door to the port airlock and opened it. They moved down the long, black corridor to the wrecked airlock, McVenner pushing the body of Staff Sergeant Reynolds out into space. They could see planet JS-AC03 below them.

“Corp?” Henson said nervously. “Where the hell are we going?”

McVenner switched over to a secure channel and Henson and Simmons followed suit.

“Where are we going?” Henson said again.

“We’re going to destroy the dropship, Henson,” McVenner said.

“What?”

“We’re going to go blow the dropship to Hell,” McVenner said. “Then we’re going to come back in here, we’re going to waste Coombs–”

“Good, I hate that guy.”

“Maybe waste the two technicians, then jump into one of the lifeboats, and head back to the Mendez.”

“Okay, works for me. Why didn’t we just shoot our way out the windows on the bridge?”

“Because we don’t want them to know what’s going on yet.”

“Okay. So I get to shoot the dropship with this thing, huh?” Henson said, hefting the rocket launcher.

“No, we’re not going to shoot the dropship with that thing,” McVenner said. “Not yet. We’ve got to strap all of the remaining cartridges somewhere vulnerable on the dropship. Then you can shoot it from some safe distance.”

“Works for me. I just want to shoot something.”

“You a good shot?”

“I never fired one of these things before in my life. How hard could it be?”

They briefly talked about using a grenade instead of the rocket launcher, as none of them had any experience with the latter. Henson tried to convince McVenner he could do it but the corporal said they’d decide when they got there. McVenner told Henson to maintain radio silence while they were outside the ship, noting that if he didn’t, he’d yank his comm cord right out of his helmet.

“Fine,” Henson said. “Damn, corp. I’ll keep my mouth shut.”

As soon as they switched back to an open channel, they heard the lieutenant.

“McVenner,” he said.

“Sir?”

“They’re going to turn the gravity back on so make sure you’re on a floor somewhere,” Lt. Smith said.

“Absolutely,” McVenner said.

The three men quickly exited the ship, McVenner leading them under the vessel to the starboard side.

“Sure is tight in these tight corridors,” Henson said very casually at one point.

McVenner glared at the man and then shook his head.

They switched to the secure channel again and McVenner ordered Henson to stay on the secure channel. As they made their way under the ship, McVenner often switched back to the unsecured channel to listen. When they were about halfway to where they planned to set the explosives, he heard Coombs voice calling his name.

“What do you need, Coombs?” he asked.

“McVenner!” Coombs said again. “They found it! Brick found it! The damned thing’s on the dropship! It’s trying to get in the canopy! You need to get over to the dropship right now and kill it!”

“It’s outside the ship?”

“It’s outside the ship! The damned thing can survive in vacuum!”

McVenner shook his head, screaming silently to himself. He switched to the secure channel where Simmons and Henson were.

“Change of plan, guys,” he said. “The thing’s on the outside of the dropship trying to rip its way into the canopy.”

Henson turned around and faced them.

“Here’s your chance!” McVenner said to him. “Let’s go! Let’s go! If we could just blow that thing off the canopy, it won’t have anything to push off of. It will just float away. It’ll be like shooting a duck in a barrel.”

“Fish! Fish!” Simmons said.

“Whatever!” McVenner replied.

They all switched back to the unsecured channel and heard the pilot, Jackson Brick, screaming.

“It’s tearing at the canopy!” he yelled. “It’s going to get in here. I don’t have a vac suit on! I don’t have a vac suit on! Get somebody in here right now!”

There was a whooshing noise and nothing else came over the radio.

The three men made their way to the spot where the dropship connected to the Walbran. Back on the secure channel, McVenner had them carefully place the crate of missiles against the underside of the airlock and then the three moved away to the main structure of the ship some 40 feet away. It gave them a place where they could fire the rocket and then shelter themselves from the explosion.

When they switched back to the open frequency, Henson piped up.

“Everything is in place for our ambush of the alien,” he said, rather woodenly.

McVenner shook his head again.

“What happened to the drop ship?” Coombs asked. “Have you found Brick? Did you get to the dropship yet?”

“Clear the channel,” McVenner simply said.

He had the other two grab his belt and told them if he didn’t move fast enough to pull him back. Then he took the rocket launcher from the disappointed Henson and put it on his shoulder. He aimed for several seconds and pulled the trigger, turning as the other two men pulled him away from the edge.

There was a bright flash and they felt the vibration of an explosion through the ship’s hull. Then there were several more flashes and the hull under them shivered and shook. In one unnerving moment, McVenner was surprised to see a rocket shell trailing smoke tumble right over their position. Henson must have seen it too because he made loud, breathy noises.

The damaged drop ship plummeted slowly away from the Walbran followed closely by the mangled remains of a body in an environmental suit. As the dropship fell away from them, something black skittered out of the shattered canopy and then launched itself at the Walbran.

“Omigod! Kill it! Kill it!” Henson said, unslinging his pulse rifle.

Simmons also filled his hand with his own rifle. The thing seemed to have leapt right at them.

Henson opened fire on the thing while Simmons aimed his pulse rifle and McVenner lifted the rocket launcher and aimed as well.

“It’s coming right at us!” Henson cried, still firing madly. “Oh God!”

One of his bullets finally struck the thing in the leg which didn’t seem to hurt it at all.

When it was within 15 feet of the three men, McVenner finally fired the rocket launcher. The rocket struck the alien in the hips, smashing into it and passing straight through the thing, ripping a large hole in it. The alien began to cartwheel over and over, but the rocket had robbed it of its forward momentum and it spun there, moving slowly away from Walbran.

Simmons and Henson opened fire on the thing, the latter screaming into his radio. The alien was struck with bullets in the chest, arm, skull, tail, and lower body. Its arms and head stopped moving completely but Henson kept firing.

“Yeah!” he cried. “Yeah! You ain’t so tough now, are you, you son of a *****! Yeah, keep floating away from me!”

“Henson! Check your fire!” McVenner said.

“Yeah! Yeah!”

“Check your fire, private!”

Henson finally stopped firing and looked at his pulse rifle.

“Whoa, I only have four shots left,” he mumbled before replacing the magazine.

They switched back to the main channel. There was some confusion on the line.

“What happened?” Lt. Smith said. “What happened with the drop ship? We felt something.”

“We had some complications out here, sir,” McVenner said.

“Go on.”

“The pilot must have panicked. I don’t know what he did but the dropship’s wasted.”

“What!?!” Coombs broke in.

“And has separated from the main ship,” Simmons put in. “From the Walbran, sir. Drifting away.”

“It’s done,” McVenner said. “Pilot’s dead.”

“Son of a *****,” Coombs muttered.

“We got the thing, though,” Simmons said.

“We’re going to have to get to the bridge and contact the Mendez,” Coombs said. “They can send the second dropship.”

“Need you to stay in engineering for the time being, Coombs,” McVenner said.

“Fine,” Coombs replied. “Get her as soon as you can.”

“We’re going to risk a second pilot?” Simmons said.

“We’re headed your way,” McVenner said.

“Corporal,” Coombs said.

“Yes?” McVenner replied.

“What’s the status of the starboard airlock?” Coombs asked.

“Uh ... I believe it’s drifting away with the dropship,” McVenner said.

“We can always do an EVA for the second dropship,” Coombs said. “Thank you corporal.”

The three men made their way into the starboard airlock but found that the interior door was still intact and jammed shut. They ended up having to leave the starboard airlock and cross the ship to the port airlock once again. They made their way back to engineering without meeting any resistance.

They entered engineering. Lt. Smith was still in the corner and Simmons went to check on him. McVenner lowered his pulse rifle at Coombs and fired a burst, killing the man. The two technicians started screaming.

“Get away from the eggs,” McVenner said, then started to count down from three.

The techs and Anderson fled and McVenner fired on the four pods, blowing them to pieces. One of the things inside managed to leap free of the eggs but did not move very well in the vacuum. Henson started firing almost immediately as well and they dealt with the pods and their inhabitants in short order. Anderson pointed his own pulse rifle at the technicians.

Once there was order in the room again, they could hear one of the technicians praying quietly to himself. The other one looked very frightened.

“You guys are techs, right?” Simmons said.

“Yes sir,” West replied.

“Which means you’re smart, right?”

“Which answer’s not going to get me Coombsed?”

“The smart one.”

“Yeah, yeah. We’re smart. We got gravity back on.”

“Yes, you did. So, that also means you know when to keep your damned mouth shut, right?”

“Yep! All the time. Too bad one of those things got Coombs!”

“It’s terrible.”

“Bad situation all around.”

They took the two technicians to the cargo bay and searched it one more time for Brobski without any luck. Then they did a full sweep of the ship and found Brobski’s corpse in the crew quarters. It looked like his suit had been ripped open, exposing him to vacuum. They took him with them.

Then they went to one of the rescue pods and launched it towards the Mendez, contacting the corporate frigate on the emergency radio. They docked with the ship and told the crew of the Mendez that one of the things got Coombs and the cargo had all been destroyed. McVenner also claimed the bridge was destroyed, so they could not contact the Mendez from there either.

“Let’s just get out of this system,” Henson said, putting his arms around the two technicians. “Hey, Hennison. West. How about I help you get ready for hypersleep? How about that?”

“Okay ...” West said.

Henson escorted them to the hypersleep chamber.

“Good job, Henson,” McVenner muttered to himself. “You’re not so much of a waste as I thought you were.”

Soon, all of the marines were also in hypersleep, heading back to Aerodyne.

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