Approx. 1000 words
All Rights Reserved
Copyright 2015 SJ
Chaos on Terra Aurigae:
To the Battle
written by SJ
As Lana Lyu LaFong prepared to fly her shuttle down to the planet, she studied the location, quickly finding out it was in the same district as the farmhouse, back when she was on this planet before, investigating Randal Thomas, S’hawna Morgan, and, of course, Ricardo. She would never forget the big ogryn.
Randal Thomas had been found dead, and S’hawna Morgan had disappeared, assumed to have left the planet. However, Ricardo, know as Ricardo of Tain (the town he was born in), had left her a voice message:
"We still team?"
"I have Ogryn squad ready for you command."
"Bone’ead Ricardo Tain."
There was a coordinates location tag.
When Lana delayed launching the shuttle, Jennifer had to ask what was wrong.
Lana replayed the voice message.
“Ogryn squad?” Jennifer wondered. “Is that official?”
The team leader smiled. “I think it is.” She shrugged. “They just don’t have any transportation.”
“Are you thinking about using them?”
“Well, I’m going to do my recon mission first.” Lana looked at the Combat Librarian, then confirmed. “So, you think you can hide my shuttle from Chaos...in case they have a some strange way to spot it?”
Jennifer thought a second, then answered. “If they have some kind of WARP means to spot a stealthed shuttle, then, yes...I’d like to believe I CAN prevent it.”
Before leaving, Lana returned Ricardo’s voice message, telling him to be ready, just in case she needed him...but, hoping she didn’t.
Lana flew the shuttle, keeping it stealthed, while Jennifer sat in the co-pilot’s seat ready to use her special power. Before reaching the location, she was updated by Yarrick, saying Chaos forces had moved again.
Apparently, Yarrick had set up several motion detector towers at his ground HQ, located on the highest hill in the area. And even though he wasn’t able tell exactly where Chaos forces were at, he was able to detect their movement. So far, during the last sixteen hours, it seemed Chaos was trying to get past or around the Terran forces, to a location behind them, something he and the General were determined not to let happen. Behind them, about fifteen kilometers away, was the Tau/Terran city of Pech Garnell, again, the same city Lana was sent to for her very first Ops mission.
She cautiously headed toward the new location, thinking about that investigation: Did S’hawna Morgan have anything to do with what was happening now? The planetary authorities had searched for her for months, finding nothing, coming to the only logical conclusion: that she had found a way off the planet. Lana had come to the same conclusion, thinking it was VERY unlikely she could be involved. Everything about her pointed to her having her own agenda, with no ties or connections with any other known part of Chaos.
Lana detected Chaos forces on her scanner about the same time as Jennifer felt something: a probe.
“I think they know we’re here.” The Librarian informed, still concentrating.
“Can they find us?” Lana asked.
There was a short delay before she answered. “No. It seems all they know is that were out here someplace...” Jennifer sighed. “But it’s like...they don’t seem to care.”
Lana quickly found a short escarpment and landed behind it so she could look over the top using the shuttle’s periscope. She then linked the shuttle's telescope to it, and, at a range of five kilometers, began searching...eventually finding a dark wooded area where Chaos seemed to be hiding, spotting the shape of a Land Raider first.
The shuttle had several video monitors in front and one in back, allowing her whole team to see what she was seeing. However, aside from the Land Raider and one Rhino (definitely not Ahriman’s), that was all they could see.
She needed to get closer.
The next location she flew to was three kilometers away, behind some tall boulders located on top of a narrow ridge, a place that allowed her to use the telescope the same way. At three kilometers she was within range of the Land Raider’s twin-linked lascannons, something that could make short work of her shuttle fairly quickly, assuming they had a clear shot.
The team leader was also concerned about something she encountered on Thanatos-4, the creatures Jennifer described as Possessed Chaos Marines--especially if they could fly, something that would allow them to close on her position quickly. However, Jennifer told her that Possessed Chaos Marines, even though still part Marines, were demons, and she didn’t sense any of those at the moment. The Librarian also informed, that even though it seemed Chaos knew they were here, they still didn’t care.
Inside the woods, Lana spotted a few more vehicles, all Rhinos. Terran forces were a little over six kilometers away to her left. She called Yarrick and informed him of the Chaos location, saying it looked like one Land Raider and six Rhinos, a small force in comparison to what the Terrans had. And, according to her scanner and to Jennifer, the good news was that there was NOT an active WARP gate.
Lana considered the possibility that since she now had a more exact location of Chaos forces, Yarrick might be able to use his artillery to land an indirect barrage. But, he dismissed the idea, saying it was too far; if Chaos had an active defense grid, which they probably did on the Land Raider, most of his barrage could be deflected by repulsor beams. Plus, he didn’t want Chaos to know he had artillery, something he was hoping to save as a surprise when he could use a more closer direct fire.
Captain Davis overheard the conversation and was happy LaFong’s team was in position, then informed her that he was now in full command of the current Federal forces, since the General had been called away by some kind of emergency elsewhere. As for here and now, all they could do was wait.