Approx. 1500 words
All Rights Reserved
Copyright 2015 SJ
written by SJ
There was a smaller version of a Vyper waiting for her; in fact, it looked more like a Jetbike, one with a cockpit, and completely unarmed. Once she was inside, sitting behind the pilot, it took off.
This time Lana was awake during the return trip. She still felt the energy field around her same as before; when the Jetbike took off she figured it was some sort of gravity compensator, since she felt no ‘G’ force at all.
Once the Jetbike left the Counsel building, the scenery of the Eldar city blew past her almost too fast to see. The Jetbike slowed down just before it entered a Web Gate...then she saw a snow-covered landscape beneath her, again, moving almost too fast for her to see clearly.
Inside the Jetbike, there was very little sound. The pilot remained almost completely silent, not speaking a word. As the minutes ticked by, Lana tried to look at the terrain, to see if she could recognize any kind of landmark, or spot any Terran vehicles on the ground. She wondered if she should say anything, eventually saying “thank you” in Eldar a couple times, in which, each time he nodded only slightly.
On her Scout helmet she had turned on her com, leaving it open so she could pick up any Terran conversation. When the Jetbike began to slow down, then stop, she recognized the ice cave. But, she didn't want to be left there. She didn’t know where her Squad was, nor how to find them from that location, assuming they were even at the south pole any longer. Then she decided to use her com.
“Hello, this if Officer LaFong, can anyone hear me? If anyone can hear me, please answer.”
When the Jetbike stopped, she tried to tell him not to leave her there. But, he didn’t seem to be making any attempt to make her exit the vehicle. Eventually, she tried pointing up, then forward, to try and get him go up and forward. She was surprised when he did just that. At the same time, she got an answer to her call.
“This is Officer Sakai, did you just say you were Officer LaFong?”
“YES.” She sighed with relief. “I’m...over here, on the other side of that ice cave. Are you guys still on the south pole?”
“Yes, we are--hell, we’ve been looking for you.” His voice sounded pleasantly surprised. “Where are you?”
“I’m in an Eldar Jetbike.” The vehicle had risen and was moving slowly forward. When she spotted the platoon HQ camp, she said, “I’m going to try and land near your camp...” She began pointing to a place for the pilot to land, which he did slowly.
Over the com, she heard a distance voice, sounding like Ramcke. “Who are you talking to?”
Sakai answered Lana first. “Say again. Did you just say you were in an Eldar Jetbike?” He answered Ramcke, next. “LaFong...I’m talking to LaFong.”
“Yes, I’m in an Eldar Jetbike. You should see us by now.” Her next statement she was extremely forceful about: “And don’t anyone even THINK about firing on us, or try to detain the pilot!”
In the background over her com, she heard Ramcke using his com to contact his squad, telling them the good news.
Sakai answered calmly. “No, we won’t do anything...but, I don’t see a Jetbike.”
It was at that time, Lana noticed that the Jetbike was in full stealth mode. Only when it began landing, did it began to appear. She saw a VERY surprised group of Scout Marines below her, plus a few Thanatos militia, who couldn’t belief their eyes.
The members of platoon HQ remained surprised, practically out of their minds, as the Eldar pilot moved quickly and deftly, opening the cockpit, then getting out of her way while still balancing himself on the top of the Jetbike and pulling back his seat for her. Lana, sensing the pilot was uncomfortable, climbed out of her seat as quickly as she could and left the Jetbike. She looked at the pilot as he quickly returned to his seat, telling him, “thank you” and “goodby” twice in Eldar. When she stepped back, the Jetbike raised up, then turned, moving away slowly at first, then quickly, entering stealth and disappearing, leaving a distance trail of disturbed snow in its wake.
Sakai stepped forward, surprised just as much as the others, who were speechless. “LaFong--what the hell?”
Lana sighed, not knowing where to begin. “It’s a long story.”
Over her com, she began hearing the members of her team welcoming her back. It was Melinda who finally said the inevitable. “My, God, LuLu--we thought you were dead.”
“I’m assuming the reports of your death have been greatly exaggerated.” She heard Major Taliaferro’s voice on her com.
“Yes. After I destroyed the WARP gate I was chased by these strange, Chaos-Marine-like, creatures; after I fell into the ice cave, they came after me. The Eldar blew up the ice cave with a what looked like a starcannon just as I was getting out, which, I assume, killed the Chaos creatures. I passed out after that...then I woke up, uh...” She felt a little shy, not wanting to explain her immediate awaking part. “...I woke up on one of the Eldar worlds, in a city.”
“You were on an Eldar world?” She recognized Colonel Gallardo’s voice.
“Yes, sir. It was the Alaitoc world. Ar’sharel asked me to tell you she was sorry for taking me.”
“Ar’sharel?” The Colonel became curious.
“She’s a Farseer in the Alaitoc Farseer Counsel. She wanted me to speak with them for awhile--”
“Holy Moly...” The Colonel was beyond surprised. “The Farseer Counsel is their highest level of government. I’m going to have to call the General.”
All of a sudden, Lana noticed Apothecary Ramos next to her, using a medical scanner. “Welcome back.” He did a double take on his scanner. “Lana, where are your injuries.” He examined Lana’s face. “You had a black eye, with a small cut on your cheek. And your other cuts seemed to be almost healed?”
She thought a second, then answered. “The Eldar did something to me while I was out. Some kind of healing medicine.” She smiled, shyly. “I was awake only during the last part of it.” Then she remembered. “Oh, no.”
There were a couple “what’s” from the others on the com line.
“I forgot the robe.” Lana felt bad. “Ar’sharel gave me this robe. It was made of the softest material I’ve ever felt...”
“Hey, do you think the Eldar would have something for my headache?” She heard Yarrick’s voice on the line, sounding like he was joking a little.
She thought about the healing hands, then answered. “Yes. They’d have a cure for you like you wouldn’t believe.”
“Really?” He became a little curious, then changed the subject. “Oh, by the way, those Chaos creatures that came after you...we’re officially calling them Possessed Chaos Marines. We blasted one of them, then the other four went through the WARP gate to your location.”
“Possessed?” Lana was wondering. “What are they possessed with?”
It was Jennifer Dakota who answered. “Demons. Whoever these Chaos Marines were before their transformation, didn’t exist anymore.” She sighed. “The demons have found another way into our Universe, one where I can’t use my power to send them back.” Her voice became more pleasant. “Welcome back, Lana.”
“It’s nice to be back. Thank you...all of you.” Then she needed to know. “How did all the battles go? Any casualties?”
Yarrick started first. “We didn’t take any casualties at all. We took out one squad of those Thousand Sons and the Sorcerer, then the rest fell back into the town. When the Bikes came out, we got those too. That’s when those Possessed Chaos Marines came out, and for awhile it looked like they were all going to your area. But, you knocked out the WARP gate, so we guessed they all returned to their spaceship. Apparently, some of them made it to your side. I heard they were all killed inside some ice cave.”
Officer Sakai reported the only Scout Marines casualties. “We lost one of our Land Speeders in the initial assault; both crew were killed.”
Reynolds answered for the assault team. “Other than a bunch of cuts and bruises, we’re fine. In the planetary gun complex we did great.” He sighed. “Except for thinking we lost you, that is.”
“Okay, guys.” That was Major Taliaferro. “Since I don’t need to send you any equipment so you can look for LaFong’s body, Falconer’s going to send his spaceship over to pick you up. See you guys in a couple hours. LaFong, it looks like the Colonel is going to be setting you up to have a long meeting with the General.”