CHAPTER 22.4

Approx. 2500 words

All Rights Reserved

Copyright 2015   SJ

Chaos in Delta Pavonus:

The Rebellion Begins

 

written by  SJ

 

 

    By the time Melinda and Lana had returned to the warehouse, Isaiah was on the phone (one of Melinda’s phones) with Franco. The truck had reached the rebel hideout and he and his group were getting ready to leave, ETA approximately one hour.
    Melinda was called over to speak with him.
    “These phones cannot be monitored, right?” Franco wanted to make sure.
    “That’s right.”
    “Good.” The rebel leader was happy. “Here’s what I want ready by the time I get there: I want a two or three man team to be near each of the security guard groups, preferably those that scouted them previously, ready to, hopefully, arrest them, but shoot them if they try to use their phones. My men and Isaiah’s two men will approach the CDA building and kill the two guards, then, if they can, take the two security guards into custody. Right after that happens I will ride through the town in Isaiah’s truck with a loud speaker and rally the people. Most of them know me, and my voice.”
    Hernando and Mercedes were allocated to arrest the security guards in the northern part of town, something they said would be no problem, and that the guards might even join them. Bull and Koufax would go to the school area and arrest those two guards, Lana and Gannon would go to the shuttleport ticket office and apprehend those guards...maybe allow Lana to keep her date--at the point of a Mp5K submachine gun, Gannon joked.
    ******
    All the groups moved out almost exactly at noon, a time after they were sure the guards had called into the CDA building, saying everything was okay. Hernando and Mercedes had no trouble with their two guards, quickly finding out Lana was right: the firearms they had were fake, made of plastic. Bull and Koufax had no trouble with their guards, either. Even though one of them argued at first, Bull’s presence was enough to convince them to surrender.
    In front of the ticket office, Lana and Gannon spotted their two guards. Then they became alerted to the sound of gun fire in the distance, the attack on the CDA building starting early. One of the guards surrendered right away at the presence of Gannon’s shotgun, but the other one, the one that had talked to Lana earlier, was pulling out his phone, ready to use it.
    She aimed her Mp5K and shouted. “Put that down--RIGHT NOW!”
    He continued, not listening.
    “DROP that phone--DAMN IT, STOP!” She shouted again, then, after cursing, fired.
    She fired just above the man’s head, which caused him to drop the phone immediately. When she walked up next to him, he recognized her and figured out who and what she was, frowning. “Oh, I see, you one of them, a rebel. You have no right to break the law and take this town by force.”
    Now Lana was really mad. “NO RIGHT? That bitch calling herself the Matriarch had NO RIGHT to arrest me.” She began raving. “She had NO RIGHT to take Annie away. She had NO RIGHT to ruin my whole life!”
    “Easy, LuLu.” Gannon tried to settle her down. He gave the guard a stern look. “Chum, you better keep your mouth shut before she shoots your nuts off.”
    He didn’t say another word as he and the other guards were led back to the warehouse.
    Franco had allocated two of his men with concealed 9mm pistols to approach the CDA building, followed by Isaiah’s men, their shotguns hidden under their long coats. Before the CDA guards had time to react, they were shot dead with the pistols using Franco’s kevlar-piercing ammo. The two security guards quickly surrendered facing the two shotguns. The battle for Dandelot was over at the cost of only two dead just like they planned.
    Franco told Melinda’s team to rest as he and his men rallied the people, retrieved his colonial carbines, then began training his militia, with more than enough volunteers.
    The rebel leader also had another duty, something he had to do as part of a legal rebellion. First, he tried to contact Gale Montague, leaving messages much like the General had, asking for a meeting, but with no response. Next, was something we wanted to do as well: Using the Dandelot radio station, he formally announced the formation of his legal rebellion, urging the other towns to reply to him for support and/or for them to try and contact the Matriarch themselves (if they could), so a counsel meeting could be set up to determine Gale’s legal authority to be the Governor of Pavona Angora.
    Melinda had already submitted the armband data Lana had acquired earlier to both the General and Yarrick’s staff, along with a scan of one of the actual armbands they retrieved off one of the security guards. When Lana walked in, she had just got off the phone. “LuLu, I just talked to Major Taliaferro. I sent him a picture of an armband and he seems to think the lettering is the same as Chaos, also.”
    “I thought you weren’t supposed to call him directly.”
    Melinda sighed, then continued. “He told me as soon as he gets confirmation from the General, he’s going to send your Ops shuttle here with the rest of your team and weapons.” She pointed at two bodies lying on the floor of the warehouse covered with bloody blankets. “Those two CDA guards. They don’t have WARP Worms, but, when I scanned them more closely, I found a faint residue of WARP energy.” She pointed at the two weapons next to them. “Those AK rifles. They’re auto rifles. The Major said your shuttle should be here in at least two days.” She smiled. “And it’s going to be allowed to search for that prison.”
    Lana wanted to smile back. But, the recent altercation with the security guard had gotten her down. Melinda looked at Gannon and had to ask. “What’s wrong with, LuLu?”
    “Ah, she had to break her date.” Gannon joked.
    As Franco’s team became more organized, volunteers being equipped and trained right outside the warehouse, Melinda and her team came outside to see if they could help.
    Lana was eager to get involved. But, as Melinda looked at her, she finally noticed the bags under her eyes and the unsteady way she moved. She finally realized, “LuLu, you haven’t slept since you were, my God--have you even slept since you got the news about your Aunt?” She frowned and sighed. “As team leader I’m ordering you to go to bed.” She pointed at one of the buildings inside the confines of the warehouse area.
    “I’m fine. You’re going to need help with training and organization--”
    Lana suddenly noticed Gannon in front of her and Bull behind her, who eventually spoke. “Time to put the baby to bed.”
    As soon as Gannon nodded, and as Lana tried to protest, Bull effortlessly swooped her up in his arms, cradling her like a baby while Lana frowned with her arms folded.
    Gannon followed Bull as they entered one of the buildings. Shortly afterwards, they came out, minus Lana.
    Melinda looked at them, curious. “Well?”
    Bull smiled and answered. “She was out as soon as she hit the couch.”
    “I covered her with a blanket and tucked her in.” Gannon smiled proudly.
    Melinda shook her head, but approved, realizing the two big Marines were the best friends Lana could have...and from time to time, the only ones that could control her.
    ******
    Franco was hoping he’d have at least 28 hours (one rotation of the planet) before the Matriarch learned of the loss of Dandelot and returned to take it back. He ended up having twice that long before he got word of an appending attack.
    The rebel leader was able to rally more than twenty militia, but only had twenty carbines. The six extra militia were allocated what extra weapons they had: two Mp5 submachine guns (with a full stock and set on single shot), plus the captured weapons: two pistols and two AK rifles.
    The northern part of town had three teams: In the warehouse were Isaiah and his men, plus Dion and Petrovsky, who were assigned to shuttle-capture duty--if they had the chance. Bull and Koufax, with three militiamen each, made up two teams, each team assigned a building to hide in. The southern part of town was defended by Franco’s team, and the twenty militiamen, in teams of five each, spread out inside the town, hiding inside buildings ready to fire from ambush. Hernando and Mercedes hid inside the CDA building. Lana and Gannon had found a building in the far southern part of town, and, like Dion and Petrovsky, had been given shuttle-capture duty.
    All the remaining civilians of Dandelot were told to either hide somewhere outside of town, or inside their own home. The intention was to make the town look like it had been abandoned; let the Matriarch’s troops walk right in.
    ******
    The afternoon of the third day, several shuttles flew over the town, numerous times. Then they were gone...and for awhile, Franco wasn’t sure they were coming back, either that, or maybe LaFong was right: The Matriarch had mortars and were getting ready to bombard the town.
    But, nothing happened...
    Then ten four-man shuttles came in quickly, five landing on the shuttleport (the southeastern part of town), and five more in a clearing just outside the southwestern part of town, just opposite of the shuttleport. From each shuttle, three soldiers, dressed the same way as the CDA guards, came out quickly, each armed with AK auto rifles. Two soldiers from each of the shuttles wasted no time forming a ten man group, then immediately entered the town, leaving one man for each shuttle as a guard.
    Since the northern part of the town didn’t seem threatened, Melinda was just about to order the teams there to make their way south. But, Nikolai spotted another shuttle circling above the town. Melinda immediately warned everyone of the overhead lookout.
    Lana had wanted to move out to the shuttleport as soon as she knew where the shuttles had landed. But, the presence of a lookout above was a serious complication. If Gannon and she were spotted, by the time they were in position to capture a shuttle, they could be facing five guards ready for them. However, Lana couldn’t wait. It was important that Franco have a least one shuttle.
    Only fifty meters away was a paved road that ran northwest by southeast, and it came very close to the shuttleport further on, something she knew about since she had lived here. After letting Gannon know what they were going to do, they both dashed to the road, where, as she expected, the rain forest canopy overhung a least twenty percent of the road on both sides. They both then took off at a full run down the road until Lana found another spot she knew of, a kind of covered trail that lead to the shuttleport, where they ducked inside a wide-open maintenance building, a hanger where shuttles could pull in and be repaired.
    Inside the town, the shooting had started, alerting the shuttle guards, but not making them move. From a window, Lana had the guards lined up in her sights, a flanking shot where she could rake all of them with burst fire. And with her silencer, they would be hard pressed to know where the shooting was even coming from, especially since the window was already open. Meanwhile, Gannon could dash the forty meters to the first shuttle and come in from behind and take out the pilot.
    As soon as Gannon heard the zip of Lana’s silencer, he was off. The guards in front of the first two shuttles were down, a third one limping behind his shuttle, others taking cover. Then Lana took off to join Gannon.
    By the time she was inside the shuttle with Gannon, the battle inside the town was over, the Matriarch’s soldiers, what was left of them, retreating to their shuttles. The pilot was in his seat, not moving; Gannon had to quickly explain that he, and most of all the other pilots, were hostages themselves, happy to be rescued, the dead guard outside in possession of the shuttle’s starter. Lana and Gannon were able to dash to the next shuttle in line and capture that one also just as the other shuttles began taking off. Once they were gone, the shuttle scout overhead remained, but left as soon as the militiamen started shooting at it.
    ******
    The defense of Dandelot had been an overwhelming success, and even more so when Franco had heard about the capture of two shuttles, Nikolai getting to work immediately removing the locators and listening devices, which he was able to do easily. The Matriarch had lost twelve soldiers, eight killed and four wounded (captured), and that wasn’t counting those that fled. However, the soldiers had fought almost fanatically, some of them continuing on until they were unconscious or ordered to retreat.
    At the warehouse, Melinda analyzed the dead and wounded soldiers. Again, like the CDA guards, they had a faint residue of WARP energy about them. As she tried talking to the wounded soldiers, those that regained conscious, the only conclusion she could come up with was that they were hypnotized somehow. When one of them came out of it, wondering where he was and what had happened, that seemed to confirm it. But, how that hypnosis was done, and how exactly to undo it, she didn’t know.
    Franco’s troops had taken three wounded, two militiamen and Mercedes Valdez. They, along with the wounded soldiers were loaded aboard the captured shuttles and flown to the hospital in Pavona Platte, a very worried Hernando going with them. For both siblings, the rebellion was now over.
    However, now it was time for the rebel leader to think of what to do next. He had ordered fifty more colonial carbines; ten of those could easily be used to arm more Dandelot militiamen. But, like Lana’s Ops shuttle, the weapons would take two days to get here. Until then, he was able to arm twelve more militiamen with the captured auto AK rifles. So he decided to sit and wait, prepare for another defense of the town...if it came, this time digging trenches.
    In the meantime, he needed to scout Cambridge; it had to be the next town taken. Once the two shuttles had returned, they could be used to transport, Lana, Bull, and Gannon to Cambridge, while Melinda, Petrovsky, and Koufax took a shuttle to Angora City, where it was hoped Melinda could make contact with the counsel members there.

 



 



 

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