Approx. 4300 words
All Rights Reserved
Copyright 2015 SJ
The Chaos Incident
written by SJ
Lana sat on the edge of her Land Speeder and thought carefully about her assigned task. She had already brought up the building schematics on her oPOD, and had examined them. Plus, she had already assigned Ramcke and Burns to keep an eye on the two Cultists that were walking around the building. When they were finished, Ramcke gave her a call...and by then, she had made up her mind about how she was going to enter the building.
"They...just went inside." Burns' relayed his team leader's message. "There's two guards still outside the door. But, Hank says there's no one else outside."
Without delay, Lana directed Ramcke and Burns to return to the Land Speeder, where it then to rose to an altitude equal to the height of the six story office building, then silently circled around behind and landed on the roof coming in from the opposite side as the main door. Scanners told them that there was no one there, but Lana was carefully anyway.
According to the building's schematics, there were two main stairways on the rooftop, each one going all the way down to the basement, which was a simple parking structure for civilian vehicles. She didn't know whether there were any vehicles inside, but outside, there were enough vehicles, some turned up on their sides, to fully block the underground parking structure's one entrance/exit completely.
For the trip down the stairway, they would all have to use different weapons, those that were more silent.
Lana and Melinda slung their main weapons, opting to use their 9.1s after fitting them each with silencers. Ramcke carried his sniper rifle, which already had a silencer. However, in order to use the long weapon in the building, he had to remove the barrel extension and flip down the scope, which made it basically a semi-automatic bolter without a silencer. He also carried his shotgun. Burns got the okay to just use his flamer. This prompted Lana to tell the men they'd have to use their combat knives--and a little testosterone, leaving their other weapons slung...until the combat situation required them.
After Lana arranged the squad into two teams, they each took separate stairways and proceeded to meticulously search the top four floors of the office building. None of the doors were locked. Other than empty, unused office cubicles, they found no enemy personnel, nor any sign they had even ventured to the upper floors of the building.
They then took turns searching the second floor, leaving one team to guard while the other one searched. Again, the floor was empty, but showed signs that someone had ventured up there several times. Then both teams went down stairs.
On the first floor, both doors led into to the lobby; they were about thirty meters apart. Melinda arrived first, listened, then cracked open the door to look inside. She watched as two Cultists crossed the lobby on her side of the room and went though a wide, open, door labeled, parking, and two other ones came up.
From her view point, Lana missed seeing the two Cultists going down into the parking structure, but spotted the two Cultists coming up. There was also a door on her side of the room that obviously led to the parking structure, but it was closed. She quickly became more concerned with watching the two Cultists as they took guard positions just inside next to the building's main entrance. She could also see two Cultists standing guard outside through the clear, double doors.
As both women watched, it didn't take long to detect the obvious. "Whatever they've been doing, they've only been using the door on my side." Melinda whispered clearly. "There's a trail of dirt and debris leading from the front door down to parking on this side. The rug's kind of scuffed up."
"Yeah." Lana agreed. On her side of the lobby, it was almost as if the rug was still new. "Whatever's going on...it's downstairs."
"Okay." Melinda confirmed. "I guess that's were we're headed next."
"I want to find a way to block these doors first." Lana pondered. "I do not want anyone coming up behind us when we're downstairs...if you know what I mean?"
As Lana turned to face Ramcke, he already knew what she wanted, and had already just finished conferring with Burns. "Yeah, I know...we'll go get a couple chairs or something."
It took a little less than five minutes before the men had brought down some chairs, which they used to block each of the doors on their respective sides. Luckily the doors opened inward.
Before the doors were blocked, the ladies kept watch on the lobby, which remained the same until the men were finished and had joined them. But just as they began their decent to the basement, Lana got a call light, which she knew was Boseman.
His voice was firm and curt. "This is Major Boseman, what have you got for me, sergeant?"
"All the floors above the lobby have been cleared, sir." Lana tried sounding as militarily formal as she could. "On the first floor there are two guards outside the door, plus two inside next to the north side entrance to the parking structure. All other personnel appear to be downstairs, inside the parking garage."
As she waited for him to respond, she noticed the look on Ramcke's face...like she had overdone it sounding militarily formal. After another couple seconds, it seemed like the Major was waiting for her to continue.
"We're just getting ready to go downstairs. Do you wish me to contact you as soon as I have a report?
There was no answer.
After another couple seconds, Boseman responded. "So there's no one at all in the upper stories?"
"That's affirmative, sir."
"Good job, sergeant. I do NOT want another repeat of two days ago. Two Omicrom Ranger squads had to open up on a building with several Cultists snipers on the upper floors...did considerable structural damage. I'm hoping to do as little damage to the buildings as possible...so don't use a flamer down there. Hurry up and go on downstairs...contact me as soon as possible. By then, we should be in position up here. Boseman out."
Burns then had to ask. "He doesn't want me to use my flamer? What do--"
Lana shook her head, then frowned, answering, "no, use your flamer. I'm giving you permission. Just set it on the lowest power setting. That shouldn't set the garage on fire." She then faced Hank. "Hurry up my ass. I am NOT doing anything that will put the lives of my team, or anyone else, in undue danger--"
"LuLu...you should take a look at this." Melinda and Burns had already gone down stairs, and were now looking at the door leading to the parking structure.
When Lana had arrived on her side, she saw the same thing. There was Tyranid bio-matter seeping through from under the door. On the sides, the bio-matter looked solid, like dried epoxy.
Melinda was already preparing what Lana was about to suggest. Among a Scout's equipment was a small, silent, laser drill, used for the very purpose it was now going to be used for. They would drill a small, one-centimeter whole in the door, then insert a kind of endoscope, known as a Scout scope. While the ladies drilled their holes and set up their scopes, the guys stood guard from behind.
Shortly after Melinda had finished, and was looking through her scope, she reported, "Lulu...these Tyranids do not look as inactive as the others." Melinda stated the obvious, whispering. "And what are those two big things?"
Lana finished her Scout scope a few seconds after her partner; looking through it, she answered, "at first glance, I'd say they were...some kind of Tyrant Guard." Lana answered, pondering. "But, that can't be right."
"They look like big, weird, turtles, sitting upright and crouched down with their heads tucked in." Melinda almost laughed--but it was no laughing matter. Any kind of Tyranids at this close of range looked menacing to say the least. And there were others...
Lana began counting. "I see, two...no three Warriors. They look similar to the others we've seen...dwarves in comparison to what they should be."
"Only these look a lot more active." Melinda repeated.
Lana continued her observation. "They should have the obvious rending claws...but at best they just have a couple talons. And those are small and immature."
Several seconds passed as the two Marines continued looking.
"I count six Cultists, LuLu."
"Yeah, I see them. They are near the north stairs. On my side, there's the hive structure. It's looks alive and pulsing...and it's completely blocking the other stairs. It covers almost the whole side. I see a couple growths, bio-eggs. This thing's definitely alive alright...but as Tyranids go–-it's still very small."
Lana zoomed in with her scope on one of the Warriors. She needed a closer look. She was trying to find a weapon-symbiote, which Warriors usually had.
Melinda's voice suddenly sounded urgent...but, remained a whisper. "LuLu! On your side...right next to the door–-there's a small one!"
Lana jumped as she felt something scrap against the door. She adjusted her scope, then found it. "Some kind of Gaunt brood."
"It's moving away." Melinda gave a relived sigh. "It didn't detect you."
"Or...it did, and didn't know what to do." Lana explained as she continued to examine it. Eventually she found what she was looking for. "It's...they're not functional."
"Weapon-symbiotes. That's a Spinegaunt...or would have been had it formed correctly. And that Warrior over there...its weapon is so malformed I can't tell what it is...or would've been."
"I see another one of those...Spinegaunts."
"Where...oh, yeah, there it is." Lana spotted it. "It's moving behind one of the Tyrant Guards."
The two Marines continued to look for another two minutes. Lana needed a complete, or as complete as possible, accounting of all the enemy forces. Eventually, Lana waved over Ramcke. "Melinda...let Burns take a look. I want them to become familiar with the area."
The guys looked around, making comments of their own for several minutes until Burns spotted something on his side that the ladies didn't see. "What the hell is that?"
It was located about ten meters away, left of Melinda's door, up against the wall. Lana stared at it for awhile, then came to the conclusion that, whatever is was, it was dead.
Then Lana felt the door vibrate a little as the previous Spinegaunt returned to her location–-"
The call light on Lana's com came on almost at the same time as Boseman spoke...NOT whispering. "Sergeant! Do--"
"Crap!" Lana jumped back away from the door. Boseman's voice was loud. Even though it couldn't be heard outside her com earplugs, it still startled her.
"What did you say?" Boseman demanded.
Lana took another couple steps back and allowed Ramcke to take the scope. "Sir...there was a Spinegaunt right on the other side of my door. You...startled me. Sorry."
"What's taking so long with that scouting report." The Major's voice returned to it's usual grumpy state...and then some. "We're in position here."
Lana began reporting. "I've got a complex situation here. I need to explain–-"
"Make it snappy sergeant."
Lana wanted to reply, asking why he was in so much of a hurry. After taking the scope from Ramcke, she began, first telling him about the two Cultists in the lobby and the two outside, which Boseman cut in and said, "I see those, sergeant...tell me what I don't see."
Lana sighed silently, then continued, telling about the six Cultists in the parking structure, then mentioned that one of the Cultists, the biggest one with a fire axe, was wielding an old style boltgun pistol. The Major noted it, and told her to continue.
She then wanted to explain the hive situation. "Sir...the entire south side is covered by the hive structure. It has to be blocking the stairs...you'd need demo charges to get down on that side--"
Boseman interrupted bluntly, almost shouting. "NO sergeant, we are NOT using demo charges. We'll use the north stairs."
Lana made a long sigh to herself. She couldn't believe he said that. She in no way suggested using demo charges...she was just trying to accurately explain the situation. When the Major said, "we'll use the north stairs", she wanted to shout, "yeah, no shit Sherlock," but decided to continue with her report calmly.
"Sir...this hive is active, It is NOT like the other ones. It's alive, with two bio-eggs ready to hatch. There are three Warriors, none of which appear to have working weapon-symbiotes. The only weapons they seem to have are talons. I've seen two Spinegaunts, and like the Warriors, their Spinefist weapon-symbiotes seem to be under-developed. Sir...these Tyranids have been mutated by the WARP...they are unprecedented--we know nothing about them except but what I have just observed."
Boseman audibly sighed. "Sergeant...do they have working weapon-symbiotes or not?"
"That's what I'm trying to say, sir. Visually, I would say, no. But there's no way to tell for sure."
The Major began sounding more upset. "Okay...okay. If that's all for the number of forces, give me their current defensive location, and brief description of the defensive terrain."
"It's a standard, government-building-style parking structure. Heavy pillars along the sides, open in the center. The stairs are wide, double door--"
The Major interrupted again, like he was in a hurry for some reason. "Okay...let me get this straight. There are six Cultists with civilian weapons, one possibly with a boltgun pistol. There are three Tyranid Warriors, and two Spinegaunts, none of which seem to have working weapon-symbiotes. In the far back of the garage, there is a hive structure with two bio-eggs...possibly ready to hatch. Have I been accurate so far, sergeant?"
"Current location of enemy forces?" Boseman continued to press the scouting report.
"The Cultists are near the stairs, spread out about twenty meters away." So far, the Major had not given her time to tell him about ALL the forces. She decided to slip them in during her description of enemy locations. "There are two Warriors back near the hive, along with one Spinegaunt near the door to my location." She paused to put emphases on her next set of information. "In the center...along with one Warrior and one Spinegaunt, there looks to be two Tyrant Guards--"
"Tyrant Guards?" Boseman shouted with disbelief. "Now how in the hell could two Tyrant Guards fit down there. Sergeant, are you sure they're Tyrant Guards?"
"Sir...that's what I have been trying to say from the beginning." Lana was starting to get a little irate herself. "There's no way to be sure about anything. These are Tyranids, highjacked from places unknown, then, most likely, sent through the WARP to be deposited and grown here."
"Sergeant!" Boseman shouted back. "Just report your findings...and leave out any of your own scientific extrapolations."
Lana had to pause a moment before continuing. "I'm sorry, sir. But you have to understand, I am using the term, Tyrant Guards, only because by process of elimination, that's the best thing that describes them."
"Yes, sergeant. But you have to understand, I've seen a Tyrant Guard...and there's no way one of them could fit inside that parking structure."
"I agree...but as we've seen so far, none of these Tyranids have been full size. My assistant squad leader here, Corporal Dion, described them best. They look like big turtles sitting upright on the ground crouched over with their heads tucked in. Tyrant Guards have very powerful rending claws and scything talons...none of which these creatures show any signs of having. However, their carapace, in essence, the turtle's shell, looks to be very thick." Believing that she was finally getting through to the Major, she added in her own suggestion. "I would bring down the heavy bolters just in case--"
"Absolutely not!" The Major shouted. "I will NOT bring heavy weapons down into such a confined space as a parking structure. Now, unless you have further information about the number and disposition of enemy forces--we are done here."
"But sir, we do not know what kind of weapons these creatures might be hide--"
"Sergeant–-are there ANY OTHER creatures or personnel I should know about?"
Lana didn't know how to get through to the Major. Eight Marines in full battle suits, armed with bolters and grenades should, logically, be able to defeat the current enemy forces with no problem. But in her mind, WHY TAKE THE RISK?
When she didn't answer right away, the Major issued his final orders for her squad. "Sergeant LaFong...when you hear shooting upstairs you are to immediately make a diversionary attack from your location. Do you understand?"
"Do you understand?" Boseman demanded!
"Yes, sir...but, listen–-"
Boseman's com was off.
"Sir?" Lana tried to reconnect.
"LuLu...what do you want us to do?" Melinda needed to know.
"Keep an eye on those creatures...the damn turtles!" Lana shouted, then tried to reconnect again. "This is Sergeant LaFong calling–-"
The sound of bolter fire was clearly heard upstairs.
Lana became exasperated. "CRAP!"
At this point, Lana was hoping the Major was right...that the two pseudo Tyrant Guards were unarmed, and everything would go smoothly, even with the fact that her squad still needed to blast their way through the doors to get into the parking structure. But that was not to be!
"LuLu...these Tyrant Guards are opening up!" Melinda's voice sounded seriously urgent.
After about two seconds of watching the same thing, Lana cried out, "OH CRAP," not caring if every Tyranid on the planet heard her.
Lana had quickly recognized the weapons the Tyrant Guards were armed with. Spinefists--twin-linked! She shouted into her com. "Major Boseman...DAMN IT, come in!"
But the Scout sergeant had no time. She had to get her team into that parking structure--FAST. She ordered her squad back up the stairs, away from the doors, and for Ramcke and Burns to prepare two frag grenades each. Toss one down, wait until it goes off, then throw down the second one. After it goes off, they were to go down and make their attack. Burns was to take out anything on the left. Melinda was to use her plasma gun on the closest Tyrant Guard. Ramcke was to use his sniper rifle on the same one, trying to target its head...if he could find it. Lana had her Scout bolter...but was ready with a krak grenade. Those Tyrant Guards HAD to be taken out fast. Spinefist weapon-symbiotes had a short range...but AT that short range, they were deadly–-like a couple of large (in per portion to the size of the creature), twin-linked bolters with armor-piercing ammunition.
With no more time to give any further orders to her team, Lana's squad would have to play it by ear once their initial orders had been followed. Just before the first set of frags exploded, she heard the sound of bolter fire and grenades inside the parking structure.
Once the second set of frags had gone off, Lana's two teams rushed into the parking structure. As per her instructions, Ramcke stayed just inside the door, targeting the nearest Tyrant Guard using his hard sights. Lana was in front of him, stepping to the side to give him a clear line of sight. To her left, there was a burst of blue-white flame--Burns' flamer. Melinda had fired two shots with her plasma gun...leaving two deep, smoking, divots in the Tyrant Guard's heavy carapace. Lana was just about to prepare her krak grenade when she spotted a Warrior coming straight at her. Pure adrenaline took over from there.
Lana ducked, dropping her bolter and grenade into the shallow bio-matter. The Warrior dived straight for her face, but missed as it jumped over the top of the couching, short, woman, managing to clip her helmet with one talon shattering her Scout targeting device. By the time the creature had recovered and turned around to face her, she had her two swords out. She hardly thought about what she was doing as she swung madly, some blows wild, but most accurate enough to cut off the creature's talons, were as then, she began slicing at it's head until it rolled over with its feet kicking in the air like a giant dead bug.
The wild-eyed woman stood taking deep heavy breaths. Across the parking structure, at the base of the stairs, she spotted two Marines down, smoke lingering from a number frag grenades previously used. The walls near the stairs continued to be peppered with Spinefists rounds...pinning the remaining Marines back inside the stairway. She just managed to noticed the legs of one Marine being pulled back inside...another casualty of what she considered--Boseman's impatience.
She didn't notice blood trickling down her face from under her helmet. As she stuck her two swords into the floor of the parking structure for later recovery, she picked up her krak grenade just time to spot a second Warrior; it had a large weapon-symbiote of some kind...pointing right at her from across the room. It had to be some kind of Barbed Strangler, or Deathspitter, it was hard to tell it was so malformed. But, either way, it didn't matter; suddenly it exploded just as it seemed it would've fired, killing the creature instantly. Lana jumped, happy the weapon didn't also fire something.
Either way, she didn't care. Melinda had gotten off another couple rounds on the closest Tyrant Guard...two more divots. As Lana readied her krak grenade and threw, Melinda fired another two rounds, this time inside a previous divot; it had the desired effect as a smoldering pile of the creature's guts spewed out. Lana's grenade hit the creature near the top, blowing off a large chunk of it's carapace. The Tyrant Guard limply rolled over on it's side--its deadly Spinefist weapon finally silent.
From behind her, Lana heard firing...a shotgun. Ramcke didn't have time to get off more than two rounds on his primary target before he had to drop his sniper rifle and draw his shotgun. He blasted six rounds, firing as quickly as he could into a Spinegaunt, which had been coming up behind Lana, two more than he really needed. The two team members looked at each other a second with wide eyes; but they didn't have time to talk. As she turned around, she also noticed another dead Warrior, one that Melinda had killed point-blank with her plasma gun. So far her team had done excellently. But there was one more Tyrant Guard to go.
As Lana began readying another krak grenade, she and her team took fire. One of the Cultists had moved toward them and was now firing a pistol...some kind of Desert Eagle, with magnum rounds. The bullets had no real chance of piercing their hard or soft armor. But a direct hit could break a bone.
Burns then lashed out with a short burst from his flamer, putting an end to anymore enemy fire from that side of the parking structure.
The second Tyrant Guard was now slowly turning to face the Scout Marines. Without flinching, Melinda fired. Lana moved forward, threw her krak grenade as Ramcke fired with his sniper rifle. Almost at the same time, the Marines, previously pinned down, rushed down the stairway. All at the same time, they fired. If the Tyrant Guard managed get off anymore shots, no one noticed. It was quickly shot to pieces and killed in the hale of a murderous crossfire. Lana then stepped forward and ordered Burns to flame the hive structure. In another five seconds the battle was over.
After a very long exasperated sigh, Lana staggered around, then sat down in the bio-matter, slumping, depressed, in pain, and angry! She had finally gotten a com line to the two Marine squads, listening in. Medical shuttles were on they way; they had two dead and two wounded...in a fight were they should NOT have taken ANY casualties at all.
That's when her com line came on...Boseman's angry voice sounding loud. "Sergeant! Sergeant...what's going on in there? Where were you? Why didn't you–-"
Lana had heard enough. "I have nothing to say to you--Major BOZO!" She turned her com off. Melinda looked at her, eyes wide, mouth gaping as if she had just witnessed a classmate cuss out a teacher at a strict school.