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View character profile for: Cassandra Jones
Who: Cassandra Jones, a company of marines and others
When: Before the giant unstoppable wormhole occurred
0.573 seconds, the timer read, frozen in place. The lights on the Incinerex blocks died into darkness and the room was silent. It took Davie a moment to push his way through the frightful numbness and butterflies. "Oh…shit." the Directors announced, shocked and in unison. The screen flickered off.
Davie let out a sigh. Everyone in the room smiled, as the unusually high rush of adrenaline in their blood streams calmed down and wore low. "Dude?" Cass said, herself surprised. "What did I miss?" asked Efof from the floor.
"Good job." Rosette congratulated him. "Umm...thank me later, I'm still a little to petrified to take any of the love right now." Davie replied jokingly, although still shaken. A moment later they were heading through the portal with their landing party of BD Marines.
"Smegging hell..." Cass muttered with a dazed shake of her head, watching as the marines began piling through the portal
She blew out a ragged sigh, belatedly realising that she was shaking and mutely raised a hand watch her fingers quiver with minute adrenaline fuelled tremors
"Jones!" snapped the marines' commander as he hurried past "Keep it together! We're not here to babysit you or anyone else on this smegging field trip!"
Cass shook her head again, wishing that she had been able to keep it together when she'd been confronted with that bomb; wishing that she had actually been able to react in the face of her imminent demise and do something - anything... But to her chagrin she'd found herself frozen with fear, and had just lost it!
Steeling herself, she forced herself forward towards the portal on still wobbly legs, following on in the wake of the rest of the party, but stopped as she passed the laptop still sat atop of the pile of Incenerex
"Well..." she murmured, thankful her wits hadn't deserted her completely and struggling to shrug her rucksack off her shoulders so she could begin scooping the blocks of the explosive into it "This might come in handy..."
A few moments later, flanked either side by her two Light Elimination Devices, Cassandra stepped through the portal from the deserted, stinking toilet on Callisto into the heat and light what could only be described as a front line war zone
Firelight and lasers lit the smoke filled hangar, casting an eerie glow across the dozens of charred and twisted, bullet riddled corpses laid at her feet
She stood, gawping in mute astonishment at the carnage around her, eyes widening in terror as bullets began ripping their way towards her through the bodies on the floor her, until the LED units' onboard AI's kicked in and in unison they began to lay down a suppressing barrage, forcing the JMC troopers back behind cover on the opposite side of the hangar
For a moment, Cass held back from interfering with the LED's operation, quietly impressed at how well they were performing without her help, but a volley of heavy fire from another quarter blew fist sized holes in the floor off to her right, and shocking her into more direct action, loosing a barrage of Akagiyama missiles, the explosions killing several enemy troopers
Another volley of fire erupted almost immediately, several rounds hitting and staggering one of the LED's which responded automatically in kind, onboard systems correctly identifying and eliminating its source
"Smeg's sake Jones!" a Blue Dwarf marine screamed over the gunfire from his position behind a nearby roof support brace "You're a sitting duck! Get over here!"
Her survival instincts finally kicking in, Cass dashed over to join him and two other marines behind the scant cover offered by support struts
"Geez, you can tell you haven't had combat training" one of the marines smirked as she skidded to halt, joining her brand new very best friends, hunkered down behind a metre square block of metal and concrete
Laser fire flickered through the smoky air where she had just been, making her cower back up against the marines to somewhat appreciative noises
"Smegging bite me!" Cass snapped, directing the LED's fire towards the source of the lasers "Are you all there is!? Where the hell is everyone else!?"
"They're all either dead or trapped, hiding in cover somewhere in this smegging hangar like us" one of the marines replied as he held his hand to his ear, trying to listen to in on his radio headset "We're still trying to complete a head count, but I think we've lost near ninety percent. This is a smegging disaster"
"Proper SNAFU" another marine grunted, loosing a volley of fire out from behind the strut, only to have it returned in kind seconds later
The marines all stared at her for a moment as she began moving the LED's into some cover of their own to try and mitigate some of the damage they were beginning to sustain
"What?" Cass asked defensively
"Well, go on science girl! Do your science shit!"
"What!?" Cass was incredulous "This is no time for smegging science! You said it yourself - this is a smegging disaster! We need to get out of here!"
"Well, forgive me, but I was hoping it might smegging well help! You've got a Psi scanner - what's it say?"
"Smeg's sake, alright" Cass hissed, pulling a scanner out of a pocket and tapping the screen a couple of times, frowning at the readouts "You've been reading too many bad smegging sci-fi novels"
"Just do it, will you!?"
"Yeah, yeah..." she murmured, shaking her head at the readings and running the diagnostics again
"Well..." she continued "This piece of crap seems to suggest that the base here is cloaked in a bunch of layered and interlaced force fields that are just off the smegging scale... I mean yeah - ok, they'd have to be; we're in the centre of Jupiter core for smeg's sake!"
"Huh" the marine grunted as another sustained hail of bullets ricocheted off the floor around them "So?"
"Yeah, exactly: So? ...So... so... so yeah, this place might be pretty easy to destroy if it's just held up by fields from the outside! We don't even need to go find the directors this way! - if they're actually stupid enough to still be here, that is..."
"Oh, yeah and how do you reckon all that?"
"Well" Cass said brightly as she shrugged her way out of her rucksack "I bought that bomb with me - that should do the job!"
"You what!?" the three marines all seemed to shrink away from her
"Yeah, if it's enough to destroy half a moon, it'll be enough to destroy this place!"
One of the marines looked sceptical
"Won't these fields put a stop to an explosion like that?"
"Dunno, bright boy" Cass shrugged "I've never done this before, but I'm willing to postulate that the fields only act outward, otherwise it's just a massive waste of power and they start killing the residents?"
"Well, in that case..." one of the marines muttered, digging into his pockets, to pull a detonator out "I bought a few of these along, just in case - You'll need this"
Cass accepted it from him and slid it into the explosives in her rucksack, dialling up a seventy second delay before arming it
"I was just going to blow it with some missiles" she smiled "But this is way better"
She gently placed the rucksack up against the support strut and checked the timer
"Ok, we've got forty seconds. Want to sound the retreat?"
Time went into slow motion as soon as the call went out
The LED's stood from behind their cover, opening up across the entire hangar with a sustained barrage of all their remaining Akagiyama missiles; the blooming explosions providing cover for the few remaining Dwarfers as they sprinted from their hiding places, back towards the portal
Both LED units took multiple hits, one losing all its sensor arrays in a punishing burst of fire, prompting it to fire wildly across the room before its reactor core was finally pierced and the emergency failsafe's kicked in, shutting it down and leaving just the last unit, methodically killing enemy troopers as Cass plucked up the courage to dash from her hiding place, dodging bullets and zigzagging over the bodies of her fallen comrades as she sprinted back towards the portal
A last backward glance over her shoulder revealed her final LED taking heavy hits from squads of heavily armed JMC troopers, before she emerged out into the toilet on Callisto and tripped headlong over someone laid prone on the floor, narrowly avoiding being hit by a stray shot that fizzed through the portal, blowing a fist sized chunk out of the tiles on the opposite wall
"Smegging hell" Cass gasped, scrambling to get out of the way as a hail of fire spat from the portal, catching one poor unfortunate in the throat before with nothing more than a quiet click, the portal just vanished
"Medic!" one of the fallen marines' comrades screamed over the silence, holding his hands over the bloody mess of his dying friends' throat "Medic!"
Cass knew it was going to be almost impossible to establish what had really just happened to the base and whether or not they had actually succeeded in destroying it; but for all the loss of life, she hoped that they really had managed to do what they had set out to do, and this really was the end of the JMC