The glasses clattered on the mesh floor of the gantry, landing before the booted and panic-y feet of Joribel.
"Perfect!" cried Joribel, scooping down to pick up the thick lenses.
He aimed the laser through the glass, the red beam leaping from the pen's casing and striking the worm.

“It's working!” he yelled as the laser scored a dark burn across the worm's pallid flesh. The creature hissed as the beam slashed across it's body and reared in pain, pitching Murdock off it's back and onto the floor, where he hurriedly scrambled for safety “It's working - It's… Oh. Oh, no!”

Heated by the extreme power of the laser, the lens Joribel was using to focus the beam, began to melt before quickly bursting into flame.

“Oh, no” Joribel flustered, shaking the spectacles wildly, trying to extinguish the fire “No, no, no...”

“Try the other lens” Miranda called, helpfully.

“Really?” Cass sneered, struggling to keep the disdain out of her voice.

“Well... You know...”

Jay cut across any further rejoinder “Open fire” he yelled in unison with his commanding officer, who shot him a black look as she hefted her weapon to shoot at the worm.

Spurred into action, the security detail let loose a violent barrage of energy; each peppering the worm with multi-kilowatt blasts and filling the room with the acrid smell of charred flesh.

Angered and in pain, the creature surged forward at horrifying speed, it's huge maw opening wide to snap closed around Yeldarb; his muffled screams cutting abruptly short as he was crushed to a pulp by the worms muscular, tooth-lined oesophagus.

“Fuck!” one of the security troopers gasped, only just succeeding in evading the worm as it surged forward once again.

“Stay back” his commander ordered “That thing's lethal up close”

“These weapons aren't powerful enough” Jay yelled, still blasting away at the worm in vain “We need something else”

“A laser pointer?” Joribel offered.

“Oh, for fuck's sake” Cass snapped “Do I really have to do everything?”

Vaulting over one of the medical centres beds, she ducked down and disappeared from sight for a few seconds before rising again, armed with one of the dead alien's weapons and brandishing bandolier of grenades.

“Jay” she shouted, slapping the ammo belt down on the bed and fumbling a grenade out from one of the clips “Heads up” she threw it to him, across the room.

Catching the grenade with his off hand, Jay flicked the safety off and activated it while Cass opened up with the alien rifle.

The squad leader must have grasped the plan

“Shoot that fucking thing” she bellowed to her troops “Now!”

As another concentrated barrage of energy hit the worm, it reared and opened its maw wide, to attack Jay as he darted forward under the covering fire. Dodging out of the way at the last second, he lobbed the grenade into the mouth of the monster as it struck, and with a shout of “Clear”, he sprinted away, leaving the worm to detonate behind him, showering the Medbay with blood and meat.

“Chrysler” Tara shrieked “You fucking arse”

Jay glanced back over his shoulder at the smoking, ruined corpse of the giant worm “Heh” he grinned ruefully “Sorry about the mess”

“It'll take weeks to sterilise this place!”

“Yeah, nice job” Miranda couldn’t help but smile.

“Out” Tara snapped, pointing towards the medical centre's ruined doors “Everybody out - Now.
“And take that fucking worm corpse with you”

“I don't think there's going to be time for that” Jade said, looking down the corridor outside “Here come the first of the casualties”

The next hour or so was frantically busy.

Whatever emergency was happening with the reactor was thankfully averted and power was restored across the ship, while the medical staff struggled to cope with the sudden influx of patients.

Jay and the other security troopers were put to work, hauling the worm's corpse out of the way and securing the area against any further alien incursions.

As for the others, Joribel and Murdock were pressed into service as porters; Murdock seizing the opportunity to appropriate as much medical equipment as he could, while Joribel fussed so much over the dangerous working conditions that Tara threatened to reprogram his light bee with an axe.

Cass was left to help out where she could. She was used to working alongside Jade, but the combat injuries that were coming in were beyond her experience, and in many instances, she was reduced to her allotted role aboard the ship, providing pastoral care and support to the dying and their assembled families. She absolutely hated it.

“Can you ask the doctors if he's in much pain?” a pinched and nervous older woman asked. She was the mother of a guy who had come in with serious abdominal injuries. Cass didn’t much rate his chances.

“I can ask try” she sighed. Tara was brutally efficient, but she was no miracle worker. How the hell was she going to tell her, her son was going to die?

“Bing Bong” Holly interrupted by shimmering into view on the main monitor “Turns out that we've managed to eliminate most of the invaders, so the Captains asking for volunteers for an expeditionary force to capture the alien cruiser”

“I'll go” Cass said automatically. Anything to get away from having to deal with these people.

“We need pilots, tech specialists, assault troops and salvage personnel...”

assuming we're all up for it, someone get us over to the alien's ship

does anything happen on the flight over?

what do we find when we get there? - set us up with something interesting and / or strange to deal with :)

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