Don't Blow It

JP with Omni and A.Patient.Man#6020

8.3.5 SW
19:25/21 SW-CP-Local Time
Crowning Point > Reactor Fuel Storage

The Cronus… fuzzy fungi, infectious alien creature that burst out of people’s bodies, failed vaccines that caused abominations, spider swarms, a strange leathery egg, hammer headed snakes with acidic blood… now these creepy black things.

“I was hoping it wouldn’t come to this, but I need to lay it all out for you. I’ve seen creatures like this before. This one was different, but similar.” he scratched his chin involuntarily, thinking it over.

“Saygin, the ship you found in the, uh… Wombwood is it? That’s a privateer vessel. Fuckers attacked us during a salvage mission on our voyage here and it looks to me they found some cache of alien specimens and possibly bio-weapons aboard.

These things are deadly with a capital D. I don’t know how it all works, somehow these things can get into your body like an infection and use you as incubator until their ready to pop.”

“Bullshit.” said one of the officers.

“I wish it was. Doesn’t look good for the missing colonists or gold team. Let’s clear the area and incinerate everything we can after"

The men were silent, some in shock at the revelation and others in straight denial.

"I've seen the devastation these things can do and by the look of it, we now have three of them running around out there. Who knows what else. And the longer we stand around with our dicks in our hands, the more dangerous this situation gets.

Your pistol didn't stop that little bastard. These things are tough. Our best bet is armor penetrating weapons and incinerators and we can't safely use either of those inside this warehouse, not with that acid. I just want to blow the damn thing."

"Can we just tell those bastards we're goin out for some smokes, and then hop a freighter to the next system? That's what my old man would do..." said Saygin, pessimistically.

“Come on. Wait a minute, now. I ain’t no scientist either, but this building has a whole mix of fuels that are used in the fusion reactor. There’s more tanks in there than you think, Marshal. How do we know we won't be setting’ off a nuke?” said Officer Hargreaves. “And what if gold team is in there incapacitated?”

Carson spoke up, “It’s true. My brother drives the trucks and he told me they were switching to Helium 3 when the tritium runs out. Says it’s a safer fuel. Not radioactive. But the stuff in here probably is.”

The Marshal gave pause for a moment. The stress and paranoia from the last couple of days coupled with his previous engine encounter on the derelict had taken its toll and clouded his judgement. As much as he wished he could burn away the problems, there was too much risk here.

“Fuck…” he relented. “Then we save that idea for a mass evacuation. We go in now. Quickly. Best marksmen. Recon first. Engage only if necessary. Not near the tanks. Clear precision shots or none at all. No burst fire. No auto. No flamers. Saygin, you've seen what those bastards can do. I'm willing to try it this way. But we have to do it now. Have to do it dark. Who's in?" the Marshal finished his spiel and looked to his security team. Anyone got thermal sights? Binoculars Camera?”

Saygin raised his hand. "There's a recon kit in the bird. Should have a motion detector and a some night vision sights. I don't mind sharing, especially if it'll buy me some time to see if I can get the girl airborne again."

The Marshal inspected the VTOL. He could visibly see that acid had corroded some of the frame, the driver-side door, and lower chassis, but it looked like the car would likely be able to fly just fine.

"Alright, let's ready up. Watch out for that acid." Roberts said as he stepped aside for Saygin to pop the rear hatch.

The Marshal collected the motion detector, a night vision sight, and an IR camera. They would be going in and out fast and the camera could be helpful on playback to find anything they missed. "Saygin. Let's get the VTOL up if we can or at least out of the way. Carson, Hargreaves, Gonzales. Hold position and cover the hole. Keep watch out for those creatures. Red, Blue. On me. We are going right in through here. Quick scouting and back."

Officer Baird took the motion tracker, and Sargent attached the NV sight to his rifle, leaving the camera to the Marshal who affixed it to his own.

"...anyone starts mutating... shoot 'em... You have your orders."

Saygin grimaced a little. "Marshall, I'm not questioning your orders, but I do need to point out that I can't make this landing again with the VTOL in the shape she's in. I'll be lucky to drop her in that big ass clearing a klick out. If I lift her, the only thing standing in the way of that hole is gunfire. Could it work to move in from the front and drive anything inside right into the waiting and welcoming arms of our boys and their boomsticks?"

The Marshal nodded, “If you can pull up the layout. You want to do the honors of guiding us from the outside?”


The Marshal and his sec team hustled into position where they were before and it didn't take long before Saygin was able to pull up the schematic, this time focused on the interior. There wasn't much to it. The south end was a receiving entrance and the north end was an exit. An empty track ran directly to the opposite end of the structure for a truck to drive straight through and the center served as a loading and unloading bay. On either side of the thoroughfare were aisles of tanks stacked in rows. The only other rooms inside the warehouse that Saygin could discern were a small office with a restroom, a crane control observation deck, and maintenance room. Looking at the schematic, the Marshal tried to formulate a plan.

"What do you got, Saygin?" asked the Marshal. "Any one of these entrances better than another?"

"It looks like the storage tanks for the radioactive fuels are to the east of the main track. So don't shoot ... uh ... east I guess." said Saygin.

"Looks like the receiving door is your best entrance. About 3 meters wide. There's a maintenance room immediately to the right with only on le entry point. To the left will be the office. Interior door on the north office wall and an exterior door on the west wall about 10 meters south of this problematic hole in the wall. Keep an eye on that crane track and the observation posts. And again pretty fuckin' please with a cherry on top don't shoot east."

"Acknowledged." replied Roberts as he stood outside the receiving bay.

The motion tracker pipped.

"What is it?" asked the Marshal.

"Give it a sec..." Blue said.

Officer Baird turned some dials.

"There... It's calibrated. Now it will ignore us AND the others on the west side of the building. As long as they stay within that zone and you two stay within six feet of me, we will pick up anything that doesn't belong." he said.

The machine pipped the slightest of pips.

"We got movement. Inside of the west wall. Can't tell how many. Signal is erratic." he said.

"Could it still be picking up the others?" asked the Marshal.

"Not unless someone's gone through that hole." answered Blue.

The Marshal keyed his radio. "Saygin, there's still something on the other side of that wall. Stay frosty. I don't think gold team are in there, but we should be able to clear this out quick and check that drain pipe next."

He lifted the door with a little more confidence than before. Corporal Sargent aimed his rifle into the dark, looking through the NV sights. So far, the area seemed clear. They moved in quick with the Sargent on point and Marshall on overwatch in the middle. Baird followed closely behind with his pistol and tracker.

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