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Hold the Line

Posted on Wed May 5th, 2021 @ 9:33pm by Captain Solin Edral & Commander Kreitenne R'tanya

Mission: [OS] A New Dawn
Location: Ourea Colony; Outskirts
Timeline: MD11 || 1321

"We've got to what?"

First Lieutenant Gerald Walton ignored his platoon XO's off-hand comment. "Command wants us to flank these lizard bastards and draw some of their fire away from the shield generators. At this rate, the shields won't last much longer against this bombardment!"

Second Lieutenant Stuggtottii, a Saurian, shook his head, his bulbous eyes glistening under the hot sun. "Roger that, sir." There was no use complaining, especially since they were all under heavy fire. He spun around to face the small platoon. "All right, you heard the man. First and second squads, you're up first. Third squad will override the shields and provide covering fire. Head straight for the ridge line and begin immediate suppression. Third squad, as soon as they're out, you follow and restore the shields. Not a single tango gets through these shields."

Walton looked at the squad leaders and caught each of their confirming nods. "All right then. First and second squads on me. Stuggtottii, you stick with third."

The Marines gathered quickly near the shield line. In less than twenty seconds, a little more than sixty Marines were ready to stare down the heart of the Vaadwaur advance. Walton raised his left hand and signaled his XO. Instantly, the shield generator went down, opening a fifty-foot wide section of the perimeter. "Move!" Walton ordered, dashing out into the open first. He squeezed off a few shots from his phaser rifle as he ran across the open, only for third squad to begin laying down lots of cover fire. A mortar team quickly set up behind third squad and unleashed a volley of heavy rounds, each one landing square within the Vaadwaur company.

The Vaadwaur were returning fire, but not really hitting anyone. They were using some kind of polaron based rifle, which was doing damage to the various shields, but when it hit one of the marines, acted more like a heavy stun. They clearly didn’t want to kill anyone. As the marines moved forward, Lieutenant Sevanas, of the Starfleet Security contingent, stepped forward. She had been responsible for getting civilians to the various secure locations around the colony, which was almost completed, allowing him to pull in his teams, to help repel the assault.

With the marines moving forward, Starfleet security officers filled up the gaps, ensuring there was a continuing line, should anything fail. From what she could see, it looked like the Vaadwaur were pretty dug in. She thought for a second. It felt like they were being drawn out. If that was the case, this line would be as important as the line the marines had created, as they were advancing. She had been on one of the ships during Operation Return, finding out after the fact that the Federation forces had not broken through the lines, but that they were lured into a potential trap.

Stuggtottii's third squad dashed across the shield perimeter, and formed a temporary human wall in front of the opening. A couple seconds later, it had reinitialized, leaving the one person who was watching it to shout, "Clear!" Stuggtottii waved his scaly hand and ordered his troops to move. The Saurian did not get far himself, struck down by a Vaadwaur blast.

"Dammit!" Stuggtottii cursed, continuing to lay suppressing fire in hopes to flank the Vaadwaur. "Press forward!" he shouted, hoping the maneuver would push the invaders back.

More marines were being cut down, all heavily stunned, but no fatalities, which was curious to Lieutenant Sevanas. They seem to be going to all this trouble to not even inflict any casualties? There were plenty of people killed when the collapsed the gateway. Why is this so different? she thought to herself. It almost feels like they just don’t want to be here, and yet here they are.

With around 140 officers now securing the line where the Marines had charged forward, there were no gaps, and no shots at them either. The Vaadwaur were focusing there fire on only the Marines. Starfleet were outgunned here three to one, they could overrun us at any time. So why didn’t they.

Stuggtottii had noticed the same thing. The Marines were obviously outgunned, but they would fight to the last man to defend the colony. A Marine fell next to the Lieutenant, and Stuggtottii glanced down. The private was clearly unconscious, not at all killed.

The Vaadwaur continued to fire, their soldiers still holding onto their landing site. The Saurian Stuggtottii shook his head, wondering what the play was. Surely, just surely, there was a way to repel such a large force.

Looking around, Sevenas heard a low thrum in the distance, like that of a shuttle craft. Surely they didn’t need to land more troops. The shuttle was way in the distance, maybe in the mountain ranges to the north west? She pulled out her tricorder, and began to scan the area. There was some kind of low level dampening field in place, which certainly wasn’t there before.

Then the field disappeared, and there was a shuttle with some Vaadwaur lifesigns. Where had they come from? This felt like a standard Starfleet rescue mission. Form a perimeter, retrieve whoever needed it, then fall back. She suddenly had a thought.

“Lieutenant Sevanas to Lieutenant Walton. I don’t have time to explain right now, but trust me. Pull your marines back and form a second perimeter in front of the Starfleet Security.”

Lieutenant Walton, who had been fervently holding his position found the order to be odd. Then again, there didn't seem to be anything normal about this invasion force that wasn't... invading...

"Marines!" Walton shouted, turning in his cover and making eye contact with Stuggtottii and the remaining platoon leaders. He made several hand gestures, indicating their retreat. The maneuvering to form a new perimeter would take a few minutes as the Marines had been flanking and needed to position themselves between security and Vaadwaur.

When the repositioning was complete, however, the amount of fire on the Vaadwaur troops had intensified.

But it was no longer being directed at the Starfleet personnel, but they almost seemed to be aiming to avoid them. And they held their position. They weren't trying to press forward.

Sevenas pulled out her tricorder and focused over the area she detected previously. There were more Vaadwaur. It hit her like a bulkhead to the face. It was a retrieval mission. "Sevenas to Walton. There is something in the mountain, that's why they aren't attacking us directly. They are creating a perimeter so they can retrieve whatever is in the mountain."

"What?" Walton demanded. He didn't have a tricorder, so he couldn't verify Sevenas' discovery. Nor could he see a way around the Vaadwaur to go search the mountain. There were just simply too much of them. "There's no way we can loop around the Vaadwaur, Lieutenant. What do you want us to do?"

A beep from the tricorder drew her attention. The ship that had landed had already taken off, taking with it whatever it had come for. The Vaadwaur troops began to fall back to their landing craft, picking up any fallen comrades. "Hold your position at the perimeter. I think they have got what they came for." The dampening field disappeared. There was a facility under the mountain and large amounts of thalmerite. Oh no... The ship was out of range. She raised her voice, tension now spilling into her tone. "Take cover, large explosion, incoming!"

Years of training and conditioning had taught the Marine Lieutenant to not question the order. He spun around to face his troops and shouted, "Cover! Take cover!" As the Marines were in an open field with a large shield at their backs, there was not much room for them to maneuver, much less find shelter. Several jumped on top of their fallen, albeit stunned, comrades while others dove behind what few rocks they could find.

Walton was no exception, though he soon found he had no place left to go. He dropped to the ground, laid prone, and guarded his weapon.

The action was just in time as all of the forces were overwhelmed by a loud sound and the shaking of the ground.

The bright flash of the explosion, followed by the sonic boom, then finally as the shockwave kicked up dust for kilometres around. Fortunately for the colony, the forcefield defensive perimeter provided some extra protection, though there were still some broken windows on the edge of the colony. What had they blown up? Once everything had calmed down, you can guarantee that would be top of everyone's list.


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