“We are under attack, I repeat we are under attack,” James yelled as he struggled to get up, something trying to drag him away.
He hated training for four hours each day in the suits, but Luitenant William was relentless you had to repeat each exercise and scenario over and over again. William said that it was the only way to carve something into the human brain so that when the situation calls for it, the brain would take over and save someone’s life. Luckily for James, Luitenant was right, he didn’t panic, and he didn’t try to find out what was tugging on his leg, he remained calm and fired his thrusters that were primarily used to maneuver in the vacuum of space but would do in this situation as well. He propelled himself to the side with the power of the thrusters he easily escaped the grip of whatever was dragon on him.
Once he was free, he quickly stood up and turned toward the direction he came from, there he saw a creature size of a grizzly bear. The creature was a blend of flash and metal, it stood on all fours like a lot of earth animals but had two extra limbs protruding from his sides close to the neck. Its mouth was a mash of metal teeth, it had three metal horns on top of its head and spikes all over the back. It all had a faint orange glow topped off with a bright glow from the eyes.
There was no doubt in James’s mind that it was the same technology or mix of technology and biology that Qhiks used. But Qhiks was adamant that Ellads were extinct and that all the worlds they visited showed no signs of life. James couldn’t dwell on those thoughts for long as the creature was already charging him. Training took over again and James dodged an attack from a creature that tried to impale him with its horns.
He took a moment to look around the valley, which suddenly turned into a battlefield. There were around ten creatures as far as James could count by just looking around. Most of his crew was either already on the ground or managed to barely escape like him. One of his team members lay on the ground not moving, he didn’t recognize who as all of their suits were the same, so he enabled name tags on his visor and it showed Dr. Vasquez and no vital signs coming from his suit. James froze for a moment and the creature slammed into him from the side, its horn scraping James’ side, luckily it hit the heavily armored part of the suit and didn’t pierce it, but James once again found himself on the ground with an aching pain all over his body.
Chief Hugo Lawson and his team were the first ones that have shaken off the initial shock and started fighting creatures, after all, they were soldiers and most of their training focused on combat or flying. Hugo used the suit to its fullest potential dancing around the battlefield with enchanted speed and using thrusters to quickly change directions. He quickly realized that creatures were pretty straightforward with their attacks, charging head-first into the enemy. So he waited for the one that was focusing on him to charge again and as soon as it did, he charged back.
The creature looked straight at him with its orange glowing eyes and just before they were about to clash the creature lowered its head and pointed its horns toward Hugo. Hugo used his thrusters to avoid being impaled and fired an energy blast from the suit’s right sleeve into the creature’s neck. The creature stumbled and was visibly hurt by the blast so Hugo seized the moment and attacked the creature. The suit had the option of turning its blasting energy into an almost solid object like a hammer, knife, scalpel, torch, or similar tools that were supposed to be used when repairing ships. He used most of the energy and created what almost looked like a sword that shined bright from blue energy.
Hugo attacked the same spot he hit with the blast and impaled the creature with his energy sword. The creature let out an inhumane roar and stumbled onto the ground. Just to be sure, Hugo repeated the attacks with the sword a few more times.
His team had a similar idea, and it took them a little bit longer but they were defeating creatures that were focusing on them one by one. Scientists, on the other hand, were scrambling for their life, most of the were barely dodging attacks and ran around the valley, and one of them lay on the ground, not moving. Hugo noticed that James was not running but tried to fight the creature, but he found himself on the ground, the creature above him.
Hugo removed his sword and started blasting energy projectiles at the creature that was at top of Captain James. He ran at the full speed gaining the creature’s attention. It turned towards him and started running at full speed. Hugo wanted to repeat the same thing he did just a minute ago so he ran at full speed at the creature waiting for it to bow its head, but that moment never came, the creature kept looking at him while charging. Hugo tried to dodge and repeat the attack anyway, but as he slid to the right side, the creature turned its head and switched directions launching Hugo into the air. Hugo flew some ten meters before colliding with the ground hard, luckily he managed to engage the thrusters mitigating his fall.
By the time it took him to regain his focus, the creature engaged James once again. The Captain kept running around and firing the blasts from his right arm but it didn’t do any damage. Their points must be their necks and joints, possibly the underbelly.
Hugo stood up and started blasting once again, knowing it would not do any damage to the creature but it would get its attention. Once again he found himself running head to head with the beast, but this time knowing that creature would not bow its head, so moments before colliding he slid through the ground below the creature once again making a sword and cutting the creature open from its neck down towards its belly. The creature fell to the ground behind him and Captain James helped him up.
Hugo’s team was able to defeat several more creatures, so now they found themself with a great number of adventures. Hugo relayed everything he noticed over the comms and lead the attack against the remaining creatures. It took them less than five minutes to defeat them all, creatures were adopting fast, but human numbers provided them with a great advantage.
Once all the creatures were downed, they all rushed towards the unconscious man, Dr. Vasquez, who went down at the start of the battle. James hoped that Doctor was just unconscious and that suit malfunctioned, but the pool of blood next to him spoke a different tune. The creature that attacked Dr. Vasquez managed to impale him through the weak point on the suit, right at the armpit, and cut him open towards the abdomen. Some of the scientists along with Hugo, who knew field medicine, tried to help the Doctor, but it was too late, James had lost his first crew member.
James turned away from his crew as something tightened in his gut and he felt nauseous. He tried to gather himself, they needed a captain now.
“Captain, captain…” Chief Lawson’s voice echoed over the comms and James snapped out of it.
“Yes, Chief,” James said his voice cracking.
“We can not reach the ship, comms seem to be down,” Hugo said.
James tried to contact Pegasus himself, but there was nothing, only silence over the comms. He pulled the radar on the display of his suit and tried to find a sign of the ship on the radar. Zooming out of the planet he saw a blinking dot that showed Pegasus who blinked away from its original position, and four Hornets scattered around the space. What was going on? He tried contacting Pegasus again, but nothing.
He turned towards his crew, pushing the anxiety and nausea away, and before he could talk his radar started blaring, a swarm of red dots appearing behind the hill. A few moments later hundreds of creatures appeared at top of the hill, they were completely surrounded. Panic took over once again, as they all looked around.
“We need to blast that hatch and get underground, clear the area” Chief Lawson yelled.
The explosion echoed over the valley and they rushed towards the hatch. As the dust settled they looked for an opening, but the hatch was undamaged. Chief Lawson scrambled for more explosion but he stopped dead in his tracks as a stampede of creatures rushed down the hill.
James watched in horror, “Can we break through towards our buggies?” He asked Chief Lawson.
“Let’s try, it’s in that direction,” Hugo pointed. “My team and Captain let’s take the front and try to break through, rest of you behind us and watch our backs.”
Creatures were already halfway down and James knew deep down that there was no way they would break through, but he took his position anyway, there was no harm in trying.
“Get ready,” Chief Lawson said. “And-”
Before Chief Lawson could finish a loud buzzing filled the air around them and creatures stopped right in their tracks. Seconds later the buzzing grew uncomfortably loud and the Alien structure came alive with orange light. The light spiraled out of the ground towards the top of the half-arches that were protruding towards the sky.
They were all stunned, only once he turned around James noticed that the hatch had opened.