Master of Orion

Master of Orion

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s_omara Sep 29, 2016 @ 9:45am
Arid Tide - Short Story
Alexia kept her eyes trained on the eight screens streaming shaky footage as six conflicting voices bickered in her ear, not counting her own. The screaming howl of a missile registered to her left, but she didn’t turn to address it or the following explosion.

“Western Line, what are we seeing here?” Her voice was steady. When she spoke the other voices fell silent as her command override kicked in.

“There are troops everywhere. We have incoming fire from a military installation a few kilometers to the south.” The commander was out of breath, the live feed from his helmet was flooded with images of wounded and dead Terrans the scattering motion of Klackon. “We’re being overrun.”

The evening sky above the central command center burned a bright orange before fading
back to semi-darkness. That meant that the anti-aircraft division was still alive and active, for now. “You have to neutralize the installation. We will divert some air support to your location.” There was no response from the commander, but his feed showed him changing direction while firing concentrated shots at a nearby Klackon that was attacking a Terran foot soldier.
She switched the feed of her headset, “Striker Team, focus efforts on the military installation to the south west.”

“We’re losing control of the airspace above central command.” The distant sounding voice seemed distracted, waging a losing battle of his own. “If we divert resources, you may be exposed.”

“Go!” Alexia barked through the headset, not waiting to hear the flight leader respond. She flipped the headset back to the frequency for her ground team. “All units move towards the location of the Western Line. Way points are being uploaded to your comm units now.” An ops tech scrambled quickly on the heavy field hardware as she rapidly pointed to where she wanted units to advance to. The technician fired off the way points to all troops in the surrounding area.

A distant scream pierced through the headset, an echo of carnage that one of her battalions was hearing first hand. “Central North reporting major casualties. The Klackon are making a push towards central command now.”

Alexia looked at Central North’s screen as blue dots showing enemy movement merged into a solid band of massive Klackon combatants. Breaking through soft earth and pouring over the small hills, their thick shells were a dark green that shimmered in the early morning light which was getting brighter by the second. They were too close to their location.

“Destroy everything!” She screamed at the field techs, who took EMP scrambling pucks and began slamming them onto every machine. They weren’t frontline soldiers by nature, but their hands were steady and the defensive pistols at their belt were at the ready.

“Do we have any air support left above central command? Any remaining fusion bombs?”
There was silence for a few long moments before a man answered, “Yes, General.”

The green shimmer of the enemy Klackon were now before her, distant but visible and moving fast. She looked up at Central North’s feed and saw only static. “Lock onto my location and wait for my command,” she exhaled. Blinking at her HUD controls she switched the transmission back to the ground troops and pulled her rifle from her back.

The ops tech and her division had fortified the natural defenses they found around central command and readied themselves. “Don’t fire until you can hear them!”

The image of their glittering bodies was temptation enough to begin firing, but at this range their shots would most likely hit the hard external shells of the Klackon, doing little other than wasting ammo. The Klackon were moving fast across the arid surface of the planet. The Terran Khanate sent troops to capture the newly colonized Klackon planet, but had severely underestimated the resistance that the ground troops would encounter.

The scratching, skittering sound of the Klackon whispered on the edge of their hearing. The naturally occurring segmented armor that covered the Klackon bodies scraped together in the dry air as they raced towards the Terran forces. The sound of their forces approaching made Alexia grind her teeth with rage.

“Now!”

The team came out of cover and began firing at the onrushing line. Alexia began firing concentrated and slow shots, slowly increasing in speed as the Klackon line drew closer. As the enemy came closer, she shot at their soft underbellies, carapace segment lines, and legs. The iridescent shells of the warriors took a lot of damage, but they were cracking and falling as they charged.

On the far left of Alexia, a few Klackon broke through the Terran line. She heard her team struggling and being silenced, one by one.

She went to reload her rifle and found that she was out of ammo – she had already diverted their ammunition stores to the front line where it was most needed. To the left, a Klackon focused its antennae on Alexia and hissed. The rest of the Terran line was crumbling, some still firing forward and others focusing on the threat behind their own lines.

Alexia drew a long, curved blade from her hip and turned to face the hissing soldier that was only a few short meters from her now. She broke into a short sprint towards the Klackon, who was struggling against a Terran soldier who was awkwardly hitting the butt of his rifle against the Klackon’s neck with one hand. The other hand was latched firmly onto the Klackon weapon in a struggle of life and death.

She pulled the sword back and with a heavy downward motion, took out three of the four legs on the Klackon’s left side. It turned with a screech before stumbling, dropping its weapon, massive pincers reaching out and snapping shut just in front of her face. The Terran soldier who was struggling righted his rifle and aimed it at the vulnerable neck of the Klackon, firing quickly.

The two Terrans were splattered with the thick green blood of the Klackon, but there was no time to rest. Turning to the trooper who had just killed the Klackon, Alexia was suddenly sprayed with blood. Multiple wounds had blossomed from the soldier’s chest as the snap of the bullets passed by her head.

Alexia looked over her shoulder and saw a large Klackon on the small stone ridge that the Terrans had been using as a natural fortification. Its body plates were a deep red, with strange markings painted across its massive frame. The Klackon settled it’s many legs onto flat ground and paused to look around the field, searching for some objective.

The warrior locked eyes with Alexia. With deliberate care it slung the rifle it carried then pulled a large, serrated sword from a scabbard on its thorax. It was arrogant, so sure of victory that it wanted to savor the slow and personal death from a blade. At this point, the Klackon were probably using the remaining Terran troops as a training exercise.

The Klackon lowered itself and began to charge. Its many legs whirred in perfect harmony, rapidly closing the gap between them. Alexia turned to face him instinctively, her blade at the ready. At this point it didn’t matter if she had bullets or blades, the tide of the battle was too far gone.

She activated her headset, “On my countdown, drop any remaining fusion bombs on my location.”

“There are still active agents on the field” the pilots above her protested.

She didn’t care. The blood across her face was a rapidly congealing combination of Terran and Klackon, the adrenaline in her veins was burning her past the point of exhaustion. The red bodied Klackon rushed forward still. “I’d rather us all die than let one of these insects celebrate killing us.”

The pilots were silenced.

“Three,” her voice did not shake as she began to run forward. There was no hope for their objectives on the planet, their defensive lines had been penetrated. The Klackon would burn the Terran ground forces from the inside of their perimeters.

“Two,” the Klackon before her was larger than the rest of their kin, possibly a fellow General. This was a good way to die, among the blood of her brothers and sisters in war. Her last actions would spitefully wrest victory from the Klackon, a thought that brought a slight smile to her face.

“One,” as she jumped, the Klackon General parried her blade that aimed for his throat. The heavy claw of his other arm made solid contact, knocking the air out of her as she went flying in the opposite direction. The General screeched as well, a bloody gash blossoming in the soft spot between his chest and back plates. While not the strike she wanted, she was pleased her sword wounded the creature.

As Alexia tumbled onto the dusty ground, she looked up to see the blinding white streak of the bombs falling – a harbinger of death for those below. They burned brightly, never fading as she kept her sword in a tight grip, her eyes wide open to the unknown.
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Showing 1-3 of 3 comments
Torchfire Sep 29, 2016 @ 10:12am 
Another fine story. Starship Troopers MoO style!
And no Darloks in sight here for a change. Or were they just disguised well enough?

The story could use some proofreading though...
purdueguy Sep 29, 2016 @ 10:30am 
Where are all these stories published? Why is there no link in steam to them all like we have to the manual?
seabo_76 Sep 30, 2016 @ 5:43pm 
Nice!
Damn bugs....
Hoping that eventually there's going to either be a link to or a down load for all these short stories :steamhappy:
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Showing 1-3 of 3 comments
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Date Posted: Sep 29, 2016 @ 9:45am
Posts: 3