Administrative Building 2
Administrative Building 2 was built for this sort of thing, guests who may be unqualified to see the rest of the Legion's operations but nonetheless still needed facetime with its members. It had a large ring shaped table in the middle of the meeting room flanked by large display screens just like the diplomatic rooms used during the recent international summit.
This time, it held the floating image of a planet in the center of the room with one small section of it marked in red.
Awaiting the PsychoPomp delegation was Green-Thumb.
The woman was almost 7 feet tall, with reddish brown hair pulled back into a soldier-looking bun, and green eyes. Her normally white skin having turned a deep tan just from being out in the sun too long. Her black undershirt covered up by the drab green combat-jacket of the Legion. She seemed to be carrying a pistol on her hip, along with the usual combat slacks and kneepads but she didn’t bother to wear shoes, showing off a carbon-fiber coating on her toenails and the bottoms of her feet.
She didn’t waste any time on Introductions.
“Thank you for coming. We have more work than our unit can handle, and we wanted you here to explore our options for stretching our budget by using PMCs.”
Paul would still be looking around trying to remember what Romanov told him to say before finally giving up. “Sorry I don’t normally handle this kind of stuff but Romanov couldn’t make the time to show uu. So, you’ll have to excuse me if I mess something up.I’m not really a people person.”
Paul would wave for one of the men who had been sent to protect him to put some folders on the table. “These are our past operations and generalized tactics if you’d like to look them over. But, before we get to any of that what would you like for us to do for you?”
“If this operation is not suited for you then by all means don’t take it on. I’m not ecstatic about involving PMCs in our operations.” Green Thumb said, crossing her arms on her chest. Already unhappy with the situation… but continuing regardless, “This is The Dump. The natives have a bunch of other names for it… but really it is one of the largest dumping-grounds for starships and other space-trash just about anywhere. Lots of reclaimed materials and the like… thing is the planet was right in the path of one of the last Atraxian pushes. Their fleets ended up gutted by the Alliance but they hold the planet itself.
They have a group of people developing new laser weapon systems for their ships and the Alliance would prefer if those science-slaves were rescued and brought back here.
Unfortunately, we’re stretched thin. I don’t have a team I can send to handle this. With the Grawla acting up here on Hawking every soldier I have is busy with some housekeeping duty.
That’s where you come in.”
Paul would listen to what Green Thumb was saying and not really understanding most of it. “So basically we just need to rescue these scientist? If thats so we can do that no problem. Only question that I have is if you will be sending us a situation report on what it looks like?” Paul would be checking a piece of paper Romanov had given him before leaving as he said this.
“We are willing to share our intelligence assets and orbital monitoring equipment. If you’re still considering taking the job we can discuss the layout of what we’ve found planetside.” Green Thumb responded.
Paul would smile as he responded. “Yeah we are still on board for this. You just let me know what is happening and we can get started within the next 48 hours.”
Green Thumb would nod, and zoom in on the location.
“We saw the group of individuals being moved to the boneyard two days ago. Our satellites have been watching this area and we do not think the humans in question have been moved since they arrived. The structure they have been brought to we are calling the Hotel.”
Zooming in would show the boneyard in all its detail. The entire place was a desert, filled with hundreds of starships in various states if disassembly and decay. Shanty towns were setup throughout, but ‘the hotel’ itself was anything but. It seemed to be a large, round, starship of unknown origin that was still floating in the air, some inherent anti-gravity ability keeping it floating. Parts of the exterior were missing or had been rebuilt into guard towers, lights, and gardens.
Other starships were nearby, many on the ground below with some others floating nearby. Various electrical lines and pipes seemed to be connecting the floating starships sporadically. There also seemed to be numerous small garages scattered about.
“We don’t have any information about the interior layout of the hotel, but we have observed their defenses extensively. They have a guard tower ontop of the ship. A large number of Atraxians have been seen moving about with hand weapons. They also have a number of trucks with heavy weapons that may be a danger to ground vehicles or low flying ships. They do not have any surface to orbit weapons, as we pick those off from orbit any time we seem them being setup.”
Paul would look at the tactical officer who would nod before speaking up. “We could launch assaults using our Rock shuttles to deploy our Tac teams in the debris in this location and move in from there. I’d say we can be in and out within 6 hours.”
Paul would then speak up. “So how much are we looking at from your side payment wise and will there be any bonus objectives, or any operating restrictions.”
“I will be accompanying your ground units on the operation to observe their performance,” Green Thumb stated. “We would prefer you minimize casualties and damage where possible. We are also looking to recover any slaves the Atraxians have present but we do not know the numbers you may have to expect.”
“All right then I look forward to working with you then.” Paul would respond as he got up to take his leave as he had projects to get to.
A few hours later,
PsychoPomp Operations Planning.
All of the assigned strike teams had gathered to go over battle plans for the upcoming operation. The Locus team lead, operations head for this mission would go over the plan again. “So we do this the way we usually do. We use the pods to get onto the ground and set up a perimeter so that the the heavies can set up an LZ for us to leave from. After that’s been done we use our boosters to get to the hotel and clear it out floor by floor quitely. If we alert them we’re most likely going to be put on the clock because there's no telling what they might do. However if that happens my team will get to the roof ASAP in case they have a helipad up there to head off any evacuations from that location.” He would then look at Green Thumb. “Does this sound solid to you?”
“I am a bit nervous about putting so many people on the ground below the ship. There are a lot of atraxians on the surface. Though they don’t have heavy weapons their small arms could present a problem when dropping off and recovering assets planetside.
We could use your teams to secure the top areas of the ship, and use that positioning to provide overwatch of the city while the rest of the teams clear out hotel. I think the upper surface of hotel is also strong enough to support landing of shuttles however I will leave that to your discretion. Our recon satellites can provide continuous orbital imagery, and polar-orbit laser sats can strike targets every hour during their flyover windows. However that is all the support we can provide” Green Thumb added.
The lead would look at Green Thumb before deciding to explain how the pods worked. “Our best option for not setting off the Atraxians is for us to use our pods, which we will use to mask our teams as orbital debris. We can leave the pods ground side and secure the roof of the hotel for EZ with the heavies as the rest of us clear the hotel as I stated previously. If all goes well we should be able to get in and out in around an hour and a half. Is that better for you?”
Green-Thumb would nod. “That seems acceptable. Again, it is your operation I will leave the specifics to you, though I would prefer to be on the team that goes into Hotel.”
“If you want.” The lead would say as he sighed. “Though we can handle ourselves.”
“Part of this operation is allowing me to evaluate the operation so we can better understand how to use you in the future,” Green-Thumb explained, “Consider my presence as an observational one, rather than someone who will be doing the heavy lifting for you.”
“Fine by me.” The lead would respond.
The Boneyard was mostly desert. For hundreds of miles in all directions small buildings and decaying starships were scattered about. Only the bare minimum of infrastructure was there: A single highway that stretched out in both directions along with a pipe that provided drinking water from a nearby lake. This late at night there was only a minimum of light, mostly from inside a handful of workshops as the only real industry on this planet was the salvage of starship components. A small number of dirt roads also stretched out from around the cluster of buildings that had sprung up under Hotel, most of which were near the mooring cables that held the hovering ship in place above the city.
The hulking Atraxians and the numerous slave-species that worked for them all were mostly asleep on the planet’s surface. Though there were clearly still plenty awake onboard hotel. There was light leaking out from holes in the skin of the craft. A group of five were spread out on the guard tower built ontop of the ship, while a number of atraxians were waiting by the mooring spots: large holes cut into the underside of the ship where the cables from the ground entered into the ship to connect to the superstructure.
Between the atraxians ontop of the ship, and those watching the entry points below, every easy way in was being watched.
The strike teams would load up into their respective pods fully kitted out for the mission at hand. The lead would wave at Green Thumb to join his team in their pod. “It’ll get a bit bumpy so make sure not to lose your hat.”
The inside of each pod was a bare metal husk save for a few locking mechanisms to hold armor suits in place. “Make sure to lock in or you’ll probably die on impact.”
Green-Thumb would lock in as best she could. She was wearing an older Legion Space-Suit, olive drab body with a dull white Helmet. The suit itself was bulky at best, with a large back-pack that held life support and other systems. It was moderately armored and had limited flight systems… the whole suit seemed years behind the high-end armors that were available on the market, certainly decades behind the sleek form-fitting combat suits that Tai-Pan equipped their soldiers with. On her chest were several red and green magazines for her G8 grenade launcher taped in place, along with a LP series laser pistol in a holster on her hip. Her launcher was in a holster on her leg, and a heavy, expanding riot shield was strapped to her back, perhaps to aid with the lack of mobility and protection afforded by her armor.
Certainly the dints, dings, and obviously replaced armor sections indicated that the armor had been in use for a while.
“Not planning on dying this early,” Green-Thumb joked.
“Don’t we all?” The lead would joke back.
As he finished saying this there would be a click and a sudden feeling of falling as the pods were released. It would be a while before a very loud crunch would be heard and the pod would come to an immediate stop. “We’re here.” The lead would say as he kicked open the hatch. He and all the other members of the operation would get out and check their equipment really quickly before pulling out rappelling gear. “Last chance to back out.” The lead would say looking at Green Thumb.
Green thumb would shake her head no, trying to keep communication to a minimum as she got her own repelling gear ready… a magnetically assisted harpoon attached to a mechanical wench.
The crunch of the drop pod landing was fairly loud, loud enough for those nearby to hear it, though it seemed like no one was willing to stick their head outside to have a look. There were only a few buildings spread out near here, most of which were barely holding together.
The lead would signal for everyone to wait as he and the rest of Locus would activate their cloaking gear before launching their repelling gear up to the hotel and ascending. They would work on making a blind spot for the rest to repel up to. Several minutes would pass as they did their work before one of them came back down to signal the rest it was safe to head up.
This would lead them to the edge of Hotel, the massive ship didn’t have any places to hide along the top, and a make-shift watchtower had been set up on the center of the ship. From here Atraxian guards were keeping a look out over the top of the ship itself.
The members of Locus would unholster their rifles and take aim at the five guards in the watchtower. The lead would give a silent countdown before the five members shot in unison and the five lookouts dropped with barely a sound. After this had been accomplished Locus would then recloak and make their way to the base of the Hotel before rappelling up the side to get to the roof as the rest made their way to the front door.
The ‘front door’ of Hotel was really more like a bunch of sheet metal stacked near the base of the tower. Enough to keep the weather out, but not so much an actual door… after all who would try to enter through the top of the ship that was hovering off the ground? The tower itself now had a bunch of dead guards at the top, each of which with their own handheld radios.
Though the upper skin of the ship one could see down into the rest of the craft…
The Interior seemed to be much like a stadium, various rooms were positioned in a ring ‘around’ the edges of the ship with a large open area in the center. The central area had an open fire, around which several guards were cleaning weapons or preparing food.
Looking at the set up of the interior was a bit worrying to several of the insertion team. The lead of Hound the search and rescue squad would quietly take off his helmet and whisper. “Savant get me a scan of that room.” A quick “Yes sir.” Was given in return as the man known as Savant performed a biometrics scan of the initial area. After the scan data had been compiled each member would receive an overlay on their HUD which marked known enemies as red and anything questionable as yellow.
They would find quite a few yellow signatures, possibly humans, possibly other creatures… but the heart-rate based scan they were using did easily pick up the rather strong heartbeats of the Atraxians. There were nearly 40 spread throughout the area, with another 18 in the center of the structure. There were nearly 100 other yellow signatures of other creatures. These others were also spread out rather unevenly, though they were able to flag the largest concentration: A group of about 20 all stuffed into one room that had extra shielding and a heavy barricade on the entryway itself.
The head of Phoenix, the assault squad for these types of missions, would look over all the signatures before speaking. “Best way I see this going is that we insert into one of these rooms using a cutting charge on the ceiling. We drop in and take out any insurgents. Don’t alarm anyone, if we do this could turn into an all out firefight and while we could handle that we don’t know what these assholes would do to the captives.”
Moving to the least populated room that had a sheet metal roof the group would carefully lift up the cover as to make as little noise as possible, before Phoenix dropped in and neutralized any enemies in the room taking an extra moment to check for body armor before firing. After the room was clear they would wave for the rest to drop, catching those who had come in heavier equipment as to quiet their fall as much as possible.
They were easily able to find one with just a single individual in it. The Atraxian barely having time to look up before he was pop’d in the head. The rest of the crew easily able to make it down without alerting anyone. They were right next to the room with the numerous yellow signatures in it… but before they could reach it they would hear something on the handheld radio in the room.
Luckily, their equipment would automatically translate,
“Watchtower. You haven’t reported in. I know it’s boring but the bossman will have your head if you don’t check in every 10 minutes!”
After a few seconds a voice would come over the radio. “Sorry about that mate. This is watchtower, still nothing to report. I still don’t see why we have to keep checking in nothing ever happens around here. To be perfectly honest I’m starting to fall asleep up here. When is the next shift going to get here it feels like we’ve been up here forever now.”
“You alright? You sound funky. If you’ve got grog up there I’mma have to whoop ya for not bringing it ere first.” Came the response.
“Nah mate I caught a cold. Musta been a few nights back when that chill blew through and I decided to play strip poker with the boys.” Came the reply.
“Whatever, just report in on time!”
“Will do. Also I’ve seem to have forgotten but when are the next group of blokes suppose to show up? I’ve got a date coming up soon.”
“OH Sod off, I’m not your mom. They’ll get there when they get there… stop trying to get our of your shift early!” He snapped, “You still got another hour!”
“Geez see you in 10 then.”
The line would then go silent again. One of the Phoenix team would grab the radio on the floor and connect it to his helmet to keep the noise contained within his helmet.
After that the group would make their way over to the wall and one of Hound squad would set up the Black Screen to look through the wall into the adjacent room.
They would find a number of people that looked to be asleep, all humanoid… along with two that were still awake, clustered around what looked like a TV.
The group would then pull out a plasma cutter and make a new doorway through the wall into the. They would catch the incision and slowly lower it to the floor. The lead for Hound would take off his helmet and whisper to the group. “Be quiet we’re here to rescue you.”
One of the two watching the screen would look surprised for a moment, each of them looking at each other for a moment. At the exact same time, one would whisper,
“Thank you! Get us out of here,”
While the other would shout,
“THEY ARE IN HERE!”
The human that shouted would make a dash for the door, while the other one jumped on him, tackling him to the ground.
The Hound squad would swap magazines to their tranq rounds and fire at the two on the floor. As they did this the others would check the scan to see if anything moved.
People were starting to wake up, coming face to face with trained soldiers that certainly didn’t look like their Atraxian captors. Though for the time being they seemed frozen and unwilling to take action as the two struggling on the floor started to slow before finally passing out.
Outside, their captors overheard, and some would begin making their way over to the room, “WHAT’S GOING ON IN THERE?!”
Hound leader would look at the group and whisper. “We’re here to help, can you just tell them there was a scuffle between two of you but that its stopped now?” Meanwhile the others would train their guns on the door.
Those in the room looked at eachother for a moment before someone finally spoke up, “Just a small fight!” They shouted, “We’re done in here…. We’ll keep quiet…”
But it was too late, the guards had already unbarred the heavy door and opened it up, “Yeah well we’re going to….” The Atraxians were looking right at the soldiers. It would only take them a fraction of a second to respond to what they were looking at.
The group would open up quickly moving into an advanced firing line. One of the mercs would yell. “Move through the door we made. We’ll get you out of here.” As he said that two of the members would head back to the previous room and boost up the other back out the hole so that they could quickly start moving the prisoners topside.
The people started to do as asked, hurrying for the hole that had been cut into their room. One of the Atraxians was quickly cut down while the other ended up taking a few hits before finally being able to get behind a wall. He’d squeeze the trigger on his own gun, bullets loudly firing off into the air.
The rest of the Atraxians would know something is up.
The sounds of people stirring to life could be heard all over the ship now as armed soldiers started to approach their position.
“Maxim do it!” The Phoenix lead would shout. Maxim would then unholster his grenade launcher and fire 2 flame grenades out the door. “Alright everyone we’re goin loud but keep structural and collateral damage to a minimum.”
The fires would cut off access through the front door, the smoke blocking line of sight, but this didn’t seem to bother the Atraxians much. They would start spraying weapons fire in through the entryway, bullets ripping through the room and hitting one of their own hostages.
To make matters worse, the hostages that did make it out the back didn’t quite know where to go and were starting to pile up around the exit, trying to hide behind whatever cover they could find.
“Get a shrapnel down range!” The lead would holler which Maxim was much to eager to oblige as he sent 3 grenades out through the door.
Meanwhile back in the room the soldier still standing in the room would start waving for the hostages to come to him as he began lifting them up and with the help of his partner get them out of the room and onto the roof.
The explosions from the grenades would drive their attackers back for a moment, granting the soldiers a minute or so of reprieve from the incoming bullets. The blasts caused the walls and door to crater inward slightly, with holes spread throughout from where the fragmentation had penetrated through. A few of the slaves they had been sent to save would make it up to the top of the ship, but then the Atraxians would be back in full force, starting with a cluster of frag and stun grenades being thrown into the room!
The group would pick something to get behind and flip it in front of them to block the flash mainly relying on their armor to protect against the other grenades.
Waiting out the flash they would immediately return fire with shotguns and battle rifles, deciding to save the other heavy weapons for the rooftop fight.
Two atraxians, each carrying massive transparent riot-shields, would approach through the doorway. The small arms fire would bounce off their shields, allowing them to call out the positions of the PsychoPomp soldiers inside. The amount of fire would start to increase, with more grenades being thrown into the structure as other Atriaxians started to move around from behind and the sides, edging up to where the slaves were being evacuated.
Exchanging a quick glance Lok would pull out his Chain gun and unload into the Atraxians while Maxim backed him up with flame grenades. Meanwhile the others would spend their time trying to toss as many grenades as they could back ignoring the small arms fire as they knew their armor could withstand the rounds.
The soldiers in the room were soon surrounded, Atraxians standing in the doorway hoping their riot shields would hold out against the heavy amount of fire, while others started pouring fire in through the side walls, doorway, and even from behind the group as Atraxians formed up on them where the slaves were trying to escape.
They were about to break in from behind to overrun the area where the slaves were trying to escape, only for Green-Thumb to load a magazine of knife-missiles into her grenade launcher. She’d quickly unload the 4 round mag, sending small flying rockets zipping out, cutting through the thin walls and seeking out armed targets to slice through at high speed.
The squad would glance at Green Thumb very quickly before consolidating back to the exit room. They would draw their melee weapons and guard the entrances with close combat to get around the pesky riot shields.
“Do you have an exit plan, we can’t all rappel up out of here with this many people shooting at us,” Green-Thumb asked as she let her empty magazine fall to the floor, replacing it with a red striped one that had been taped to the exterior of her armor.
Even as she spoke the Atraxian’s found themselves in close combat, having to use their riot shields to shove their opponents backwards as they were too heavy to use as a weapon. Others would start swarming in around them to get in close, though through the main door only one could really enter at a time. This left the riot shield trying to push through as four others pushed against his back to force a way in.
The soldier looked at Green Thumb. “Simple, we don’t climb.” After saying this he would open up a channel. “Kilo we need a lift here now.”
A response came back over. “Be there in five.”
While the brawl at the door continued one of the mercs would toss a grenade over the riot shields and they would all brace for the shock.
One of the Atraxians would end up trying to reach for the grenade, causing it to skitter along the floor. The explosive ending up going off under the first riot shield, sending him flying off to one side. The rest of the blast seemed to be absorbed by the Atraxians directly behind him, killing two of them. At this point there was little stopping the rest from pushing in, surging in through the doorway, some shooting, others looking to just bash them over the head with their rifles.
The mercs would enter melee combat with the Atraxians, most of them using their sidearms and knives to dispatch the soldiers quickly. Trying to move as fast as possible while also protecting the civilians.
To help expedite the process another would begin lifting civilians up and out.
At some point, something was set on fire.
Furthermore there were many more loud pops, explosions, gunfire.
The entire room was now being filled with choking smoke. The Atraxians still pushing forward as best they could, using any open space they had to fire their weapons generally towards the mercenaries. but it was getting quite hard to see, and for the civilians trying to evacuate... quite hard to breathe. Even with only one choke-point to worry about now, a large riot shield was still making it impossible to really clear out the Atraxians as they streamed in behind it.
Meanwhile, more of the mercs would help to expedite the evacuation.
Only a handful standing back from the room were unaffected, a trio of rifles pointed in towards the PsychoPomp soldiers.
Meanwhile outside of the ship the Atraxians were starting to figure out something was up. There was some movement, lights turning on. Garages opening up as Atraxians got ready to board small vehicles.