Romulan Outpost, Airlock Utilities & Control Room
A bright light flashed from one side of the room to the other, filling the confined space with blinding illumination and cutting off sound and sight alike. Aria flew backwards, crashing against a bulkhead and slumping to the floor. A second of blackout and she regained consciousness as the snow covering her helmet HUD began to clear. Sound flooded back into her ears as thoughts poured into her head, the two sources of sensory data crashing into one another in an explosion of confusion. Hands grabbed at her, pulled at her armor. She fought against the assault, pulling herself away from the grasping hands, calling for help from her fellow marines, praying they were not struggling against a throng of Romulan commandos as she now was. Her senses finally came back to her in their entirety, just as quickly as they had been taken and nearly just as shocking. It was Zazz who had been grabbing at her armor, trying to pull her back onto her feet.
Maines took her by the other shoulder, "you ok, Colonel?"
Aria shrugged the two of them off. "I'm fine, keep the pressure on!"
Zazz look at Maines and waved his carbine dismissively. "Always taking it in the face, plasma grenade or otherwise."
The marine commander shot the arrogant bastard of a man the sort of look that could de-bone flesh with its intensity. Lucky for him it was hidden under the masked helmet. She could kick his ass for the comment later, but now was not the time to make it an issue. Her hands reached down to take hold of a long, cylindrical object and unclip it from her belt.
"Two can play that game bitches." She tore off the primer guard for the flechette grenade and threw it out of airlock control and down the corridor. Ducking down behind the set of consoles they had used as a barricade, the flechette grenade went off just as it should. Suddenly the hallway was filled with nearly a hundred tungsten spikes, aerodynamically sound, shredding all that stood in their way. The screams she found very, very satisfying.
"Sam, how are you holding up?" Aria looked over her shoulder to where she had last seen the girl.
Sam removed her hands from her ears, having had protected them when the battle begun. She just shook her head at Aria, not trusting her voice.
Sam continued to follow the Marines, and as they passed the area where the grenade went off, more Romulans came around the corner.
Sam took aim at their heads, then had to duck down as disruptor blast came her way. She kicked over a nearby body then rummaged through its belongings. She pulled a small disruptor out of an inner holder then continued to follow the marines.
Aria grinned at the girl, scavenging the dead bodies. She had no idea if the girl sought valuables or something more practical, but when she watched Sam remove the disruptor pistol she figured the motivations, at least the time being, were practical rather than financial. You never can tell with people who lived with raiders, she thought to herself, noting Jade's odd mannerisms.
Holding her hand up, Aria risked her own appendage to signal forward the support gunners. "Suppressing fire! Someone find out what the status is on freeing the Charon, this can't last forever!" Aria took a breath and reloaded her carbine as the squad support weapon was brought to bear. The large caliber weapon devastated, enemy infantry stuck in close quarters, not expecting an attack at all, let alone such a heavy weapon. Green splattered across the walls, staining the marines' armor plating. Romulan bodies writhed through the air like ragdolls, torn apart by the awesome power of the kinetic weapon. It stopped not too long after it started.
Only half a torso fell back, once the volley of disruptor shots from the next wave of what seemed like an unceasing mass of Romulans had hit the marine. Under that much enemy fire no personal armor known could have saved the man. The distinct smell of red blood filled the air, the support weapon continuing to fire, the hand stuck, the trigger finger pulled back. Vel took the risk of wrenching the hand off of the weapon, silencing it.
"Vel, replace Johnner. We need that suppression or we're overrun!" Aria sucked in a breath and stood on her knee, sending a burst down the corridor at the advancing horde. "Sam, do me a huge favor and get back down the hall to airlock U&C and tell them to do whatever it is they need to do!"
Sam grabbed the weapon off another body, then handed it to Aria with a nod, still keeping to her
low crouch. She was glad to get away from the smell and the gore, and even gladder to have something real to accomplish. She made her way back the way they had come, intent on reaching the airlock and relaying her message.
She screamed, yes, like a girl when a lean muscular form dropped from the ceiling. But her reflexes were fast and the Romulans aim was off in mid fall to the ground. The shot wizzed by her head just as she pulled her own trigger, catching him full in the chest. Sam closed her eyes for a moment and ran past the body.
Another few moments and she reached her goal, reporting what Aria had said.
The man on the floor, leaned up against the airlock U&C console, threw his hand up as Sam approached, the pistol handle bloody, his arm shaking from the weight of the weapon. "Fuck…almost took your head off." He dropped the weapon, too weak to set it down. Blood pooled around him.
"I heard the colonel over the comm." He winced, holding his chest. "We need to clear this place out so everyone can get the hell outa here. Use the consol to kill the lights. If the colonel is doing what I think she's doing then we'll be good."
Sam nodded, and headed to the console. It took her a few moments to figure out how. "I can only do this deck!" She called out, frustrated, not able to find a way to bypass the ships security.
"Perfect! That's all we'll need." The wounded marine gritted his teeth, activating the com-link. "Colonel, power going out in 30 seconds!"
The area went dark, the artificial lighting ending suddenly, abruptly. Aria was ready for it. So was everyone else, and Zazz, with his special assignment for this stage of battle, threw two metallic objects into the darkness ahead of them. "Bang out, go dark!" The marines killed their optic sensors as pitch black turned into pure white and back to optical void again. The blinding effect was total and devastating.
Muzzle flashes illuminated the darkness as the marines stood up, unleashing their might on the stunned and blind enemy. Few of the Romulans had helmets. They were on home turf, not expecting a battle. Aria had counted on it. The corridor filled with rancid smoke, metal and bio-matter in gaseous form.
"Clear!" The marines moved in, down the corridor and into the cross-juncture in the hallway. "We'll hold this position until the Charon is ready to depart. Support, dig in as best you can. Sam?" Aria glanced around for the tagalong.
Sam had run back to the group, now carrying several ransacked weapons, even a knife she'd lifted because she liked the haft. She coughed slightly and pushed hair out of her face. "Yes colonel?"
Aria silently thanked herself that the girl still breathed. "Opening a gunshop?" The colonel smiled, a slight laugh gracing the group with a wonderful sound. "Good job. Look, more will be on their way but we can better hold them off at this point. Still, the danger will not relent. You still in?"
Sam looked abashed at the colonel's initial comment. But so be it. She wasn't about to let the weapons get back into Romulan hands. "Yes colonel, I'm in." She straightened her vest, but remained crouched.
"Good. Luckily I don't think we'll be here much longer. I certainly don't want to be." Aria glanced down at her weapon, then over at the small band of soldiers setting up a defense around the hallway juncture. She knew holding the position for any extended period of time just wasn't practical. Not with so few marines. "Warlord, this is Alecto-227-Sierra Actual, route is secured. Let's try not to make our stay an extended one."
"Sam, this position is vital for that damn Romulan commander's plan to work, but we're going to leave these boys a little present when we pull out of here. Get back to the airlock and carefully, very carefully, connect all of the crates by radio control to the airlock console. Don't shake the boxes."
Sam nodded her understanding then very gingerly took the crates and the radio control device. She made her way back to the airlock and with some deft finger work, had all the crates connected to the airlock console as ordered.
Sam then hurried back to Aria and the Marines, a little out of breath. "I set the crates up." Sam simply sat, her legs too tired to hold a crouch any longer, but she kept her eyes open and scanning, incase any Romulans broke the line the Marines were defending.