Chapter 3: Engaged

Civilian Cargo Vessel Roanoke, unknown location, January 15 2525 military calendar.

The dead alien laid on the floor as purple blood continued gushing from its wound onto the ground. Blitzkrieg stood over the creature, looking down at it in a stunned silence. To Number One the creatures grey skin kind of reminded him that of a slug. Axel poked the barrel of his M30 at the deceased alien before letting out a long whistle. "Damn...these insurrectionists just get uglier every time. Looks like you owe me 50 credits Ditzy." Ditzy smashed her fist into Axel's stomach which made Axel stumble back and fall onto the floor while gripping where she had punched him. "They're not innie's you cheeky twit, I don't know what they are...commander what do you think?" Susie looked up from the dead alien and shook her head. "I wouldn't know. Your guess is as good as mine..." Axel let out a grunt. "What's to guess? They're alien's and they're not friendly. That makes them a threat, that means we get to kill them." A burst of static came over the team's radio before it was replaced with Nova who spoke in an unnerved tone. "Blitzkrieg, come in! What's happening in there?" Susie turned away from Blitzkrieg and began walking the other way. "Nova, I need speak to Captain Vega immediately." "I'm here, what's the situation?" Vega asked through the team comm.

"Sir, Dr Merch has been captured by unknown hostiles." Susie reported as she looked back at her team. "Unknown?" Vega asked in a confused tone. Susie wasn't sure how to report a first contact scenario seriously without making it sound ridiculous. She never expected that she would ever have to. Humanity had expanded so far out into space that the likelihood that humanity was alone in the universe was starting to look all the more real. But here she was, standing over the corpse of a creature that was yet of unknown origin. A creature with technology just as if not more advanced then anything humanity had and what was worse was that it had used that technology with malicious intent against them. At that moment Susie knew that if she wanted her and the rest of her team to survive this scenario she couldn't let the pressure of the situation get to her. She needed to treat this like any other mission and to do that she would need to come right out and say it. "Alien's sir. We were ambushed by aliens." The lack of a response from Vega told Susie that he must have been stunned by her answer. She stayed silent and let what she said sink in with Captain Vega before speaking to him once again. "Sir, we need orders. The aliens are hostile and they now have doctor Merch. We need to know how you want us to handle this." She could hear the captain sigh over the radio, likely still letting the information sink in.

"Blitzkrieg your new orders are to haul ass the Roanoke's bridge. We need to assess if these aliens have accessed the ship's navigation database. If they haven't, then purge the system. We know nothing about these creatures so we need to play it safe and protect the location of every human colony world. I'll send reinforcements to assist. Good luck Blitzkrieg, Vega out." Axel shrugged to Susie who was walking back over to them. "So no pressure then commander?" Susie looked back down at the dead alien one last time before glancing over towards the locked door at the end of the room. "We need to get that door open and I don't think explosives will cut it. It looks pretty thick." Number One looked up at the claw hanging above that had dropped the crate on top of him before cocking his head to one side. He then looked over to one of the long stacked metal containers before shifting his attention to the locked metal door. "Commander" He spoke as the rest of Blitzkrieg jolted their heads in his direction, a little more than surprised. "Holy shit, it talks?!" Axel commented smugly before getting hit in the stomach by Ditzy once more. "What is it Number One?" Asked Susie who also seemed surprised to hear him. It wasn't that he didn't like to talk, but rather he just never really had anything interesting to say and just usually liked keeping to himself. He preferred to let his actions speak for him rather than his words.

Number One looked up at the grappling claw and nodded up to it as Blitzkrieg focused their attention towards the open machine. Soon enough Susie looked at him and nodded approvingly. "Good idea Number One. Axel, get to the crane controls. We're gonna ram the door open." "Roger that commander." Said Axel as he moved to the platform at the far left corner of the room. Number One felt as Ditzy gave him a hard pat on the back. "Good thinking champ." She said. Number One looked away. As Axel reached the claws control panel he would handle the joy stick and begin maneuvering it around the room before grabbing onto a long metal container and lowered it, bringing the container in front of the locked door. "Alright Axel, do it." Susie said as the crane moved away from the door before accelerating towards it with the long metal container, hitting the door like a hammer hitting a nail. A loud clang echoed through the room as the container was pulled back to reveal the massive dent created by the container, however the door was still intact. Number One heard yelps and strange noises coming from the other side, indicating that there was someone waiting for them. "We got company." Said Susie as she raised her MA5B assault at the steel door.

Ditzy used her jetpack and jumped up onto a stack of nearby crates. She perched herself on top of them, setting up her M99 before aiming the sniper rifle at the door. Number One took cover with Susie behind another steel crate they had pulled out from the stacks of containers and prepared themselves. "Axel, now!" Ordered Susie as the container once again pulled back before running into the door once more. This time the yelps and screeches behind the door weren't as loud as before, still Number One knew that whatever was on the other side was most likely expecting them and were just as prepared as they were for a fight. "One more hit Axel, go for it!" Susie yelled as she pulled out a frag grenade and prepared to toss it. The metal container slammed against the door one last time as the steel doors finally gave in and broke apart. Green plasma started spraying out from the now bashed in doors as they hit the metal crate Number One and Susie took cover behind. Axel pulled the container back and raised it up over the doorway, giving Susie a bigger opening to throw her grenade into. "Fire in the hole!" She yelled as she armed the explosive and threw it through the doorway. A few seconds later the grenade detonated with a loud thump.

"Move in!" Susie ordered as she and Number One leapt out from cover with their weapons raised and moved towards the doorway. Once through, Number One scanned the area for more hostiles. There weren't any. He turned his head to Susie who had knelt down next to one of the dead aliens which looked much different from the ones they had previously encountered. These ones were much smaller and had bulky forearms which held onto a small circular weapon that glowed green. It's legs were stumpy and it wore an orange suit which covered its grey skinned torso. The creature also wore a mask over its mouth and had a pack on its back. Susie picked up one of the dead aliens weapons and examined it. "ONI's gonna wanna see this." She said, placing it onto her thigh. Soon joining Number One and Susie, Ditzy and Axel came over to them and looked around at the dead aliens lying on the ground in pools of bright blue blood. "They just get uglier and uglier don't they?" Axel quipped as Susie stood back up. "We have no time to waste. Our objective, get to the bridge, purge the nav data, and kill any hostiles that stand in our way." She looked to the rest of her team who nodded back to her as three green acknowledgement lights winked on. They knew what was at stake and would do whatever it took to keep the location of Earth and the rest of her colonies secret from this new threat. "Blitzkrieg, we're oscar mike!"

Blitzkrieg would fight their way through the front part of the ship in order to reach the ship's main elevators that would take them to the top floor where their objective would be located. However to get there they had to cross a much larger container storage area which upon entering was full of the small alien foot soldiers from before as well as a new kind of enemy that they had yet to encounter, vulture headed like creatures that carried a shield made of blue and orange energy. The shield came from a gauntlet attached to their forearms which they seemed to be able to activate at will. The energy shields were very resilient to arms fire, which meant they couldn't be taken out from the front. Instead Blitzkrieg had to rethink their tactics and coordinate a flanking maneuver that involved Ditzy distracting the aliens with her sniper fire while Susie, Axel, and Number One snuck around before ambushing the aliens from behind. After clearing the room of enemies Blitzkrieg would eventually reach a series of eight elevators on each side of the next hallway ahead which to their dismay were all offline. "Looks like elevators were shut down too." Said Axel as he opened the elevator panel. "I can try bypassing the security lock and attempt to re-direct power to the elevator from the bridge, but that may take awhile."

Susie shook her head to Axel as she pried the elevator door open and walked into the rectangular lift. "That will take too long." She said aiming up at the ceiling and firing a round from her assault rifle at the seal on the hatch above, causing it to break open. Boosting up through the hatch, Susie would help the rest of Blitzkrieg up one by one until they eventually all stood on top of the elevator. "Blitzkrieg we're going airborne!" She said before her jetpack's thrusters lit up and she propelled herself into the air onto the next elevator a few floors up. The rest of Blitzkrieg followed behind her, leaping from elevator to elevator. However they eventually reached an elevator that was too high up for them to get to with their jetpacks and had to cross over to the elevators on the other side of the hallway. As they moved across the hallway on the fourth floor to the other set of elevators, they would kill two small aliens and one bird alien who didn't expect them to come up through the elevator shaft. As they started to leap once again up the elevator shaft they came across more bird aliens, only this time they wore EVA suits equipped with jetpacks, giving them an equal footing over Blitzkrieg.

With no cover and stuck in a tight quarters area, they were practically sitting ducks. "Blitzkrieg, down the hatch!" Susie ordered as she jumped through another elevator hatch. Ditzy provided cover fire with her M99, keeping the aliens pinned on top of one of the elevators above. This allowed Axel and Number One to jump into the hatch with Ditzy jumping in last. They were almost there damnit. Only a few more floors and they would have reached the top level. "Blast! Looks like we're gonna have to find another way up." Said Ditzy as she swung her fist around and slammed it into the wall next to Axel's head. "I'm not your personal punching bag Ditzy. Commander it may be hard to navigate, but we can probably still use the ship's maintenance tunnels to reach the top level." Susie let out a sigh before glancing over to Axel. "Guess we don't have a choice. It's either that or fight those bastards in the elevator shaft." She said as she placed a finger to the side of her helmet and accessed her comm. "Nova, we need to find an access point to one of the ship's maintenance vents. Can you lead us through to the top level?" A moment later Nova's deep polite voice filled the comms. "Indeed milady. Follow the nav point I have placed on your HUD. It shall lead you to the nearest entrance to the maintenance vent."

Leading Blitzkrieg through the ship's maintenance tunnels once more, Nova noticed that whatever had been disrupting his scans before had suddenly disappeared. After scanning the whole ship he was able to piece together that whatever was the disruption had been was caused by something located in the back of the ship, but unfortunately Nova still wasn't sure if it was the aliens that were jamming him or something else. Despite this Nova was able to lead the strike team through the labyrinth of tunnels. On their way up Blitzkrieg came across a few of the bird aliens who must have figured out what they were up to and attempted to flush Blitzkrieg out. However Blitzkrieg was able to dispatch any hostiles they encountered very quickly. Once they reached the top floor Blitzkrieg was met with plasma fire from a group of the smaller aliens as they entered through to the next room. The bastards knew they were coming and had set a trap. Blitzkrieg took cover behind the open doorway as Number One and Axel opened fire on the aliens who had taken cover behind a few crates and small containers. "Ditzy the lights! Number One, Axel, keep putting pressure on them!" While the aliens ducked behind cover, Susie rolled out from behind the doorway and fired at the lights in the room the aliens where hiding in while Ditzy shot at the lights in the room behind them, causing everything to go dark.

Number One could hear as the aliens started panicking and falling over each other in the dark. "Axel strobe light!" Susie yelled to Axel who turned on the strobe light attached to his shotgun and moved into the room with his shotgun raised. The five foot creatures tried to shoot back but the strobe light disoriented them as Axel started unloading his shotgun into them one by one. With each boom from the shotguns barrel, the aliens were thrown back and burst into flames from his shotgun incendiary pellets. Once all of the creatures were nothing more but burning corpses, Axel gave his team the green light and they walked in with their helmet lights turned on. "Nice work Axel." Susie would complement. Ditzy would simply give him a shrug. "Eh, your form could use more work. Overall I give it a 6/10." Axel gave Ditzy a small grunt as he started loading more shells into his shotgun. "The next hallway leads to the bridge, we're almost there guys." Susie spoke as Blitzkrieg prepared to move through the next door. They didn't know what was on the other side, but they had gotten this far so surly they could take on anything else the enemy could throw at them. Still, was this really the best that these aliens could do? Number One was deep in thought as Axel began to slice the door controls. However before he could finish, something large and hard rammed the door, leaving a massive indent.

Blitzkrieg stepped away from the door with their weapons up and ready. A deep growling moan came from behind the door as it was rammed once more. Now Number One knew how the small aliens from earlier felt when his team rammed the container into the metal door. "Commander..." Axel began to speak but was cut off by Susie who didn't lower her weapon for even a second. "Blitzkrieg find cover before-" The door busted open as two massive creatures carrying large metal shields stumbled in. They had to at least be 12 feet tall and carried what looked like a cannon on their right arms. The two beings roared at Blitzkrieg before they sprouted six spines on each of their backs which stood up as they crouched behind their shields which covered the opening on their stomachs. They raised their arm cannons at Blitzkrieg as the weapon charged a bright glowing green. "Get to cover!" Susie yelled as the alien pair each unleashed a bolt of glowing hot plasma at them.