Prologue:



You collapse against a burnt-out Comm system and lay your chain-gun on your lap. It has been days since you crashed on this god-forbidden planet, you lay your head back on the cold steel, its been hours since you last got any rest and when you do its only for an hour or so.

You can feel tiredness cascading from the top of your head all the way down to your toes, your can feel your eyes shutting. You decide that a couple of minute's rest can't do you any harm.

…………………………………………so tired………………………………need to rest…………

"Hey Charna… Charna… wakeup, the boss's commin…WAKE UP!"

You feel a dig in your ribs and you groggily open your eyes and in front of you are a pair of standard camo boots.

"What do you think you're doing you worthless maggot, did I say the next exercise was to go to sleep, DID I?

"Sir, no sir."

"The why are you catching some Z's during my training time."

"Sir, Sorry sir."

"Is that all you're gonna say? Sorry? I have plenty of other recruits who would lick my boots clean to get a place in my squad! You hear me!?"

"Sir, yes sir"

"I want men to be eager to be trained, are you eager boy?"

"Sir, yes sir."

"Well then, you can help me demonstrate a new tactic that EIA (Earth Intelligence Agency) have added to the list of effective anti-Strogg tactics."

You can hear snickering from the line of men. You and they both know that this will end up as a painful demonstration. Your mind switches back 4 weeks to another one of Boomer's training sessions, Connor took part in a demonstration and he's still in hospital. Your attention is sharply returned to the present as a shotgun is thrown in your direction, Boomer turns his head to the line of men while taking several paces away from you.

"I am now going to demonstrate how effective this new piece of equipment is, it is an upgrade on the basic grappling hook. But for those anorak types of you; the main difference is that it fires 17.544 ft further. But what makes it better in my view is that it has been modified to take three times the weight that it's predecessor could. This thing can pull a Jeep! Of course there are a few other modifications, but these will become apparent as I whip this kids ass."

Boomer stands with his feet shoulder-width apart and rests the 'grap' – its more common name – over his shoulder. "Now when you're ready, shoot me with the shotgun."

You look round the room nervously, Boomer starts to tap his foot, and you can here Tokay and the others muttering. The low buzz of the voices and the tapping of the foot get louder in your head, they get louder and louder, you can feel your heart beating in time with Boomer's incessant tapping. The gun hits the floor as you bring your hands to your ears, trying to contain the pressure you can feel building in your head. Then… silence, you open your eyes and Boomer is in front of you…



"What were my last orders soldier!?"

"Sir, to shoot you, sir!"

"Then why is my body not riddled with holes? Why am I not lyin' on the floor bleeding to death? Can you answer me that?"

"Sir, because I haven't shot you yet…SIR!"

"Why the friggin' hell not soldier, I don't like time-wasters in my class…Are you a time-waster soldier?!"

"Sir, no sir!"

"Then SHOOT me soldier… I said SHOOT!"

You decide to do exactly as Boomer says. You decide not to waste time aiming, but just make a reaction shot from the hip. The room goes silent as your sergeant crumples to the floor. You look at the group of men, bewilderment in their eyes…you just shot your own sergeant with a shotgun. This will NOT look good on you military records.

"Someone, go and get a tech in here!!" You scream over your shoulder as you try to staunch the flow of blood. You look round, no one has moved. "What's wrong with you? Tokay, go and get a tech….Tokay!"

His stare slowly lifts to meet yours. Your eyebrows lift and you nod in the direction of the door. He flicks his eyes between you and Boomer. Then runs off toward the door.

Boomer stirs while you watch Tokay vanish through the door, you return your attention to the wounded. He beckons you nearer… "Good shot soldier. Hehe cough caught me off guard. But don't…worry cough, when I'm all fixed…up. I'll make you regret that your father was ever born cough.

You're startled as the tech's voice enters your head. "Is the wound serious?"

You spin round to the door as it opens and the tech enters the room, "It looks worse than it is." You could never understand why the tech's insisted on communicating telepathically. Not many soldiers were drafted for Psy Training. Those that did either done very well, then vanished, or done average and continued their normal training and heard nothing further. Of course every soldier knows, that they don't just vanish, some reappear as tech and other's join the elite army Psy Team only known as The "Devil's Own". Of course, you've heard rumours that some of the "Devils Own" are drafted back into the ranks as internal spies. But you, like many others, cannot say for definite they exist.

As the tech is applying some padding to the wounds, his words enter your mind again.

"I heard you scream you know…we all did." You look at him blankly, "All of us heard you cries. Expect a request to have audience with Mhacti, Crockett and Lobard." With that, the tech injected a sedative into Boomer's arm and carried him out of the training hall.

There is a few seconds of silence as everyone took in what had just happened. Sarial was the first who dared to speak, "What did the tech talk to you about?"

"He was just asking about the accident." You reply, trying to hide the concerns of what Mhacti, Crockett and Lobard (whoever that was) wanted with you.

"Don't play us for dum! We know you're hiding something! What'd he say?"

You look at the floor and ponder whether you should tell them this, but it seems you have no choice. "He said that I would be receiving a request for audience with Mhacti, Crockett and Lobard. Though I have no idea who Lobard is."

Before the words can make their escape from the heavy atmosphere of the training hall a message is relayed round the whole base

"Charna Ekeld, report to Flag Admiral Crockett's room … on the double.".

You freeze on he spot, you can feel your heart racing again. Tokay walks up to you and put a friendly arm over your shoulder, he walks you to the door that leads out of the training room. "Cool your jets Charna, you'll be okay. They can't blame you for the accident, all of us saw what happened. Go on."

No matter how many times Tokay says "Cool your jets" it always seems to work, it always brings you smack-bang level. Whatever you're doing or going through, those three words always stir something inside you…motivate you. Tokay removes his arm and stares expectedly. You give him a wry grin and march off down the corridor.

After a few minutes of walking down identical corridors, you arrive at the Flag Admiral's door. You are about to knock when an unknown voice calls out. "Enter Charna."

You gulp down air and go weak the knees. You lean on the wall and try to catch your breath. The door opens and a tall, burly man comes into view. Although he isn't wearing a uniform that you recognise, its obvious that he is a high-ranking member of the Earth's Defence Force. You check his sleeves for bands, a general? Since the motion was passed to amalgamate the different defence forces; air, navel and ground. It has become increasingly difficult to recognise the different ranks and positions. Yet still you can't quite put a finger on which rank he is. The gentleman notices your confusion and just smiles. "Ah, Charna. Having another attack are we. Don't worry, it'll pass as your training begins. You'll learn how to control yourself. Oh, excuse my manners, my name is Lobard, Gare Lobard. Won't you please join us?"

You enter the room and Crockett gestures for you to sit in-between Lobard and Mhacti. You salute both the Flag Admiral and the Colonel and then take your seat.

Crockett leans across the table and rests his chin on his hands, "So, Ekeld, do you know why you have been summoned?"

"Sir, I think I could have a reasonable stab at it, sir" You say shakily.

"Please Charna, during this conversation I would prefer to use first names. And what would be you 'stab'?"

"Well, sir…I mean err I would guess it would been connected to this morning's unfortunate accident involving Sgt.Boomer."

"Boomer? What happened to Boomer? Mhacti? Lobard?"

Lobard was the first to answer. "Ah yes, I know about this sir. Boomer is currently under the care of my boys. There was an unfortunate accident during this mornings weapon training. But because of the swift actions of this soldier here, one of my techs got to him in time."

1 What did he mean 'one of his techs'? Who is this man?

"Sir, I think you're confused. I was the one who…"

"Yes, Admiral, this is the man who saved the sergeants life."

For the first time during the meeting, Mhacti spoke up. "Well, looks like we have a soldier who needs a promotion. Quick thinking and fast acting, just what we need in the ranks. Wouldn't you agree Crockett?"

What is going on here?! You shoot Boomer, then you're called up in front of the two, maybe three, most important men in the EDF (Earth Defence Force), and now you're being praised as the saviour of the day!! "Sir, I really don't deserve a promotion, I mean…I shot him, it was me."

Crockett, slams his fist on the table. "WHAT!! You shot Boomer? Colonel Lobard, colonel Mhacti, I demand to know what is going on here. Why are you suggesting that we promote him when he was the one that shot him?"

Mhacti and Lobard glance at each other. "Sir we had no idea that he shot him, I was just informed that it was Ekeld that alerted the techs." They both stand up and place a firm hand on either shoulder, "Sir, we shall take him under court martial this instant. I'll send you my report by the end of the day." With that they both saluted the Admiral and marched you out of his office and down a multitude of corridors.

You eventually stop outside an unmarked door. Mhacti calm, neutral face is replaced by one of anger. He backhands you across the face; "You fool! Why couldn't you just play along? Now we'll have to do this the hard way."

Lobard holds a card up against the door and it silently swings open, Mhacti disappears into the darkness. Lobard fumbles around in his pockets and after a few seconds he produces three items. Two were very similar; like transparent tubes of toothpaste, one contained blue stuff and its sibling was yellow. The other looked like a hollow tube of metal. Lobard gives all three to you, "Now, listen carefully, if you get this wrong then you're dead. If you get it right, you'll be a new man come tomorrow. Once I have gone through this door and shut it, you are to connect the two containers via that metal tube. Then and this is the most important bit, squeeze both ends and then throw it down the corridor, do not just throw it nor should you squeeze it and then hold it. Both will result in your death, got it?"

Remembering Lobard's instructions, you wait until he has gone. You then assemble the unknown contraption. You squeeze the ends as instructed and watch in amazement as the two colours swirl together forming a ver angry red colour. Panicking you throw the 'gadget' down the corridor and … nothing happens. You peak round the corner and see a soldier walking into a room off of the corridor. As the door shuts behind him, you hear him say "hey guys, anyone know what this red thing is? I found it by the door."

You gasp in horror and run toward the closing door. But too late… The explosion rips across the room in the blink of an eye, a vicious growing fireball that immolates the soldiers and blasts everything aside. The door vanishes as metal walls were melted and vaporized. The whole facility shook as the explosion rolled outwards and eventually dissipated, leaving a trail of flame and smoke. The fires quickly took hold, and spread. The survivors started to pick themselves up off the floor, unable to believe their eyes. The lights cut out as the main power cables to south-east side are shorted by the multitude of burst water pipes. You are still standing in the same position you were prior to the devastation you now see around you. You feel breath on the back of your neck, you turn to see Lobard. "Good work soldier. Now for you're reward." Someone clubs you from behind. You collapse forward into Lobard's arms.

2 Sergeant Gare Lobard, Head of Special Operations Unit…AKA The Devils Own

Log Date 28 June 2008



As the officer put in charge of the clean-up and investigation into this afternoons suspected arson attack, I still have no conclusive evidence that the explosion was intentional. Because of this, I have decided to declare the investigation closed. No further questions will be asked and no further information will be recorded.

Also, all members of staff have welcomed the miraculous recovery of Sgt. Boomer, if it wasn't for the quick thinking of Charna Ekeld, then Peter Boomer may not have been so lucky. So it is with great sadness that I inform you that among the people caught by the explosion earlier today was Charna Ekeld.

On a lighter note, I am pleased to announce that I have recently appointed a new member for the Devils Own, Chek Anold.