Saturday, July 9, 2011

Turn Five

Sergeant Wayne called to the rest of his squad “fire everything you’ve got and keep it busy”. Then he calmly spoke to the gunner “take your time and hit it where it hurts”. The squad fired their heavy laser rifles in short controlled bursts. Most of the shots ricocheted of the building, but they succeeded in distracting the monster long enough for the gunner to take careful aim. His shot found a gap in the wall and struck the creature cleanly on the back. However, despite leaving a smoking scar where the beam burned through the creatures armour, it seemed unaffected.

The critters on the left then finally built up the nerve to advance and occupy the ruins vacated by the slinkers in front of them. From the security of that position, they fired another volley of grubs at squad Autry. None of the humans were injured by the grubs, but once again, they had to stop shooting to make sure they scraped away any grubs that did land on them before they could burrow under their clothing.

But sergeant Autry quickly got his men back up and shooting and they let loose another volley on the slinkers to their front.

The nearby brain bug floated into the ruins behind the critters and nudged them to keep shooting. Squad Autry was subsequently hit by another large cloud of grubs launched by the alien weapons.

Corporal Cooper reached down and selected yet another AP round for his missile launcher and his gunner fired once more at the big bug. Again, the heavy round did nothing but stun the creature. It roared once more and turned its head as if trying to work out what kept hitting it.

Meanwhile, squad Bogart kept falling back until they were behind squad Douglas. The bug that had attacked them lifted its head and looked around searching for a new target. Corporal Stewart launched another AP round at it, but it impacted on one of the walls and merely caused the creature to take cover again.

The slinkers in front of Clarke began shuffling about, but he fired a long burst at them. One more of them blew apart in a spray of ichor and the rest dropped to the ground again to stay out of the fire zone.

If anyone had been looking closely, they may have seen a brief shimmer of energy surround the brain bug on the right. The beast in front of it momentarily shook itself and then recommenced it slow march towards the line of soldiers. While the critters that were now securely behind the ruined building in front of Cagney began firing volleys of borer beetles at him and his men.

Corporal Grant fired yet another AP missile at the advancing beast, but once again, the round impacted in front of the creature and merely stunned it. Grant cursed whoever it was that had made the batch of missiles he had been issued with. The creature shook itself once more, turned towards Grant and took a few paces.

Gable did not see the monster approach as he was busy lining up the slashers. His twin machine gun fired with a loud clatter. Five of the creatures were shredded, but the rest simply huddled lower to the ground and screamed in defiance.

The critters continued firing at Cagney. A veritable hailstorm of beetles came flying over the walls forcing the men to drop behind its protection. Even then, one of them was hit cleanly in the head, but the bug was crushed as it hit his helmet. Cagney tried to get his men to raise their weapons again, but the storm of beetles was to thick and they could not be persuaded.

The slinkers in the centre could be seen moving about behind the large mound of rubble in front of Wayne and Gable. Lieutenant Robinson surveyed the scene. He determined that the bug in the centre of his position was still the greatest threat and quickly relayed that thought to sergeant Wayne. Then he tried once more to get hold of sergeant Bogart and see if he could get his men back into shape.

Wayne’s fusion gunner knelt down and took a deep breath. He pulled the trigger releasing a sustained pulse of energy that struck the monster just behind its head. the creature roared briefly and then dropped to the ground, a smouldering gash almost severing its head. It tried to rise again, but seemed unable to support its weight and it collapsed, still breathing, but seemingly disabled.

Now that they were behind squad Douglas and comparatively safe, Bogart was able to gain control of his men and settle them down. He had them check their ammo and begin to straighten themselves out.

Squad Douglas cautiously advanced toward the position vacated by Bogart. While some of the broods of bugs began to shuffle and sniff the air in preparation for attacking.

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