The Welcoming Party

The Mayflower

Complied from various log files

There was a final metallic grinding as the second set of elevator doors was forced open. The sound of boots, human boots, echoing as the enemy forces boarded the Mayflower proper was overwhelming. How many were there? And were there really aliens with them?

Thoughts raced through the heads of the four young soldiers crouched behind the heavy, sandbag filled metal crates that were now blocking the hallway leading into the rest of the ship, set about fifty feet back. They had been loaded onto the asteroid-ship for just such an occasion. Kaye’s finger was hovering over the detonator that would set off the fragmentation charges he had planted all around the entry room while the other three had their battle rifles at the ready. Orders were being called out from down the hall, some in human voices, others in voices that were clearly not.

Amateurs.

Jai bellowed down the hall. “This is Lt. Col. Benjamin with Strike Force Alchibah. You have ten seconds to surrender. I suggest for your sake that you oblige. Ten!”

One of the deep, non-human voices responded, though it didn’t seem directed at her. “Slave-soldier is, resisting is,”

“Nine!”

The voice continued, “Resisting must not,”

“Eight!”

“Resisting must not!” the voice barked angrily. Now that was directed at her, and it seemed almost annoyed.

“Seven!” she responded.

“You’re outnumbered and outgunned,” came a gruff human voice.

“Six!”

“Surrender now and you’ll be treated humanely.”

“Five!”

“Hunger is,” another (barely audible) alien voice muttered.

“Four!”

Then a volley of bullets slammed into the other side of their makeshift barricade, and another. Jai looked at Dustup and nodded grimly. He twitched his thumb and the entry hall exploded, the dozen charges he placed minutes before ripping through air and flesh indiscriminately. Cries of agony, both human and incredibly alien, could just be heard over the din.

Twenty minutes later

The wounded had all either died or been moved back up the elevators, though it was hard to tell which in the dim, flickering light that now filled the entry room. Jai and the others were taking turns, two at a time, sniping anyone stupid enough to enter their view down the hallway. There hadn’t been much noticeable movement or noise to speak of for quite some time, with only the occasional soft boot-step or shift in rubble to break the silence. What Jai wouldn’t do for a remote camera.

Then suddenly Summer yelled, “Down!” pulling the others to the floor just as a rocket of some sort streaked towards them and slammed into the wall just in front of their barricade, sending a billowing cloud of flames barely over their heads and showering them with rubble. Two more followed in quick succession. All four of them were bleeding, and Mike had a gash above his right eye that was simply pouring blood.

And then they heard, of course, the last sound they wanted to hear at that moment; rushing boots, and lots of them.

“Cover!” Jai roared, not knowing if her companions could even hear her let alone fight. She went into overdrive like Gabe and Andy had taught her shot to her feet, a Mk II submachine gun in both hands, shrugging off both the rubble covering her and the pain throbbing through her. The scene in front of her slowed to a near standstill as she rose, dust and debris falling off of her. She was aware of each speck of what had mere seconds ago been the wall next to her falling slowly toward the ground as Summer and Kaye inched to one knee to cover her. Mike was not moving.

There were more than a dozen WG troops charging in slow motion down the hall towards their position as she finally snapped into position, arms outstretched in front of her. She pulled first one trigger and then the other, sending three round bursts at the invaders as they fell, one by one. A few managed to get a shot off, though between herself, Thorn and Dustup not many managed even that.

“Retreat!” she roared, though mostly for the goonies’ benefit. And, sure enough, as Kaye and Summer hustled Mike’s groggy form around the corner and she sent stray bullets back the way they came another contingent of troops, this time accompanied by several many-limbed, vaguely snake-like creatures. Just as she was rounding the corner one of them sent some sort of concentrated plasma bolt towards her, narrowly missing and instead turning part of the wall’s metal sheeting molten.

She gave the signal to Kaye.

Click.

Boom.

The walls trembled and a cloud of dust flew out of the hallway they had just left. Assuming Kaye and Summer had done their job right the ceiling just collapsed on most of the contingent following them, leaving the few survivors trapped on the inside of the cave in and the majority of the boarding crew forced to dig their way through to continue the assault. Jai could hear coughing and groans coming from the around the corner. She motioned for Kaye to continue to the next barricade with Mike as she and Summer readied to take the remaining troops.

She inched closer to the corner, her back to the wall and her battle rifle ready. Summer was crouched just in front of her, ready to spring if the time came to kill the remaining soldiers on their side of the rubble. Hopefully it wouldn’t.

Jai shouted around the corner, turning her head towards the sounds of the survivors. “You’re overmatched,” she yelled, “and you don’t have to die here. Throw your weapons to our end of the hall and raise your hands above your heads. If you can’t do that put your hands on top of your head. Anyone not complying will get one between the eyes. Understood?” She heard a small commotion and several solid thuds, and then a half a dozen rifles and a slew of pistols came skittering down the hall.

“Lt. Col., we’re ready to be taken prisoner,” came a strong voice. “The Ro- the aliens are unconscious.”

Summer nodded, and the two young women shifted quickly around the corner, prepared to take out any soldiers that hadn’t complied. There were none. Four WG soldiers stood with their arms raised, one sat slumped against a wall, bleeding badly, with his hands trembling on his head, and one lay face down with his fingers interlocked on his head as well – one of his legs was pinned under the rubble. And then there were two of the unfamiliar, alien figures lying unconscious on the floor. One was bleeding (if that’s what it was – the liquid was green) from what looked like a hard blow from the butt of a rifle. Jai raised an eyebrow at the rather young, chiseled Lt.

“Been wanting to do that for a long time,” he smiled sheepishly. “Lt. Beckett. Now if you don’t mind me askin’, could you get on with it and frisk us? Issacs here,” he nodded towards the soldier laying against the wall, “ain’t gonna last long without some medical attention.” Jai nodded, keeping her rifle high, and Summer slung her rifle over her back, pulled out a sidearm and started doing just that.

“They’re clean.”

“Good. Now you four,” she gestured towards the soldiers still standing, “get your buddy’s leg out from under the rubble. Summer, take care of Issacs here.”

There were some vague sounds coming from the other side of the pile of rubble, but only a word here and a word there were actually audible. Then, just as they freed the soldier’s (Miller’s) leg form under the rubble, what sounded very much like an argument broke out.

“Foxx Pak is!” one alien voice insisted, the first of the conversation that Jai could make out.

“Foxx Pak is not!” a second voice disagreed.

“Foxx Pak is. Rebellion must be! Dangerous is, rebellion must be!” the first voice shot back.

“Foxx Pak is not! Green Mow’ntaan Boys is not! Rebellion is not. Worse is, worse is! New, likelihood is,” the second voice replied, agitated.

Jai laughed softly. Looks like the old gang back on Earth was still up to no good.

“Come on, march. You two, get Issacs. Beckett, help Miller. And I don’t need to remind you boys, no funny business or sudden moves. I’m right behind you. Summer, lead the way.”

Two hours later

At first the Rogons (as Beckett said they were called) tried blasting their way through the rubble, until they realized that was only bringing more down on top and making their job harder. Since then the sounds of them steadily digging away had been echoing down the halls to the second choke point they had set up.

Mike’s head was bandaged and he was fine, and the rest of them were all a little banged up but still in working order as well. The prisoners had been put in a small supply room a little ways back from the barricade. Isaacs was getting feverish, though Summer had bandaged him up and given him a hit of quick heal, and Miller’s ankle looked broken. The other four goonies were doing fine, and the two aliens were (with a little encouragement from Mike) still unconscious.

The funny thing about the whole situation was that while Jai knew that the UNWG troops were in with the aliens, now that they were captured and no longer shooting at them it felt like they were actually on the same side. Maybe it was that they were humans. Now that there was another species gunning for their ass it was a little harder to look at the goonies as, well, goonies, and a little easier to look at them simply as other humans. And of course it didn’t hurt that Beckett had slugged the two Rogons with his rifle, and then, after being tied up, proceeded to tell everything he knew about the Rogons, their current plans and the invasion of Earth. Though unfortunately that second part was the least informative.

“Lt. Col. Benjamin,” Beckett began, after he had answered all the immediate questions Jai had, “I would like a word with you in private. As the commanding officer of the prisoners I have that right.”

Jai nodded and shouted over her shoulder for Summer to take over watching the prisoners. She untied the lieutenant from his chair and then nodded for him to follow her.

They walked down the hall to the next door and Jai pushed it open.

“After you,” she placed her hand on one of her pistols, “I insist.” He went inside.

“So, what is it?” she asked. “And why so formal? That was the first time in two hours you called me Lt. Col.”

“That was mostly for the others. They’re not overly fond of the Rogons, so telling you what I did was safe, but I wanted to make sure they didn’t think too hard about why I wanted to talk with you alone.”

“All right, you’ve got my attention,” she replied. “Have a seat and tell me what’s on your mind.”

He sat down on a crate in the cramped storage room and grinned.

“You’re Jaisa Benjamin, the daughter of Connor Benjamin, aren’t you? Niece of Angel, good friend to Fox and Wraith?”

It was her turn to sit. She collapsed onto a crate opposite him, stunned. How the hell did he know those names?

“You ever met Lion?”

She stared at him. “The leader of the European Resistance. Irish guy. Yeah, I met him a few times. Why?”

“He spoke very highly of you. He was impressed that anyone your age could handle what you were handling. I didn’t get involved in the movement until I was seventeen.” She looked at him questioningly. “Eamon Lyons,” he awkwardly extended his hand, which was of course tied to his other hand, “Galbraith Lyons’ son. Or as you know him, Lion.” She took his hand and shook it, still in disbelief.

“How?” she started.

“How do you know I’m not lying?” he finished for her. “My da told me to tell anyone out here that was in the resistance, if I ever got a chance to, the Lion howls at the moon and the Fox travels in a pride.”

“And the Angel watches over all,” she finished, trailing off.

“We’re gonna have company!” Mike bellowed from the hall. Jai raced out the door with Eamon just behind her.

“Kaye, tie this one up and lock the door.” She turned back to the barricade. “Mike, what’ve we got?”

“Sounds like they broke through. They’re still shifting rubble, but you can hear at least a few on this side.”

“Time to dig in then. The hall’s long enough and I think that corner’s tight enough that they shouldn’t be able to pull the missile stunt again. And try to not kill the humans if you can avoid it. Don’t take any chances, but disable when you can. They don’t seem all that thrilled to be here. It seems the Rogons are the real enemy now.”

Kaye jogged back to the barricade and the four young soldiers crouched behind the makeshift barrier, rifles at the ready, waiting for the next wave to come. When they came the four fought with bullet, blade and body, teeth bared into the storm. Lord knows they were ready to die. But they wouldn’t, not that day.

Summer was wiping the green blood from the most recent wave off her knife as Jai’s radio erupted in her ear, “Firebird, Reaper; Talk to me Girl!”

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Colony: Alchibah is a science fiction blog novel.
Any resemblance to persons living or dead is purely coincidental. Probably.

All Contents (written or photo/artwork) not attributed to other sources is
Copyright (C) 2006 - 2011 by Jeff Soyer. All rights reserved.