Posted on Thu Jul 30th, 2020 @ 4:39am by Gunnery Sergeant Jasen Calin
Screams flooded his ears as he eyed his target through his rifle scope. A Cardassian trooper soon fell to the earth after a compressed phaser burst pulled into him.
All around him Denobulan civilians were streaming into the starport, making way for shuttles and transports eager to lift off lest they become victims of enemy fire before they even hit lower atmo.
Phase disruptor blasts fired around him, many hitting the barricades the Marines had set up. Cardassian and Jem'Hadar alike were taking aim at civilians, hoping to force the Starfleet marines into the open. Field dispersion shields kept back most of the fire, but those who failed to reach the fields were slowly building up a pile.
He quickly acquired target after target, quickly adding to the flurry of phaser fire that forced the Cardies back into cover. The Jem'Hadar, on the other hand, advanced where they could, but cut down by enemy fire.
The flood of civilians fell to a trickle, and then only a few. There were no more coming for this extraction site. That's when he heard the order to retreat in his ear. He wasn't going to argue. His hazel eyes hardened as he fired a final volley and backed away along with the rest of the cover team.
That's when he heard the words. "Catalain is being bombarded."
Before he could respond, let the sudden panic set in, a new volley of enemy fire erupted as the Cardies suddenly got bold. Two Marines two his left, a Telarite and human, fell to the ground, dead. The stench of cauterized flesh filled the air.
"Marines, regroup!" he shouted. "Return fire!" The small team found new cover and quickly began a new exchange of fire ... when the first plasma grenade flew into sight...
Jasen blinked as the computer voice blared the time, waking him from the ongoing nightmare that had plagued his sleep for the past year.
"The time is 0500. You have a briefing at 0630 and morning drills at 0700 ... followed by a counselor appointment at 0830 ..."
"Computer, end alarm," Jasen muttered groggily. The computer bleeped and paused its droning.
A sheen of sweat covered his bare scar-covered chest as he slowly sat up in the small space that passed for a cabin.
Hazel eyes blinked again as he rubbed away the sleep. It was pretty much like any other day for the past several weeks. Wake up, shut the fragging computer up ... and just sit for a moment.
His gaze fell on a small holo frame on the stand next to him. A gorgeous young woman, light brown skin and intense brown eyes, brown hair done up in multiple braids, arms wrapped around a small toddler with similar hair. Both had spots that ran from their foreheads on down.
Jasen smiled, a bittersweet expression. A year ... more ... since Denobula ...
He sighed again and quickly rose to go about his day. A sonic shower cleared the sweat from his body, scrubbing every micron of filth from his body and dressed into his Marine utility uniform.
"Computer, begin log," the computer beeped. "What's the stardate?" The computer droned it out. "Personal log, Gunnery Sgt. Jasen Calin. It's been a year ... more ... since Denobula fell. A year since the funeral, or what you call a funeral."
A year since he was assigned to this blighted ship.
"Life continues. Lia would want that ... "
He paused. His eyes looking around the small quarters. A few mementos were visible, a piece of debris from a starship, a shadowbox of numerous decorations and medals, a ceremonial saber of Old Greek design hanging on a nearby bulkhead. This was home now, a resemblance of his old quarters aboard the USS Forge. That starship was now nothing more than a memory -- it went down in the Second Battle of Risa, all hands lost after the warp core blew.
"The brass wants me to speak with a ship's counselor after what occurred in the mess two days ago. An off-duty Starfleet petty officer was acting out of order, had a few drinks ... Zeus knows where he got real liquor ... and well, short story he ended up with his meal all over his uniform and face."
Zeus, but he had received a reaming over that incident. Nerves were already frayed, but he had been told it was bad form to assault an engineering grunt when the ship was in sore need of them.
"I've been ordered to counseling in order to 'explore the depths of my hostility,'" he said, with some hostility in his voice. "As it's a direct order, I must comply. End log."
Jasen's eyes glanced back to the photo of the two Trill, he smiled faintly. "I miss you two."