Send in the Marines
Gods of War
Location: Golyat Surface
Timeline: MD01, 1445 hours
The two female Marines with the dark hair and the bright red eyes were the first to seemingly regain their awareness of their surroundings as the transporter beam deposited the group of Marines on the planet's surface.
"It's good to be dirt-side again," Sergeant Kya'shina Tenatha murmured to her twin sister--Lance Corporal Dene'thala Tenatha--as she shifted slight to cover the area while the rest of the Marines beamed down... Not too far in the distance, they could see a gray-blocked castle rising from the landscape. The stone reminded the sisters of the mountain homes of the Earth Sal'kiirans back on their home planet. It was gray with a lot of brown tones to it, which their heightened senses of their surroundings revealed to them.
A thousand different sensations swept through Jasen Calin as he fully materialized on the surface along with the rest of his platoon. The gunnery sergeant had spent too long on that blasted ship — forty days and more — so solid ground that didn’t move and fresh air were a welcome reprieve.
The Martian’s eyes shifted toward the landscape ahead, with a castle in the foreground. He took into account everything, including the faces of the men and women under his command. He looked at the Tenatha twins, including Sgt. Kya'shina and nodded in respect.
“Watch your backsides, Sergeant,” he said simply. “I expect every one of them to be at the next boxing match to see my land the winning blow. And it goes without saying that if a Jem’Hadar so much as burps, open fire.”
For Jasen, the words spoken were a simple order to stay alive.
And his eyes were on the massing horde of Jema’Hadar soldiers they had beamed down behind and slightly at an angle. There was enough terrain to cover them and also provide a path to the castle for some of them.
“Corporal Zhael, Private Marcos,” he said suddenly to the Bajoran woman and a staunch, olive-skinned human man nearby. When the young woman turned, phaser rifle ready to fire, he gave her the motion to break out the rest of their squad. Marcos was already observing through field glasses at the Jem’Hadar ahead of them; he had orders shipside to begin assessing attack plans the second they landed.
“Firing solution obtained, Gunny,” Marcos said before unhitching a compact photon grenade launcher. Another Marine, a Vulcan corporal, followed suit.
Jasen nodded and tapped his combadge, thankful for a secure, rotating frequency that would open to the Starfleet survivors in the castle above.
“Expected guests to royal residents, prepare for arrival, watch for unexpected surprise to party crashers in the next moment,” Jasen said.
The Bajoran gave him a sideways glance. “What, you expect me to make it simple for eavesdroppers?”
“Marcos, Asil, pop grenades,” he said and watched as four photon grenades went sailing into the air ... and into the heart of the Dominion ranks. Another two landed on their rear flank.
“Marines, move out, and fire at any hornhead that comes into sight,” he ordered.
He just hoped the survivors on the high ground would take advantage of the chaos.
Lance Corporal Viola Dawson was the Marine in charge of the comms while the major was commanding the troops, and she was the first one to hear the call come in. Tossing herself to the side so she could press her back to the wall and leave the line-of-fire, she replied. "Royal residents, here," she shouted over the noise of phaser fire and shouting. "The party crashers are coming in through three out of four doors--" They were surrounded on three sides. "Be advised."
As Jasen and this squadron came crawling up the hill, they faced a few issues. One was the already present Jem’Hadar herd in front of them, pressing up parallel paths.
The other was the com traffic they received from their royal counterparts.
A hand signal stopped his squad instantly and he hoped the sisters were doing the same with their squad.
It would look bad on his report that two of his NCOs were killed for doing something stupid. Well, something less stupid than he would commit.
Jasen had only a rough estimate of the terrain, but based on her course, Sgt. Tenatha’s squad had one door to worry about.
Jasen’s squad had the other two to worry about.
“Double time,” was all he said as he started moving.
As one, the marines moved like souls across the river of the dead. A fork popped up shortly before the two exits, and Jasen motioned to his Bajoran second to take half the squad up one of the routes. Within minutes they were behind the small masses of Jem’Hadar, and both units opened fire.
The current wave of Jem’Hadar did not stand a chance in Hades. A backside assault began with hand-tossed photon grenades followed by the full wrath of Federation Marine firepower.
As they grew closer, Jasen ordered hand-to-hand combat, but there wasn’t much resistance on their end to justify knifing hornheads or bashing in their skulls.
Just as his unit burst through, so did his Bajoran corporal’s. All had survived.
“Secure the doors and spot out the bloody units. Snipers where they’re needed,” he told Zhael. "When B-Squad gets here, have the sisters set up their own defense. And find this bloody unit’s comm officer. I want fire rained down on our position if the Minvera can spare the bloody time.”
He motioned to three of his best Marines and moved deeper into the castle, finding the officer in charge of the bloody castle.
His marines took up position alongside the defending Starfleet personnel just as Jasen saluted.
“Sir, Gunnery Sgt. Jasen Calin, Starfleet Marine Corps, USS Minerva detachment, at your service. We’re here to evacuate all survivors and give hell to the hornheads attacking your position. Twenty marines are here ...” He paused when he heard Tenatha’s swearing hit his eardrums ... “to defend this position and begin evacuations. We came with excess weapons and additional phaser energy packs.”
"Marine, Major Victor Madison." The Major gave a quick salute, before taking a power pack that was being distributed by one of the new arrivals. "How many did you take out on your way in? The Golyatians have been incredibly hospitable, I'd like to to ensure there are no Jem Ha'dar stragglers to bother them."
Jasen was respectful and obedient to the chain of command. But at the moment, his orders were clear and it meant a very unpleasant task.
“Sir, with respect, you are to begin evacuations ASAP, per Captain Rau’s commands,” he said simply. “One of my Marines is already setting up transporter pattern enhancers as we speak.”
"Who the hell is Captain Rau?" Victor exclaimed as he checked the sights on his rifle. He raised the rifle to his eye, and gazed down its long barrel. Content that it was accurate, he lowered it and tampered with the control panel on the rifle's butt. Frustrated, he let out a loud grunt as he slammed palm on his hand into the side of the rifle and as if by magic, the new power cell engaged and it jumped into life. "Bloody thing has been temperamental for days."
Madison ran his hand through his greasy hair, raised both eyebrows forcing a grin across his face. "Let's mop up these 'horn heads' and get of this rock."
“We’ve taken out a lot of the horn heads on approach, sir,” Jasen answered, “and my platoon sent a lot more packing down the River Styx when we breached to make your location.”
Of course, the reference to the planet’s natives inwardly made the Marine groan. The skipper was not going to like the news — mostly because she was going to have to inform some bloody admiral about the incident.
However, he couldn’t argue with the major’s logic for sweeping away any Jem’Hadar troops.
“And sir, Captain Rau would be the one who sent us from the USS Minerva,” he said promptly. “Skipper’s not one to easily forgive someone delaying following orders, well more so than most Earther Starfleet officers.”
Of course, he nearly smirked when he spoke the words, instead saluting when the Major all but stated his intent to clear out the rest of the Jem’Hadar and took up position along the wall ...
... when one of his Marines approached with a somewhat frustrated expression.
“Gunney, enhancers are set up but we’ve got problems. Those damn Jem’Hadar set up scramblers,” the Marine said. Jasen pulled the man down sharply two seconds before a plasma shot sailed where his head had been.
“Then find a work-around or start returning fire,” Jasen said sharply. “And if you don’t watch your hide, I’ll recommend you to the brass for sanitation duty, understood?”
The Marine nodded sheepishly before unslinging his rifle and taking position along the wall, returning fire at the massing Jem’Hadar.
“Gunney,” he head Zhael’s voice over the comm. “Link’s been established with the Minerva, but it might not last. Patched in homing coordinates from that last grenade volley fired.”
Jasen looked at the Major and shrugged before tapping his comm badge. “Marine ground force to Minerva, requesting fire support if you can spare it. Targeting data uploaded, confirming ...” he rattled off the coordinates. “And please try not to miss. I’d rather see Elysium later rather than sooner.”
"We'll do our best," came a somewhat-snarky although otherwise unrecognizable voice from the bridge. "The ship is under fire. Be advised. We'll get a lock on you as soon as we can and ping target sites. Be ready to move."
The Marine's peaked over their cover, some plugging their ears with their fingers as weapons fire reigned down from on high. The hot orange streaks of phased energy weapons screeched through the sky, before incinerating their targets on the ground. Madison grimaced, ducked back down behind his cover and swore rather loudly as the latest barrage of precision fire struck very close to their position.
"If the Dominion continue to send down reinforcements we don't stand a chance of clearing them out. No matter how much phaser fire the Minerva lays down." Madison glanced over to Calin, "I hate to say it Gunney but I think it's about time I follow orders, let's get to the extraction site. I want to save the Goylats, but I'm not risking all of your lives to accomplish it."
Jasen had to hide behind the walls as rounds of starship phaser blasts came down. There was no screams, just death. Then again, could Jem’Hadar scream, or did they believe in honor in their death, like Klingons or Xindi Reptilian?
All his luck that the Minerva would send down phaser fire and not spare a bloody torpedo.
As phaser blasts fell down, he suddenly found his Bajoran corporal beside him. Her face was covered in dust and sweat and she was about to open her mouth when the Major spoke.
For a brief moment, Jasen was conflicted. It wasn’t Starfleet to leave innocents to die, not even if it meant everyone’s deaths. In most situations, it might be considered cowardly and grounds for court martial ...
“Gunney, the Major is right,” Zhael said. “It’s a tough call, but we’ve orders. And I know what you’re thinking about the locals, but the Resistance faced similar hard calls when fighting the Cardies. Sometimes innocent people had to be left behind ...”
Jasen shot the corporal a harsh look before he popped a few more phaser blasts at the horn heads. “You don’t have to remind me, Corporal. I punched out a Marine officer when he wanted to play hero and try and save a ship that was exploding all around us. I know because I left good people, innocents to die on Betazed, Risa and Denobula.”
Without a second thought, he called for the order to retreat. “Marines, haul ass back to the transport beacons!”
He tapped his combadge and repeated his order for everyone. “Sergeant Tenatha, that goes for you as well. Get my fucking Marines back home now, or I swear the lots drawn in the next boxing match will have us pairing off against one another!”
Zhael smirked at Jasen’s remark and looked sideways at the Major. “It’s an effective threat, really, sir. He’s one of the best hand-to-hand specialists on the ship, at least among the grunts. Nearly as good as me.”
“Right, and Hera loved Heracles,” Jasen muttered. The Bajoran smirked. “Actually, Gunney, doesn’t your archaic language indicate Heracles meant ‘glory to Hera’ so ...”
“Marines, retreat now!” Jasen said sharply, almost to cut the Bajoran off. He looked at the Major and pointed. “Sir, that means your ass first.”
A second later, he was hurling a photon grenade over the wall and then he was moving. And every Marine and Starfleet in the bloody castle grounds was moving with them.
Phaser fire was coming down all around them, cutting a little to close for comfort. Jem’Hadar forces had begun to breach the entrances ... and Mal tapped a small control device on his left wrist.
“Love from Mars, fellas,” he said, seconds before the land mines his Marines had lain exploded.
When they reached the transporter enhancers, the first groups had already beamed up. Their group was last.
“Calin to Minerva, last party in place ...”
The words exited his mouth just as a lone Jem’Hadar exited the flames. Both Zhael and he raised weapons ... and Bajoran was quicker on the draw. She fired her rifle first -- just as the Jem’Hadar did. Zhael fell at the exact same time and as Jasen moved to catch her, he felt the transport begin.
The world around them vanished and rematerialized seconds later, aboard the Minerva’s transporter pad. Jasen held his friend in his arms even as medics swarmed the area ... but it was too late.
She was already dead.