A Stellar Squad: Part 1
Pacific Point, California
The humans manning the barricade on Brook Street looked on in horror as an Arlaaekan heavy vehicle rolled onto the street, preparing to deal with the new threat arriving from the stars. No doubt some futile attempt to stall their inevitable victory, the invaders must have thought.
There was a roar like thunder, and the Arlaaekan tank was thrown back in a shower of fire and plasma as the soldiers scattered. Out of the transport rolled a machine, its great cannon smoking as it belched smoke and rolled effortlessly over the ruined streets, and in its wake...aliens. Not uniform and organized like the Arlaaekans, but rougher, visibly battle-hardened, and armed to the teeth. Some were furred, others coated in scales, many with extra limbs or eyes, even a handful of what were clearly machines of some sort. The new aliens moved forward, pushing back the Arlaaekans as their own vehicle rolled forward, resembling something out of black and white footage from the first world war. Some of them broke off and moved to join the humans in the barricade; the Security stepped aside as an avian-like creature rushed to the kid with the plasma burn and started treating the wound. He noticed for the first time the blue armband each had wrapped around one of their arms.
"W-who are you guys?" he asked, watching the new aliens handing out supplies and reinforcing the humans at their barricades. One of the aliens, a quiet, insectoid being, turned to look at him and a voice sounded out in his head.
"We're with the Coalition," the voice said. "And we're here to help."
"Eat shit, ET!"
Jordan Fletcher caught a glimpse of buckshot ripping through another alien before she ducked behind the barricade underneath a wave of plasma fire and loaded another shell.
"Always so eloquent," Dr. Martel commented, huddled in cover next to her with an old service pistol in hand. "And not to be an alarmist, but I think we're running low on ammo." He winced as a blast of plasma blew apart some of the desk they were taking cover behind.
"I'm aware," Fletcher shouted, closing the breach on her shotgun and jumping up. "Would be a great time for Riles to show up and AAGH!"
Fletcher dropped hard to the ground, clutching at her plasma scorched hand. "Lucky shot, the bastard," she hissed through her teeth as Dr. Martel tore off one of his lab coat sleeves to wrap around it. "I'm starting to think we're fucked."
An alien shriek sounded from in front of the desk, prompting Martel to pop his head over. "I wouldn't be so sure of that hypothesis."
The front lobby had been overrun with the alien invaders, but now they weren't the only ones here. Slowly pushing through the front doors were heavily armored figures, sporting heavy two-handed guns he didn't recognize. Their faces were hidden behind glass, save for glowing orange eyes, and steam hissed from vents along their necks. The more hostile alien fired a burst of plasma, which burst across the chest of one of the armored aliens, throwing them back. The team responded with a hail of gunfire, mowing down several of the invading aliens.
Then a flash of brass, and something flew out of the ranks of the armored aliens, pulled along by a grappling hook of some sort as it slammed into and knocked down one of the aliens. It was similar to the strange armored beings, but lighter, a cloak draped across its shoulders which it immediately unfastened and tossed aside. Bandoliers and belts adorned the chest of the strange and oddly elegant being, but it quickly shot more hooks from its arms and flew out of the way of another blast of plasma. Landing in their midst, Jordan and Martel watched as the newcomer moved with shocking speed, aided by bursts of rocket propulsion on his hands and legs and more acrobatic stunts with the help of what were not one but two grappling hooks on either arm. One by one the aliens were struck down, until it was face to face with the leader. It spoke in an inhuman language neither Martel nor Jordan knew, and the alien charged the newcomer, drawing a knife. With a flash of steel, the armored figure parried the knife with an unseen blade and in one swift movement plunged the sword through the alien's chest. He pulled it out again with a flourish, holding it aloft before sheathing it to the cheers of the other armored beings in the room.
"Those were some slick moves, buddy," Jordan commented.
"You honor me greatly," the figure suddenly spoke, his voice tinny and distorted beneath his helmet and audibly struggling with some of the pronunciations. "One only hopes it will be enough against the Arlaaekan menace."
"Arlaaekan?" Martel asked. "Wait...you must be aliens as well!"
The commander of these aliens bowed regally. "Prince Wulfram, of Anzak," he announced. "Here to fight alongside my allies in the Grand Coalition."
"I guess these chumps aren't too popular then," Jordan commented, kicking one of the Arlaaekan corpses aside with her boot.
"Thousands of worlds lay desiccated and broken by their hand," Prince Wulfram declared, clenching his gloved fist. "But their empire of blood and ruin shall fall this day, until the last flame is extinguished."
Martel nodded sagely, unable to stop himself from thinking about what an excellent research paper this would all make for. "Well we certainly appreciate your help, but what drew you to come here."
"I seek the assistance of your companion," the prince explained. "I seek the Psion."
Jordan's eyes widened. "You mean...Riley?"