Avatar of Shu


Recent Statuses

3 yrs ago
Ushi Saru Oo Ne E Tori Ushi Uma Tori Ne Tora Inu Tora Mee Ushi Hitsuji Me E Hitsuji Ne Genne Saru Tori Tatzu Tori Ushi Uma Hitsuji Tora Me Ne Saru Ooh E Tatzu Hitsuji Ne Ushi Hitsuji Tori Ge Ne E Tori
3 yrs ago
Well let’s see... an OP to finish, three 1x1’s to respond to, and two work related reports to fill out this afternoon. I’ll need some tea.
3 yrs ago
Someone took my Microsoft office and they will pay. You have my word.
3 yrs ago
Lavate las manos!
3 yrs ago
Nothing like a good night’s sleep and well brewed coffee to help you forget an unpleasant evening.


A little about me…

• Female (She/Her) (Cisgender)
• Pansexual
• Twenty-eight years old.
• An America-born Eurasian. (Of Han Chinese and Dutch descent.)
• US Central Time Zone
• Casual & Advanced are my vibes.
• My writing interests are manifold in genre.
• I tend to prefer 1x1’s but I can never shy away from a great group RP.
• Ask for the Discord.

Current Roleplays…

Her Wrestling Dream A wrestling career 1x1 roleplay with @Skygirl.

Minerva Force

Extra things…

My 1x1 Index.

My catalogue of characters. (The new one.)

My old/original catalogue of characters.

SANDSTRIDERS world and lore.

A Thousand Legends world and lore.

Group Roleplays that I have GM’d;

Most Recent Posts

Saying that the return flight was stressful would have been nothing short of an understatement. After escaping from the area of operations and the waning storm the Osprey banked hard and made its way to Hawaii where it was listed to refuel for the full trip back to Alaska. The refuel was of course scheduled thanks to Minerva Force’s connections in the US military and after refilling the tanks the craft was off the ground and back in the air in a crisp amount of time - no one even had to step off the bird. Though regardless of the handling of matters from “those upstairs” everyone aboard the Osprey was sitting on pins and needles during the entire time at the base in Hawaii and all the way back across the ocean.

Falsifying an unscheduled refueling at an official US military base for a nonexistent multinational shadow units’ aircraft was nerve wracking enough, never mind the risk of possibly having been tracked from the incident out in the Pacific. Though in time there was a slight gradual sense of relief - at least between the two pilots - the clearer it became they were not being tailed there was still the matter of processing the events just hours before, and taking in the reality of the three dead alien bodies that lay sprawled out on the metal floor in the midst of the Minerva Force operatives.

Nothing really was said as the Osprey roared over the dark night sky and the rolling ocean below, the muffled engines outside and the occasional shuddering of the bird the only noises. The aliens corpses did not take long to start to smell, their quickly stiffening forms emitting a pungent odor that was a combination of the metallic smell of blood and a stronger almost ammonia-like stench that filled the rear interior of the aircraft making everyone’s stomachs churn. The pilots kept tossing looks around the corner of the cabin doorway down at the fallen extraterrestrials all heaped together like the remains of slaughtered livestock, their three-fingered hands gnarled chillingly and their torsos and legs twisted at undesirable angles. It was a rather contradictory image given their very unique, advanced looking body armor and unearthly weapons compared to the mere humans crammed together around them that had gunned them down in a systemic fashion. No one was really sure wether to be afraid or relieved at the outcome of the mission. Six elite operatives from across the globe had exposed and killed three alien invaders in a high-risk situation and were now hauling their carcasses off like hunting trophies - three alien invaders that had a hand in the bizarre disappearance of an entire merchant vessels’ crew with no trace and their brethren unlikely to forget their deaths at the hands of humanity. Definitely afraid. the copilot thought to himself as he tried his best to ignore the pong that had drifted its way into the cockpit. It was like Masher had remarked earlier, first blood had been drawn by both sides and now it would stand to be seen who made the next move.

MAY 2, 0730, 2016

Commander Damirón strolled out of the lift into the wide open vast of Alpha Sentinel’s grandiose hangar. Feeling a sharp breeze he pulled at the collar of his officers jacket securing it as best he could around his neck. He could see the large doors were standing open, and just inside them was the grounded Osprey of Nemesis Team, the engines still live as the propellers buzzed like angry hornets over the bustle of the hangar. When Damirón was informed that the team were just five minutes out he had ordered a security team to the hangar along with containment units as well before polishing off the last of his humble breakfast.

The Commander could see that the security team had arrived ahead of him, fully armed and equipped and ready to receive the package brought back by Nemesis Team. The pilot killed the engines, Damirón making a wide berth around the right wing as he circled around to the back of the Osprey. By the time he had come around the ramp was down and Nemesis Team disembarked. The six security personnel brushed past the team, weapons half-raised as they drug behind them three gurneys and over their shoulders they carried body bags.

Commander Damirón clasped his hands behind his back as he stopped before Nemesis Team, looking them up and down. Their wares and certain items of their gear he could see were still most from being in the heavy downpour so long and they all looked tired, at least to him.

“Damn fine work, Nemesis Team.” Damirón saluted them unwaveringly, “That was a hell of a situation to be in, never mind-…” Damirón stopped short as the sound of wheels and rattling metal started down from the rear of the Osprey. The security team rolled down the gurneys, the alien corpses zipped up inside the body bags and strapped to them. Damirón watched as the bodies were rolled by and across the hangar towards the far lift, as did many other staff passing by or standing near. The specimens were being taken down to the labs and the scientists would straight away begin their study of them.

The Commander cleared his throat and looked back to his elite team. “Doctor Handrich and his team will get to work on the specimens immediately, hopefully within a handful of days they will have a fair amount to tell us. Meanwhile we will be closely monitoring the skies and all other channels we have access to. The… aliens sunk the ship and the Navy are running a full investigation in that whole area. I took a look at the news and no official statements or speculations have been released as of just yet.”

“Again, damn fine work. Go hit the showers and get some R-and-R. Report for duty at fourteen hundred hours.”

Commander Damirón saluted the team a second time, dismissing them. Needless to say he was impressed. They had lived up to their expectations and the mission was a success, even with the loss of the ship and the crew. Not only did Minerva Force have footage of both alien lifeforms and their “flying saucer” but now they had three new specimens to properly study as well as one of the alien weapons that had been secured.

As he approached the lift the Commander’s impression and eagerness were immediately flushed away by angst. He had read the files on what happened at Macquarie Island, the fact that the aliens had either mass abducted or exterminated the crew of an American cargo ship was not a surprise in itself but it certainly warranted extreme levels of worry needless to say. Unidentified flying object sightings had increased in the last few years alone and now there were alien incursions happening on Earth with people dying and being abducted alike. And why a random cargo ship in the midst of the ocean? A probing attack? Testing the humans’ response to such an action? Was it just seen as an easy target? Some other reason? None of it was certain and it was perhaps that uncertainty that was truly sending chilled rivets down Reynaldo Damirón’s spine. He remembered as a kid when farmers and fishermen yelling about flying disks in the clouds was front page news, and now here he was part of a clandestine multinational black operation that now had four dead alien beings in cold storage. As the lift carried him to Central Command the usual thoughts raced through his mind, “if the world knew…”, “just what do they have planned for us?”, “we can’t keep this all a secret forever”. If Reynaldo was a drinking man he would be drunk right now, but he had quit hitting the bottle hard years ago.

Maybe now is the time to start back.

@Apollosarcher@Atalanta@Bork Lazer@CaliforniaState@Fetzen@Kalleth

Art was opening his mouth to rattle off the specs of his service rifle when their comms got busy. He listened attentively, flexing his limbs, neck, and torso to shake off the stiffness. No more than an hour in the AO, that meant they were on the clock. No time for fuck-ups.

There were two schools of thought when it came to sharpshooting. The traditional and older one went that you hid safely behind the vanguard, picking off any enemies foolish or unlucky enough to enter your sights. The second school took a more aggressive stance. You set your sights on the places the enemy think they're safe, and when you strike where they let their guard down, you do so swiftly and with prejudice. Art wasn't going to kid himself. He wanted to take the rear, with so many unknowns at play. Thing was, he didn't think he could stand to wait while others got the chance to take their measure against enemy, possibly alien combatants.

His stomach lurched when the rear door lowered and the sound of the storm rolled through the cargo bay. Still, fortune favours the bold. He didn't like to leave things up to fortune.

"I'll take point. Who's with me?" He asked, shouldering his rifle. The ranger turned off the safety on his Sig Sauer, adjusted his headcam, and clipped in to the leftmost cable in preparation to rappel. He gave the cable a firm tug, swallowed the butterflies, and sat back into the rappeler's pose, just like ages ago at Basic. The rain pounded against his half-visor, chilling his mouth and chin. Streaks of lightning flashed against the clouds. The shit I get myself into, he marveled.

"Masher, standing-by for abseil."

Avalanche whistled a jaunty tune in reply and walked up to where Masher was hanging by the side of the Osprey. He looked down at the swirling sea below and slightly blanched at the sight. He was used to environment where the
nearest body of water couldn't be found for miles and dehydration was a danger. The sea was a different animal entirely. His fellow Gurkhas were probably laughing at his expense for not taking the Underwater Combat Training that they were offered back when they were warrant officers.

Oh well, how hard could it be?

Biting the spine of the kuhkri in his mouth, he attached his carabiner from his MOLLE webbing to the quarter-inch thick cabel. He hoisted himself on the right side of the cable before beginning to shimmy himself down, his arms and legs moving in synchronous practiced motions that his instructors had drilled into him for two years. He looked down at Art in the howling rain and gave a cheeky thumbs up, cheeks crinkled in an enthusiastic smile.

Beryl made a show of rolling her eyes and let the others go before her. It was her first and foremost duty to keep her squad mates alive, and that meant not dying in the first round of fire. Whoever said battle surgeons get any glory?

"Try not to get broken!" Berylcalled cheerfully to the front of the line, and looked down to check her gear. She'd be sliding down the cable soon enough.

Hooking on her Heckler & Koch gave her a good excuse to avoid the Belarusian. Antastasia, from her file. Beryl was sure that she would have remembered scars like that—out of professional curiosity if nothing else— but she couldn't quite shake the feeling they had met before. The army shrink who'd cleared her for duty had claimed one of Beryl's coping mechanisms was to block out sections of memory, but she'd passed their tests. After the cognitive processing program, her PTSD scores had been basically zero.

Beryl should remember. So why didn't she?

"It's called 'Abseilen', not 'abseil'." Harald mentioned with a grin, realizing that he had become so accustomed to people not using his mother tongue properly that it hardly mattered for him anymore. Still a bit of correction couldn't hurt here and there, could it?

The sight of big waves slamming against the ship's walls and fierce rain twisting and turning in the engine's exhaust did turn his focus back onto the real task at hand though. He patiently waited for those who had been quicker to use the ropes first before handing himself over towards gravity in a controlled manner. Going down close to the highest part of the ship felt actually quite convenient for the bridge would have been his first suggestion in terms of destination anyway.

"Maybe there were some log entries made after last contact, or at least we could figure out anything else about this vessel's situation." CCTV would have been awesome, but Creep had no illusions about that.

So it was gonna be Arthur, the Scary One, and the one with the ill-fitting codename. As forward teams went, Arthur couldn't really complain. At the very least, he could hide behind Avalanche and hope the khukuri-wielding operator bore - and dealt - the brunt of the damage. Creep had said something to the effect of, 'You're pronouncing it wrong,' and Arthur snorted but held his tongue. Now wasn't the time to start a long conversation about language or its malleability. And what's more, he didn't speak a lick of kraut.

Instead Art focused on maintaining a clean grip, and waiting patiently for the go-ahead, either from the rest of the squad being in position, or Damirón over comms.

Let's not go and die, okay? Art thought, taking a deep breath.

Dangling from under the Osprey, Lachlan spat out his kuhkri and caught the grip in a fluid motion, the causality of it belying his familiarity with his ancestral weapon. [color=grey]“More likely we’ll break whatever’s on that ship.”[/color] Laclan sneakily replied back to Beryl.

Anastasia smirked at the other fair skinned and red haired operative. It seemed like he had the flair of a would be Russian, without the native accent. American no doubt, or something close. Her dialect wasn’t as easy to identify, but a linguist could track her back to Belarus. She almost responded to the little mouse but instead was more captivated by the doors opening to thick blankets of nebulous clouds swirling from rays of lightning. The static from the storm raised the hairs on her neck, she hadn’t let this electricity in a minute? Strangely enough seeing Beryl’s face flicker in the storm sent a searing pain through her head.

A slight dissociation she managed to quell, continuing on to the hatch. She hooked herself to the rope, sucking in the last life the cigarette had before getting to the butt. She flicked the orange filter to the side of the cargo ship. “See you boys down there.”, giving a salute, throwing her arms up and out, and falling backwards out of the hangar door.

Paladin gave a nod as he watched the others take steps, out he was airborne he'd been doing this for years... Figured better to watch the others and give some tips if fast roping was to be the way to go. Glancing back at the pilots he thumped the of the bird with a rifle. "Last one out!" He gave the yell as his rifle dangled from it's sling instead of hooking to the rope like so many others he jumped grabbing the rope sliding with it and throwing himself onto the deck in a roll. It was the fastest way down and his knees already taken a beating... What was a little more?

Coming up he raised his rifle watching as the others took position he kept an eye on the Osprey making sure to take note where the pilots were and what they could do. He pulled up his scarf covering his mouth and nose as he scanned along the water. Whose to say whatever they were dealing had to stay on the boat? He was not gonna let some water logged ET end the world... All his shit was here.

The last of Nemesis Team rappelled down onto the bridge rooftop, the lines all retracting back to their moorings. Once the pilots checked that everyone was down they closed the rear door.

“Nemesis Team are on target. Going into low altitude and pulling back.” the lead pilot said into the radio.

The rain was coming down harder now, the operatives drenched in less than thirty seconds of being out in the open. The wind was strong but not unbearably so. Lightning bolts continued to dash through the clouds providing a luminance to the ocean and the ship’s topside. Waves punched against the ship’s hull violently, a constant salty spray leaping up against the railing and onto the deck.

Commander Damirón’s voice came over the comms, “Audio and video from your cameras is coming in clean, good. There is no time to waste, you need to split up and comb over the ship thorough but swiftly as possible.

“Masher, Creep, go down inside the bridge. Search for clues and see if there is any operation to be restored to the ship. Avalanche, Sawbones, you two go down belowdecks and sweep - start in the crew quarters and see if there is anyone to be found. Angel Dust, Paladin, move down across the upper deck and check things over.”

The Commander cringed even as he gave the orders. He hated splitting them up like and right off the bat but they were on a time limit and this situation was exceedingly delicate. They needed to comb that ship over and be gone before the Navy and Air Force made them. If they were not odds were they would be either gunned down on the ship or blown from the sky by an F-16.

“Remember, stay frosty but keep your weapons cold unless attacked directly. Secure anyone you might find and get everything you can with those headsets. Further orders will be given as the operation proceeds. Good luck.”

Paladin gave the nod clicking his comm. "Order received. We will check out the upper decks." He tapped Angel Dust's shoulder as he shifted position moving up to a railing he grabbed it as the weather got worse.

Beryl hated the idea of splitting up. She was a doctor first, before a soldier, and she wouldn't be able to do anything if the others were injured on this mission. Still, she was too much a soldier to question the orders. Beryl wiped rain from her face, checked her weapons, and stepped away from the rising line. The sooner they finished their task and returned to the others, the better.

The ship was a clunky, industrial looking thing—container class— its open deck loaded with stacks of metal shipping containers in various colors. And various stages of rust. The ship showed its age in much the same way, its paint dented and salt-chewed metal occasionally showing through. From the bridge's roof, they were several stories above the deck.

Beryl turned to Avalanche—Lachlan according to his file— and tossed him a lazy salute. "We've got a climb ahead of us before you get that drink back at head quarters. Might as well get started."

"Not exactly the best conditions to be making a climb in the first place..." Lachlan said as he began to survey the bridge at Sawbone's instruction as the rest of the squad started to split up. He was careful to keep his footing on the slick, rainswept surface and made sure to balance himself. The rain felt as though it was barely more than a drizzle but it made the air around him feel thick as soup. The sight below and around him was the definition of a watery hell but no hell could beat the sea of sand that was Afghanistan.

Lightning split the sky and if he hadn't already sunk down into mission mode, Arthur might have marveled at the terrifying beauty of the storm. Art wasn't as rattled by the notion of splitting up as some of the other squad members might have been. He was used to doing longer ops in pairs or even solo, and as a ranger, that was the norm. He was more upset that he hadn't been assigned the walking mountain with the fittingly violent callsign. Oh well, Creep seemed to have a decent chunk of firepower on his side, and that would be plenty in the tight spaces inside the ship.

A landlubber by circumstance, if not preference, Masher wasn't totally clueless as to the whereabouts of the ship's bridge. They were standing on it after all. He knew it was also the main control center for the vessel, and consequently, the most likely place to find survivors or enemy combatants.

Arthur noticed that Sawbones and Avalanche were already making their way down to their assigned area and took a focusing breath. Grabbing Creep's shoulder to get his attention, he tried to make sure they were on the same page. He had to shout over the sound of the storm to be heard clearly.

"Bridge is probably occupied. We're not cleared to engage. I can't cover you, take the lead. I'll use this if things get hot!" Art unholstered his pistol and double-checked the safety while he held it up for Creep's benefit. It was off. He reholstered the weapon and pointed out the staircase that led down to the wings of the bridge. Combing through his admittedly limited memory pool of WWII wargames, he summoned up a cavalier.

Creep gave Masher an appreciative nod as the ranger pulled out his pistol, then the German checked his own shotgun and held it at the ready. "You probably know that I'm not all about shooting, but given the circumstances I clearly see a point in trying to reduce any potential delay to a violent response as far as possible." He definitely was not looking forward to any kind of shootout on the bridge still though, last but not least because dumping just a few of these cartridges in there wouldn't do any good to the equipment he actually wanted to try and work with.

He didn't feel exactly safe on the bridge wing. If any opposition was still on that ship and if they had had the idea of bringing a ranger with them as well, he and Masher probably were easy targets right now. A pair of steel railings was not really suitable for taking cover and they were blatantly visible in all directions. He therefore rushed forwards towards the actual bridge as fast as possible on slippery steel, the storm making the noise of footsteps much less of an issue right now.

Taking cover with respect to the bridge's inside, Creep then slowly put his hand onto the rather massive handle for the door. He definitely wanted Masher to be ready in cover as well before opening this because who knew who or what was awaiting them inside. A glancing look through one of the bridge windows had not been very fruitful: way too many reflections and water running down on the outside.

"The window wipers and clearview screens are off. Can't look much further inside than that." The fact itself was already telling though as nobody would keep wipers and clear view screens off in a storm like this, unless disoriented - or dead.

Art had been keeping a close tail on Creep as they made their way down to the bridge. The rake of the ship was slight but more noticeable from the staircase where the frame of reference was better than the roof. Luckily, the angle was pulling them into the ship instead of away from it.

Much as he might have wished his vaunted eyesight to avail him a better view of their destination, Art couldn't have summed it up better than Creep did.

"On your six!" He spoke-shouted over his squadmate's shoulder. "Ready for tangoes!”

Creep darted a final glance towards Masher, then towards the door handle before turning into position right in front of it. He made the thing fling open very rapidly -- and then stared into the void. Nothing seemed to move and there were no sounds coming from inside the bridge except for the door colliding with its stop and making a very slow return. Creep stepped inside and picked the next windowless section of wall he could find to take a preliminary new position, the shotgun ready to fire.

By far not everything inside the bridge was in his immediate view as several large control consoles blocked his lines of sight. Someone, or something, could have been clever enough to hide behind one of these, so Creep waited for Masher to join him before moving forward very slowly. With the door having closed itself again, the storm outside had fallen largely silent and he could finally start to speak in a low tone instead of yelling things. "I'm no expert on large ships, but many controls seem to be inactive. And... Wait, what's that ?"

Creep looked down onto his boots as the sound of them sploshing in water had suddenly become a lot more prominent. Another lightning strike outside illuminated the whole room momentarily and revealed the extent and depth of the pool of water he had just barely stepped into. So one side of the bridge was almost dry and the closer one came to the other, the deeper the puddle?

The operative's hand turned towards the button for the intercom: "To those going deeper inside, we just found strong indication that the ship is listing to port. Can't tell if it's just the cargo handler having done a shit job, but consider the possibility of a hull breach behind the next bulkhead you open."

While the message went through in the bridge Avalanche and Sawbones would not hear it due to the extreme water breaches in the lower parts of the ship.

After a silent search Lachlan had spotted a fixed ladder glued to the side of the bridge that went to the quarterdeck. “There. We can make our way down with that.” Lachlan said, pointing it out for Beryl to see.

Slinging his M249 over his back, he clumb down, swearing as he felt one of the rungs bend under his weight. “Mind your step! Someone clearly didn't feel like repairing this ladder." Lachlan called out over the roar of the wind to Sawbones. The metal creaked and groaned, their steps echoing in tune to the steady staccato of the rain above.

Lachlan let go of the ladder when he was a few feet above the deck and grimaced when his boots collided with the metal flooring loudly. The rain muffled it somewhat but it couldn't be so careless when it came to stealth.
The deck was empty. Unnervingly so. No bodies, no signs of damage. Just bare. Lachlan pushed down the urge to shiver and squinted his eyes, looking for any signs of an underdeck passage. His ears picked up the sound of wind whistling, one that he had heard during his times spelunking in the Scottish Isles. Out of his left corner of his eye, he saw a dark, gaping entrance buried at the ship's stern. The steel door was left open, swinging on its hinges in the storm.

"If I'm a gambling man, I'd say that's the door to below the deck," He grunted to Sawbones. "You think we should go in there or find some other way in?"

"I'd hate to turn down such a friendly invitation.” Beryl said cheerfully and took point while Lachlan's eyes were on the deck. She paused with one foot in, grimacing at the dark, and swapped her submachine gun for flashlight and pistol. At least once she stepped inside, she got some relief from the rain.

There was no hope of drying off, though. The hall inside was dark and damp from the spray of water coming in through the mangled doorway. Several rooms led off the main hall, and when she stopped to peer into them, her flashlight fell only on equipment and supplies, largely well-organized and kept close to the deck for ease and speed of access. At the end of the hall, a soft glow illuminated a ship's stair—little more than a ladder—leading to the next deck down. The sign above it read: “CREW QUARTERS” and “MESS”.

"Looks like they didn't lose all power," Beryl said, turning back towards Lachlan. "We'll just—"

In her movement Beryl’s flashlight beam had fallen on a dark splatter against the walls pale gray. She stilled, examining the spray, and then reached out to touch it. Still sticky.

"Guess our visitors weren't all that friendly." Beryl stated.

“That’s an understatement,” Lachlan responded, he had been following closely behind her and leaned down to touch a small smear of blood that was left behind on the floor. He rubbed it in between his fingers. The blood was still wet, not dry, meaning that the attack hadn’t occurred long ago. “Best we move on and scout the rest of the quarters,” Lachlan murmured with a frown. “Keep your weapon hot. We don’t know whether these hostiles are still here.” As they searched each and every room, the same story played out. No crew members, a few blood splatters and flickering lights. They’d eventually stopped at a section of the quarters that led to the lower deck, Lachlan pulling Beryl back before they stepped into the dank water. Spotting a loose bolt on the ground, he grabbed it and lobbed it with a underhand throw into the pool of water. He watched it sink before thumbing the radio. “Command, Avalanche reporting in. We’ve scouted the lower decks. Crew members appear to be missing. Awaiting further instructions.”

“We’re looking at the live feeds,” came the response over coms, “no crew to be found anywhere so far it looks like. We should be seeing bodies, the lack of suggests all the crew either abandoned ship or… or were all taken away.”
The Commander had nearly said “abducted” but stopped himself.

“Avalanche, Sawbones, clear out and go topside. It looks like the ship is taking on water fast and you don’t need to risk getting trapped or pulled under. There’s no one to be found down there. I repeat, move topside and secure the upper cargo deck, all the way to the bow.”

“Message received, over.” Avalanche took a hasty step up to avoid the rising tide of water that was filling up the room faster than he could imagine. He thumbed over to Sawbones to go back up to the topside. “Well, looks like we’ll be back in time for happy hour after all.” Avalanche mused to Sawbones. It looked as though Masher jinxed himself on the Osprey. How could you be the first alien killer if there weren’t any aliens to kill?

"Sounds good to me," Beryl grumbled. The water was getting uncomfortably close to the top of her boots. "Let's get out of here before it gets any wetter." Beryl followed Lachlan topside into the dubious relief of splattering rain, and together they moved to secure the empty cargo deck.

“Shit, I thought Pacific didn't get hurricanes." Finding a locked hatched Paladin took the butt of the rifle bashing it against the padlock, it only took one good hit to break the cheap lock. If they had more time he would have tried to pick it. But if the States had flyboys on the way they were usually the shoot first and ask the navy questions about how well sunk it was.

"Rifle's a bit long for these walkways. You want point or rearguard ангел?" He spoke grunting as he labored to swing the hefty door open with the wind battering against them. As he swung inside clearing the hallway. "You ever cleared a ship before? Sucks to do... Cargo especially." He tried to make some small talk, distract from the fact they were walking into some horror movie bullshit, three two man teams spreading out across a massive cargo vessel in rough seas... He felt his stomach do a couple flips, mostly from how the boat tossed them back and forth. "Why the hell don't we have SEALS for this?" He wondered aloud.

The loud patter of the rain splattering themselves on the equally gray armor soothed the Belarusian operative. She was used to the dreary rain and polluted clouds of Russia, so this was almost welcoming in a sense. The one downside though, was the inability to keep a light flickering in this weather. Her graceful leap of faith from the hangar was nothing short of Olympic greatness, while the landing was a different story. Angel dust was still without her audio receiver and so mostly found herself a hostage to her natural gift for direction and uncoincidentally with the one other ginger on the team who could speak more than one tongue.

”Upper decks? Pftt like we’ll find anything up there” thinking to herself silently, her one good ear still able to decipher words through a torment of rain. Her shoulder groaned in pain, only slightly buckling with his paw like palm. “Похоже, инопланетяне связаны с погодой” alluding to Paladin’s mention of aliens causing Russians and Americans to ally. She unfolded her SMG neatly and cranked the cocking handle. “I’ll take point, little cub.” winking at Paladin, “I’ve been in tunnels made for children. This is easy.” She could feel the tension in the air, years of commanding troops had given her that much. “Seals swim, aliens fly. Like little birds but smarter” tapping her skull, “Don’t be afraid of boogeymen in the sky. I am the only Baba Yaga you need worry about.” Angel Dust’s laugh matching the pound of thunder.

Paladin couldn't help but smile, Angel Dust was reassuring to work with - fellow spec ops had professionalism others lacked. "Then I guess they called the right guy. Airborne can fly and fall with the best of'em." He answered as he kept his back to her scanning along their rear as they worked through the hallway and down the stairs. Finally entering the cargo decks, where the water tight door was open and a small pool had collected on the floor. Paladin stopped thinking about Angel Dusts’ words on crawling through tunnels made for children... Reminded him of the sandbox and how fucked up it could get out there.

Paladin peered around he corner to the left. "Shit... I got two sets of coveralls and rubbers boots along with a tool box on the floor over there... But no body. So you think they just got naked and left to go swimming or find a quiet place to knock boots?" Trying to make light of the situation, not think about the real horror of what could have happened.

Having her back against a confidant felt more comforting the marble walls she was used to. “I’m glad little cub, then you have no worries of alien gray or green.” A raspy sucking laugh escaped with tenor from her lungs. A coolness lapped at the heels of her boots all the way to the tips of her ankles. She lost herself for a moment, from the refraction of light from each wave swam on her face from the illumination produced from her gun's flashlight. While one was thinking about sand the other was thinking of their adventures in the sea.

“Maybe electrical attack. What you westerners call… EMP.” Of course there might have been any number of reasons why the doors weren’t locking in standard procedure. Alien technology and strategy was still quite foreign to her, something she did not like. Anatasia eyed the clothing sprawled across the area as if those wearing them just poofed into smoke. ”If they did, they no bring protection.” she said motioning to her gun.

Paladin gave a nod, clicking his comms as he lowered his rifle for a moment. "Command, we got clothes, boots, and tools... No bodies. It's a maze with the cargo." He finished as he looked across the water logged deck containers stacked up all along, some having been knocked around in the storm others threatening to come loose.

"You lead, I follow we make it home. I'll cook fucking dinner while see if we have any booze in the ant farm."James shifted himself and putting his back against her own, the much taller man then shouldered the rifle, she'd advanced he'd follow in reverse one set of eyes back, one forward. "And if we die to a fucking crate falling on us instead of aliens. I am going to bitch about it at the pearly gates."

Back in Central Command, Commander Damirón stood at full attention before the large viewing screens perched on the walls. Six windows were open displaying the recording feeds of the six operatives onsite. As he watched the screens with intent his mind churned as it tried to gather his thoughts and stray assumptions when a voice behind him caught his full attention.
“Sir, we are picking up sparse movement in the lower atmosphere just over the storm.”

“Has the response arrived yet?” the Commander demanded.

“No, sir,” came the reply, “it just… appeared.”

Damirón turned back to the screens, brow furrowed. He opened the channel to Nemesis Team. “Nemesis Team, be advised, we are picking up an unidentified flying object in your immediate vicinity.”

Beryl and Lachlan would be the first to see it. The rain was starting to ease up though the wind and lightning and thunder persisted. While the blackness of night remained the blinding effect of heavy sheets of rain was fading out making the topside areas easier to see with the bare eye. Avalanche and Sawbones would not get far out onto the upper cargo area before being met with the not-so-distant shadowy shape of a human form about three rows of crates ahead of them. Whomever orwhatever it was had their back to the pair, crouched over and inspecting something on the deck floor. Command could see it as well though Commander Damirón kept the channel quiet not wanting to distract the pair, his eyes glued to the screen back in Central.

Avalanche suddenly yelped and pulled Beryl back behind one of the shipping containers. ”Will you stop pulling me around?" Beryl hissed, glaring at Avalanche. "I'm not a goddamn toy!" Avalanche peeked out from behind the container and pinched his skin twice to make sure he wasn't seeing some trick of the light. It was humanoid that much was certain. What wasn't certain was what the hell it was doing just standing there. He holstered his Sig and pulled out the M249, the heavy weight of the machine gun's barrel reassuring him that whatever stood in front of him would be reduced to smithereens. His index finger on the trigger, Avalanche nodded tersely to Beryl before approaching the unknown entity one step at a time. Only the tension in the other soldier had stopped Beryl from upbraiding him further, on seeing the alien creature she changed her weapons as well.

At first it was unclear. The shadowy figure looked to be that of a tall, lanky man as it slowly stood up. But it was a flash of lightning that gave away that which was certainly no human being. It was the fingers that were the most telltale. Three long fingers protruded from outstretched limbs, the appendages hook-like in appearance.

“God…” Commander Damirón and most likely all the staff at Central Command thought the same thing as their eyes glued to Avalanches’ live feed in terrified wonder.

And then it moved, body suddenly swiveling around and bringing it to face with Avalanche - the being seeing him clear as day. It stood about six feet tall, wore what looked to be some sort of Kevlar body suit, and what was presumably a helmet with construction that resembled the head of an insect. Two beady white orbs bore into the shorter Lachlan. The creature-thing seemingly froze up as suddenly being encroached upon from behind. There was about thirty feet of distance between the Lachlan and the being. It did not move, it did not react in any way, time seemed to end at this sudden and otherworldly meeting.

”Buk cha’al!”

The man-creatures’ head suddenly turned to it’s right and then back towards Lachlan, it’s arm going to it’s side and coming up sharply.

“Look out!”

There was a green flash and a lime-colored “bolt” suddenly came streaking right at Lachlan - missing him by less than a foot and striking a nearby crate.

“Nemesis Team! Contact on the deck! Contact on the deck!”

The alien creature made a strange crackling noise and leapt behind the container to it’s left, the bizarre sound from less than a moment before being heard again nearby.
Beryl shot a spray of bullets in its wake, purposely avoiding a direct hit. The alien had missed. Maybe they didn't intend to start some kind of firefight.

Sonnuva-“ Lachlan only just managed to swerve away from the hot bolt of green energy. He raised his LMG in sync to fire and signed as the little bastard scampered behind a container. “I’m not getting to a better position until that tango’s off our tail.” He yelled to Beryl. He unhooked one of the flashbangs attached to his vest and broke the pin, timing the countdown to detonation in his head. “Avalanche throwing flashbang.” His arm launched forward and lobbed the metal canister out towards the container where the alien was standing.

As much as she wanted to continue her pleasantries with the stocky bear, Anastasia could hear the static of his earpiece being hot mic’d. If that wasn’t enough, she felt the rumbling from above and the sounds of muffled gunfire. Her eyes widened and her pupils dilated, this was it, this was the moment of truth. The continued indifference to the reserve life had finally melted away in the opportunity to wage war on an alien species. She took off at a moment’s notice, the soupy puddles crashed under her boot, sending water globules up onto her face and staining her clothes. The reflection she was so enticed by before had become distorted and chaotic. Heavy underfoot the metal of the steps leading back to the dock clanged.

When the boat began to shift, James as broke into a sprint behind Anastasia as they tripled timed it to get back up top. Stomping over the abandoned clothes floating in the water as he pushed down any emotion. Think later, fight now.

Art heard a lot of chatter over comms, but it wasn’t clear to him what it all meant. Some part of him still expected a practical joke was being played on the lot of them. The equipment in the bridge was useless, and there wasn’t anybody to find. Blood spatters and some forgotten articles of clothing. He was going to give Damirón a piece of his mind when they got back to base if this was all a damned goose chase-

A flash of green light, and more chatter over comms, but distinctly and bloodcurdlingly clear; “Contact on the deck!”

“Creep, get your ass down there! There should be access ladders on either of the wings. I’ll try to keep an eye in the sky.” Masher switched his comms on as he hurried out onto the foredeck of the bridge. The rake of the ship was more pronounced outside, but he looped an arm through the railing to steady himself.

He’d have chosen a better perch given the circumstances, but time was of the essence. Masher took his rifle off his shoulder, after he’d holstered his Sig, and started adjusting the scope. Zeroed in, with a cleanish view of the deck, he could make out the hunched forms of Sawbones and Avalanche, and a pale silhouette beyond them. Damn if this lightning was worse than useless for visibility.

Masher patched in to the main channel. “Masher, on overwatch from the bridge. Confirmed visual on one hostile. Standing by.”

Another armored figure appeared, not nearby but further down the “walkway” between the cargo containers from behind another container. Having heard the blasting - friendly and enemy alike - it whirled around the corner and was making a straight like in the direction of the engagement. It fast trotted in a slightly hunkered stance, hands raised in a gripping position before it suggesting a readied weapon. Unaware of the human sniper on overwatch the creature was a prime target, save for the bad weather conditions. The rain was still coming down in sheets but was not nearly as debilitating of eyesight as before. Masher could land a shot with a sharp eye and a modest helping of luck.

Scoped in as he was, Masher scanned down the deck and spotted the new enemy. “Shit…” he muttered, before taking in two deep breaths. As the thing ran, lightning flashed and the third breath he took Art held in, let the calm overtake him…

He led his aim just enough. The thing moved quick. The arc of the bullet would catch it centre-mass and if he was lucky, that would be that. He tensed his finger to fire-

A gust of wind, sent by the storm rattled the barrel of his rifle at the moment he pulled. Fuck. He maintained a firm grip but it was too late. Hardly an ideal shooting environment, but he didn’t need ideal conditions. The thing had, by a stroke of real luck, maybe a bit of the good to balance out the bad, been hit. Art ground his teeth together as he watched the thing writhing on the deck. He chambered a new round and announced over comms, “Clean hit on a third hostile. It’s still breathing.”

Switching to Creep’s frequency specifically, Art added, “Avalanche and Sawbones are pinned down. If you circle around them you should be able to flank some of these things.”

Creep turned around and rushed off the bridge, remembering to have seen some kind of ladder outside as well. It would make him a rather easy target on the way down, but even just trying to find a staircase on the inside felt like an eternity they could not afford given the situation. Also he did not really want to be in Masher's situation either: Having the high ground was good, but only as long as one could be certain that nobody else had secretly taken it before one's arrival which was not the case here.

The ladder's rungs whizzed upwards past his vision as the German slid downwards at a comparably adventurous speed, the rain reducing friction even further. Feet slammed on deck and Creep started to make a run for the team. Good thing this ship was so big it wasn't rocking so much even in this weather. It didn't make the distance to cover any shorter though.

"Coming in!" he stated over the intercom. Just in case someone might mistake him for another alien in the heat of battle otherwise.

The flashbang thrown by Avalanche had something of an intended effect. The grenade landed true right between where the two alien beings were covering, in the midst of the walkway, and exploded. The flash did nothing, both creatures’ eyesight shielded from the intense, bright flare-up by their “visors”. However, the noise got to them, the creatures impulsively grabbing at the sides of their helmets and howling in a warbled, haunting way - just barely clinging to their weapons and keeping their heads up.

Meanwhile, the third alien was still in a vulnerable spot. It struggled to stand and half crawled, half staggered to reach the nearest corner and move around to cover.

Masher on the other hand, was very much affected by Avalanche's flashbang. Scoped in as he was, he hadn't been prepared for a bright light to fill his vision the split-second when he was firing a killing round to finish off his own prey. The only thing with a hole punched in it was the ship's deck, and Masher saw once he'd blinked his vision clear that he no longer had a clear shot on the blighted thing.

Art could have gone on comms and bitten Avalanche's head off. Instead he made his best effort at swallowing his tongue. The fury roiled in his belly at times like these, and his blood ran hot. He chambered round number three and adjusted his grip on the railing. There was a saying about snipers, that if you heard the bullet you'd already dodged death's grasp. He was exposed up here, and their opponents now likely had a good idea of where he was located. Judging by the brief glimpse he'd gotten of their gunfire, he suspected they wouldn't have trouble tagging him if they got a chance to aim his way. It was time to rotate positions, but where could he go that would afford him a good angle?

"Eyes on your injured bogey." Beryl muttered, one hip hugging the crate she was hiding behind.

She could just see the thing, horizontal against the deck and squirming from its wound. She sighted the thing down as it struggled to stand, but as if it had known someone took aim, it threw itself forward just as she squeezed the trigger, disappearing around another crate.

"Damn things are fast. All three are still on us."

The wounded alien took cover behind the container further down by one, ducking low as it analyzed the engagement from safety.

Reaching the deck, Anastasia spied everything going on around her - it was sheer confusion amidst her squadron members. A flashbang must have gone off and disoriented the young sniper, she scoffed at his inexperience. Her brain worked quickly to assess the situation and the positions of her allies and the alien powers. One seemed heavily injured and in the scope of the field medic turned cold assassin. Anastasia cloaked herself in the shadows and the swells of the storm to switch back to her sub machine gun seeing the condition of the aliens. Hoping to blindside the enemies she radioed the two most in position to react to her command. “Creep, Paladin, take ones nearest to you, I circle around and get the last ублюдок from behind.” whispering into her radio as she inched around the corner of the cargo crate to ambush the farthest alien.

As much as these containers disturbed his line of sight, Creep found himself to be quite happy about that once the flashbang went off. Given the distance it would not have blinded him or anything, but just like very briefly looking right into a spotlight, the explosion might have caused a nasty afterimage in the midst of his vision that could have lasted for over a minute.

The deck was not so much unlike a boring office building, except that this one had especially high walls and no roof. Some of the tactics for such environments he had learnt could be employed here, so once in the rough vicinity of the fight, Creep slowed down and moved forward along a pretty and no less imposing pile of MAERSK containers he hoped did not contain anything ugly they'd release once punctured.

"Understood." Creep muttered into the mic as confirmation towards Anastasia about their intended targets. With regard to whatever kind of unintelligible denomination she had released however, that word was an utter lie.

”Understood. Good hunting."

Creep arrived at what he suspected to be the last corner between him and the aliens and listened in to the actual sounds around him that didn't blare from the intercom. The fight really was behind this angled piece of thick sheet metal and he had ample of lead pills to deliver as well. No whimsy birdshot, but something with an effective range more appropriate for the situation and intended target.

Back onto the surface of the deck Paladin rushed the crates towards the sound of conflict. Angel gave her plan as he saw where the freaks had to hiding. He dropped into a slide along the slick water soaked deck. Putting his back to the crates.

Meanwhile Creep twisted around the corner ready to jump back behind it at any moment and was able to spot two individuals: one on the far end of the 'corridor', but another rather close to him and both obviously not human. If he was lucky, the other alien far away would now try to launch his or her green shit towards him and not pay attention towards Paladin coming in as well now. He emptied two cartridges as quickly as he could towards the one closest to him for the sake of causing as much damage as possible before jumping back behind the container.

Paladin took a breath, then held it forcing his heart rate down. Moment of truth, without a word he crouched an swiveled out. Training the target before unleashing a hail of fire. This short range, accuracy was good so now he just needed damage and a hell of a lot of it. Shifting his weight back behind the container he reloaded.

Creep and Paladin’s combined flanking worked lethally so. Both aliens’ backs were to the humans that had come around behind them, the “hard suits” they wore were more lightly armored in the back. Creep’s first blast had staggered his target forward and cracked the armor covering, the second shotgun blast at point blank breaking through the damaged armor and peppering the aliens’ spine and internet organs with shot. With a cry distorted by it’s helmet it crumped forward onto the deck in a fetal position.

As Creep took cover the alien on the opposite side raised it’s pistol, squeezing off a single shot that splashed against Creep’s covered position but not harming the German. Paladin’s immediately following hail of gunfire straight into the second aliens’ back had the same effect, sending it stumbling and staggering forward before it collapsed down onto it’s fallen comrade just as dead.

As the din of the firefight subsided and the sound of rain smashing on the deck returned, Avalanche shouldered his M249 and dipped his head out of cover. He waved his palm back and forth towards Sawbones to indicate the coast was clear before stepping out from behind the container. He walked forward silently and stopped two feet away from the cooling corpses of the two aliens. Lightning flashed above the deck, briefly illuminating their corpses. He prodded both corpses with his foot to make sure they were dead and then, muttered into his radio. "Command, this is Avalanche. Confirming two hostiles down. Repeat. Two hostiles down." He then switched from base comms to squad comms looking at Paladin. “Any of you know where the last hostile went?"

As if to answer Avalanche a green bolt struck near him against a container, a second whizzing just overhead. The third hostile turned and dashed to it’s left and then made a straight run down the closest “walkway” away from the human attackers. While slowed by it’s torso wound it could still run and was shouting frantically enough for anyone nearby to hear.

”Beh’tu barakti! Haga’na rerapti! Truk! Truk!”

“Angel Dust, get after that hostile, you are the closest it looks!”

Minerva worked well in tandem which was hardly believable to her given the situation, but on paper they were put together for a reason. Regardless of their personalities when time came to switch safeties off they operated with precision that a battalion would take twenty years to foster between comrades. Paladin understood her call-outs without hesitation, which led to the dispatchment of the two aliens, leaving the one just around the crate of Angel Dust the final fish in the barrel.

She didn’t need anyone spouting the obvious, yet there was always someone buzzing in her ear like an incessant fly, she just couldn’t bat away. Da, why God gave you two eyes and one mouth…” she muttered under her breath. Swinging wide she swayed her barrel down to meet the wounded alien. She admired the grotesque nature of this thing, the same thought probably rushing through the aliens mind. Except she liked her odds on this side of the dynamic way more.

“Пожри говна и сдохни” Hocking a loogie at the floor next to the alien, before squeezing the trigger and unloading a clip into the alien until just an empty click could be heard. “Let’s move on”.


Commander Damirón looked over his shoulder, a petty officer having called to him from their station nearby.

“The UFO is showing more consistently and it looks to be descending.”

“Descending?” Damirón demanded.

“Yes, sir… it’s closing in on the ship.”

“Nemesis Team, attention - we have an unidentified target closing in on the vessel.” Commander Damirón said forcefully. “Secure those corpses and maintain vigilance. Prepare for immediate extraction.”

The Commander had just ended his transmission when the team heard it - at first it sounded like a buzzing, perhaps a “whirring” a better description. A sound that only heightened itself over the weakening storm around the ship. The whirring shifted to a deeper sound, like a grumble with a slight machine-like whine behind it. A light appeared just high overhead to the northwest, at first it was dim and “muggy”, then it turned brighter - a green hue seeming to encircle a white orb that was fast approaching until finally it came into a clearer view drawing in close to the cargo vessel. There was no mistaking it; a flying saucer, clear as day and as real as real could be.

“Nemesis Team, look out!” Commander Damirón shouted over coms, he and all of Central Command seeing the alien starship live on their screens.

The alien spacecraft seemed to slow as it dropped down lower on course towards the cargo ship. As the otherworldly vehicle came nearer more of it’s outer appearance was betrayed. Green and white lights danced across the dark metallic exterior that even in the depth of the night seemed to reflect light that was not there. It was several hundred feet high and looked to be the size of a small boat or maybe building, antenna and other bizarre protrusions sprouting from the top. The “whirring” was clearer now and worse for it, what had to be the engine of the extraterrestrial spacecraft sounded now more like an electronic wailing, the storm acting as a foreboding backdrop to it’s terrible arrival.

A “funnel” of bright grayish-green light suddenly appeared beneath the flying saucer and with a heightening of its engine noise the UFO darted straight towards the cargo ship. The Commander shouted something else at Nemesis Team, his words drowned out by the noise of the terrible monstrosity that raced towards their location. The eerie light swept across the bow of the ship, just a ways away from Anastasia, as the spacecraft passed over the cargo vessel. A powerful whoosh of air billowed and tussled the hair of the operatives and sent hot blasts across the flesh of their faces. The air crackled and hissed all around, the Belarusian woman was unmolsted as the “ray” passed near. The UFO finished its “maneuver” and it made a sharp veer upward that would throw off aircraft half its size. As swiftly as it had arrived the UFO was now gone - vanished into the lingering storm clouds above. The night air held a dreadful feeling even with the departure of the insidious construct.

“Nemesis Team! Nemesis Team!” Damirón’s shaken voice seemed to be coming from a chasm or from the end of a long tunnel. “Get those bodies and get the hell out of there!”

A familiar engine roar could be heard coming from the west, a far more welcome sound than that which had just tormented the skies above. The Osprey appeared, making a sharp swing from around the stern. The rear hatch came grinding open as the pilots swiveled the aircraft around and lowered it briskly, the ramp touching down onto the railing of the ships’ deck with a thump.

Anastasia’s gaze didn’t break from the alien for a single second. There was hot, blood? Some viscous type of liquid stuck to her cheek, clinging really. No one could know if she saw her own mortality in the hollow husk of this alien or if she was just disappointed that other intelligent life was just as susceptible to lead and metal just like the rest of them. Whatever it was, her attention deviated from the alien when she could feel a deep hum travel up and down her body. The hairs didn’t react nor stand on end, instead she was kind of annoyed at the attempt to intimidate her. Her eyes finally cocked over her shoulder, a tight cuff in her right hand held onto her bony pelvis.

What felt like ambient lighting projected from the ventral part of the ship. Almost as if they were whacking on a TV to get a better picture did the light become violently bright. She wiped off the goop from her cheek, cloaking her eyesight from the greenish white hue scanning the cargo bed. Anastasia hoped and prayed the ship would get low enough that she could throw some C4 satchels on the lip of the ship to make a pretty light show, but they weren’t that dumb. The closer it got the more the sound crackled through the exterior of the hull, ruffling her clothes to get close enough to scoop up the sad sack who had been wasted just feet away from the Belarusian. A single finger unlatched from her fist, pointing directly at the aircraft.

In a blip it was gone, “Some hunk of junk. Bunch of spikes and antennas on top. Glowing eyes all around like bug at night when shine light. Only good for being fast and making noise.” Describing the ship in detail to her squadron to the best of her ability or rather to her annoyance level.

James grunted hauling the alien body up and across his shoulders, pausing a moment to scrounge for its’ gun. Before starting to walk towards the Osprey the biggest here by far he stopped a moment to look over at Creep. "You want me to carry that for ya?" He spoke with a shit eating grin.

James made a dash for the Osprey as he chucked the alien in and crouched taking a defense posture around the hatch then speaking up into his radio having heard Angel insulting the UFO. "Only good for making noise and going fast? Sounds like most flyboys I met." James spoke as he snapped back to training. "Everybody check in, roll call, we all good to get back for whiskey and dinner?"

"Also command, requesting a Stringer or two for our next trip. Should find out if these things can dodge as fast as they fly. If the bird isn't gonna bring some firepower to back us with we should keep some munitions stock onboard." James added, having seen what they were dealing they's want better firepower if they ran across more than foot soldiers. These were scouts, whose to say next time they wouldn't be packing something that would split the ship in two.

"Angel, you need me to come haul that thing or you got it?" He asked point blank, unsure if she could carry and make the trip to their ride. He didn't want to be an ass but better to ask now then wait till more company showed up. Or the bombers made it here.

"How about carrying me ?" Harald called to James with a chuckle, knowing that he was one of the more heavy members of the team himself.

The task of getting these alien bodies off the ship and onto the Osprey was an important one though so the German got moving quickly. He utilized the fact that the deck was wet and slippery and decided for dragging as far as he could before actually lifting the large alien. He didn't want to get soaked in their blood right away -- What if it carried a yet unknown disease or just caused some dramatic allergic reactions? Even without any malicious intent involved, that kind of stuff could happen, couldn't it? So dragging the dead body across the deck felt like an added advantage of leaving at least a tiny bit more of that stuff outside of their flight inside of inside aside from making things a tad more easy in general.

Speaking of airborne vessels, Creep could not concur with some assessments made over the intercom: "A hunk of junk, you say? Frankly speaking, that thing has just done a few things none of the aircraft at least I got ever in touch with could pull off so easily. My only complaint piloting this thing would be that it doesn't exactly abide to noise abatement rules in Germany!"

Creep tried to dump the dead body onto the Osprey's hard metal floor as politely and as far away from their own seats as possible. If the storm would be as bad on their return trip as it had been on the way here, they'd probably need a cleanup team on the landing pad right away! Turning around, he looked if there was anybody else who might need his help.

"Not sure we're going to get much out of this one," Beryl said, wrinkling her nose at the pulpy mess that had once been Anastasia's opponent. "Emptying a whole clip into a corpse isn't exactly good for a clean autopsy, but if command wants it..."

She glanced over at the Osprey and the slick stretch of deck between it and them, sheilding her eyes from the rain with one hand. The others had already loading up the first two corpses. They all looked hale and hearty enough, and she was looking forward to getting dry—more even than that drink everyone was talking about.

"Well, it's not going to move on its own.” Beryl said and immediately regretted it. What the fuck did she know? Maybe the thing would decide to start twitching. She shook her head to clear the thought and gripped one of its limbs, glancing at Anastasia. "Give me a hand?"

She swallowed the prickle of deja vu and started to drag the corpse toward the Osprey. It didn't move easily, that's for sure. The thing weighed a ton.

Art had missed the action. He had finished relocating from his high point to a more sheltered position within the bridge, following a fruitless search for a better vantage point. Meanwhile the rest of the team had kicked into high-gear, and so he resigned himself to a grudging rearguard position while listening over comms to the others. Such was the nature of the sharpshooter, he tried to console himself, you went on some operations where you were Death’s right hand, doling out endings as quick as thinking. Other missions found you waiting in a reserve capacity while others bore the brunt of the action. Of course, most of the latter kind in Art’s experience had been training exercises, where you didn’t actually want to do all the running and ducking and puking. This was a hot zone, real firefight, nothing like that. Art had nothing to do, and he hated it.

He hated what happened next more. He couldn’t have called it a stupor, when you were running on adrenaline such things didn’t happen. Nevertheless, he had been adjusting the fittings on his chest plate, something that might very well save his life in the future, and he caught only a flash of light and the sound of the UFO firing down onto the deck. From the sounds of it, nobody in Minerva Force had been hit, but they had seen the ship. He fucking missed the alien vessel!

Art told himself the storm was getting worse, impeding visibility. He told himself that if the enemy had air support and was willing to use it that his elevated exposed position put him at unnecessary risk. Deep down though, he figured he was racing down the stairwells towards the upper deck because he didn’t want to miss anything else. It was stupid really, he could be running headlong to his death. It didn’t matter. Training gave way to a hard-edged need to prove his wroth.

Bursting out of the door onto the deck, he saw - and had heard - exfiltration underway. Paying no mind to the shattered state of the enemy’s corpse, Art help to haul last of the things up by the corpse’s trunk, and half-shuffled half-sprinted behind Beryl onto the Osprey. From within the loading bay, now holding freshly slain extraterrestrial combatants, and feeling the tension start to leak out of him, Art had a realization. He muttered quietly under the drone of the aircraft.

“There’s no going back now. We’ve spilled their blood. They’ve spilled ours.”

The last of Nemesis Team, namely Lachlan, were just loading up when it happened. The South Asian man’s foot over the railing and stepping down onto the ramp of the Osprey’s rear door when the unmistakable blasting sound of an explosion sent a riveting shake across the top deck of the ghost ship and the Osprey. The Osprey rocked, causing everyone to slide and stumble and the pilots to shift in their seats. “What was that?” the copilot exclaimed, looking over his shoulder.

“The ship must have been rigged to blow!” the lead pilot spat as his gloved fingers danced across the control panel.

A second violent blast could be heard, shaking the Osprey again. The grinding and shrill screeching of metal could be heard as the cargo containers began to lean, slide, and tumble down across the ships’ deck and over the rails into the ocean.

“Strap up and hang on!” the pilot shouted as the rear door raised and sealed itself shut. The aircraft swiftly lifted up about seventy feet and the pilot engaged the thrust, the sudden jolt forcing everyone now seated in back to lean to one side harshly as the Osprey accelerated off over the western horizon with the roar of engines. As Nemesis Team disappeared into the darkness another thunderous explosion rocked the ship, cables snapping and metal keening as heavy containers hurtled and bouncing off the sides of the cargo ship which was now leaning in sharply as ocean water poured inside a smoldering, gaping wound in it’s starboard side. From the east was the telltale sight of searchlights as small Navy boats raced towards the ship only to be met with the sight of it buckling down into the maw of the blue deep.
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