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Chapter Seven: "Arrival"

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Christene snorted. "I'm actually tired as hell; I was going to go nap, but that'd be lazy. I'm gonna get a mocha and get to work. Karl, anything you'd like to drink? You, Liah?"

Unbeknownst to her, a message was waiting on her personal computer--by her sister.

Angela.


Karl shook his head and took his seat. "I'm fine, thanks." He checked a readout. "Grab a seat you two, things are about to get... hairy."

An alarm went off, nearby, not a danger alarm, more like the 'cake is done baking' type alarm. The helmsman busied himself at the controls, as he caled out. "Disengaging hyperspace generator, destination reached."

Karl nodded. "Good, put us into orbit, Lieutenant. Lieutenant Walters, do you have any messages from the outpost?" He mashed the intercom. =^=Ladies and gents! Pick up the pace! Major Johnson, Captain Higgens, get your marines ready to get to the surface and secure an LZ, and begin loading the refugees! Major Zoer, can you manage? =^= He looked across the bridge at his Xo. "Jonas, want to lead the way?" He slapped himself. =^= CAG Leader, get your ships ready to escort the shuttles launched, and see if you can spare pilots for the shuttles. =^=


Karl nodded. "Good, put us into orbit, Lieutenant. Lieutenant Walters, do you 
have any messages from the outpost?" He mashed the intercom. =^=Ladies and 
gents! Pick up the pace! Major Johnson, Captain Higgens, get your marines ready 
to get to the surface and secure an LZ, and begin loading the refugees! Major 
Zoer, can you manage?

=^="Well sir, it's always useful to have a group of marines to help me out, but we will manage, the marines did a lot of work for us."=^=

"All right lieutenant Havok, get here! I want you to get some shower heads from storage and start placing them on the wall with water piping connected with them!" Twan nods to his lieutenant.


Karl shook his head and took his seat. "I'm fine, thanks." He checked a 
readout. "Grab a seat you two, things are about to get... hairy."

Christene, again shocking the crew with her informality, sat on the arm of Karl's chair, and held tightly to the back. "Karl, something I haven't mentioned... my sister may be working on this outpost. Just know she's... eccentric, alright?" Christene was worried. She hadn't heard from Angela for a while, and knew her sister probably was thinking about the incident; her family had most likely been notified. Angela... and what about Jennifer? Nolan? Her sister and brother?

Anxiety reflected vaguely in her eyes.


Karl nodded. "Good, put us into orbit, Lieutenant. Lieutenant Walters, do you 
have any messages from the outpost?" He mashed the intercom. =^=Ladies and 
gents! Pick up the pace! Major Johnson, Captain Higgens, get your marines ready 
to get to the surface and secure an LZ, and begin loading the refugees! Major 
Zoer, can you manage?"

L.W. had already ducked out the door bound for the marine section. He headed at full speed into the orderly room to grab his gear from his desk. However his progress was checked by and agitated Lt. Cadman. She put up her hands in frustration, "Cap the shower isn't where it's supposed to be, there's generator parts in the box!"

"Send Click back and gahb your radio, we'll need to cahdinate the landing to be as efficient as possible. The Majah ahound?" He asked rolling his sleeves back down and putting on his vest and picking up his carbine where the gunner had left it. Thankfully he'd assembled it for him. It was a fine weapon.

Cadman was ready, carrying her helmet and air control radio, and Major Johnson was behind her.

"You heard the General, Higgens. I'll meet you down in the bay. You'll take second platoon and Cadman," She saluted and left ahead of the two junior officers. Giles stuck his head in too.

"We're in the landing bay when you're ready sir."

L.W. nodded and lead the other two back out the door.


Christene, again shocking the crew with her informality, sat on the arm of 
Karl's chair, and held tightly to the back. "Karl, something I haven't 
mentioned... my sister may be working on this outpost. Just know she's... 
eccentric, alright?" Christene was worried. She hadn't heard from Angela
for a while, and knew her sister probably was thinking about the incident;
her family had most likely been notified. Angela... and what about Jennifer? 
Nolan? Her sister and brother? Anxiety reflected vaguely in her eyes.

"Eccentric?" Liah smiled. "Sounds like my kind of fun. What does she do there? And is she older or younger?" As long as the girl had respect for the lines of authority, eccentric was just fine!


Karl growled and swatted playfully at Christene. "Mind getting off the controls, Major?" She was sitting on the arm, which meant half the controls he needed. As she moved, his finger darted to the intercom button and mashed it down. =^= Captain Higgens, Major Johnson, load your men on the shuttles, we'll be launching you guys in... =^= He paused to check the figures. =^= Thirty seconds. Over. =^= "Major Etearna, Captain Donnley, do you two want to go down? Perhaps check on any wounded or anything, in your case." He glanced at Donnley when he mentioned the wounded, before looking at Christene. "And perhaps recover any research they were doing?" He tapped the intercom. =^= Major Zoer, you want to send anyone down, check how good the buildings down there are, incase we accidentally leave someone behind? =^=

Elizabeth Johnson

Elizabeth nodded. "Alright guys an' gals! You heard the man! Pack it up an' get on the birds." She followed suit by getting onto one of the two shuttles, and checked her gear. They didn't have long before the storm hit, and they needed to get down there.


Christene growled at Karl. "Don't hit me." She said, grinning as she turned to Liah. "Angela's eighteen; and she's... she's..." Christene searched for the right phrase. "She's kind in her own way... but you have to get used to her. Karl, I'll go help Donnley, but would you be so kind as to let Angela perhaps transfer to a job here? I'd like to keep an eye out for her; she just started last May..."


=^= Major Zoer, you want to send anyone down, check how good the buildings down 
there are, in case we accidentally leave someone behind? =^=

=^= "Aye general, I'll send one of my teams down there to do a quick inspection of the buildings there, I don't want them stuck down there." =^=. Twan then turns around, points at a sergeant and gives him the order, the NCO nods and takes of. Twan continues monitoring the progress in the cargo bay but is getting anxious about those shower units.


Karl shrugged. "Depends, really. I don't get final say." He paused to look out over the bridge. "I really don't. I can ask, but she also has some say."


=^= Captain Higgens, Major Johnson, load your men on the shuttles, we'll be 
launching you guys in... =^= He paused to check the figures. =^= Thirty 
seconds. Over. =^=
Elizabeth nodded. "Alright guys an' gals! You heard the man! Pack it up an' get 
on the birds." She followed suit by getting onto one of the two shuttles, and 
checked her gear. They didn't have long before the storm hit, and they needed 
to get down there.

L.W. paralleled the Major's actions, except he loaded into the other shuttle with 2/1. A quick tug at his combat vest made sure everything was in place.

He looked up at the pilot and cracked a rare grin, "Let's light this candle."


The shuttles rose off the deck, a few feet, before sliding silently into the void of space. As they rocketed towards the planet, the pilots chattered calmly into their radios, despite the looming hurricane on the horizon.

As they camp to a stuttering halt in the grass field in the middle of the compound, the ramps lowered, and the marines disembarked, spreading out to secure each building, and alert te outpost personnel that the calvary was here.

Mud squelched underfoot for the marines, as the driving rain blew into their faces, as they took in the bare metal and concrete structures, surrounded by a simple concrete wall.


Angela pushed brown hair back from forest green eyes; she wore blue overalls and a red t-shirt, with black boots. She was bent over, her hair tucked up in a ponytail as she helped people pack; the outpost barracks were alive with shuffling feet and running. Her, being a newbie in the outpost, was seen to do most of the grunt work--at her own hand.

She had a smile on her face as she continued, her nose wrinkling at the rain that pounded on the roof of the barracks. "Samuel..." She said, silently. Waiting a moment or two, she looked up. "Samuel? YO!" A young man stood up. "Sam, can you please take these bags out to the crates? I've gotta pack the rest of my own things." She sighed, walking over to her stuff. Opening her bag, she looked 'round the barracks. In the few months she'd been here, she'd hated it; it wasn't like school where insecurity ran rampant and she could feel happy about her optimism. She had to develop her own discipline like Christene.

Angela stood, closing her bag and slinging it around her shoulder. ~I should've packed more...~ She thought, sighing. ~The Pillar of Dawn... I get to see my sister once again...~

And again putting on the happy, smiling face she'd perfected after many years, she headed with the rest of the crowd to meet her sister.

Christene Etearna

=^=All science officers specializing in meteorology, I want you down on that planet. Report results up to me and Tenjin as soon as you have results. That is all.=^=


  • Captain L.W. Higgens, United States Marine Corps
    • Executive Officer, USS Pillar of Dawn Embarked Marine Detachment
    • Outpost, P2X-925
  • November 22nd, 2008
    • October 19th, 2021

L.W. had lowered his goggles onto his face when he'd seen the conditions outside. Almost like home, he pulled his hat down a little tighter. Now he was right behind one of the fire teams that was heading for the north end of the compound, it didn't seem odd that there was no one about. But he wished that he'd asked the Major where the base HQ was.

Sgt. Patterson waved at from his position on the flank, "Sir, you really need to take a look at this."

A whole side of one of the shelter had collapsed in the wind, revealing smashed lab equipment.... and the body of a man in a lab coat was sprawled inside. The squad medic was already backing away shaking his head. It was obvious his head had been crushed by a falling beam.

=/\= Apple Valley 6 this is Apple Valley five, we've got a body majah. Lab Building A2 has collapsed. Recommend pass on to the PoD and Cap'n Donnley=/\=

=/\= Roger Captain, proceed with your sweep. We'll meet you at the outpost HQ. Out.=/\=

L.W. gestured for the squad to spread back out. He pointed towards the rest of the complex, "Staht sweeping down the buldings. Check for injahed and any othah scientists. Help them collect whatevah infahmation they want to take. Keep an eye out fah falling stahctuahs."

He remained there, handing the set back to the RTO watching the marines slog through the driving rain and mud to start knocking on doors. Few had thought to bring goggles to keep out the weather, the ones that did remember were mostly the New Englanders.

At the very limit of his vision he now spotted several figures flitting about what might have been an HQ building. L.W. clicked his radio.

=/\= Yellow Oak 2-2, Apple Valley 5, head towards those people near the center of the outpost. Out =/\=

=/\=Raja, out=/\=


Christene growled at Karl. "Don't hit me." She said, grinning as she turned to 
Liah. "Angela's eighteen; and she's... she's..." Christene searched for the 
right phrase. "She's kind in her own way... but you have to get used to her. 
Karl, I'll go help Donnley, but would you be so kind as to let Angela perhaps 
transfer to a job here? I'd like to keep an eye out for her; she just started 
last May..."
Karl shrugged. "Depends, really. I don't get final say." He paused to look out 
over the bridge. "I really don't. I can ask, but she also has some say."

"Two of them?" Liah grinned, glancing at Christene. "I don't know if the ship can handle that!" She laughed, then looked back to Karl. "I'd better get to the shuttle bay, Sir." Her attention went back to Liah. "You coming?" With that, she trotted off...

Outpost, P2X-925

The ramp to the shuttle was still lowering as Liah grabbed her bag and was running into the rain with Christene close on her heels, headed for the ruins where L.W. was waiting. "What do you have?" she called over the din of the rain.

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Mission #3: "Blue Skies" Chapters
Chapter 1: "Sky Blue" | Chapter 2: "Malfunctions Galore" | Chapter 3: "In the Line of Duty" | Chapter 4: "To the Beach" | Chapter 5: (File Not Recovered) | Chapter 6: "On the Move" | Chapter 7: "Arrival" | Chapter 8: "Evacuation Procedures" | Chapter 9: "Evacuees" | Chapter 10: "Mutants" | Chapter 11: (File Not Recovered) | Chapter 12: (File Not Recovered) | Chapter 13: "Survival of the Muntants"
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