Asteroid Blues


Pakngein Packing House


Aleksey had spent ten years in the Line Kazaks, and another five rising through the ranks of the Tankhunter corps. Very few things still surprised him, but he halted his approach to Pakngein Nbis, and stared open-jawed at the PanOceania Fusilier running towards him, hat askew.

“Help! Help!” Angus cried out. “That pirate is trying to kill me!”

Aleksey held up his hand, stopping his Cateran friend from blowing out the brains of the erstwhile PanOceania fusilier who was in the process of revealing his men’s position.

“What is it?” He asked, standing up irritated.

“Some angry Pirate tried to kill me, and then his artichoke buddies got involved and punches turned to knives and one of them pulled a viral rifle…can you help me out?” Fusilier Angus asked nervously, eying the dangerous looking men and women in front of him.

Aleksey sighed. So much for an easy snatch and grab. “All right then. Form up on me, and do as I say”. He turned to his squad. “We wait for the Scotswoman’s signal and then move…” and then turned as a crash erupted from a nearby trash can.

Uxia hiccuped and stumbled out, a boarding shotgun in one hand, and an empty bottle of scotch in the other. “Oh bollocks” she muttered, as she eyed the Rodinan, cursing again. “I swear this was right in the middle of the control tower”.

“Suka Blyad”, Aleksey muttered again. Was nothing going to go right today? He already eyed dark shapes on the rooftops ahead with oddly shaped heads. Spiral Corps. Just his luck.

“Roman, Anna” he radioed to the Spetznaz hiding on his left and right. “Execute pincer movements on left and right. Suppressing fire. Everyone else, move, move move!”

“Da, Komandir” came the response from his left and right.

Angus visibly gulped as the troopers from Dawn moved ahead, nearly imperceptibly leaping from shadow to shadow. The Spiral Corps figures to the two rooftops both went down in a hail of bullets as Roman and Anna popped out and peppered the rooftop in a hail of HMG rounds. Ahead, Pierre and Aubrey ran to key points and left ominous metal boxes near corners with the words “This Side Towards Enemy” stenciled on the fronts.

Up front, Foxtrot Waldmann leapt a fence, edged towards shadow, and peered out. Just around the corner was the VIP his crew had come to photograph, the person who was not supposed to be there, who was secretly inside a Haqqislam-controlled area. Not believing his luck, he raised his forward observer career and snapped a picture.

Aleksey looked at his people with pride; with a few exceptions his multi-national group was performing with a discipline that would have been unthinkable months earlier. But he had spoken too soon.

“Look out!” came the cry from Angus as a crazed looking, somewhat obese Yuan Yuan with a chain rifle flew out of the sky, with the death traps they called rocket launchers strapped to his back. The Yuan Yuan landed with a crash, and Pierre ducked behind a wall as the Yuan Yuan showered him with a cloud of heated supersonic metal fragments. While Pierre was distracted a Rasail and Chaksa ran around the corner and showered him and a Caledonian volunteer with a cone of burning napalm and viral bullets. They barely had time to scream as they burnt up.

The Ariadnans ran and killed the two Tohaa with a hail of bullets, but as the situation was getting dangerous, with the Spiral Corps ahead of them, and sirens in the distance, it was getting awful hot.

“Retreat, and well done”, Aleksey radioed his men. Foxtrot Waldman ran back as well. The local O-12 liaison officer would be very interested to see his photograph.

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