Alpha Division: Part 7

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The only sound that filled the smoke saturated courtyard was that of boots hitting the ground as everyone pushed forward into their needed positions. I was one of those fortunate enough to not have the shotgun attachment, so I found myself stacked up against the control tower wall about half way down the line of men and women ready to move inside, Alpha and Echo now becoming a single large team. Delta meanwhile was busy setting up a perimeter defence around the entirety of the control tower with some of the defensive barricades being moved to clear an open space. An open space that hopefully I would see evac craft landing in very shortly.   

Those at the front were busy adjusting the settings on there rifles to accommodated for the CQB that was inevitably coming their way. I took the time to check my vitals. Everything was green expect for my Cortisol level that was understandably high after...after Maxine. Resisting the urge to have one more glance over at her, with that hopeful part of my mind somehow expecting to see her standing there with nothing more than a few cuts and burses, I prepared one of my many adrenaline nodes. Priming it for activation as I would be needing it very shortly. Looking over at the door frame into the tower I set up a destination trigger on it, the door itself becoming highlighted in a bright lime green on my HUD. This meant that the second I past through the door, my adrenaline node would activate, releasing the sense heightening hormone into my blood. This was standard practice for any CQB situations as the ability to react quickly could mean the difference between going home or going down.

Any small conversations that had been fluttering around the group quickly came to sudden stop as the unmistakable metallic clunk of a breach charge could be heard, reverberating of the metal door at the front of the que. This was then quickly followed by the callout "Charge set!" from Colter as the soldier who placed it quickly moved out of the way. The stage was set. The players were in their positions. It was time finish the final act of this mission.

The eerie silence was broken with an ear shattering blast that seemed to reverberate around the surrounding buildings like a lingering smell. I tucked my rifle firmly into my right shoulder, bracing my left shoulder against the concrete wall as the first members of the line push forward into the unknown. Like a set of very well placed dominos, one by one the team passed through the smoke filled doorway at regular intervals. CQB drills meant that you keep pushing further into the room, regardless of the resistance you are facing, keeping your opening clear for everyone behind you to do the same. "Get in there and look hard as f&%*." As Colter had put it during the mission briefing. 

As a result it very quickly become my time to push in and I prepared my body for the rush of adrenaline it was about to receive. It was fair to say the second my first foot past under the arch of the doorframe, my already adrenaline filled bloodstream became overwhelmed with a fresh supply and everything about my body changed as a result. My muscles tightened, my breathing increased, my heart went into overdrive and all my senses were magnified, with every sensory organ being put into an extremely receptive state.

Unfortunately the scene I met didn't require any of that. The place was abandoned. A dark entrance hall with a few desk spaces on either side with a central staircase directly ahead. Even with my hormone advanced vision I couldn't see any sign of Slug activity. Even as I pushed further into the unnerving scene, the only movement I could pick out was that of a few startled rat like creatures scuttling in-between the wooden desks.

"Well...I'm actually a bit disappointed." Colter chimed in as he took up an over watching position in the centre of the room.  

"Keep your eyes peeled, remember they are sneaky bastards these Slugs. Apparently they staged an entire fake retreat on Hexin Prime, tricking the planets entire defence force into thinking they were gone, only to pop up from a series of underground hideaways. " I said, the sensation to talk being unavoidable due the rush of endorphins. Standing still felt like torture so at least I could vent some of my excess energy through words. They were also good at making me forget about Maxine at least for a short while. Its hard to morn over a lost friend when your heart is going at 180 beats per minute.

By now everyone from both Echo and Alpha had made it inside, it was a large room so everyone was rather spaced out amongst the gloom, with only the rifles torch beams to break it up. Everyone was steadily moving towards the bottom of the metal stair case that spiralled up towards the top of the tower. That was the only way up so if the Slugs were going to be anywhere, that would be it. Those with shotgun attachments were converging on the bottom of the stairs.

All of a sudden the tension was broken as few of the leading soldiers where thrown clear from the stairs into the desks. Their torches going wide, illuminating the room at random, as the poor souls came slamming down onto the desks and chairs that where waiting for them. Three Slugs, who had been waiting just out of sight behind a support beam for the stairs stepped out from their positions and began to open fire with their clunky rifles. Everyone got down, taking what cover they could as rounds began to splinter the thin wooden furniture that was spread throughout.  I was about to return fire when something caught my attention. Ignoring the sounds of gun fire, I could pick up a very faint but definite humming coming from somewhere on the floor. Casting my torch under a nearby desk towards the source of the noise I wasn't happy with what I saw.

"Grav-mine!" I managed to scream before the small silver cube that was tucked away under the desk activated, sending a large blue pulse throughout the room. Then all of a sudden, literally as quickly as clicking your fingers, the gravity within the room switched off, pushing everyone within it slowly into the air as the force of their legs holding up their weight was now enough to cause them to lose contact with the ground and head for the heavens. 

Now all of the torch's were moving about sporadically, randomly illuminating the room as if it was a bizarre nightclub, as everyone began to slowly drift up out of cover spinning as they did. The Slugs with their mucus covered feet seemed to be unaffected by this sudden loss weight, as they continued to fire upon the now defenceless humans. I tried to control my ascent, changing my body's position and centre of mass to try and reduce the slow spin I now found myself in, but it was no use. Before I knew it I was gawping up at the ceiling with rounds ricocheting all around me.

It was chaos, people where trying to cling onto the floor, walls and other stationary fixings to try and get control of themselves with varying degrees of success.  Some had decided to take hold of furniture that was also steadily rising towards the heavens, in an attempted to stay protected from the high velocity rounds. The air was quickly becoming saturated with splintering bits of desk and broken glass. Those that had managed fire their rifles where sent flying across the room as the recoil acted as a source of thrust for their now weightless bodies.

I was coming around to face the floor once again. By now I had also ascended as far as I could, my back beginning to slightly bounce of the ceiling. This couldn't continue, I could already see multiple lifeless bodies floating motionlessly in the clustered air as balls of blood began to form like malicious balloons. Luckily I still had my rifle. Bringing it into my shoulder I aimed it towards the floor and the desk with the Grav-Mine placed under it. Bracing my back against the ceiling as I did, I fired a rapid burst of rounds towards the desk hoping that nobody was about to glide into my path of fire. I was thankful for the ceiling as it prevented me from becoming a human torpedo in response to the rifles large kickback.

I couldn't see the mine itself but I was hoping that at least some of the rounds would strike home.  I got my answer when gravity, just as quickly as it had left, returned to the room sending me and everyone else, quickly back towards the ground with a painful fall.

I didn't pause to think. The second I hit the floor I was back up again ready to get some pay back. I aimed my rifle, the three Slugs where still there, I pulled the trigger and with a series of bright flashes sent all three sprawling back against the stairs with their equivalent of blood oozing out of several entry wounds. They didn't move again after that.

"On your feet ladies and gents! Perimeter watch, check for more mines!" Colter barked as he poked his head out from underneath a pile of broken desk.

"Have we got any injured? How many have we lost?" I cried, still feeling the buzzing effect from the adrenaline.

"Five dead here." A man called Henry, but everyone just called happy, replied.

He got his rather unorignial nickname for simply always having an upbeat attitude throughout training, regardless of the situation. I don't think it was because he was actually happy, but that he just had a naturally happy tone to his voice. At least I hoped that was the case because he still sounded cheerful even now.

"Five dead and many injured, one here has gone and got a desk leg stuck in her shoulder." The happy man continued amongst the cries of pain.

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