Den of Scales - The betrayal

Eimer Mae'a, a sergeant in the Amerrian Imperial Fleet, is set on a course that will change him forever.
Unknown to him, an evil is surfacing on a planet far from home. The 63rd Imperial Fleet are ordered to assault the planet and remove the threat.
Things are, however, not as they seem and soon Eimer is fighting for more than his life.

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6. The Advance

The dropships slammed into the ground with a jolt so hard that, if it was not for the ships crew harnesses, every man inside would have been knocked out cold. As soon as the dropships landed the exit ramp dropped down and all the soldiers of Prime 202 stormed out from every ship in such syncronized and beautiful manner that even the greatest artist would be in awe.

Nine seconds was all that was needed to form a tight perimeter around the dropships. Twelve seconds was the amount of time the ships where on the ground. After the dustcloud settled around the squads, Captain Deiphos activated his vox-unit. "Third squad, you are with me on my left. Second and fifth move out on right. I want a close line, people. Fourth, secure the exit-point and report our location and deployment to the salvation."

Everyone reacted to the orders as they have so many times before. Within seconds they were making their way through the lava-forrest.

The lava-forrest was extremely dense and it was hard to even just see from one soldier to the next.

"Second!, be sure to stay alert and stay close together, we do not want anyone wandering off". Sergeant Mea'a made sure to keep the line tight. No one really knew what to expect here or if the enemy was just around the next lava-pillar.

From time to time there would be reports of movement ahead, but when investigated, the results where always negative. That is untill Caiphen came over the vox, "contact dead ahead. Human, but...".

"but what, Caiphen?", Eimer was anxious to know exactly what Caiphen was seeing. In these confined spaces, reports of contacts where extremely important and each report resulted in the whole line of soldiers stopping where they were.

"You need to see this, sir". Caiphens voice had a dark tone to it, as if he was unsure about what he was seeing.

Sergeant Mae'a moved down the line towards Caiphens location. As soon as he rounded the last pillar before reaching Caiphen, he stopped immediately.

There was no doubt that the contact had been human. However, the state of the contact was a whole other matter. The scene before Eimer and Caiphen was a small circle clearing filled with mangled and torn human remains. Heads, torsos, arms and legs where strewn all over the place. Not a single body was whole.

Eimer Mae'a just stood there for the first minute or so. Then he turned to Caiphen. "This can't be man made. Whoever did this must be alien."

Caiphen nodded. "Have you looked up the pillars?".

Eimer turned his eyes upwards. "What the hell! How? ... This isnt good. Not good at all". More bodies where stuck to the pillars more than ten meters off the ground.

"It looks like some kind of sticky mass thats keeping them up there". Eimer had never seen such a thing before. He activated his Vox-unit again. "Captain Deiphos. We have a situation on the right. Human remains. Something has turned a whole Keitan squad into mangled remains."

Captain Deiphos quickly responded. "Is there any signs of whatever or whoever made the mess?"

"No sir. Just human remains.. There are... erm... remains stuck to the pillars more than 10 metres above us. Some kind of sticky substance is keeping them there". Eimer did not like the fact that something could pull a grown man up the pillars and stick them to it. There was just something unnatural about it.

There was a few seconds of silence, then Captain Deiphos came back on the vox. "Ok, Eimer. Nothing we can do about that situation at the moment. We need to keep moving. Mark the spot and we will have an invetigation team take a look after all of this. Be sure to keep your eyes up the pillars as well. We do not know if whatever has done this, is hiding up top".

"Mark the spot, Caiphen... and... keep your eyes open". Eimer turned around and headed back to his position.

 

The line moved again and ten minutes later the lava-forest started to open up. Captain Deiphos ordered the line to stop. Strait ahead was the excavation site. Eimer Mae'a, Peta Shearron and Genk Weston, Sergeant of third squad, moved over to Captain Deiphos' location.

"Genk and I will head north. Peta, Eimer, you guys move south. Keep to the lava-pillars. This is all too quiet for me, so keep eyes on everything". They all nodded and headed back to their squad.

"Ok, Peta. You want the left or right side? We dont want you to use this as a excuse when you loose the bet". They both laughed for a few seconds.

"I'll take left... as I always do". They shook hands and turned back to their respective squads. Before long Prime 202 was moving again.

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