Yamato: the New Adventure Episode 5

Fan fiction sequel to Final Yamato Movie, in Episode Format. 5 of 7 Part Mini-Series


1. part 1

Yamato: The New Adventures… (Sequel to "Final" Yamato in Episode type format)

By Erwin Stevens


EPS 5 - Attack


The infinity that is space, a world filled with serene light, uncountable stars in the deep darkness and with dying and forming stars abounds with many life forms. Yes, space is alive. The entire universe, our galaxy, and even the many solar systems are filled with many such life forms. They are filled with many that love, aspire and fight in war, and there are others that are peace loving. Many forms of life are in the universe, and they live scattered throughout its cold vastness.



The speck that makes up our Earth is one such place, where wars have come, and have gone, leaving their mark. A solar system named "SOL" resides in a mere corner of the infinity of space, and so does the huge galaxy known as the Milky Way, where the SOL system resides. It is one of seventy such systems located here in the mere tip of this galaxy and in this solar system that nine planets orbit the single life-giving star. Living on the third one, an insignificant body called Earth is an advanced civilization known as human kind. 



It is far from Earth, that a battle is about to begin, on board the Star Cruiser Class Starship from the future that a team of twenty-four Space Marines ready themselves for battle. Their mission is to eliminate the Cybertron, a new war machine from the future that uses the legendary water planet as a base. They had returned to change time, eliminating the allies that would come together and defeat them in the present. It is far before the war had started in the future time before the Earth ever had a chance to explore space to meet the many races found in the universe.



It is on board the Clouds, as the time clicked down to four hours before attack time, the Major stood up and stretched, before gathering the equipment that he would be taking with him. He hefted the same sniper rifle as the Lieutenant, his aim to provide successful over watch for his team. A moment later, he walked toward and through the doors into the hallway, making his way quickly through the passages toward the hangar deck where his team now gathered.



     As he walked through the corridor, he shouldered the rifle as he passed many of Ihsss' ragtag crew, made up of several different races through the galaxy, displaced by the Cybertron in the future. They stared at the human Major in astonishment, moving aside to let him pass. There was the sound of applause, as the Major passed, and he managed a grim smirk as he walked through the corridor. More applause quickly followed him, as walked onward down the corridor toward his destination. 



     When he reached the hatch to the Hangar Deck, he stepped through it and into the cavernous bay here his team is assembled, bearing the gear that they readied themselves. Two landing craft were prepared for the drop, both teams loading the gear into each one. A moment later, the intercom whistled.



     "Captain to Hangar Deck." Ihsss said quickly, "Major Miller?"



     Nathaniel walked quickly to the wall, and to the intercom, where he hit the button. "Major Miller, online."



     "Just going to wish you and your team good luck and we will see you in a few hours, with some great news."



     "Thanks Captain." Nathaniel replied, smiling slightly, "We will see you at rendezvous point Baker, three, one, two, in two hours. Hangar deck, out."



     Major Miller walked toward the drop ships in which he and his team would be leaving within the hour. He assisted the loading of the crafts, and the gear that would be used by his team when they reached Aquarius airspace. Especially for the one he would be piloting, bearing the EMP that would allow them a clear break, hopefully to return to the drop ship and the Destroyer Whirlwind that would be taking his team clear of the danger zone.



     "Okay team, let us saddle up and prepare to launch. We got a job to do." The Major ordered.



     "Yaaaa!" The Marines replied fiercely, gathering their stuff and prepared for launch. They charged the transport and they took their seats. Behind them the Major and Lieutenant stood before each other and shook hands. Manual put his hand on top of theirs as the trio stood for a moment together.



     "I'll see you on the surface and good luck to us all." Perry said with a serious undertone.



     "Damn straight, we're going to win." Kino said with a grin and Manual nodded.



     "I only wish Angie was here."



     "Don't get all distracted now, you'll see her again." Manual said sarcastically, "Damn officers and your women."



     Both men regarded the dead-pan expression of the Sergeant Major and they laughed. "Ready…. HUT! HUT! Yo!!"



     The men broke and they ran to their transports readying themselves for the battle to come. As they stepped onto the transports, the twelve Marines in each strapped themselves in, or stored their gear. Each Marine has a vest on and a helmet. Both are equipped with a camera, their armor worn over their uniform has sensors to allow monitoring of the vital functions. Lieutenant Kino Minezati walked toward the station where he stared at multiple screens. One was vitals of each of the soldiers including his, and the other was web cam quality pictures from the camera in their helmets. 



     “Let’s see what we can see here.” Kino chortled, taking a seat in front of the console. He scanned the panel quickly, watching the monitors as the vitals were relayed. He checked each web cam. The Lieutenant frowned at the distorted view on the screen.



     “Corporeal Hicks, check your cam for me.” Kino said sharply, “We’re not getting a clear picture.”



     The youthful Corporeal reached up to tap the cam and the Lieutenant shook his head. He rammed his head into a nearby bulkhead next to his seat. The image cleared, and the Lieutenant gave him the thumbs up hand signal.



     “We are going down into hell, boys and girls, ready to kick some robotic ass.” A voice said, “Time to get it on…” A young soldier walked the row of seats, helping his fellow Marines get strapped in and check the equipment. “It’s a one way ticket into the depths of hell, Straight down.”



     “You got that right.” Another voice chimed in, and they reached out to high-five the Private who walked the row.



     “Relax boy, it’s a bot hunt.” Manual said solemnly, “But it will be good to get some trigger time finally, and act like a Marine, rather than sitting on our sorry asses.”



     “I am all for that Sergeant Major.” Another voice said. He turned to regard a youthful, female Hispanic Marine known as Rodriguez by her colleagues in the service.



     “Let’s take our seats, and get this party started.” The Lieutenant declared, turning to the console, and taking up a headset.



     “Test, Test.” He rapped and the others held up their hands with a ‘thumbs up sign.’


     “We’re ready, Lieutenant.” Sergeant Major Perry told him. 



     On the second transport, at the same moment, Major Miller sits at the console, the same as did his second in Command on the first transport. The young officer sits watching the vitals of his team and the web cams from their helmets. He nodded in approval. Both teams were ready.



Nathaniel then turned his head to meet the gaze of middle-aged Gunnery Sergeant with short white colored hair, a fair complexion, a big nose, and brown eyes who stood next to him. It was his secondary Squad leader, Norman Jeevers. Strangely to the Major, he looked like the TV personality from his century, Norman Fell, the actor. His face was almost identical to the actor of the past. He had stepped up beside him, reporting his status as he did his duty readying the team.  



     “We’re all set, Major…” He reported with a snide tone, and a wrinkling of the nose, as he nodded to Nathaniel who sat in the chair. The young officer was flabbergasted, and it took him a moment to respond without chuckling under his breath.      



     “Very well, get strapped in Gunny, and prepare for lift off.” The Major instructed, nodding his head formally.



     “Aye, sir.” The Gunnery Sergeant replied.



     “This is Gray Wolf, Alpha Team, ready to depart.” The Major said into the headset.



     “Desert Fox, Baker Team, is also ready to depart.” Lieutenant Minezati reported.



     “Stand by, delivery boys.” Ihsss said, sitting in her command chair. Turning it, she faced Hi’Mthss, her daughter, who sat at the Communications Console.



     “Inform the Earth Fleet we are ready.” Ihsss said, “Both teams are loaded and ready to go, “Notify Whirlwind that they should be on station for pick-up of Baker Team.”



    “Aye, Captain I will tune to the combat channel as stated in briefing.” Hi’Mthss said with a smile, “It will be my pleasure…”  



     “Hi’Mthss, just…” Ihsss snapped at her and her daughter fell silent, curbing her levity for the situation.



     “I am already on it, Captain.” She said tersely as she turned to her console, “This is Dark Angel. Delivery Boys are ready to depart. You may start your diversionary attack.” Hi said quickly into her headset, and there was a crackle.



     “Golden Eagle to all stations, move ahead and start attacks. Launch all fighters, and give them hell boys and girls.”



Outside in space, the fleet of ships engines flared as they all moved slowly forward into range of Aquarius, meeting the fleet of Cybertron that hovered above the blue glow of the water planet. Laser beams sprouted in force at the Cybertron and a mushroom of explosions erupted from the hulls of several vessels. Other ships, in the first attack were obliterated, as Astro-fighters swarmed from the two carriers at the enemy. They attacked full force, blasting a hole through the smaller protective ships. On the other side, the ships of the Cybertron fired back as Robot fighters swarmed from the openings from their carrier. Astro fighters and robotic fighters swarmed in a vicious dogfight, many disappearing in silent flashes.



Chatter echoed over the speaker as the battle progressed. “… Fighter come on your six, I have him! Watch out for that Dreadnought… “



The Cloud’s weapon’s rumbled as they attacked the enemy too, destroying the smaller interceptor and escort ships which are on the outer ring of the battle group of the Cybertron. 



“Wow, look at that, a hole opened up for the Clouds,” A voice cracked over the speaker.  



     Outside the ship, the Clouds’ it hovered in the stars of space, turning its main gun to target another Cybertron Destroyer and fire. The energy streaked toward it, striking its hull, causing two massive explosions there. Debris floated freely from the metallic hull, floating freely in space. 



”Golden Eagle to Dark Angel, you are cleared disengage and approach the target.” A voice said.



“Captain, we are cleared to approach using that hole they opened up. They are urging us to make haste.” Hi’Mthsss reported, turning to flash a toothy grin on her reptilian features at her mother who sits in the Captain’s chair.



Ihsss sat on the bridge as the Clouds weapons rumbled as lasers erupted from the barrels, missiles from their launchers and torpedoes from their tubes. Many smaller ships continued to vanish in a flash of light, and pulse laser fire erupted taking down the fighters from the Cloud’s weapons as they approached an EDC Cruiser.



“Confirmed, there is a hole for us to enter, starboard ten degrees.” Felonious reported.



“Engage cloaking device, and head for the hole.” Ihsss ordered, “Ahead half speed… Secure weapons. One three five, mark five.”



“Inform the fleet, Dark Angel is moving in.” Ihsss said, standing up from the bridge chair, nodding to Veloxa who had hit the cloaking device. Outside, in the stars of space, the Clouds vanished and slowly moved forward under impulse engines only.



Hi’Mthsss, at the communications console, nodded and spoke rapidly over the combat channel, her voice slurred by the other voices and static.



“Set shields at maximum.” Ihsss ordered, “Keep clear of any dogfights and get through to Aquarius to release the delivery boys.”



“Sweet Kwisnah.” Ihsss muttered, “What a fricking harsh battle.”



“Roger that.” Veloxa said calmly, her hands dancing over the controls making the ship bank and dodge fighters that swarmed around them like angry hornets. Flames erupted nearby as another Astro-fighter vanished in a silent explosion. More Astro-fighters and enemy ships swarmed past them as the Clouds managed to slip through the hole opened by the fighters, the Battle Cruiser Class Starships, and Destroyers near them who rapidly fired at the enemy fleet.



“This is control.” Ihsss said, hitting the intercom switch, “Delivery boys, stand by for launch and good luck.”



Sitting on the transport, the Major smiled as he peered at the battle that he managed to tune in on the console view screen, along with the overlapping battle transmissions echoing on the speaker. He casually hit the intercom switch.



“Thanks Ihsss.” Major Miller said into the headset as he sat in the chair on the transport. “For everything…”



     “I’ll see you all at the rendezvous point, and the others on Earth.” She beamed, “You have all my hopes, gentleman…”



“Open Airlock.” The Major ordered, “Team two, stand by to launch!”



The massive doors of the airlock opened, and a rapid roar of decompression from the hangar deck could be heard on the transports by the combat teams.



“Alright, punch it!” Major Miller ordered and the engines of the transports roared as they ignited, thrusting the ships forward from the airlock, rocketing them into the silent stars of space. Both transports banked and plummeted toward the atmosphere of Aquarius, the skin of the tank-like transports turning red as the friction rubbed against the ships.



“We have reached atmosphere, stay sharp, we have fighters coming in.” The voice of the Warrant Officer piloting the ship said, “We are banking to clear and going to make a sharp turn… Hang on!”



The transports both banked and disappeared further into the planet’s atmosphere. They evaded the robotic fighters that approached, who headed for the Astro-fighters who streaked in to attack them. Both ships banked a hard right, away from the action, as they plummeted further into the atmosphere of the legendary water planet toward the surface. Both transports opened up with laser fire, and missiles, taking out more fighters that swept in as they approached the water. 



“We’re clear for the moment, Sir.” Warrant Officer Clark finally reported, and there was a relieved sigh.



Below them, the green country side of the planet could be seen amidst the blue waters of Aquarius. The transports descended further into the atmosphere and the bright star that Aquarius now orbits shines dimly on the surface of the planet. The transports shifted left and right in the sky, as they dipped sharply downward toward the largest land mass. They stayed in the clouds before descending, their presence masked from the fighters that streaked past them.



“Send coded message to the Clouds, we have successfully penetrated the atmosphere, and we are proceeding toward the landing sight about fifteen nautical miles west of the Tritium Mine.” Major Miller ordered. Staff Sergeant Christopher Fallon nodded from his place sitting at his console. His hands moved across the console before him, and he spoke rapidly into the headset. After a moment, there were two beeps as they received a response from the Clouds. Major Miller nodded at the sound of the beeps.



“They acknowledged.” He said, “Drop us to one thousand meters to the surface of the planet.”



“Aye, sir.” The Warrant Officer replied, moving the stick and the crafts dipped sharply toward the water. As the two transports moved across the blue sky toward the mine, they stayed low against the water to avoid any radar by the Cybertron and avoiding contact visually by the fighters that streaked across the sky above them.



“Activate ECM and jam the radar.” Major Miller instructed with a nod, and the co-pilot of the craft nodded as he hit the switch that fortunately for them, worked.



The Cybertron, sitting at their detection equipment on the landmass near the mine, peered in confusion at the static of the radar screen that was suddenly scrambled, masking the Troop Transport’s presence.



“Approach cautiously, and land at coordinates fifteen, by ten, by thirty-five, which is approximately ten miles from the mine, we should both run along the ground to approach target. Team two, break, and go to landing coordinates eighteen, by fifteen, by twenty-two. Run south toward the mine, we will run north after landing.”



Darting left and right, above the waves of the sea on Aquarius, the transports continued their approach. They ripped across the sky toward the shore, a few meters below them and banking slightly upward to avoid the mountains.



“Feet dry, Major.” The Warrant Officer pilot reported.



“Are there any signs of surface units?” The Major asked, and the Radar operator shook his head when the young officer of the past glanced at him. 



“You have your orders, Team Two. Set down at coordinates, and make you way south along the ground toward the mine. Avoid being in the air as much as possible and all air patrols.”



“Copy that.” Kino said, as the second transport peeled off to the right, and banked gracefully away to the left as it continued on its new course toward the other end of the land mass where the mineshaft was located.



“Approaching coordinates, Major, in fifteen minutes…” A voice said, and Nathaniel looked up, nodding his head. 



The ship moved along dodging and darting, as fighters approached. The transport’s weapons fired, quickly knocking them down until they were clear. The transport banked again.



“Cease fire.” He replied, “Come in nice, steady, and easy, to the landing coordinates.”



Outside, the transport’s retro-jets fired as it slowly down, sinking slowly to the ground. It landed with a thud and the tank-tracks began to turn as it began to slowly move on its projected course toward the many entrances of the Tritium Mine.



“Inform the Clouds we landed beautifully, and we are now merrily moving right along.” The Major ordered.



“Aye, Sir.” The radio operator replied.



“Team two has landed and is now under way toward the mine from the south, sir.” Private Lang said, “They have light resistance, but they are moving right along.”



“Very well,” the Major said, hitting the switches on the console, glancing at the radar screen and the operator who worked next to him at the console.



The transport moved slowly along the ground, moving across the green hills and through the open long brush of several fields and toward the forest that would provide them cover as they stealthily would approach the mine from the north.



     “Sir, sensors indicate a patrol ahead, five mega meters away.” The radar operator reported.



“Hold up here for a moment, Warrant Officer Clark.” Major Miller ordered, “We have company. Remember we want to keep this covert.” The transport stopped with a sharp jolt and a youthful Lance Corporeal named John Baxter manned the radar console.



“Send coded message to Team two, encountered Cyberton positions, five miles from target. Dig in and hold transport position and go on foot to target.” The Major quickly added.



     “Power off, power off.” Baxter urged quietly.



     “Power is off.” Warrant Officer Clark replied, and the engines both fell silent as a group of Cybertron drones ships and soldiers moved close by. Thankfully, they were ignored. The Major grimaced as he pointed to the door casually. It opened slowly, landing in a clearing of patchy dirt and green grass.



“We will go on foot from here.” Major Miller said, “We will probably run into more patrols as we close in from this distance. How far are we from the mine entrance?”



“We are approximately five, point three nautical miles from the entrance. We will setup cloaking system and camouflage netting.” Warrant Officer Clark replied.



“Dig in our position.” The Major ordered.



“Copy that.” John Baxter said, and on the console in front of him, he hit a switch.



Outside, the transport slowly dug in using the massive drills that appeared from the smooth skin of the ship and the weight of the transport sank into the smooth earth around them. The side doors opened, allowing the group to muster outside and work quickly to put up the netting and other concealment of the ship. Several soldiers dug foxholes and the Warrant Officer sat in the chair at the main console. Behind her, the Major appeared with his helmet, sporting a sniper rifle and pistol at his side. 



“Let’s head out and see what we can see, the mine is not far from here.” He said and they moved out.



A few minutes later, crouching low on the nearest hill, the Major with the Sergeant and two men had field glasses raised as they peered into the distance. Lucky there were hills that surrounded them, making for better concealment of their position. A large number of Cybertron ships and personnel surrounded the mineshaft, waiting for any attacks upon their position.



Gunnery Sergeant Jeevers whistled sharply, as he peered through the field glasses.



“Looks like there is a lot of company down their, sir.”



“Yeah… No kidding, Gunny.” The Major replied, "A heap of serious trouble it looks like, that’s for sure.”



“So what’s the plan, sir?” the Gunnery Sergeant asked.



”Well, we can’t fight our way in force with that sheer number of enemy like that and we don’t have a lot of options here.” The Major said solemnly, “The mission still has to remain covert, and we just can’t wait and find another entry into the mine. We don’t have a lot of time to wait on action or the Cybertron will launch the offensive against Earth. We are going to have to attack now, I mean shoot crap and go with a covert mission with a small group of six to infiltrate the shaft or Earth is doomed.”



“Sounds like a bad position all around, sir.” Jeevers replied.



“And with those six, there will be no way for them to return to the surface of Aquarius from the mine to extract.” The officer grumbled, shaking his head, “Who is it that I order to die?”



Major Miller sat at moment and peered at the perimeter of the shaft. As he pondered, he stared at the Cybertron ships, and personnel who sat in the middle of it. Around them many ships took off and landed as they were being fueled with Tritium energy from the mine. The young officer grimaced as he glanced up at the afternoon sun sinking in the sky. He realized he had no choice in the matter and he made a snap decision. Six of the team had to die in a sacrifice play unless things drastically changed for the better.



“Alright, I guess that is the plan we’re going to go with Gunny.” The officer said, “I’ll select six for the infiltration with Kino right away during the strategy brief before we lose our chance to destroy Aquarius.”



“Right, sir.” Jeevers replied and he nodded.



“Let’s get the hell out of here. We can’t do much hanging around here.” Major Miller said, “Let’s get back to the transport and rally the men for a strategy brief.”



The sentry rustled a bush with her foot. Everyone froze. Looking through the sniper scope the Major peered at the clearing. A Cybertron had turned and was scanning the perimeter at the forest. The officer’s finger was on the trigger in a heartbeat as it walked toward the trees. Gunnery Sergeant peered through the field glasses.



“Jesus, here it comes.” The Sergeant breathed quietly as both watched the robotic soldier walk toward the trees. It stopped at the perimeter of the forest, and it stood there for a long moment, turning its head left and right, scanning the forest many times. The four Marines were on a hill, just adjacent to the clearing, and the sentry had knocked a rock loose that had rolled down the leaf covered floor for a short distance. After many minutes, the Cybertron robot finally walked away, back to the fueling station where a ship landed.  



“We’re clear. Now, go quietly!” Major Miller whispered sternly, and motioned with his hand. One by one they retreated back to the transport.



Meanwhile, on board the SS Whirlwind, Nova sat at the radar console and peered at the screen as the ships continued to fight and many more Cybertron vessels approached and fighters.



     “The Clouds have made contact, and has informed us that the delivery boys have been deployed and have landed. Both teams have dug in five miles from the mineshaft.” Homer announced, “They can’t approach any more, without risking detection. They need us at rendezvous point at time.”



     “We’ll be there.” Yamasaki replied frostily as there was a cheer on the bridge of the Destroyer and on many other ships, as Homer relayed it to the flag ship. Especially on the Aircraft Carrier Essex and George Washington that sat in the middle of the protective ring of ships around it, many Dreadnoughts and Battle Cruisers with many escort ships around them.



     “Sir, we are getting hammered pretty hard.” A voice said, “Should we pull her back a bit, and stay within the ring of ships?”



     “Keep firing and maintain position.” Captain Yamasaki ordered, “Launch another barrage of rockets.”



     From the destroyer’s second deck, from the rocket launcher, projectiles appeared and streaked from it. A few more explosions rocked a nearby Dreadnought that was taking a pounding by the Earth fleet but maintaining itself from its destruction. Behind them, Cybertron ships approached from the rear.



     Sitting on the command deck aboard the carrier, Admiral Jesse Sampson stood next to the Captain’s chair. He stared at the view screen as lasers shot out from the ship’s guns and struck fighters that came toward them.



     “We have Cybertron approaching from the rear quarter Admiral!” A voice said on the bridge of the Aircraft Carrier. Ships suddenly exploded and disappeared in a flash as ships appeared from warp. More Earth ships appeared from the nearby sector.



     “Incoming message, sir from Golden Eagle…” Homer said, glancing at the console in surprise, “Task Force Six reporting their arrival and wondering if this is a private party, or anyone can join.” His tone indicated humor in it, relaying the message over the battle-com.



     Another cheer erupted on the bridge of the Destroyer as Astro-fighters streaked from the two carriers of Task Force Six. More Cybertron ships showed explosions erupting from their hull like mushrooms, despite the shields they had up around their vessels. Both fleets continued to hammer each other.



     “Incoming message.” Homer relayed, “A coded message from Rear Admiral Fox commanding Task Force Six. They are going to take up a flanking position on the other side of Aquarius and try to draw in the Cybertron in, to allow everyone to pull back out of the sector.”



     “There are reinforcements on the Cybertron side coming up from the planet.” Nova reported, “Task Force Six is engaging.”



     All hell began to break loose as the two sides clashed and Task Force Five moved in closer to the planet. Task Force Six hammered on the reinforcements that rose up from the planet. They disappeared in flashes of light and explosions hammered smaller ships as they two were destroyed. Debris from the battle floated through the stars of space.



     Seated on the Destroyer, Nova peered at her screen as the ship’s weapons continued to rumble and fire at the enemy ships. Nova sat at the console on board the Whirlwind, as she monitored the battle on her scopes. She managed a grimace at the module, clicking the switches on her console as explosions rocked the Destroyer.



     “Radar indicates there are still more ships approaching from the surface.” Nova declared grimly, “I wish the Marine group would hurry up.”



     “Homer, get in touch with the landing group and get an update and position.” The Captain ordered, “And relay to the Battle Group.”






     “The fleet is starting to move out, sir.” Homer announced, “All planes have been recalled, Captain.”



“They are finally getting out of here.” Captain Yamazaki said with a snarl, “About time. Our diversionary mission is complete… Let the Clouds handle the rest of their part of the mission.”



“Yes, sir.” A voice said, making both Wildstars grimace.



Outside in space, the fleet began to move out, and away from the Cybertron that was decimated about the water planet. Nova gritted her teeth as she watched her scopes.



     “Helm, prepare to move out, ten space knots.” The Captain ordered, “Follow in with the Task Force and lead ship.”



     “Aye, Captain.” Came the reply and Nova managed a smile at Derick, her husband, who had made the announcement. Derick nodded his head at her, a grim expression on his face.



     Slowly but surely, the task forces moved out and continued firing at the Cybertron, as they moved back and away from the water planet. Their duty and diversion completed for the Clouds who now waited for the transports to return to their ship.




Meanwhile, the Marine forces on the planet readied themselves to move in toward the mineshaft. They had packs full of explosives, twelve five hundred pound charges between two groups, in which were radio controlled to detonate from a receiver. They just had to get there, slip in the mine and covertly drop the charges that would destroy the planet completely. It would be a daunting task as they scouted ahead to see a legion strength of Cybertron Robots guarding the shaft, all comers for assault.



First, both groups dug in their positions, in the north and south of the target, securing twenty-five feet around the carrier with removable mines and claymores that could easily be used against robotic targets.



As they worked, they kept a watch for any drones from the Cybertron who currently have landed on the planet and use it as a base. A few minutes later, they stood in a group as a holographic relay was setup on both sides, to relay the meeting between the groups for the strategy meeting on how to take the mineshaft.



“Alright, gather around. This is how the group is going to deploy.” The Major said, kneeling in a circle of his men, as he drew in the sand as they began a quick strategy brief.



“First of all, what we are up against is a large force guarding the main shaft on Aquarius and at the mine.” He said solemnly “Both teams are going to head to the main shaft and dig in on both sides taking up an observation position for over watch. Perry and I will set as a sniper over watch. A team of six will infiltrate the shaft to set the explosives and when complete return to the surface for extraction. We need to completely eliminate Aquarius or Earth is doomed as the Cybertron’s first target according to the Cloud’s Captain.”



     The Major drew two lines out from the center circle to a couple of smaller circle.



“After we set the explosives, we are going to extract to five meters west and east to the transports.” The Major said, “I will trigger the pinch as soon as we are clear of the Aquarius atmosphere. By the time they know we are there, it will be too late and we will be clear of the ground forces. Team two will head for the Whirlwind that will be waiting one sector over. The Clouds and I will be right behind you. Corporeal Stewart and Private Fishburn, you both will assist Warrant Officers Jones and Clark, for monitoring and radar during this phase of the mission.”



“Roger that.”  Came the chorus and Nathaniel nodded.



“Alright, form up and prepare to move out. Standard L-formation and silent, prepare your squads Jeevers and Perry.”



“Aye, sir.” The Sergeants replied with a smile and they motioned to the group. Major Miller nodded to his youthful second in command’s holographic image.



“When we get there, you are going to take Lange, Rodriguez, Stark, Bills, and Keller with you into the mine, Lieutenant.” The Major said, “Manual and I will be on over watch to eliminate any sentries and resistance to keep you from the mineshaft.”



“I know that, Major.” Kino replied with a nod, “Don’t worry I know how to lead my men into a hot zone.”



“Excellent.” Nathaniel replied, nodding to the live and holographic members standing in the clearing. “all right let’s move out folks, and get this done.”



Quickly In an ‘L’ formation, they stealthily approached the mine shaft main entrance and peeked over a small hill at the even larger group of Cybertron that gathered around the entrance. There was a low murmur by the group. The grizzled Major unslung his sniper rifle and he peered through the scope, gathering more intelligence on the Cybertron who seemed oblivious to their presence at the moment. There was one that seemed to be gazing out toward them and the Major’s finger found the trigger. He prepared to take the Cybertron soldier out of the equation, if it sounded the alarm, making everyone wise to the Marine’s positions.



“We’re ready, Major.” Gunnery Sergeant Jeevers said with a snide tone, and the grizzled Major managed a nod.



“Hold fire, unless given orders.” He told the group, “No exceptions.”



A few minutes passed, Major Miller smiled as he saw a flash of light on the far side where Kino and his group now positioned themselves. Kino and his group peeked in from the other side of the main shaft, both groups taking cover and remaining hidden to the many scouts and ships that raced around the open perimeter of the ancient mineshaft. He peered at now four legions that guarded it, while many ships of every size are landing here to refuel.



“Good, Kino and his group are right across from us.”

The Major told his group and there were smiles on their faces.



Before them, the clearing is about fifty feet in diameter. It is littered with ancient buildings and towers around the holes in the ground and sloughs where the ore was dumped as it was processed by the smelters located in this clearing. The clearing itself has long since been abandoned by the ancient people who once lived on Aquarius. It is now used by the enemy of the future, who had come to change time and win a war they were losing in the future. The universe had banned together to fight against them, far into the future and succeeded to drive back the Cybertron.  



Both groups looked on in silence, and held their positions, refraining from engaging this large body of the robotic enemy. The ships continued to fuel without intervention by the Marines and only a few sentries walked near those fueling stations.



“Kino to Team one. It looks like we have a lot more company out there skip. More than you initially saw.” Kino said over the channel, “I don’t think we will be able to sneak past that many Cybertron as you planned at the briefing. I can bet even if we were able, there might be so many Cybertron below ground it might be a hell of a fight to plant the explosives. We might be trapped and not be able to get the hell off this rock. So I think we need another plan.”



“I actually agree, Lieutenant. We’re still not going to engage that many enemy conscripts even in a diversionary tactic to allow us to get team of six through.” Nathaniel said into the mic. “Our new plan is to wait a moment. I sent two men to scout nearby for an alternate entry point.”



“An alternate entry point?” The Lieutenant asked.



“Yes, I suggest you scan and do the same. There has to be an air vent for the inhabitance of this planet a long time ago who worked the mine. If we can’t take that many enemy we’ll have to use it as a different entry point.”



“Great idea, sir… I’m on it.” Kino motioned to his soldiers, making hand signs and they both nodded silently. As they stealthily moved through the undergrowth, the Lieutenant shook his head when they motioned to their rifles.



“Don’t return fire unless you are discovered, only eliminate the pursuant and don’t let the others know you are here. Get back here quickly, and leave no traces.” The Lieutenant said quietly.



“Right, sir.” The one soldier whispered, motioning to the young woman who was standing next to him. They disappeared into the brush.


Kino motioned to two others who took their places, providing cover watch to make sure they were not discovered.



After a few minutes, with team one, Nathaniel turned as two soldiers slid back into the clearing. They both had a smile on their faces.



“You found something?” The Major asked, and they nodded. They stepped up toward the map that the Major held in his hand and they pointed at it.  



“There is an airshaft three clicks southeast of here.” A private known as Lance stated, “Only three or four Cybertron guarding it.”



“Good, that’s our target and entry point.” Nathaniel told the two scouts.



“Kino, we found an entry point three clicks southeast of our position.” Nathaniel whispered, “Any luck on your end?”



“Still waiting, Major.”  He replied, “Wait, standby-one.”



Kino’s two man recon team returned, smiling as they walked toward him and saluted.



“We found a shaft five clocks northwest from here, Lieutenant.” The one soldier said, “Cybertron resistance is only three or four guarding it.”



Kino nodded and turned to his map, and quickly used an instrument to calculate the distance. He nodded to the recon team.



“Great work.” He murmured, and he motioned toward the edge of the brush where the others stood watching.



     “We found a similar entry Major, five clicks northwest.” The Lieutenant said, “I think it’s the airshaft you wanted us to look for.”



     “Aye, that’s your target, Kino.” The Major replied.



“Well, compared to your entry point that is a longer distance from the main shaft where we place most of our explosives. Suggest when we make our way underground to the main shaft from point of entry, that we should secure and hold the main shaft.” Kino reported.



     “We can’t do that, extract will have to be the way we came, and we launch from the air vents. There are too many Cybertron located at the main shaft, a legion could be placed underground and we could be cut off from escape. We’d be cut off and be destroyed with the planet.”  The Major explained, “Besides, we don’t know how many Cybertron are underground. We need to get some reconnaissance before we move into the shafts but we don’t have the time. There are too many eddies and shafts of off the main one and little man power to cover it all.”



     “That’s why I brought plenty of floaters.” Kino replied, “They are automated drones that have a camera and infrared for dark areas. We can set them and watch as they probe the shafts and get to the main shaft.”



     “Good, first we should take our troops and move to the airshafts, take and hold before we start poking around underground.”



“Roger that.” Kino whispered, turning his head to a Sergeant who stepped back and crouched, signaling to be quiet.



A hum echoed the clearing as a drone came close to their position, hovering for a moment then moving back to the center of the clearing. Kino let out a silent breath as did everyone present.



“I think they’re getting wise, skipper.” Kino said into the mic, “We just had a drone investigate and almost compromise our position.”



“Move everyone to the air shaft, no traces and do it quietly. Signal when you are in position.”



“Aye, Major. You got it.” Kino replied, “Sergeant Major rally your men, and prepare to move out, L-formation, no traces.”



“You got it Lieutenant.” Sergeant Perry replied with a smile and motioned to the men.



“Alright, I will contact you in a half-hour.” The Major said, “When we make contact, use sub frequency and scrambled.”



“Right. Contact in a half hour,” Kino replied, “Squad Baker out.”



“Squad, form up into L-formation, no traces.” Major Miller told the men and the group all gathered up their gear. They moved out in the proper formation to the southeast.



As they moved swiftly through the forest, along a makeshift trail, they heard a hum that seemed to be following them. Looking up, the group saw a Cybertron drone blinking as it was overhead. The hum of the suspensor fields, holding it up in the air, crackled around them. It is the size of a basketball with many knobs and lights covering it.



Major Miller put up his hand, and then motioned to a nearby Corporeal who took up point, then to the drone. He made a throat cutting gesture. A shot rang out, a flash, sparks and a crash. The smoldering drone unit landed in the canopy, bouncing once, then landed onto the ground. It was buried quickly, to conceal the smoke.



“Did anyone notice?” Sergeant Jeevers whispered, and there was a shake of the head by each member.



“Keep watch, we are only two clicks from the shaft entry.” The Sergeant whispered, “It seems we are clear, Major.” 



“Let’s move in to the shaft perimeter and take out all the robots at once.” The Major told them, “It ensures that none of them can call for assistance.”



“Good idea.” Jeevers said, and he passed it on to Sergeant Major Perry via text, who said they would try the same tactic.



The group moved toward the shaft, two clicks from their position, and each soldier took aim at a robotic soldier who stood in the open. There were only a half dozen or less in the clearing around the airshaft the next time they checked the status of the clearing. The Cybertron, in their arrogance, must have thought no one would detect such an opening to use it for a military operation. Major Miller gritted his teeth, as he peered through the sniper scope.



“Steady.” He told them, “Ready, and now.”



Shots rang out, all the robotic enemy fell at once. With smiles on their faces, the Marines moved in and they took up defensive posture around the opening. They began booby-trapping the perimeter and waiting for an ambush as they prepared to for the next phase of the operation.



The shaft was located in a simple five foot diameter clearing with a single building in the middle of the forest. The ancient building was designed as a trapezoid, and colored a strange deep purple color. The Major frowned in silence as he approached it, motioning for his men to take up positions around the building. He moved to the building and he motioned to the control, a handprint and a keypad with a small screen above it.



“Nice work, we have the shaft.” The Major complimented, “Stand by for phase two and for underground operations.”


“Aye.” A chorus of voice replied.



“Lang how’s that door coming?” The Major asked, watching as the enlisted technician worked on the door, pulling off the panel and flipping wires on the back side of the panel.



“I think I got it.” Lang reported, as he had the panel open and strange alien-like wires flashed as they were connected to the keypad and console on the back side of it. A moment later, the hatch opened.



“Ready the floaters.” Sergeant Jeevers ordered, and they moved to the bag. He and his assistant prepared six floater units, programmed with an interior map of the mine, taken from a spectro-analyzer from the fleet in space. They released two and they disappeared into the gloom of the vertical airshaft.



“Okay, we got word from the Clouds that the fleet pulled back and the Whirlwind waits for us in the next sector with Taskforce five. The Clouds waits cloaked orbiting the planet, ready to pick us up.” Jeevers reported, listening to the headset of the radio that Koalitz carried on his back.



“Excellent.” The Major replied, “Inform Team Two, on a coded frequency that we are on our own, and the fleet waits for the signal and destruction of Aquarius.”



“Aye, it is already done Sir.” Jeevers reported, in that snide, irritating tone, and it so reminded Nathaniel of Mr. Roper, from the Three’s Company TV Show, two hundred years ago. He managed a grin.



Turning the Sergeant and his assistant released three more floaters. The Major motioned for soldiers to take up position flanking on either side of the airshaft as the floaters disappeared down into it.



“Just in case our position is compromised, and units come to the surface.” The Major told his team. On the portable console screen, the floaters moved through the dark shafts, high and out of range of any detection devices for the robotic enemy. It also stayed out of the prying eyes from Cyberton Patrols they saw located in the shaft.



“Damn.” Nathaniel muttered, as he saw a large body of Cybertron in the darkness, highlighted by night vision mode.



“Nah, that’s not too many, but according to the spectro-graph there are many tunnels in that mine that branch off that we did not scan and Cybertron could be hiding.” Corporal Hicks said, “We’re in better shape than you think, Sir.”



“Let see what the floaters see.” Nathaniel suggested, “Lieutenant Minezati can see this right, what we see and we can see his floaters?”



“Yes sir, he can.” Jeevers said quietly.



“Strange that he didn’t send any comments about it via radio.” Nathaniel mused, and managed a shrug.  



“Team one to Team two, come in please.” He said, and there was a crackle.



“Team two here.” Kino replied, “Go ahead skip.”



“What is your status?”



“We took the shaft, Major.” Kino said solemnly, “We tried that tactic and it worked perfectly, all by the numbers. We are currently setting booby-traps around the airshaft against any Cybertron in the area who come to investigate why the sentries here are not responding.”



“Excellent.” The Major replied, “Did you get the floater data we just sent you and your group?”



 “Yea, it doesn’t look good.” Kino replied, “It looks like I have Cybertron on my end too and if we enter it’s a sure ambush from all these unmarked tunnels. We don’t have the manpower or the time to recon them all.”



“I know the feeling Lieutenant.” He replied, “I’m going to proceed into the shafts as soon as possible, and take a shot and shoot crap. We have to take a crack at these bastards before they fortify.”



“That’s foolish. Shouldn’t we leave a sentry, at the door, heavily fortified?”



“Negative, make it look like you never were there, and go underground.” Nathaniel repeated, “We don’t have much time till they are fully refueled. Our raid decimated quite a few of their fleet, but they could be rebuilt in a few days, as machines don’t require sleep and going full steam.”



“I see your point.” Kino replied, “I’ll clean us up, and set to enter in fifteen minutes.”



“Set for underground operations, and demolition.” Jeevers said, “Stand by to repel into the shaft.”



On the Lieutenant’s end, the Major listened to the same orders being given to his twelve raiders, currently waiting for infiltration into the shaft like the Major’s team. Both teams face the same unknown odds against them in both places at the mineshaft air vents.



A few minutes later as ropes and pulleys were set, a floater was programmed to lower itself down into the shaft. Night vision visors were activated and sentries watched for any activity in the mine. Private Sparks watched the screen on the console, as each floater descended into the air shaft.



“So far it looks clear, but I see a heat signature not far off though.” He told the group.



“Prepare to enter the mine.” Major Miller ordered, “Steady, quietly and set to open up a full barrage of strafing as we repel downward. When we will drop in the center and everyone scatter to the shadows.”



“Roger that.” A choruses of voices replied as lines were rigged and slowly in the dark, the Marines silently lowered themselves into the shaft to the ground.



“Hold up. There’s a patrol coming toward the shaft.” Rodriguez warned and stepped back, leading with her weapon.



Quickly, the Marines took up positions in the shadows, their weapons aimed at the Cybertron Patrol who marched into the light from a nearby tunnel. The lines that were used by the Marines were quickly tied off to some metal machinery inside the mine. The group of Cybertron stood there a few minutes as they scanned the dirt floor and the surroundings carefully, as-if alerted by the Marines.



 When they didn’t sense anything they marched out into the darkness into a nearby tunnel, their heavy footsteps echoing in the tunnel. The Major and company let out a breath they had been holding in, almost sure they were going to be detected by the Cybertron, but wasn’t.  



“Did they detect us you think?”



“Hard to say Major, they might be getting wise if they have been trying to contact the surface patrol. We’d better hurry before a large patrol comes back.” Jeevers suggested and the Major, pondering a moment, had nodded in agreement.  



Major Miller held up the sniper scope and peered through it.  He put his finger to his lips and withdrew into the shadows as heavy footfalls approached again. This time two dozen Cybertron appeared in the dim light and they all stood around, peering around the surroundings. Their attention seemed to be focused on the disturbed dirt for a long period of time before they disappeared into the darkness.



“Jesus, I’d better be careful what I wish for, right?” Nathaniel muttered sarcastically, and there were grins by the others in his group. The Major signaled with a wave of his hand, and the group slowly made their way through the shaft, keeping to the sides as they kept out of sight of the enemy as they advanced.  

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