Operation: Downed Phoenix

The station looked almost peaceful in the red hue that the Triglavians seemed to inflict on the systems they invaded, the only thing betraying that things weren’t okay was the massive swarm of frigates and cruisers that guarded the place, killing everything that acted hostile to the Collective. It was almost like watching the rogue drones of the drone lands, as they swarmed upon a clueless ship that landed just a little off the blinking lines of the undock. She turned as the red lights in the hangar bay turned on and a familiar voice came over the intercom.

“We went over this before we left Cat, but here it is again for all of you. Alpha, Bravo and Charlie team your mission is to find civilians and escort them to the shuttles, your secondary target is a small group of AEGIS troops stuck somewhere in Sector 3 of the habitation ring. I repeat this is only secondary. I don’t want you risking your lives for some good for nothing Concord shitheads.”

She reviewed her companies, Hades, Persephone, and Lamia all of them warclones she served with even before the “Red Troop” started hunting them. She was glad she had convinced the boss to be moved from Alpha team, even though the thought of seeing the faces of the AEGIS commanders when a group of Serpentis soldiers came to rescue them, was almost too good to pass up. She put on her helmet, the heads-up display quickly linking up to her squads as the female voice went on over the helmet’s intercom.

“Lima your job is to get to the research labs in Sector 12, we have some assets that Serpentis Prime wants to retrieve before this system goes completely dark, remember you were not there, so stealth protocols apply.”

One of her teammates broke the briefing, her voice young, but with that weird after-effect of the AI stuck in her head.

“Salvator, you think we will meet some of those hooded Triangles? Vi says she has a bad feeling about them, the fluid router is full of their noise”

“Lamia if you see them you have orders to leave them alone unless fired upon, don’t want one of those dreads to do to us, what it did to Vale II, least not before we are long gone”

The light changed again, turning yellow, indicating the troops to get ready and board their shuttles. As the rest of the fleet was exiting warp. Outside the shimmering field that separated the hangar bay from the vacuum, four small dots shimmered as four Daredevils exited warp and started aligning towards the star. And like a hornets’ nest kicked from an Intaki cherry tree the Triglavian fleet mobilised towards them, taking railgun fire as they advanced towards the Daredevils. The moment the Triglavian forces were almost close enough to engage their warp disruptors the smaller Daredevils engaged warp, their job done. The light in hangar turned green, the blueish field shimmering a little as their ship decloaked, and the little cluster of shuttles left it’s hangar bay and warped to the docking perimeter.


Part 2
The corridor was quiet, everything had been quiet since the landing. If she hadn’t seen the few people that had come out to see them, then the three shuttles landed in the empty hangar bay, she would have sworn the station was empty. A thought went through her head as they turned a corner towards the cargo elevator that according to the signs lead to Sector 12. What was it the boss wanted in here since she would stage a rescue attempt to receive it, those Arataka softies had already sent people in here to get people out. She quickly got thrown out of her thoughts as Lamia’s voice ping up.

“Salvator, there’s one of those hooded freaks up ahead, seems to hang around?”

“Alright, people cloaking fields engage. I don’t want these invaders to know we are here. let Alpha, Bravo and Charlie teams do the first contact. Get in the elevator and we should be good for now.”

The visor shimmered a little as the three others of her companions slowly faded from view, the same did her arms, as she went into a run towards the cargo lift. She almost stopped as she got closer and the strangler showed his face. The guy was just a civilian in a mockery of a real Triglavian suit, his mask was just a hazmat helmet painted over. So this was what the EDENCOM meant with ‘Subversion Unacceptably High’, she sighed as the elevator doors closed, on another day she would have knocked the guy out just for scaring her but today there wasn’t time for that.

“You guys saw that?

Hades’ voice sounded shaken, as his suit’s cloaking system timed out, he was gripping a Nove knife on his hand, the joints in his suit’s fingers looked to be working overtime, the rage was clear in his voice.

“The ■■■■ was that! a few months and people have lost their dam minds, supporting those hooded freak and turning they back on the Fed … on ■■■■■■■ humanity.”

A light armoured hand came out of stealth as Persephone tried to calm him, her voice always more calming than that of her husbands. If it wasn’t for the news reports of those Pro-Triglavian groups that had started to pop up all over the Cluster she would have agreed with him, what she wouldn’t give for things to return to normal, at least you could outsmart CONCORD, but this was open war, and one that was so bad the Federation had agreed to their help.

The elevator door pinged as it reached sector 12 and opened revealing what was once a fine lab, now the lights were out in a few places, side doors broken or jammed. And in the middle of all the mess, a few shadowy figures shuffled about occasionally kneeling over to pick loot from the floor. She found herself checking her spitfire just to be sure it was ready in case the shadowy figures turned out to be ‘real’ Triglavians this time. Mags set, reflex sight up, stock out and onto her shoulder as it was almost second nature to her, and few gestures to the others and their spread out into the room

<Art credit to http://ryanchurch.com>


Part 3
The last of the Triglavian pretenders hit the floor with a thud, Hades already over the wounded guy yelling at him in something Minmatarish, the poor guy clearly not understanding him at all as he pleaded for his ever-shortening life. Lamia was already setting up at the mainframe talking to herself, and doing her magic. Those scavengers reminded her of the news from Skarkon, and how some of the warclones and warlords had joined up with these hooded freaks, the thought sent a shiver down her spine, if CONCORD hated clone soldiers before, this would just add fuel to that hatred. A large bang went through the room, and even after all her experience the sound startled her, her eyes went towards Hades, all covered in gore from the pretender Trig, he just shrugged

“What? ■■■■■■ had it coming. Don’t want these fanatics to think that they can just convert, betray the people of the Federation like this?”

She just rolled her eyes at him before reloading her spitfire, walking over the now lifeless bodies of the pretender Trig to get to Lamia, sitting with her helmet off and jacked into the mainframe, her eyes darting back and further like she was reading everything going through her head.

“Lamia how long till you cracked the coding? Hades just let everyone on this sector know where we are, and if we didn’t have the attention of the Triglavians on this station then I’m pretty sure we do now.”

The Achur’s girl just kept going, although her voice distant, the clear aftereffect of her companion Ai gone, instead, it was it speaking through her like a puppeteer imitating his puppet.

“Data download at 42% code gone, Eio says done in 5 minutes and 23 seconds. Station communication systems are announcing our presence”

Just like nothing was wrong, Lamia just kept going, doing whatever she was doing to compute. she just shrugged and sighed, why the boss had let Lamia keep that damned thing in her head was beyond her, it should have been destroyed like any other Ai. She again turned to Hades that was shaking off the rest of the gore from his ‘killswitch’ before ejecting its spent plasma munition. The sound of the lift doors closing as it was going down made her turn again, cursing at his stupidity, sometimes she wondered if he had been recloned to many times.

“You heard the lady, 5 more minutes, hunker down and take out any ■■■■■■■ that come through those doors.”

“Real Triglavians to?”

“I don’t ■■■■■■■ care, just shot them all. kihah asta sacya! -is that clear!-"

She could feel Hades was pissing her off more than usual, this job just needed to be over with. She couldn’t wait to just go home, find some unlucky Gurista out the fighting pits in Tribute and unwind a little. Lamia’s voice came through again, 58%. she prepared her ‘spitfire’, whatever came up with that cargo lift would get a hailstorm of bullets coming their way.

it was only then two battled scared black armoured suits came up via the lift, two women she assumed from their shapes, that Persephone started laughing

“How about AEGIS troops?"


Part 4
Even with the two AGIES troops the way back to the hangar was rough, didn’t help Persephone almost lost her leg to a ‘real’ Triglavian that surprised her from a darkened corridor. And reports of hostiles having opened fire upon Charlie while they were escorting a group of 10 people back from a garden area. Command was also going crazy, apparently, a few of those Damavik-classes frigates had located the Dawnchaser, and it had to relocate to another deep space pocket. She thought back to how Lady Sorn had called it a quick in and out mission, she was so going to punch her in the face then they got out of here.


Hades had placed Persephone up across a wall, her suit almost falling to pieces from the hip down, her vitals weren’t good. Her voice came in small gasps.

“Think this is my stop … I’m only slowing you down at this point so … guess I’ll be the one buying drinks back home”

She gave a nod and waited for Persephone to hand her rifle to Hades, who took it and patted his wounded wife on the head.

“Alright fine you two, you can ■■■■ then this is over.”

Persephone laughter ended as the phased plasma round went through her helmet and collapsed, the nanites already starting to dissolve her corpse and suit. a few murmuring from the two AGIES troops made her turn to look at them, before setting into a run as all of them started moving again.

Red warning lights flashing that something bad had happened in the hangar bay where the others should be evacuating the civilians, and smoke seemed to hang at the top of the corridor before the massive cargo doors opened up revealing the utter madness that had befallen the hangar. On one side Alpha team was still getting the last people into a shuttle, its wing somewhat scorched from some explosion that happened. All the while Lima and Bravo hailed down cover fire on their own. Hephaestus’ voice synced up to her teams as they entered the firefight, Hades taking pot-shots at whatever wasn’t wearing their silver-green emblem.

“Glad you could make it Mademoiselle, we were about to leave without you. Boss was very clear that if we weren’t at the Dawnchaser in 10 she would leave, without us. Then subtract biomass off our pay, that would be bad, yes.”

She grinned under the helmet, smug Manar bastard always knew how to make light of a bad situation

“Alright you hear the man!” to the shuttles”

She was glad her team was trained for these fights, lucky the two AGIES troops seemed to be battle-hardened as well. She lost focus for a split second as one of those crazy Triglavian guns tore through the arm of one the AGIES troops, but Lamia was already there to help her inside the shuttle. although it was just for a moment she cursed herself for the mistake and turned and unloaded the rest of her mag at the hooded freak, only missing a few as the shuttle started taking off the ground and its doors shut. She threw her gun and ran to the pilot watching as the stations undock was being swarmed by all kinds of Collective ships.

“You have the coordinates? cause we need to move now!”

The pilot just nodded, as three red beams tore through one of the fleeing shuttles, another only barely making it to warp before five others fired at its location. and then they entered warp and she had to fasten her grip or be thrown back.

The pop was loud as their excited warp just near the Dawnchaser, the massive Rhea class being hit by two Damavik and a Kikimora, their entropic disintegrator already cutting into its armour. She watched as the three remaining Daredevils did their best to get them off the transport before the shuttle went into its small docking port. and the doors opened into the small custom made hangar of the Dawnchaser. All of the civilians rushed from Hephaestus’s shuttle, one even kneeled to kiss the metal floor, but crowded in fear as two largest explosions rocked the ship. She walked out into the hangar and took off her helmet, standing in the middle of it all, crew members securing the ships and putting out fires, another explosion sending most of them on their knees or their backs.

“Alright Sorn, any time now”

And there it was, the headache-inducing pull and everything went black

(Art credit: annisnaeem)


She opened her eyes again, the headache of doing a jump like that all to present. Around her both crew and civilians were either celebrating or puking up their guts. She wished she had taken some drugs before the mission to avoid this, now she would be stuck with a headache for the rest of the day.
The public speakers went on and the voice of little Achuan the boss called her COO went through the speakers.

“This is the S-II Serpentcaller, welcome to Old Man Star, let us take it from here.”


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