My team was bouncing long and fast across the surface. We had a full load of power and air now, so we were good for about twenty-four hours of life-support. We also had rearmed. And I had managed to get my hands on another four peewees...I now had seven nukes.
I called a halt when we saw a crater that you could damn near fit a ship into with room to spare. My telltales were indicating a stupid amount of radiation and I felt sorry for the line dogs that maintaining a perimeter. The Bugs could and would send units out of a hole that big no matter the rads. I marked in the offset beacon onto my waypoints and we we continued our sweep. Our exact mission was to locate and delay any Bug forces that came up until a pack of Marauder suits could come in and maul them into submission. We had the speed, the sensors, and most importantly, the long range weaponry to keep Bugs at arm's reach while withdrawing them into a heavy strike team's killzone.
Right now we were hanging out on another ridgeline on this desolate hellhole of a planet and I was listening to the random chatter from the various line unit command pushes...
"Captain! 'Bacon Fry' at Albert Two, Black One!" then the same voice on a higher priority channel, "Liaison flash! 'Bacon frying' at Albert Two, Square Black One!"
'Bacon Frying' is what it sounded like when Bugs were tunneling, "4 1 this is 4 2," I called in, "Responding to a hotspot. Unit IDed as 'Black 1'."
The Captain's voice came over our squad push...woah, "4 2...Summers right? That's the Blackguards, we are now on direct support. Help them out. 2nd 1!"
"Yessir!"" it was LT Samson.
"Round up your guys and funnel them towards your 4 2."
"Got it boss!" then our platoon channel lit up calling for all our guys to start heading my way.
"Ollie," I sent over the squad link, "We're heading in."
"Right behind you! Stay sharp."
We bounced down the ridge at full speed, "Saber Element, this is Captain Blackthorne. Your boss gave me the push."
"I have a team about to enter the tunnels. It's a short platoon and they could use a hand."
"On it sir!" I switched to team push, "Redline it, some line dogs need help now!"
We got to the hole there were hordes of Bug bodies surrounding it...they were all Workers weirdly. A Trooper was minding the store who had taken a nasty shot across the legs and wasn't going anywhere for a while.
"Summers, Raiders. Status?"
"They entered a minute or two ago ma'am, comms are all screwed up."
"Wonderful," I muttered. "Who's in charge down there?"
"Mister Rico and Sergeant Zim," as we were talking, Arkadi was breaking down her long rifle and unslinging her carbine while Mullak and I were readying our assault guns.
"Okay, flash me your unit push. I got point, then Nunez and Lanzo. Arkadi you're in front of Mullak. Ready?" they all nodded, "Then let's do this," I jumped down into the tunnel.
The tunnel was big, about 20 meters in diameter and fairly smooth. I switched on my MAD systems to see if I could pick up any traces of the metallic suits ahead of us.
"BRRRRUMMBY!" came echoing over the Blackguards frequency.
"MR. RRRICCCO!" came echoing back.
"Ow ow ow ow!" went the Slayer with the sensitive ears.
"Not so loud," said the first voice, "Where are you?
The first guy, Brumby? Answered, "Sir, I don’t know. We’re lost."
"Well, take it easy. We’re coming to get you. You can’t be far away. Is the platoon sergeant with you?
"No, sir. We never..."
The sir, Mr. Rico I guess said "Hold i," and clicked off.
I set off the signal hopper to try to lock in on his frequency as well as get a bearing. Scout armor can do some cool tricks.
"..ere are you?" and there he was!
A new voice spoke, must've been the Platoon Sergeant Zim, "Sir, my advice is to make rendezvous with Brumby’s section—then return to the surface."
"Answer my question."
"Mr. Rico, you could spend a week down here and not find me . . . and I am not able to move. You must..."
"Cut it, Sarge! Are you wounded?"
"No, sir, but..."
"Then why can’t you move? Bug trouble?"
"Lots of it. They can’t reach me now . . . but I can’t come out. So I think you had better..."
"Sarge, you’re wasting time! I am certain you know exactly what turns you took. Now tell me, while I look at the map. And give me a data dump off your D.R. system. That’s a direct order. Report."
I received the data the same time Rico did and our suits were fast. We were using all our non-electromagnetic sensors now as the wave-guide effect was screwing up the others.
Occasionally we passed MI surrounded by Bug bodies, holding this or that Y-intersection, they waved at us as we blazed by. They knew what we were doing and why and they would have done exactly the same. There was an MI in trouble.
We came screaming around a bend just in time to see a wave of Bugs attempting to demolish Rico and what was left of his guys. On the far side I saw a suit of Command with a nasty looking Bug being held in front of it like a shield. I switched to the Blackguard Platoon Sergeant's push, "Zim! Raider team inbound high! Use us as a distraction!"
"High road team!" I yelled and skimmed along the roof of the tunnel landing between the Bugs and I presumed Zim. After that it was a knife fight basically with the line dogs keeping reinforcements from party crashing while me and mine allowed Zim to maneuver out of the corner he found himself. Then I felt the ground beginning to give way.
"Tunnel opening!" Lanzo yelled as a Warrior erupted from the ground and tore him and his suit in half. About a million more were right behind it.
"Cover me!" I yelled as I slapped my ammo release and started altering the fusing on the peewees.
Slayers have a talent with weapons. We just know how to use them to best effect. As Nunez, Arkadi, Mullak and the remains of the line unit opened fire over my head, I crouched down and shorted the safety interlocks.
"Get the hell out now!" I yelled over all the local frequencies. "Fire in the hole!"
We got Rico and most of his guys out and Zim got the Brain Bug out. We lost Lanzo and Nunez needs a mechanical foot now but he's still on active duty at least.
I got read the riot act for constructing a field expedient atomic demolition munition with no training or authorization but seeing as we did get the bug out as well as most of the troops. It was more like a slap on the wrist and I was cool with that. Mainly because I got to kill more bugs at once with one attack than any other single Trooper ever. Sunnydale felt slightly avenged and did I ever get my slay on.
Zim got a medal, I did too. That we got off Planet 'P' still breathing was our biggest reward.
I watched as my Squad Leaders prepped our guys for the drop. This time we were slipping in to a Trigoce Citadel World. Apparently they had been trading food to the Bugs for Federation tech. Not cool.
Sergeant Arkadi came up, "Top, we're good."
I took a dip and nodded as I slid into my suit. First one out you know. Sole survivor of Sunnydale and all...now we were going to storm an effective castle.
I looked down the Squads health and status telltales...there was a twinge and I shook my head and checked one set in particular extra carefully. There she was, the one person I could not seem to get rid of and my newest Trooper.
"Hey Dawnie you can still back out," I sent over the private push.
"Not hardly Top, would you?"
I laughed and keyed the ship channel, "Captain Maclay, we're all your's ma'am!"
"A-all right Top, we are three mikes from insertion. A-All ship's crew to firing positions. A-nd now for your listening pleasure..."Give us strength to face all danger,
And where challenge is, to dare...THE ENDa/n
No there's not going to be a sequel. There wasn't one for the original and there isn't going to be one for this.
I have never gotten so many interesting reviews for a story. Also like the original it tends to make people passionate. This time not on fascism but dipping tobacco. I was highly amused.
I'd been trying to figure out how to do a Troopers crossover for years, and then a couple of weeks ago it was obvious. Flatten Sunnydale. Yes everybody dies but that opens up the rest of the galaxy instead of tying Buffy down to Sunny-D. Also the Dawn bit is based on my personal feeling that in the episode, Buffy vs. Dracula, these lines...
BUFFY: I'm outta here. (Joyce comes onscreen, in the bedroom. Buffy moves offscreen but keeps talking) Riley and I are going to the movies.
JOYCE: Okay. Have a good time.
Buffy goes into another room and sees the back of a girl with long brown hair.
BUFFY VO: What are you *doing* here?This one right here in particular
The girl turns around, looks surprised, then gives Buffy a sour look. Buffy doesn't look too pleased either.
Cut back to Joyce in her room, calling out.
JOYCE: Buffy? If you're going out, why don't you take your sister?
Cut back to the bedroom. Both girls turn to look at the doorway, looking annoyed.
Buffy and Dawn (in unison): Mom!
...are the exact moment that Dawn manifested.
In this story's case I had it as she was running through the status checks.
I had fun at least.