Part of USS Centaur: Mission 4: Road Not Taken and Bravo Fleet: The Stormbreaker Campaign

Chapter Two – Who are they?

Hercules
Feb 2400
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While Ryker had hoped that the entire crew had made it to their shelter areas on the ship and the critical staff made it to the jumper in the starboard hangar to hide, he had Lieutenant Hayes with him along with other security personnel to complete the four member team of scouring the decks of the invaders. There were other security forces doing the same, but they had only about a hundred crew on board, half of the complement the ship was supposed to have.

The Alliance are in the process of switching over to energy based weapons over projectile weapons, but considering that they were dealing with the Wraith and the risk of encountering them after they have fed is too high. So Ryker gave the authorization to use projectile weapons against the enemy, his personal favorite is the Desert Tech MDRx assault rifle with a drum mag. His setup however, allows him to load and chamber .308 Win. The rifle can use seven different types of rounds, as long as it is set up properly to fire those rounds. The Lieutenant chose a P90 while the two airmen chose MP5’s. To each their own, he had thought.

While he had his rifle at the ready, he had the Lantean Hand Scanner in his free hand while the barrel of his rifle rested on his forearm just an inch away from his wrist. He naturally had the gene, where those who didn’t required the treatment and that is if it worked. So he was able to use the devices from the Ancients that they had on board, devices that unfortunately, they have yet to reverse engineer. The display on the scanner was showing him that they were getting close to a small group of Wraith, three of them to be precise.

First Ryker put the scanner away in his back pocket and signaled his team that there were three hostiles around the corner. The four of them stacked up and silently counted with his fingers until he reached zero. Second his hand made a zero, they quickly moved into the small room junction where the three wraith were. At that moment, as time felt like it had slowed down, Ryker saw four crew members on the deck, their skin clinging tightly to their bones, hair white as snow…their life force completely drained from their bodies. This made him furious. Was it to be expected? Yes. Did he like seeing it? No. Did he like losing anyone under his command? No. Furthermore, this was wraith of a hive that refused to accept peace. So with that, they opened fire on them and with all four of them with the knowledge of how versatile wraith are after they had fed, they did not release their fingers from the triggers until all three dropped.

To Ryker, it felt easy. Too easy, as he walked over to one of the downed wraiths as the other team members checked on the other wraiths, as well as the downed crewmembers. It appeared as they had tried to regenerate most of the shots that they had taken but there were many fresh bullet wounds that looked as though their bodies had failed to heal. That was good enough for him as he looked at his team. “Come on. We still have wraith to deal with.” He told them.

Hayes frowned, “Something doesn’t make sense, sir.”

“What?” Ryker asked.

“There are four dead crewmen and three wraith.”

“None of it needs to make sense, Lieutenant.” He nearly barked at her. “We should have found these wraith before they got to these crewmembers, but we didn’t.”

“I meant no disrespect, sir. It’s just, we know that one person is enough for one wraith.” She explained.

Ryker frowned as what she was saying had started to make sense. Suddenly one of the airmen screamed, which made everyone turn towards them to find a wraith had them pinned up against the wall, vest and jacket torn open, a patch of shirt ripped down and the wraith’s hand pressed right against the center of their chest. Right before their very eyes they saw the airman begin to age.

Ryker saw the others lift up their weapons but he held his hand up. “Don’t shoot!” He told them.

“We have to do something!” Said the other airman.

Just as Ryker was reaching for his combat knife, five more wraith came around the corner. “Fall back!” Ryker ordered. “Fall back now!”

Ryker and Hayes were able to go back the way they came but the other airman got hit by the wraith stun weapons and fell to the deck. Ryker took cover around the corner and opened fire on the ones he could without risking a bullet to stray and hit one of his own people. But the return fire and nearly being hit by one of their stun weapons forced him to retreat.

“What are we going to do, sir?” Hayes called back to him as Ryker caught up to her.

“We need to get to the auxiliary control room and find out how many of these things we have on board.” He told her as he slung his weapon the moment he reached a ladder and took it down to the next deck below.

Even though it was just the two of them, they were able to make it to the auxiliary control room without any confrontations. From there, Ryker and Hayes were able to determine the number of wraith lifesigns on board the ship with their internal sensors. Ryker cursed under his breath at the results he saw on the monitor. “Damnit.”

“Those six wraith back there were the only ones left on the ship?” Hayes asked as she too saw the numbers.

“Yeah. And we just left them there to feed on two of our crew members, to regenerate any damage that was done to them.” He said as he sat down in one of the chairs and pulled out the drum mag to see how many rounds were left in it. While he did that, he noticed Hayes was accessing the external sensors.

“Colonel. I don’t know where we are at but there is a ship of an unknown design. Trying to get its IFF but the system is having a hard time. We seem to be in some storm and the rift is right behind us.” Hayes told him.

Ryker frowned, “A space storm?”

Hayes smirked. “Yeah, those do happen. It’s-”

Ryker waved his hand. “Tell me about it later. Right now, what is that ship doing?” He pointed at the blip, especially when a smaller blip came from it.

Hayes began a scan on the smaller target and the system brought up the visual of what the sensors interpreted it. “Interesting. Looks about the same size as our puddle jumpers. It’s close enough to get life readings and I’m picking up ten life signs on board. Looks like they are heading for the port hangar.”

“That forcefield will stop them from getting in, won’t it?” He asked.

They watched as the blip disappeared, no explosion or anything. Hayes switched to internal sensors and accessed the port hangar video feed and there they watched as the craft did a full one-eighty inside the hangar and then landed. “Apparently not. Only way that would have worked is if they configured their shields frequency to match our forcefield. Makes them par to our level of technology, you think?”

Ryker shrugged his shoulders. “I just command. I leave this technobable to the engineers. But no, I get it. Guess we will get to see if those ten lifesigns are reinforcements or hostiles.”