Part of USS Resolute: Protect Arriana and Bravo Fleet: The Lost Fleet

13 – Busman’s Holiday

Arriana Prime
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“Go to Arriana Prime, they said. It’ll be a nice vacation, they said…” 

Saar grumbled to himself as he crouched behind a ruined wall and tried to scan the street in front of him without poking his head too far above it and possibly getting it shot off.

A crowd of frightened civilians were grouped behind him, eyes wide. Some of them were armed, but that was only because they’d come across a planetary forces unit that had been slaughtered. He’d forced the little group into an alley while he’d grabbed all the weapons he could. 

The street looked clear. Which didn’t mean jack when the Jem’Hadar could shroud themselves. He shook his head to himself as he ducked back down into cover. How the hell had he gotten himself into this situation? He was never taking a vacation again. He was retired, done with this shit when he’d taken his uniform off for the final time two years ago. 

“Gogogogo,” he hissed, motioning them all out of cover and leading them at a crouch along the front of the wall. His back and knees complained bitterly but he ignored them. Tomorrow it would be his left shoulder after carrying this rifle. Getting old sucked. 

Explosions sounded in the distance and then sounds of a firefight somewhere close. 

“Shit!” he dodged to the other side of the street. The Jem’Hadar had swept through here like a damn tornado. Half the buildings had been ransacked or gutted with grenades. “In, get in!” he ordered, sweeping his charges into one of the ruined shopfronts as he stood by the door, sweeping the street. 

He didn’t know why, if there were any Jem’Hadar about, he wouldn’t see them. So he kept his eyes sharp on the dust in the road, checking for footprints appearing. 

“What is that?” a young woman asked him, a local, as she crept forward. She had a nasty cut down one cheek and held onto the rifle for grim death. Her voice was steady, but there was a haunted look in her eyes that said she’d seen and done horrible things, probably to protect the two kids that clung to her shadow like limpets. 

“That…” he said in a low voice as the firing started up again. Whatever that was, it sounded like a damn canon. “Is not a Dominion weapon. Which means there is someone here. Come on, we need to find them. Let’s move.”

 

 

For saying he was in the middle of an active warzone, Bennett was a happy little clam at the moment. Not only did he have Big Bertha on his shoulder, but he’d been playing with explosives all morning. 

He and his team hadn’t been able to link up with any of the local forces, but they’d rigged entire minefields to stop the Jem’Hadar advancing where Bennett didn’t want them to, and created a whole lovely little funnel in what had once been a bustling town full of life. Now it was a ruined shell thanks to one Jem’Hadar unit. That unit had been taken care of, courtesy of Mason’s glitter bombs. He still couldn’t believe that had worked. Trust the general to think outside the box. 

“Perhaps they decided to take the day off?” the ensign next to him said, rifle rested on the window ledge in front of them. They’d taken position at the end of a road. The rest of the team were in buildings along the sides. With the obstacles and charges they’d set, any dominion unit had to come through here. Which made it a perfect kill box. 

Bennett snorted. “Yeah, right. Victory is life, remember?” 

A red light on his wrist comp blinked and his lip quirked slightly. “Gonna get noisy in three… two… Now.”

The charges set at the edge of the town went up, the first line of daisy-chains taking out whoever was trying to sneak around them. “Okay people,” Bennett said over the comm. “They’re gonna come in hard and heavy now. Be ready.”

Almost before he’d finished his sentence, a beam erupted out of nowhere and picked off Ensign Kerson, in the end building. He screamed as he fell out of the second floor window, the sound abruptly cut off. 

“CONTACT!” Bennett roared and the team opened fire. 

He shrugged his shoulder and Bertha clicked down into place. The sighting system was as hybrid as the weapon, a mishmash of Latharian and other tech he’d melded onto it. He flipped the scopes over, looking for the minute movement of air and glitter particles they’d already seeded the alley with. Even so, it was a small advantage, one that was easily negated by the speed and ferocity of the Dominion attack. 

The fight was short and brutal. The Jem’Hadar unshrouded to attack each of the buildings individually. Bennett bellowed a battle cry as he tried to pick off as many of them as possible before they disappeared from view and his people were on their own. 

But then four Jem’Hadar charged the door on the floor below. Bennett exchanged a glance with the ensign next to him. Hernandez, from Ops, if he recalled correctly. With a nod, they both drew combat knives. Or rather Hernandez drew a Starfleet issue combat knife, Bennett had his llanarian issue combat dagger. A small sword in comparison. 

“Wait for it,” he murmured, turning to watch the door. “Wait for it…”

The door burst inward and he fired off two shots, taking the lead Jem’Hadar in the middle of their chests. They flew backward, hitting the fighter directly behind them, but the last one got through. Herandez launched himself forward, the lethal edge of his combat knife slicing through the air. 

Bennett stayed back, dagger light in his hand, as he looked for a way into the fight that wouldn’t endanger Hernandez. But movement out of the corner of his eye caught his attention and he turned just as the final Jem’Hadar barreled through the door. 

He didn’t get time to react, or even swear, as the Jem’Hadar bellowed and caught him up in a tackle that hit him in the mid-section, the momentum taking them both back and out of the window…

To fall to the ground below.

Comments

  • Oh no, is Bennett alright :O Or did he went skydiving from a building :O Wonderful in-action post that brings your through the experience of it all. Love the interactions between the people and Saar, who just wanted to have a vacation damn it :P Keep it up!

    June 10, 2023
  • I'm thoroughly impressed by the pace and the gnarly grit of this chapter. You have this way of following the progression of the action at a speed that's enjoyable to read. It's light and fast and it's from a high enough vantage point to follow what's happening. And then you zoom right in to give us the brilliantly textured moments of humanity that reveal so much, like the cut on the local woman's cheek and Saar's retirement. But none of that slows down the storytelling somehow; it just amplifies the stakes and the style of it all.

    June 11, 2023
  • That was exciting. Great balance of action.

    July 11, 2023