Rough Times

by Aralez
"You're kidding, aren't you?" Sarge, the oldest crewmember and un-official leader of our team supresses a smile. "No.." he says "... the town is really called Fun-Sing and we have a job there to do."  Disco, a french ex-cop, chuckles: "Sure, whatever you say. What is it 'dis time ? Another search-and-destroy mission or what?" "I'm afraid you have to be a bit more careful with that lasergun of yours this time, we have to capture one of this things alive." He turns towards Mr.Kid, a hybrid, who is almost as long in the team as Sarge. They both are very good friends, despite their really different looks. "Alright, Kiddy, show us the maps. And Medic, would you please get a grip on yourself and come here?" Denis Freedman, the team medic tries to stop his hands shaking and looks frightened to the desk, where the others of the team already are gathering. "Y-Yes, sir " he answers and get's off the bed where he was sitting. "Damnit, Dennis, we are friends here and noone has to say SIR here, don't you get it?" Raghuvir, a tall indian, lays an arm friendly around the sweating medic and leads him to the table. "Ah sure, yes, ok, it's just.. , ah, i'm still a bit tense from the last mission" he answers and tries to smile, which fails miserably. "Yeah, shitty mission that one" Raghuvir acknowledges. Sarge opens the briefing with his loud voice:  "OK, everybody, listen to this: The helicopter will drop us here at the town's entry, we will try to sneak further into the town without making too much noise, as soon as we see a TeeGee, Kid and me make it drop, take it and leave the place asap. Raghuvir and GI Joe, you cover the rest of the team with your M4's during the operation from afar. Disco," Sarge continues" you and medic are our bodyguards this time, you will stick close us and keep our back's clear. Any questions ?" Everybody shakes their heads. "Alright, go get the weapons, we will meet in 15 minutes at the helipad".  The team leaves the dark room, where only the small desk had a lamp over it. "Pst, Raguvir, please come over here" Medic whispers as the others continue their way. "Yeah what is it, Dennis?" "Ahem, i didn't want to disturb the briefing so i gonna ask you." Dennis says and looks around guiltily. "Yeah, what is it, come on we don't have much time !?"  "What is a TeeGee?" "Wha..? Oh, harharhar, a TeeGee, that's Sarge's nickname for the Transgenants ! You are new in the team, so you really should have asked. Sometimes Sarge forgets that we are not as long here as he is. Now go and get your weapon, will you?" "Ah ok" Dennis looks a bit relieved for the first time this day. "See you at the helipad."

Some minutes later the team stands at the exit of the base and waits for the helicopter-crew to arrive. Sarge, already with camouflage paint in his face with his Remington sniper rifle, Joe Glen, nicknamed GI Joe and Raghuvir both with their modified M4's, Disco with his alien laser-rifle and the pale Medic, carrying a FN-FAL rifle. "I don't understand how you guys can hit anything with those clumsy things under the rifle" he says and points in the diection of the grenade launchers under the M4's. Joe decides to answer: "Well actually you don't have to aim with that grenade launchers, you just point it into one direction and BOOM, one dead alien more" He's from the south of the USA as anybody can hear by his accent. "Ah that's nothing compared to my Gaussgun" says Mr.Kid with his high voice, wielding the gun before everyones eyes. "It has range and does more damage than your puny grenades".  Joe laughs and waves off: "Yes and all except you loose their ears and teeth when using it"  Sarge smiles, but even he has to admit that this gun is extremely uncomfortable to use, he heard a lot of bangs and booms in the time of his military career, but nothing is as painful as that special sound the Gaussgun makes. "Ah, here they come". He signs into the other direction where two pilots leave a small shack. "Let's hop aboard"

The huge helicopter really has to fight to get off the ground, even only loaded with the small team of six. The huge extra tanks take their toll. "Yeah, really shitty mission last time" Raghuvir murmurs as they finally loose sight of their base. "They really should have thought of a trap". Dennis nods: "I told Irene this road looks fishy, but she wouldn't listen" Irene was the leader of the second team and atm she was breathing some oxygen through a mask back at the base's hospital. All of her team had been slaughtered in the last mission, except her and Dennis, who was now a member of the Alpha team. They even lost a cyborg, which was a specially hard loss, since they were real war machines. "I hope she'll be back with us soon, though". Dennis said to Raghuvir. "Yeah, me too. Damn those slimethrowers" After some minutes of silence most of the crew was asleep except Mr.Kid, but that wasn't unusual as greys and halfgreys only slept for about an hour a day. Later he would wake them up before they entered the combat area. That was his job and the others were thankful for this, letting them get some rest.

Several hours later the helicopter approaches the entry zone. The team, already awake, looks at the small town or better: the burning rests of a small town. "Fun-Sing! My ass! This looks like a tornado on steroids passed through" Nobody laughed at Joes comment. "That way at least we know THEY were here.." Sarge says "... and probably still are." The pilot's voice crackled over the small speaker above the rear entry of the heli :"Ok, guys, we're here. Good luck" The team jumped out quickly and everybody tried to get some cover.  The helicopter didn't hesitate one moment and flew away. It would fly a waiting pattern through the valley and would return only when Sarge fired the correct signal candle. As the world around them went silent again, the team waited for about 20 seconds then entered the town through a small portal. A huge sign with some chinese symbols greeted them. "Fun-Sing" Sarge thought. He silently gave hand signals to the others and they went on.

As they sneaked deeper into the town they saw the massive destruction the Aliens had done here. No car, no house, no tree was without the signs of explosions and burnage. Suddenly Mr.Kid raised his hand and everybody stopped. Telepathy wasn't as strong in him as in the old greys, but still he could feel danger sometimes. Sarge gave some handsignals to the rest of the crew and the team splitted up, Raghuvir and GI Joe covering the team from behind and Dennis and Disco taking cover in a small sideway to the right. Handsignals were used now in battle instead of radio-headsets because the aliens had learned how to locate those wearing them. And hunted them down easily. Several seconds passed, but nothing happened. Should Kiddy have been wrong that time? Just as Sarge thought this, a huge mass appeared from the left of the group: A Gobber! But the Gobber was as surprised as could be and could only fire one shot at Mr.Kid before he went down. He looked like a huge pile of saliva now, with fluids pouring out of several holes in it. "Alright! The party started" Sarge shouted, now it was no longer necessary to keep up the silence, especially as Kiddy had fired his Gaussguns twice. If there would have been any undamaged windows they would have been shattered now. All of the team was ready to fire on, but no other alien showed up. "Strange" Sarge said. He waved at the others and they went on. Several minutes passed as the team wandered through the town without any enemy contact.

Suddenly Dennis said "Flapper ahead" and they all turned to look. They saw that thing moving into a small sideway and lost sight of it. "Dennis, Disco, go get it before it calls for backup" Sarge ordered. And you others cover that alley!." Joe and Raghuvir crouched at both back sides of the road , Sarge and Mr.Kid covered the front. Medic and Disco went after the small alien. They just bent around the corner where the flapper was supposed to be as a loud BANG was heard. Dennis was hit! "A Morelman at the end of the sideway! With a PSG sniper rifle" he was able to shout as he rolled himself into cover. His left arm felt numb and bleeded, but he was too busy getting some cover to realize that fully. Disco had already run behind a wall and was in safety. "OK, stay where you are and keep him pinned down, we will walk around that house and get him from behind" Sarge shouted at the two in the sideway. "Joe, Raghuvir, follow us" "Ok" Disco answered.

Another shot from the Morelman ended the conversation. The Transgenant was very good with that gun and almost hit Dennis again, who had raised his head for a small moment. "Damnit, how does that Morelman know where Dennis is?" Disco thought. Then he saw the reason: The Flapper! It was hiding behind a small crate and signaled the morelman Dennis' position. "Take that you freak" Disco shot in burst mode at the flapper and his good accuracy combined with the powerful gun killed it quickly. BANG! Another shot from the morelman, this time fired at Disco. But it missed and he could get back into cover. "Damn this guy is good, where the hell are the others? I need some backup here"

The others, as Disco had told them, had alread passed the half way around the house as suddenly a door opened to their left and 2 Chompers ran towards them. "Damnit! A trap" Sarge sweared. He and Mr.Kid went behind a small vehicle, Raghuvir and GI Joe opened fire on the dog-like creatures. Both of them were killed just one or two meters in front of Sarge's position. "Whew, that was close" he wanted to say, but just as he raised himself up again, he saw another two Chompers from their right! Sarge took the Neostad from his back in amazingly short time and he and the halfgrey got rid of those two in splitseconds. "Quick, the others" he shouted at Kiddy.

Dennis was bleeding heavily and was slowly getting weaker, Disco had an med-pack but couldn't come out of his hideout to save him. The morelman had pinned him down! "Wait i will come to you" Dennis shouted weakly. "NO! Don't move...." BANG! Dennis was lucky and wasn't hit by that shot, but he continued to walk shakingly towards Disco. "GET BACK" Disco screamed. BANG! Another shot and another miss!  Dennis reached the corner, paler than ever, a big stream of blood running down his arm. "See? I made it" he said as suddenly another BANG ended his talk. He looked surprised at Disco and then fell over. He was dead. The shot had hit him in the back of the head. "Saaaaaaaarge!" Disco yelled for help.

Mr. Kid and Sarge were at the corner of the house when they heard Disco's call. "Quick, we have to help them" the hybrid said and ran. "Watch out" Sarge said, but it was too late. BANG! The morelman scored a hit on the happless Kiddy. "You lousy punk, take this" Mr. Kid was still alive and threw an acid grenade towards the Morelman in front of him. "Get cover, will you?" Sarge shouted and dragged him into safety. "Thanks, buddy" Kid grinned "I hope that morelman-bastard survives the grenade, so the scientist can do some nice experiments with him" Sarge peaked around the corner then leaned back and grinned, too. "He's unconscious. Let's pack things up and leave"

As they approached Disco's position carrying the morelman they found the body of Dennis. All happyness was gone in a moment. "I will not leave him here" Disco said. "No matter what the orders are." Carrying a body in an unsecured area was extremely dangerous, but Sarge wasn't in the mood to argue. "Ok, you carry him, Raghuvir and Joe you cover our withdrawal."

The way back was hard, carrying both the huge Morelman and the body of the medic. Sarge thought about the cleverness of the TeeGees and suddenly his eyes widened. "Wait, there will be another attack, this aliens won't give up that easily" He shouted. The others looked surprised at him, but before they could argue a ballonfish appeared behind the huge sign at the towns portal! Thanks to the warning they were not surprised and shot it quickly. "Seems you don't need any telepathy, Sarge" Mr. Kid smiled uneasily.

The helicopter arrived in short time at the extraction zone, but right before the team was going aboard another Chomper ran towards them! "Will those guys never give up?" Kid said and fired the whole magazine of his Gaussgun at the creature. Even when it fell down to the ground unconscious he kept on firing until it was dead. "Damnit" he entered the helicopter and shook his head. As the helicopter took off towards the home base everyone was thinking one thing: "Will we ever win this war?" And none of them really believed they would.

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