Janks kicked your bunk a little over an hour before.
“What’s up?” you asked, pulling on your utilities.
“The Old Man has a job for you, needs you to get the Wild Card prepped, someone will be walking your orders to you.”
“Where’re we going?”
“Not us, just you.”
“What are you guys going to do?”
Janks looks around the bunk room and shrugs. “Sleep in.”
You get the ship prepped in relatively short order – the deck crew had already loaded an APC aboard under orders from the Admiral – and are floating above the pilot’s chair sipping fresh coffee from a zero-g thermos when Captain Ives comes aboard with a white parka under one arm and that bloody huge sniper rifle in its case in the other.
“Gunny,” she grumbles as she stows her gear in the locker in the back of the room, and goes on to strap herself into the navigator’s chair and go to sleep.
“Oookay…” You button up the ship and begin warming up the engines. “Docking Control, Wild Card, standing by for lift.”
“Wild Card, Dock, stand by.”
You feel the magnetic crane clamp onto the ship and strap yourself into the pilot’s chair as it moves the Wild Card into the launch lock. After a few moments the bay door is secured, the air evacuated, and the outer door opened.
“Wild Card, Flight, clear to depart.”
“Roger flight, see you in a few hours.” You nudge the Wild Card out into open space and kick in the main drive.
“Sooo…where’re we going?”
Ives, without opening her eyes, flips a scrap of paper from her hand. It floats across the bridge and comes close enough to catch. You key in the coordinates and bring the ship around Agamemnon’s bulk and begin a short burn to the white marble floating in the distance.
“Sooo…what’re we doing?”
“Why’d you bring Bertha…”
“Gunny…” Ives growls. You drop the subject and spend the next few hours in silence. It’s not until you begin your de-orbit burn and gravity settles over the compartment that she hops up from her chair and grabs her rifle and parka.
“I’m supposed to drive a hundred cliks or so to a listening post and pick someone up. Very mysterious. Think you can look after things here?”
“Just another glorious day in the Corps.”
Ives heads down to the APC and is out the door the second the Wild Card sets down in the snowy wasteland. The gravity of the planetoid is pretty light, so you bounce about a bit as you go through a rudimentary once-over of the ship. Finally, with literally nothing else left to do, you make yourself a breakfast in the galley and settle into the pilot’s seat to eat and wait.
About twenty minutes later, a small scout car appears on the horizon, heading towards the ship. You kill the cabin lights and watch as it rolls quietly up and six men in arctic camo and close assault weapons spill out of it and rush towards the ship.
“Huh,” you say.
You hop up and grab a small remote device from the pilot’s console, then quickly pull on a flack jacket and tactical harness from the locker. You flip through a few views on the remote device as you head aft. Four of the men are working on opening the personnel hatch set into the cargo ramp, the other two are climbing up the side of the ship, presumably to enter via the dorsal airlock.
You wait in the galley around the corner from the dorsal airlock, humming slightly as you screw a silencer onto your sidearm. The two men on the roof finally manage to override the security on the lock. The iris hatch in the ceiling opens and you hear the clang of a flash-bang grenade hit the deck, followed by the deafening detonation. You wait until you hear the second set of boots hit and spin around the corner. KlakKlak-Klak-BANG-Klak. Both men drop to the deck. You groan, wince, and suppress a shudder. The second guy put a shot square into your vest.
You take a deep breath and head towards the cargo bay to see how the other four are coming along.
The remaining four commandos made it into the lock between the ramp and the inner cargo door and got trapped, but they didn’t leave well-enough alone. They managed to get enough of the inner door open that it set off the pair of spacer-claymores mounted near the door for just that purpose. You find three of them dead and the fourth racing to join them. You kick his weapon out of the way and take a knee.
“So…,” you begin, “why’re you here?”
The man coughs and sputters, and grabs your vest.
“He can’t be allowed to succeed…,” he coughs, “…he can’t…all of the warriors…none of the poets….”
He dies with a wet rattle, and before you have a chance to give the cryptic statement any thought, Captain Ives starts screaming at you over the radio.