Author’s Note: This is a battle sequence in my first book, Thuringer: The Officer. Read a summary at this page.
Fifth squad’s Staff-Sergeant had his men spread out into their three fire teams. One fireteam set up a small automatic weapon at the mouth of the corridor to provide a base of fire if necessary for their advancing colleagues. Thuringer was wondering what resistance they would face as they advanced into the unknown corridors of the asteroid. It wasn’t unknown to all of them though. The two cops from the Bureau of Galactic Intelligence were not having any trouble finding out what was ahead. They had a digital schematic projecting from one of their wrist mounted computers. Thuringer’s observation of the two “star cops” was halted as gunfire echoed in front of their column.
“Engage the enemy. Use the grenade launchers,” Spartakov cried out.
Grenades detonated on their targets in the distance and shrapnel perforated the cultists. Blood spattered all around the large chamber ahead of the infantry column. Their grenades suppressed their enemy enough so that the column could advance deeper into the chamber. Thuringer followed quickly behind the column of Marines into the large chamber. A large maple tree was overturned on a fountain that was now reduced to a rubble from the recent blasts. A party of cultists lay dead. A directory in the distance showed the points of interest within the asteroid base. Spartakov stood by the sign, and motioned the cops and Thuringer to approach him.
Spartakov pointed at the sign upon Thuringer’s arrival.
“What does all this mean, Ensign?”
Thuringer examined the sign.
“Gentlemen, to the left of us we have the crew quarters and elevator banks; to the right, we have the security station,” Thuringer explained.
Spartakov barked fresh orders, “Marines! First squad will remain here to hold this intersection. Squads Two through Four will follow me and assault the security station.”
He turned to the cops and Thuringer.
“I’ll need you three with me. Let’s go take that station.”
The squads of Marines formed a wedge behind Spartakov and prepared to assault the security station. The cops checked their chambers and made sure their weapons were set to burst or full auto. From the cops past experiences, Dar-Shawn security stations had proved to be a handful. They were oftentimes places where the Dar-Shawn troops made their last stand. Thuringer adjusted himself and prepared to use his rifle. He noticed that many of the Marines were not too afraid of doing what they had to do: kill the Dar-Shawn.
The Security Station was ready for them. Martin raised his rifle and commenced firing. He emptied several magazines. The cops that stood by him emptied theirs as well. The automatic weapons from the raised platform in the room where the security station rested hammered the Marines’ ranks. The marines fired grenade after grenade into the raised fortified platform that had once been part of the floor on the deck of the ship. The Marines’ firepower would have been more costly to the Dar-Shawn had the platform been on the floor. The cultists successfully created a castle within a castle within their security station. Thuringer had killed twelve of their number on the platform. The only thing different about his kills than the Marines though was the fact that he understood what they were screaming.
After four minutes of a firefight ,the Marines had lost five men, and had set up their portable 20mm autocannon to suppress the security station. With this weapon in play, the tide had turned. Spartakov sent eight Marines forward, including his chief NCO to penetrate the security station’s defenses with the support of the autocannon. The Master Sergeant and his men employed magnetic clamps and heavy duty drills, they forced the entrance ramp open. Spartakov ordered the three squads behind their makeshift cover to assault the security station. Thuringer joined in.
He and the cops stormed out of their cover and entered the melee on the platform.
A larger Dar-Shawn pummeled Martin to the ground and disarmed him.
Martin thought this was the end.
He remembered a few things from the wisdom of an old martial arts teacher though.
Thuringer’s left fist slammed into his opponent’s solar plexus. He twisted his fist as the blow landed pushing his opponent back from his supine position. Martin then followed up with a hook punch striking his opponent in the face; sending the Dar-Shawn into a daze. An uppercut punch punctuated their conversation and sent his larger opponent to the ground. Finally Martin’s pistol’s muzzle pressed into the face of the target, and ended the conversation.
Spartakov turned to Thuringer; the station was captured.
Thuringer was sweaty.
“I’m fine, Lieutenant. That Dar-Shawn made me remember most of the brief martial arts training I had at the academy.”
Spartakov laughed even amongst the two dozen dead within the confines of the small chamber. He and his Marines had taken the station. Now the Marines, cops, and Thuringer could see throughout the base with the cameras and drones that security station controlled. They also had the environmental controls in their grasp at the security station. The blown out structure still had most of the station’s terminals intact.
Spartakov addressed his troops, “Third squad, you suffered some big losses. You are guarding this station and are going to give the advancing portion of our platoon information on enemy positions as we take this station for the BGI.”
“Gentlemen, stay alive and stay close to my platoon,” he said to the two cops.
Spartakov and his troops continued their advance after they left the station. Thuringer looked at the dead from both sides and quietly thanked God that he was not among them. The two squads advanced down the corridors of the asteroid base and made their way further towards their objective. Although capturing the command center was necessary, the BGI had it’s own objectives there. The cops wanted to capture the command center so they could interrogate the cult leader with Thuringer’s help. Thuringer thought that this was impossible. The level of resolve the cultists had was incredible. He doubted if any of them would ever consider unconditional surrender.
The command center’s point of entry was through two large blast doors. Spartakov ordered that the hard and soft shields be deployed. He and his men planted retractable barriers in front of their mass. The two squads deployed their heavier weapons behind the barriers and followed up by planting barrier generators behind them. These barriers would allow the Marines to be safe from a high level of fire and concussive blasts. Employing both the hard and soft barriers in tandem increased their survivability. Spartakov placed breaching charges with the help of Thuringer and the two detectives.
Spartakov shouted more orders to his men, “This is it! Gas masks on. Blow the doors down and deploy the CS gas.”
Spartakov and his soldiers opened fire. Their autocannon belched lead. Their tandem barriers, hard and soft, defeated the Dar-Shawn improvised explosive blasts with ease. Thuringer heard the screams of the Dar-Shawn at that moment. Thuringer understood the Dar-Shawn. He realized that he was not fighting a demonized enemy like the others were. He spoke their language. He emptied his rifle and reloaded. He had two magazines remaining. Thuringer’s rifle was getting a fair amount of service today, and truthfully he felt the worse from this. If he was in the position to have negotiated, maybe this blood bath could have been avoided.
Spartakov gave the order to enter the command center. The Dar-Shawn were coughing from the gas and ready to surrender. They didn’t have to kill the ones that were not shooting back. Flashbang grenades quickly burst alongside the CS gas grenades. These were ancient weapons from the twentieth century. However, they were still prized for their less than lethal function.
The blasts allowed the cops to advance. They were using their weapons’ optics as facial recognition scanners. They were looking for known Dar-Shawn leaders with outstanding kill or capture warrants. Spartakov kicked down a Dar-Shawn as one of them crawled towards a dagger on the ground.
“Ensign, I need you over here now,” ordered Phillips.
Thuringer approached the officer who was handcuffing four Dar-Shawn cultists in the corner of the command center.
“What can I do for you?” Martin asked.
Phillips pointed at the four hostages while looking at Martin. He spoke as he pulled out a small card from his load-bearing armor vest.
“We need you to read them their rights as prisoners of war,” said Phillips.
Phillips handed him the card, and explained the job more, “I have to grab Andrews. He found some data on other bases in one of the terminals.”
Thuringer nodded, and slung his rifle over his shoulder. He read the inscription in English. Then he spoke to them in their native Dar-Shawn,
“You are under arrest for suspicion of terrorism towards the United Earth Government and the Partner Planets. You will be made prisoners of war. Defense counsel will be provided to you if necessary. Anything you say may be used to convict you of crimes. You will be considered detainable and a person of interest until an aquittal. Do you understand your rights?”
He then read this to them in Dar-Shawn
“Hao-bi. Bekak, suspicion ko terrorism; kao United Earth ep Partner Planets. Ou pe Oblieutti to war. Defense counsel sill I provadi….”
Andrews and Phillips returned.
“Well done, Ensign,” Phillips was beaming.
“You helped make history today. We may be able to win the war against the Dar-Shawn with the information we recovered at this base,” Andrews said this as he patted him on the back.
Phillips shouted for Spartakov.
The lieutenant returned cradling his rifle in hand.
Phillips adjusted his load-bearing vest. His large frame was being constricted by the large panels of the vest.
“Lieutenant Spartakov, is this base secure?”
Spartakov laughed. He removed his helmet and stroked his sweaty, auburn mane.
“We have only been through about a fourth of this facility. Why don’t you ask one of my men in the security station if we control the facility,” he nodded to the agents and returned to speaking with one of his sergeants about the merits of the hard and soft barriers deployed during the breach and clear operation.
Phillips contacted the squad leader at the security station.
“This is Special Agent Phillips. Please transmit security feed to my PDA.”
A minute later, Phillips cross-referenced his list of Dar-Shawn leaders to the camera feed.
Thuringer was startled to hear the outburst from Phillips. Andrews bellowed to Spartakov.
“Lieutenant, we’re going to have company! Get your men ready in defensive positions. There are about a hundred Dar-Shawn Immortals boarding a lift.”
Spartakov swore, and then addressed his platoon via his helmet communicator.
“Okay, boys and girls. We’ve got company. Re-deploy the barriers and shields. Re-position the emplaced auto cannons, and check your ammunition.”
“Sir, yes, sir,” replied a battle-hardened group of special operations capable Marines.