Chaos in the Republic! With the recent losses to the Confederacy, especially Perliama Run and the Core Worlds, the United Republic of Cyrannus is beginning to crumble under the pressure of the War. The situation is grim. The Republic needs a huge victory to reboost morale and turn the tables. Apollo has decided to turn to an unlikely ally for help...
Apollo knew he would need a quick, stealthy, and powerful strike to retaliate at the CAS. With the URC forces choked by the blockade of Perliama and decimated by the attack on the Core Worlds, Apollo contacted a neighbor who would be more than willing to help: TIAF Cyrandia.
TIAF Cyrandia, though under heavy fire from the CAS after War was declared for the Appos-2 terrorism, was still able to help.
Apollo- This is President Apollo of the URC, come in TIAF.
TIAF General McInnes- This is General McInnes, representing TIAF Cyrandia. Pleasure to make your acquaintance, President.
Apollo- Thank you for receiving my call. Now, the URC is in need of some of the TIAF's... special forces.
McInnes- Always ready to help, Apollo. How do we plan on striking the CAS then?
Apollo- We need an attack that will demoralize them enough for us to make a comeback. The target we have selected is an important CAS figure, which means they will be incredibly well-protected.
McInnes- Just taking a wild guess here... I'm guessing Senator Geldrim of Yudumarth?
McInnes- I see. So if that's the case, I have a plan.
Apollo- Well then, tell me what you know.
After some planning, Apollo and General McInnes had their battle plan ready. A TIAF Stealth Task Force Unit would penetrate Yudumarth's defensive fleet and infiltrate Yudumarth's capital buildings under the cover of night. But it would be incredibly difficult. The CAS obviously had a very powerful fleet guarding Yudumarth, and getting past it would be one of the easier parts. The CAS probably had many defenses put in place to prevent an operation like this from succeeding, and only the fact that the CAS wasn't expecting the TIAF to be involved seemed in Cyrandia's favor.
This was going to be a huge risk. Success could mean a comeback victory for the URC. Failure could incur the true wrath of the Confederacy and could surely mean the Republic's end...
General McInnes, with guidance from Captain Lorrelas, picked Stealth Task Force Unit #21. One of the best divisions of the Stealth Special Forces, Unit #21 was convieniently stationed in TIAF Cyrandia. After a briefing by General McInnes, Unit #21, led by Colonel Ken Salgada, began preparations for the mission.
Colonel Salgada - This will undoubtedly be one of the most dangerous and important missions we will face, boys. I hope you're ready for it.
Major Jimmy Gialdra - Confederate bastards won't know what hit 'em. *cocks gun*
Salgada - We can't go charging in guns blazing, Jimmy. We are a stealth unit, we will take 'em out stealthily.
Private Raymond Pesti - What you got in mind, Gada?
Salgada laid out his plan. Hidden from sight via Shadow Drives and cloaked through EM Scrubbers (block all forms of EM detection), the task force's dropship would bypass the space blockade guarding Yudumarth. They would use a special TIAF Chameleon-class Frigate to camoflauge with the other CAS ships that could be present.
Upon arrival, the task force would have to silently disable any automated security measures and eliminate sentries before they could alert the rest of the Yudumarthian defenses. They would infiltrate the inner sanctum of Geldrim's palace, where intelligence had confirmed that he would be for the forseeable future. Heavy troopers would cover their flanks, while the main strike team, armed with intermediate blasters and weapons, would need to overpower any of Geldrim's guards and take Geldrim, alive or dead (preferably dead). Any other witnesses would have to be taken prisoner.
Then they would have to escape alive. They would need to dodge Yudumarthian forces, which would have likely responded to the attack by then, and make it back to their extraction point, without compromising their escape route.
Colonel Salgada spoke to his men before they departed on the frigate.
Salgada - This mission will undoubtedly put you in the most danger you've ever had in this lifetime. You were all chosen because you have the bravery and experience to succeed. Now, if anyone of you feel they are inadequate for duty on this mission, they are welcome to step back from the frigate.
Salgada - Well then, it's time to show those Confederate bastards who really dominates around here!
The strike team cheered and began boarding. The Colonel observed his team as they began preparing for liftoff and had a nervous smile.
Can we really pull this off?, he thought.
Sneaking through the BlockadeEdit
It had taken a few hours to travel to Yudumarth. As the Cyrannus-Quadrant Wormhole came in sight, the team began preparing for the first stage of the mission.
Salgada - All engines, full power! Wormhole key, on! Go!
Gialdra - All systems online, Gada. Time to go chameleon?
Salgada - You got it, Jimmy. Chameleon Drive, go!
The Chameleon frigate began to morph its appearance into a CAS frigate, casting an illusion that would be able to fool even the best camoflauge detectors. They passed through the wormhole and soon Yudumarth came into view.
Gialdra - Ha! Now we're home free, boys!
Salgada - I wouldn't speak so soon, Jimmy...
A large CAS destroyer blocked the path, likely for a security check.
Yudumarthian Captain - Unidentified vessel. State your purpose for entering this protected zone.
Gialdra - *whispering* Sh*t, does anyone know Yudumarthian?
Yudumarthian - We will not wait forever. Answer now or be taken into our custody!
Colonel Lily Alatorre - *whispering* Allow me. *in Yudumarthian* We are a civilian vessel, we are only here on a sightseeing trip and wish only to see Yudumarth's true beauty before War scars it further.
Yudumarthian - Very well. We will escort you through the blockade.
The CAS craft released a convoy of fighters, which surrounded the ship and encouraged it forWard. They had successfully found a way into Yudumarth.
Salgada - Impressive, Lily. Since when did you learn Yudumarthian?
Alatorre - If I was being deployed to the Cyrannus front, that's something I'd want to know.
Gialdra - Awesome! Can you say anything else in Yudumarthian?
Alatorre - *in Yudumarthian* You are a complete idiot, my friend.
Gialdra - Hmm. If only I had an English-Yudumarthian translation book...
As the fighters reached the inner limit of the blockade, they fell back and welcomed the team to Yudumarth.
Salgada - Welcome, indeed, my friends, to Yudumarth.
They landed the craft into the spaceport of Yudumarth City, where night had fallen and the port was empty. There were a few Yudumarthian soldiers on security patrol, and they noticed the ship landing. The team saw the soldiers coming, and they knew they'd have to disable them silently.
Salgada - Hmm... We can't take them out with our guns, or they'll know we're here...
Pesti - But if they sound the alarm, it's all over...
Alatorre - I think I might have an idea...
The soldiers reached the ship and were trying to figure out who was inside.
Yudumarthian 1 - Hey! Anyone in there?
Yudumarthian 2 - There's no landing here in the middle of the night, if there's no one in there, we're gonna have to tow this thing!
Yudumarthian 3 - And none of us want that!
Alatorre - *in Yudumarthian* Hey, there's something wrong with my navigation system, would you guys mind coming in and helping?
Yudumarthian 3 - Oh, hey, it's a chick! Hehe...
Yudumarthian 2 - *whacks Yudumarthian 3* Shut up, you fool! Haven't you forgotten what the Admiral said about this?
Yudumarthian 3 - ...Sorry...
Meanwhile, Salgada and Pesti were waiting next to the entry hatch, waiting for the right moment. The door began to creak open, and their chance was coming...
Yudumarthian 1 - Alright, who's in here?
Salgada - *strikes Yudumarthian 1 down* Here I am, b*tch!
Yudumarthian 2 - Oh, what the hell? The TIAF?! *gets knocked out by Pesti*
Pesti - F*** yeah, boy!
Yudumarthian 3 - *running toWards spaceport* Sh*tsh*tsh*tsh*t-
Gialdra - Hey, how's it going, buddy?
Yudumarthian 3 - Oh, not so good, my ex took my stuff, now these guys are trying to kill me- Wait. You're one of those guys, aren't you?
Gialdra - Yessir. *knocks out Yudumarthian 3*
The three soldiers were dragged into the ship and were to be monitored by the ship's pilot to make sure they didn't escape.
The strike team was in. They had at least made it past the first obstacle, but how will they fare on the next steps?
All was quiet on the exterior of the great Yudumarth City. Only the faint chatter of Yudumarthians in the sentry towers was audible. The strike team was scouting the area out from the roof of the spaceport.
Salgada - Hmm, they've got light towers guarding every entrance. We need to take down the eastern towers, that's the closest entrance, and that's the way we're going in.
Gialdra - It's a good thing I brought this! *pulls out a sniper rifle*
Pesti - We all have sniper rifles, Jimmy.
Gialdra - ...Aw.
The team set up their sniper rifles and took aim at the guards operating the eastern light towers. The guards collapsed instantly as they were hit, and luckily did not fall onto the ground, keeping their deaths as silent as possible. The strike team left behind two soldiers at the spaceport to provide cover fire if they were compromised, and hurried over to the eastern side of the city, dodging the lights as they went.
After the light towers, the team soon found themselves facing a barrier wall, with guards wandering about on the top. They found a hiding spot in a grove by the city and assessed the threat.
Alatorre - Damnit, there's too many guards. If we make a run in the open, they'll gun us down.
Salgada - We need a distraction... Something to keep them busy long enough to get us through.
Gialdra - Well, if we were to build a giant wooden badger...
Salgada - Just because it solved one conflict, doesn't mean it will solve this one.
Gialdra - But think about how awesome that would be!
Alatorre - Jimmy... Shut up. Now, I think our only choice will have to gun 'em down with the snipers, but if it doesn't go according to plan, it could compromise our escape...
Salgada - It's the only thing that'll work right now. We'll let our snipers do their work, then we get in during the confusion.
Salgada radioed the snipers on the spaceport, and gave them the plan. The snipers proceeded to take their aim. The team watched as two guards were knocked over from the wall in a well-placed strike. The Yudumarthians on the eastern wall responded by attending to the fallen guards and assessing the spaceport, according to plan. While the guards checked the spaceport, the team stationed at the spaceport assumed hiding places while the rest of the team slipped past the barrier and into the streets of Yudumarth City.
The streets of the city were quiet, illuminated only by a few dim streetlamps that obviously hadn't been repaired since the CAS occupation. No citizens were out either, probably due to a curfew imposed by the CAS. This was all working in favor of the strike team, with no light to make them visible and no citizens awake and on the streets to discover them. Soon, the team found themselves staring up the magnificent palace in the center of the city. Inside was their target: Senator Geldrim.
The Palace of the SenatorEdit
As planned, the heavy troopers were left to flank the team from the entrance gate. The team deactivated the code lock on the palace gate, and began their advance. The first area would be the garden in the front of the palace, where many security measures could be hidden.
Salgada - Be careful, team. We don't know what's in here.
Pesti - There might be laser security. I'll see how much light we can bend with a gas canister.
Pesti unlocked a fog canister, a handheld device designed exactly for rooting out security like this. As he rolled it across the most direct path to the front door of the main building, many laser beams were shown criss-crossing the route.
Gialdra - Geldrim sure has a lot of security for such a dirt-poor race like the Yudumarthians.
Salgada - Damnit, we're gonna have to find another way around.
Alatorre - Grappling onto the roof will probably create too much noise, and we won't be able to deactivate the frontline defense without getting inside first...
Gialdra - Or maybe... We don't have to get in at all to shut them down.
The rest of the team seemed confused at what Gialdra was suggesting.
Gialdra - These things have to be powered by something, right? Well, if we can cut it off, then it's down!
Salgada - ...Jimmy has a point.
Alatorre - They probably have something to protect against that. We'd have to completely shut off power to the entire palace if we are gonna avoid a trip wire in the laser system.
Salgada - Our priority is getting in there. We can worry about the consequences later.
After some careful scouting along the perimeter, a soldier found a generator box that fed into the front sector of the palace. Luckily, it had probably been written off as unimportant, and had no safeguards placed on it. The switch was pulled and the entire front side of the palace went dark. The lasers blinked for a little bit but eventually deactivated without a proper source of power.
The inside of the entrance hall was now completely dark, but it didn't matter since they had brought night-vision goggles. They were inside the palace, and were safe from all electronic security on their way in. However, they know it won't be downhill from here, and who knows what awaits them on the rest on the mission?
Yudumarth, We Might Have a Problem...Edit
Yudumarthian Patrol - Status report, soldier.
Yudumarthian Patrol 2 - Yes, sir. Two of our patrollers on the eastern barrier were shot in the leg, but there were no deaths. The source of the bullets that caused the incident has yet to be determined, but all evidence points to an enemy that has infiltrated the spaceport.
Yudumarthian Patrol - Impossible. No one could have penetrated the blockade. Have you found the enemy in the spaceport?
Yudumarthian Patrol 2 - No, sir.
As this conversation was happening, the power had been cut off to the front side of Geldrim's palace. The patroller noticed.
Yudumarthian Patrol - GODDAMNIT, SOLDIER, YOU LET AN ENEMY SLIP THROUGH!
As the patroller kicked the second patroller off the barrier wall, the patroller watched the palace carefully.
Yudumarthian Patrol - They may have entered this city, but I'll make sure they never come out...
Challenges Before The ReWardEdit
The team was leaving the darkened zone of the palace and were approaching a brightly lit room that contrasted the dark hallways greatly. The team took off their night-vision goggles, and assessed the area ahead of them.
Pesti - Looks like the central atrium of the palace.
Salgada - They've probably got eyes all over this place. We either need to find a way around or shut down their surveillance equipment.
Gialdra - *cocks gun* Can I use this thing yet?
Salgada - Jimmy, if you do that, we'll get sWarmed. There must be some security center around here.
Alatorre - But then how do we get there without getting seen?
Salgada - Easy. *jumps up and rips a air duct vent open* The old-fashioned way.
The team climbed through the air ducts, using a floor plan of the palace to make their way to the security center. Below were five Yudumarthians staring at the camera feeds with a very exhausted look in their faces.
Salgada - Alright, when I say so, we jump down and take these guys out quietly. They look too tired to put up any worthy resistance.
The team jumped out of the air vent and tackled three of the officers immediately. The other two responded slowly and were quickly subdued with the butt of the teams' guns. Pesti hacked into the computer systems and shut off the camera systems. As the team crawled back through the air vents, they heard soldiers in the corridors below.
Gialdra - Sure glad that these things aren't outdated enough to be obsolete.
Salgada - I guess Geldrim never thought to do something about these vents. Good thing, though.
As the team reemerged in front of the atrium, they moved quickly through the room, following a clearly-marked sign that led them down the path to Geldrim's office. More guards were waiting at the elevator that would take them to Geldrim. They were too numerous to take out stealthily.
Salgada - Crap. And I was hoping to get through this entire mission without getting exposed.
Alatorre - And it's the only way up... It doesn't matter whether we shoot them now or not, we're almost there.
Salgada - Yeah, you're right. Geldrim will be right after this hurdle, might as well kill them before they do something else to deter us.
Gialdra - *pulls out gun* YES! FINALLY!
The team burst from the shade and began firing at the guard squadron at the elevator. The guards were surprised and were frantically trying to pull out their guns while their teammates were being shot down.
Yudumarthian - Crapcrapcrap I was hoping to finish my shift today alive!
Yudumarthian 2 - This wasn't what I signed up for!
Yudumarthian - I know, right? We should totally form a union- *gets shot* AHHHHHHHHH
Yudumarthian 2 - NO! DAVE! *turns to the source of the gunfire* You bastards- *gets shot*
In a few minutes, the corridor was painted red from the bloodshed. Of the few guards who had survived, they surrendered easily and agreed to stay silent about it until the job was done. Only two of the members of the 25-man strike team were unable to continue. As the team boarded the elevator, they began having thoughts about the upcoming assassination of Geldrim. Would it be incredibly easy? Or did Geldrim have more tricks up his sleeve? And would they return alive?
The Final StruggleEdit
As the team waited for the elevator to reach the top of the palace, where Geldrim awaited, everyone was anxious in anticipation of the battle ahead. The team was mostly silent, while Jimmy was humming along to the elevator music.
Gialdra - Huh, I didn't think the Yudumarthians listened to the Intergalactic Band.
Elevator - Ding! Floor 42, Senator Geldrim's offices. Have a nice day.
Salgada - Alright, guys. This is it. The final struggle! Are you ready?
The team nodded in agreement, and exited the elevator as its doors opened. Geldrim's lobby was well decorated, in stark comparison to the floors below which obviously had not been remodeled since at least the CAS occupation of Yudumarth. The lobby was dim, and the team moved slowly and silently. However, they knew they wouldn't be alone.
Salgada - Stop. I hear footsteps.
A bright light, probably from a flashlight, came wandering down the hall. It was a Yudumarthian guard. There were no hiding places for the team in the lobby. They'd have to take him head-on and take him out quickly.
Yudumarthian Guard - *whistles a Kekta and Hekta song, while looking around* Ah, it's a good thing no one's found out I sing along to Kekta and Hekta...
Alatorre - *positions herself behind him* Well, we do now. *raises her weapon*
Yudumarthian Guard - *turns around* Wait, WHAT?! *gets knocked out*
The team dragged the guard behind a small desk in the lobby and decided to leave him there. The team proceeded into the next hallway, where rushed footsteps were heard coming for them. Two Yudumarthian guards suddenly appeared, likely responding to the commotion in the lobby, and discovered the team.
Yudumarthian Guard 2 - *shines flashlight at team* Stop, thou loggerheaded impudent embossed rascals!
Yudumarthian Guard 3 - *readies gun* Yeah, what he said!
Salgada - You guys don't give up, don't you?
Pesti - You're outnumbered, guards. Expect poor odds in your favor.
Yudumarthian Guard 3 - TIAF guy has a point...
Yudumarthian Guard 2 - Nein! *slaps Yudumarthian 3* Thou knowst what thou signed up for, thou fights til' thy bitter end!
Yudumarthian Guard 3 - Listen, just because you have a major in Old English...
The team interrupted the guard's feud with gunshots, incapacitating the two.
Alatorre - Now listen, you two. We don't want anymore trouble. Now keep "thou loggerheaded impudent embossed" mouths shut, and we won't hurt you anymore, okay?
Yudumarthian Guard 3 - HEY! THAT'S MY LINE!
Alatorre - *knocks Guard 3 out with butt of gun* Silent, you hear?
Yudumarthian Guard 2 - *nods in approval*
The team heard a lot more guards quickly approaching. The team couldn't afford to have anymore confrontations.
Salgada - Spodedamnit! There's gotta be a way out.
Alatorre - I can see some doors around here. If we dodge into one, we can get around them.
Gialdra - Okay... *begins pointing at random doors* Eenie, meenie, minie, YOU. *points at a door*
Salgada - Alright, let's move!
The team ran through the doorway, as they heard a stampede of soldiers run by. The team looked around, and noticed something special about the room. It was even more regal than the rooms outside. A fitting living area for a Yudumarthian ruler.
Made all the more obvious by the sound of a Yudumarthian snoring in bed.
Salgada - Of all the rooms we could have ended up in... We end up in Geldrim's quarters! Amazing!
Alatorre - Let's get rid of him. Now, while we still have time.
Salgada readied his blade, and approached the defenseless Geldrim. As Salgada raised his sword, Geldrim's eyes suddenly opened wide! Geldrim literally jumped out of bed and managed to strike Salgada down with one swift motion. In the confusion Geldrim grabbed his own weapons, and stood ready to take on the team.
Geldrim - Ah, the TIAF. What a pleasant surprise! You were quite clever indeed outsmarting every security measure I had, but it will be all for naught. For now you will die at my hands! The predator has become the prey!
Alatorre - We'll see about that!
Gialdra - Dust this b*tch! *aims gun at Geldrim*
As shots rang out from the guns of the team, a large cloud of smoke surrounded Geldrim as the bullets supposedly hit him. But as the smoke cleared, Geldrim was unharmed, blocking the shots with his shield.
Geldrim - Ha! That made me laugh. My turn!
Geldrim flew at the team, and the team readied their defenses. Geldrim jumped over the soldiers and drop-kicked one into a wall. As the team turned around to face Geldrim, five more soldiers were kicked out of the window to the ramparts below.
Gialdra - Damn...
Salgada - Let's go melee on this guy! ATTACK!
A swordfight ensued, with the TIAF team suffering losses from Geldrim's battle mastery. However, by dumb luck, Geldrim soon found himself in a compromising position, and was tackled to the ground by Salgada.
Geldrim - Very good, soldier, I am impressed! But if you kill me now, let it be known that my legacy will continue! The Republic and the Federation will bow to the might of the Confederacy, and there is not a thing you can do about it! Kill me, and let a thousand flowers bloom -- to explain the metaphor, the flowers are bombs, bursting over your cities! That is the destiny of your kind, you cannot evade it!
Salgada - Screw destiny!
And with that, Salgada stabbed Geldrim in the heart. Geldrim began screaming in pain, though seemed maliciously happy throughout it all. Finally, within a few minutes, he was silenced. The Senator was dead.
The Senator's LegacyEdit
Gialdra - Phew. Good thing that's over with.
Yudumarthian - *banging on door* Senator! Are you in there? We have an intruder in the vicinity that is here on malicious causes! Answer me, Senator!
Salgada - Alright. Time to get out of here, guys!
The team barricaded the door to the hallway. Their escape would be to jump out of the balcony window and parachute safely to the ground. But as the team was ready to make their escape, another figure approached them. It was Strua, Geldrim's daughter.
Strua - Father? Is that you?
Pesti - *whispering to Salgada* Sh*t, dude. We can't have any witnesses. How are we gonna take care of this?
Salgada - *to Pesti* The only way we can. We'll have to take her with us.
Strua - *notices the team* Hey! What are you doing here? Only the most important Yudumarthians are allowed in these quarters!
Salgada - Come along, kid. Your dad's gone. You're coming with us.
Strua - I refuse to be with mere peasants such as yourself!
Gialdra - You've got a big mouth for such a little kid...
Salgada - Alright, let me put it this way. Your dad's gone to Disneyland in Space and won't be coming back for a while. He asked us to take care of you while he's gone, alright?
Strua - Hmm... I guess then it's all right if father gave you permission...
Salgada - Great. *grabs Strua* Let's get out of here.
The team jumped out of the window just as soon as the Yudumarthian guards had busted down the door. As they touched down safely outside the barrier wall of the palace, Salgada radioed to any soldier still in the palace to evacuate immediately. As the last soldiers filed out of the building, the sun was beginning to dawn on the city, and it was not long until a Warning siren was blaring from the palace.
Salgada - Looks like we've got our work cut out for us on our way out...
The Great EscapeEdit
With Strua riding on his back, Salgada led the team on the escape route. He knew it wouldn't be easy, now that the city knew of their presence. They had made good headway through the city, but encountered their first hurdle on the way out while passing some tall buildings.
Salgada - Three heavy machine gunners on the roofs! Take cover!
The team dodged behind an alleyway as a rain of bullets marked a line in the ground.
Alatorre - There's no way we're running around these guys. If we let them have the chance, we are gonna get mowed for sure.
Pesti - But are we fast enough to take them out before they fire?
Gialdra - This is why I bring this along! *pulls out a Torrent rapid-fire gatling gun*
Alatorre - You never run out of big guns, do you, Jimmy?
Salgada - Alright, when I give the signal, we're gonna run out there and beat those gunners down like its our job, got it?
Salgada waited a few moments and signaled them out into the streets again. They came out shooting and downed the three rooftop gunners before the gunners even put their hands on the triggers. As they rushed through the streets once again, another problem quickly manifested...
Salgada - Heavy gunner, 6'o clock!
The team jumped into another alleyway, out of harm's way. Except Private Pesti. As he turned back to look at the gunner approaching, he couldn't get in to the hiding spot in time. The team could only watch as he fell to the ground in the face of the stream of bullets.
Alatorre - NO! Raymond!
Salgada - He has died with honor.
Gialdra - He was my friend... I WILL AVENGE HIM! *runs out into the street*
Salgada - Jimmy! What the hell are you doing?!
Jimmy stared down the gunner across the stretch of road. Both of them reached for their guns, but Jimmy was quicker. Gialdra marked some well-placed shots all over the Yudumarthian gunner's body.
Alatorre - I wasn't aWare you had such a big rage, either, Jimmy.
Gialdra - Eh, it's nothing.
The team managed to find the eastern city gates, where the TIAF heavy troopers were taking care of the Yudumarthian barrier guards quite nicely. With no clear obstacle left on their route, the team began making their way up the hill to the spaceport.
Suddenly, a gunshot rang out and Gialdra fell to the ground. The team turned around to assess the incoming threat. It was a slightly overweight Yudumarthian with a double-barrel shotgun.
Yudumarthian - Ha! That's the last time you defile our city and get away with it!
Alatorre - And who the hell do you think you are?
Yudumarthian - Why, I am the most well-liked citizen of Yudumarth! I am S'rine Dromanda, at your service!
Alatorre - Hmm. I didn't know they were accepting obese shopkeepers in the Yudumarthian military now.
S'rine - SHUT UP! *takes a shot at Alatorre and misses terribly* Besides, whatever happened to volunteering for your country?
Salgada - Obese shopkeeper or not, what makes you think you have us cornered?
S'rine - Well, see, either way, your little friend here will die. You can leave now and live with the moral ambiguity of abandoning a comrade, or try to take me on and live with the guilt of causing his death. Take your pick.
Alatorre - How about Option 3. Neither.
With that, Alatorre shot the arm S'rine was using to hold his gun. As he winced in pain and dropped the gun, Salgada rushed him and tackled the merchant, effectively knocking him out. Salgada and Alatorre dragged Jimmy up the hill while the rest of the team provided cover fire on the advancing Yudumarthian line.
S'rine - *regaining consciousness* You won't get away with this! Let a thousand flowers bloom-
Salgada - I've heard this metaphor before. Unimpressive. *shoots S'rine's other arm*
S'rine - AGH! MY ARM! WHY IS IT ALWAYS THE ARMS?!
Barring the spaceport airfield from ground access, the team filed into the Chameleon frigate while the Yudumarthian soldiers began piling up against the makeshift barricade. The ship took off and approached the blockade again, receiving safe passage again under the cover of a tourist convoy.
As the pilot charted a course for the Cyrannus-Quadrant Wormhole, the team was mostly silent. They were battered and bruised; the time for celebration would come later. For now, they were mourning their fallen comrades and licking their wounds.
Strua - Where are you taking me? Are we going to Space Disneyland to meet my father?
Salgada could only smile at the innocence of the young Yudumarthian princess. It was a good thing she was too young to understand, it would have left a traumatizing imprint on her life. Salgada was content but worried. He wondered what the fate of Princess Strua would be, and how the CAS would react to this event.
But the deed had been done. Geldrim had been eliminated, and his only heir removed from power as well. Yudumarth would become a weak link in the Confederacy, but only time would tell its effects...