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Short Story: The Epirus Mission Part IV – The Finale

As we got closer to the large group of bio-chip signals we made contact with more groups of aliens, but managed to take care of them. Finally we reached the area of the complex the signals were coming from. Again it was an area that had been transformed, the Nest as Roland had put it, and again it was empty of colonists. Instead we found a room with three large eggs. As we approached them they suddenly opened and serpent like creatures emerged. We managed to kill two of them instantly but the third attacked Barnes. It sprang at him, wrapped itself around his head and forced its way down his throat. Barnes slumped down onto the floor and seemed to lose consciousness. We didn’t have time to check on him before we were attacked by another group, attracted most likely by our gunfire. This time they came from out of the transformed walls. Suddenly another group entered the room. We were surrounded but managed to kill half of them within seconds using grenades and our pulse-rifles. Unfortunately Cross was knocked to the floor by one of the aliens and badly wounded by a bite to one of her arms. Then something unexpected happened – two aliens carried Cross and Barnes away into another room whilst we were busy firing at the group coming through the walls. We couldn’t just leave them so after we had killed our attackers we rushed after them into the new room.

The room we entered was a nightmarish sight. Barnes and Cross had been dumped in one corner. We saw around fifteen or twenty survivors hanging from the walls, cocooned in the organic material – we couldn’t be sure if they were alive or dead. There were around thirty eggs scattered around the place and at the far end of the room a giant alien was busy laying eggs. The Queen – she must have been four meters tall and was attached to some kind of egg sack. She possessed similar features to the aliens we had met before but seemed physically far more of a threat. Very nearby her were six bigger looking regular aliens. Some of the eggs were very close by so I gave the order to open fire and lit the place up.

We used flame throwers and grenade launchers for maximum damage. As soon as we had opened fire and destroyed most of the eggs more aliens showed up and charged us along with the six larger aliens. Some of the remaining intact eggs also started to hatch.  The Queen, clearly aware of our presence and destructive firepower, detached herself from her egg sack and started to approach us. We now had multiple targets so I gave the order to fire at will. One of the serpent like aliens attacked Simpson but he managed to wrestle it to the ground and shot it at point blank range, killing it and spraying more acid blood. There were now nine or ten aliens in the room plus the Queen. We hit the Queen with a grenade but it only managed to slow her advance towards us. She was about four meters away when her huge tail swung around and stabbed Sugden in the chest, killing her instantly. She was lifted off the ground and thrown across the room like a rag-doll. Corporal Alexander now had a clear shot and hit the Queen with a second grenade. This brought her down, shrieking in agony. Alexander had killed the Queen but her dying screams echoed around the large room. I decided to order the squads to pull back and head back to the nearest APC. There was nothing we could do for Cross, Barnes or the colonists – there were just too many aliens that were now coming out of the walls all around us as if the Queen’s death cries had summoned them. We slowly backed out of the room with Persson laying down covering fire. We were out and heading down the nearest staircase when we lost Persson. He’d fallen slightly behind trying to hold back the horde but there were just too many of them. He was surrounded by four aliens when we finally lost sight of him. He sacrificed himself to give us some more time to get away. Now there were only five of us – myself, Private Galligo, Alexander who was badly wounded, Simpson and Rook.

We were half way back and being pursued by countless aliens when we first blew up a door we had just ran through to buy us some more time. It was Galligo’s idea and it worked, holding back our pursuers for about two full minutes whilst they were busy ramming the door open with their bodies. In the time we gained we managed to set up one of the stationary guns and programmed it to shoot at anything that came through the door. We’d just left the room when the aliens managed to open the damaged door and the gun starting firing. We kept going with Galligo in the rear covering our backs. It was a good thing she was there as some aliens kept coming. The gun was working overtime but there were just too many of them and some managed to get by. Galligo fired a few shots from her grenade launcher to try to slow them down. Later on she also blew up another door but it wasn’t as effective and only held back the aliens for about half a minute. We finally made it back to where the APC was with Galligo still in the rear and Rook now carrying Alexander. Simpson and I were out of ammunition. The last shot fired ensured our safety. Again, it was Galligo with her grenade launcher and with that last shot she killed five aliens. The others were much further behind and we managed to get into the APC. Rook drove us out of there whilst I called for the drop-ship.

If it hadn’t been for Persson’s sacrifice and Galligo’s good aim we would never have made it. We had lost six of our comrades plus Johannson but saved eight colonists from certain gruesome deaths. Roland was evidence of the fate we had rescued them from. On board the Delphi we patched Alexander up, repaired Rook’s damage and plotted a course back to Prema


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