Oksana’s supply room turned out to have more supplies than they ever could have hoped. It was safe to say that food and water were no longer a concern to the Marines. As for the staff of the research station, Gibson and Terry were tied up and locked in a room with sentries at the door. Erikson died of his stab wounds, which didn’t bring a tear to anyone’s eye. The scientists had suffered a number of losses due to the androids and the xenomorphs, but a handful were still alive.
The next day, the rest of the convoy arrived. The buggy rolled into the clearing first, followed by an APC with two yellow power-loaders strapped onto the roof. Finally, the tank rolled into the clearing, crushing trees and brush that stood in its way. Men and women clung to the tops of these vehicles as well as a few stragglers on foot. The other APC had gone down in a bog and sunk so fast that even the tank couldn’t tow it out in time. The overcrowded wounded had suffered severely, most had either recovered or died in the tremendous heat of the jungle. Among the dead was Sergeant Mark Cano; the Devil Dawgs sniper had finally succumbed to the stroke-induced coma he had suffered in the landing.
Over the following two weeks, life became much easier for the survivors of the wreck of the Shiloh. The research base was air-conditioned and it possessed many basic amenities they had been lacking for so long. The men and women cleaned weeks of mud and sweat off them and ate until they were almost full. Guard duty was very light, considering they were now over-staffed for the current situation. The research base was designed in a way that protected it from almost anything that existed in Capua’s environment. The vehicles couldn’t get inside and they had to be guarded, but nothing serious threatened them again.
Mark Giosso spent many hours a day breaking down the numerous defenses in the building’s hard drives. The information he uncovered and decoded was provided to the leaders as they planned ahead. As far as they could tell, this base belonged to some corporation, most likely the Chinese corporation “Jingti-Long.” It seemed likely that the crash of the Shiloh was an intentional strike by Jingti-Long to kill the Devil Dawgs before they could reach Earth and debrief the Corps on their previous mission.
More importantly to their immediate succor and survival, they discovered a much better transmitter in the research base. The transmitter was only capable of communicating directly with one source, no doubt Gibson’s bosses, and it seemed like a bad idea to contact them when the Marines were in a compromised position. However, Giosso used the transmitter to scan the planets surface and uncovered a game-changer. It seemed that during the Shiloh’s entry into Capua’s atmosphere, the ship’s computer had jettisoned the contents of the ship’s hangar in an attempt to save them from total destruction. Among the contents was the USS Heimlich, which now lay half-submerged in the swamp but evidently capable of space travel. The durability of the spec-ops vessel truly proved its worth now. Another ship was found in the same way, a small Cutter.
The Marines and sailors sent expeditions into the jungle to repair and rescue the Heimlich and the Shiloh’s Cutter. Both ships were rescued and returned to the research base with no casualties. The next day was spent stripping the research base for anything usable and loading and supplying these two ships. They had finally found an escape from Capua, something most of them had despaired of long since.
268 souls were aboard the USS Shiloh when she was struck by the merchant vessel. Now only 57 remained to leave the planet alive.
The Second Devil Dawgs Campaign.
1 post • Page 1 of 1