Q22

Moon Dig

After successfully removing the squatters and gaining full control over the abandoned factory, the admiral had a less glamorous job for the Sumo. One of the admiral’s pet projects was a dig site inside an old Alpha base on the moon that had been blasted shut after the death of their CEO and the events of the “missile swarm.” With manpower available to the military so low, and the project being not an official priority of the military, the admiral was forced to hire the Sumo’s crew to help dig out the tunnels.

A Lt. Brooke Darnell was in command of the dig site and had been at it for months. Her small crew of 11 was suffering from poor morale due to the poor conditions of the base, resulting in the mining crew spending most of their time maintaining the base rather than digging. With the engineers from the Sumo tackling the base’s systems, the military crew was to able focus on digging and after a few weeks finally reached the bottom of the collapsed shaft.

Exploring the bottom of the shaft, two large doors were found. One door led to a tunnel leading to a network of offices, workshops, and small labs, while the other door led to the main lab complex. Inside the main lab was a circular chamber with what looked like one of the alien pods Alpha had retrieved from the Kuiper Belt object years ago. The room was in disarray with all electronics fried, including a large demolition charge placed inside the bottom of the pod. Manny disarmed the explosives and deemed the room safe for further study. After reporting the situation to the military, a ship was finally dispatched to give the base and its pod more attention and security.

Unfortunately the military was not the only force responding to the news of the discovered pod and labs. Two civilian ships in orbit of the moon had recently changed course and were heading towards the base, as was an unknown moon truck via the surface. Everyone at the dig site quickly began to prepare for the worst, setting up defenses and traps while anxiously waiting for news from orbit.

The civilian ships, cargo haulers out of the Free Colonies, were filled with advanced missiles and drones and engaged the military ship as well as taking some pot shots at the Sumo, which was luckily at the edge of the engagement. The advanced weapons of the civilian ships made short work of the military ship, showing that technology that was top of the line only a year ago had been made obsolete. Worse still, the ships had launched landers to assault the dig site.

At the dig site the military attempted to fire their old portable launchers at the incoming landers, but the point defense guns had no problem shooting down the missiles. Fire from the landers forced everyone to fall back inside the dome of the base and await the next phase of the attack. Communications and all external observation were quickly cut by the attackers. The dig site was told to deliver the pod within 10 minutes or they would storm the base. Both the Lt. Darnell and Captain Ron agreed that the pod can’t fall into the wrong hands, and they’d go down defending it. The 10 minutes was instead used to rig up explosives on the pod and the tunnel leading to it, as well as moving supplies to the office complex to use as a last resort fall back position. The attackers most likely had overwhelming force, but they did not have time on their side as within hours military reinforcements would arrive.

The assault advanced faster than predicted, all traps and resistance were brushed aside forcing everyone to scramble to the fall back position. With the bucket only holding a few people, many of the soldiers resorted to jumping down the shaft, hoping the low gravity and grabbing the walls on the way down would make their fall survivable. In the end 8 of the 12 soldiers and all of the Sumo’s crew made it to the fall back position, with the soldiers reporting brief glimpses of combat robots but otherwise no good visuals on the attackers.

With the explosives successfully detonated the attackers were denied their prize, and they quickly left before the military reinforcements could arrive. They did though leave behind an assortment of hunter-killer drones as a parting gift. Everyone hole up in the office complex had to remain so until the military reinforcements arrived and cleared the base out.

The two “civilian” ships made it back to the Free Colonies, who delayed cooperating with US authorities just long enough to loose track of the ship’s crews after docking, but promised to follow up on any leads relating to the identity of these terrible unsanctioned and quite illegal mercenaries.

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