"Does anybody feel like they have a psyclone stuck to their head?" Matt asked.
"No." Billy said. "My head is floating, I have double vision, and there is a buzzing in my ears like from an Alien Assault ship."
"I donít know what you are complaining about." Chris said. "I was promoted to tactical officer and they put this Opt-Tact sensor in my left eye." He said as he rubbed his forehead and felt the metallic implant." The damn thing keeps bringing up multiple readouts and it is giving me a headache."
The six men wee finished with the neural surgery. The cyber-jack was inserted at the base of the skull and connected to the brainstem and spinal cord. The Optical -Tactical sensor was a device that keeps track of everything in battle, showing all relevant information for the security officer so that his commander would not be overwhelmed with data. It projects an image directly into the retina of the user to help coordinate the battle. It also had a limited holo-projector, a bio-sensor, and a library of information of any topic.
Daniel and Adam walked into the room, followed by Pierre. Doctor Yamato came after them.
"Now that you all have the jacks, it is time to introduce you to the weapons." Yamato said. "Follow me."
All six troopers followed Yamato to the grav-lift. Yamato said "Hanger level 3." They ascended for nearly two minutes.
"How big is this base?" Pierre asked, but got no response.
The lift deposited them in a long hallway. Walking along the hallway, they passed open doors to rooms full of equipment. Passing them, they noticed crude cryo-units. Inside the frost-rimmed coffins, they saw aliens.
"What the hell?" Daniel said looking at the units.
Yamato noticed what Daniel was looking at. "We have kept every captured alien in cold storage." He said.
"Every alien." Daniel repeated.
"Yes." Yamato said. "All three wars." He continued on.
They looked in every room, Yamato ignoring them. They saw at least a dozen different aliens. One thing was absent and Chris realized it.
"What about the Gillman?" Chris said.
"They were declared free." Yamato stated. "Since they lived in Earth's oceans, they were left alone. Gillman haven't been seen since shortly before the third war started."
They continued walking. They entered a large room full of crates and looked around.
"Hey, a football." Matt said, grabbing a foot long silvery object. "Billy, go long."
Billy ran backwards and Matt snapped the ball to him. He got it and threw it back. Billy and Matt tossed the object several time when Yamato yelled, "PUT THAT DOWN."
Matt fumbled the object when he caught it, almost dropping it. Yamato grabbed the thing from Matt and put it back.
"That was a Blaster Bomb." Yamato said, furious. "You could have destroyed the whole Armory."
The six men looked around and finally saw the weapons. Plasma weapons to the right and sonic weapons to the left. Along the walls were suits of Power, Flying, Ion and Magnetic Ion amour hung near their respective weapons.
Alex whistled and said, "You guys keep everything."
Yamato ignored the comment and continued towards the exit. Near the exit, they found weapons that were familiar to them.
"Come to papa." Matt said as he picked up a Devastator cannon.
"Those have not functioned since you were frozen." Yamato said, continuing to walk out the door.
Matt put the weapon back with a dejected look and followed the rest out the door. The hallway continued for several hundred feet before it stopped.
"Holy Shit!" Pierre exclaimed.
They were standing in a huge cavern that was six square kilometers and a half-kilometer tall. Machines of all kinds were kept in there.
"Damn, this place is a museum." Daniel said.
Scattered about were hundreds of aircraft. Firestorms, Lighting transports, and Avengers clustered near the huge hanger doors. Hammerheads, Mantas and Leviathan subs were near the back. In one corner was a dozen dimension craft. What looked like a pair of Valkyrie fighters ready for take off where moving towards the doors.
"Hurry up." Yamato said from a small car.
The car started up and took them towards the hangar doors. It weaved between the ancient ships and drove for five minutes before stopping next to a man with his upper body in a strange looking fighter.
"Senior Technician Hayes." Yamato called to the man.
The man ignored him until he pulled his body out of the craft. Jotting down a couple of notes into a computer log, he looked up.
"Yes." Hayes said. "Are these the men?"
Walking over to a large container, Hayes pushed a computer stud and six panels up. Six man-shaped objects blue in color and bigger then the average human was inside.
"These are Disrupter FST-17 Exo-Amour." Hayes said. "Each one is custom fit to the wear."
Each man went over to the suit with their name on it and examined them. Hayes continued explaining. "Since you were originally ground-pounders, High Command thought it would be best if you were equipped to deal with ground combat as well as your new role of pilot."
Hayes started to explain the features of the battle armor. "The exo-armor is based on models of the past wars. "The suit is completely organic, based on disrupter armor of which you are most familiar with."
Opening the torso and arm sections, he said, "The suit uses organic muscles instead of hydraulics for strength and has a built in anti-gravity thrusters for flight."
Turning to everybody, he said, "The armor has two safety features. The first is micro-magnetic ion transmitters to seal the suit from all hostile environments. Second, the suit can heal its-self from any damage in a matter of hours.
"The suit has two defensive measures." Hayes continued. "A cloaking device and two shields. The shields are imbedded all over the suit for better protection, but at two thirds power. Both are activated in the left arm. This is your ground combat suit. It is worn over a modified disrupter armor which will be you flight suit. Any questions?"
"What about weapons?" Billy asked.
"Modified laser or projectile weapons that can be carried in the hands or mounted on the arms." Hayes said. "Gauss weapons will be your heavy assault equipment and can only be carried."
"What about a troop transport?" Daniel asked.
"There is no troop transport." Hayes said, walking over to a table and punched in some commands. A holographic image of a fighter popped up.
"This is the XIA-Lightning II." Hayes said proudly. "Designed for planetary or spacial combat."
"What are the capabilities?" Chris asked.
"The Lightning II two engines." Hayes responded. "The first is an Elerium core for atmospheric or combat maneuvering. The second is a Conversion drive for interplanetary travel. It has a range of 20 light-years, basically there and back.
Punching several commands, the fighter image began to rotate. The Lightning was a single wing, with a cockpit in the middle. The wings extend out, but rounded along the back and straight in the front, curving down-wards to create a point. A ridge along the spine of the craft gave it a reptilian look.
"The Lightning has a Durainian alloy skeleton and Durasheet armor." Hayes explained. "Both are the strongest metals known. A deflector shield generator is used a added protection against weapon impacts and micro-meteorites."
"What are the weapons on that thing?" Adam asked, cutting the man off.
"Two X-Winder missile launchers, one under each wing with five reloads." Hayes said annoyed. "And two lasers in the nose."
"That's it." Matt complained. "Two large flashlights and ten rockets. No plasma cannons, disrupters, or D-bombs."
"The disrupter weapons do not work." Hayes said. "Nothing can make them. Elerium, which the Terran alliance has in one stockpile, is to as a power source to waste shooting at nothing. All elerium is used for military power cores only."
"Ah fuck." Matt muttered. "They expect us to win with that shit."
"I think that is enough for now." Yamato said, the first thing he said since the conversation began. "Each craft must be tuned and calibrated to the pilot. You have three days to do that, then you will take a Sentry class ship to your base. Get them suited up."
The six men obeyed and mounted the fighters. It would be a long day.
They left a day early because of trouble. Daniel shot down an automated Valkyrie on patrol. Adam took out a laser defense system on a bombing run. Chris destroyed the shooting range while testing out his battle armor, leaving the place a smoking wreck.
Matt, Billy, and Pierre caused the biggest problem. They had gotten into a barroom brawl and sent fifteen marines to the medical bay, including six MPs. After being thrown into the brig, Admiral Morgan bailed them out and ordered them to leave immediately.
"Flight Control, this is Sentry." Matt said into the com-system. "We are ready to leave."
"You have permission to leave in five minutes." Flight control responded.
All were on the bridge. Adam sat in the command chair, rechecking their orders. Daniel sat to his left, going over status reports. Chris was behind them at the tactical station, running sensor sweeps and weapons tests.
Matt was at the front of the bridge in the Helm position, powering up the jump-drive and the conventional mass-reaction thrusters. Billy was next to him at Ops, checking ships systems. Pierre sat at Engineering console, watching the energy spike in the jump core.
"Matt take us out of orbit." Adam said. Engage the jump drive when ready."
"Jump drives at 56% and rising." Pierre said.
"All systems nominal." Billy said.
"Take us out of here." Adam ordered.
"They are going to be pissed that we disobeyed orders again." Chris said.
"Who gives a shit." Daniel said.
Matt powered up the thrusters and increased the ship's speed. The jump gates opened and Matt steered for the orange funnel. The ship shuddered a little from the hyper eddies and stabilized. Their mission had begun.