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Jaren Quintaine's blog

Jaren Quintaine

  Quintaine's Account : A Narrow Escape (Part 2 of 2)  
((Preface : This part of the story takes place between the time Jaren was picked up by the AFS and taken into the dropship (Common known as a "Hedgehog") and the time that Jaren awoke again for just a minute to black-out again. It is written from the perspective of the officer who picked him up and took him to the dropship.))

The young man with long, black hair lay their, slumped over against the blast-doors of the compound which couldn't be opened by any of our own (and they certainly weren't going to open them for us). Just as I went to wake him, another officer called to me ...

"Captain Benson! We have to get out of here! The Bane are right behind us! Hurry up!", I heard, through the sounds of ground-rattling balistics and cannon fire.

So, I bent down and picked the man up ... Slinging him over my shoulders and carrying him to the dropship. There wasn't much we could safely do for the others trapped inside the compound without comprimising ourselves.

As I approached the loading ramp of the Hedgehog, I heard gun-fire behind me. I sat the man down in one of the seats of the ship, and called for the medical attendant to look him over and strap him into the seat ... We were taking off soon.

I turned to see what the gun-fire was about, only to see a squad of Bane soliders heading right for the Hedgehog. As I took out my rifle to start picking them off, I yelled back at the pilot ...

"Get this dammed thing off the ground ... Now!"

And no sooner did I say that when one of my members was struck by the Bane in the upper-right shoulder, knocking him off the ramp, into the ship, onto the floor. Another shot strayed, and struck the threshold of the ramp-door just above my left shoulder.

"Close it up-", I yelled back at the pilot, and before I could even finish, the ramp was closing in on us.

"Safe!", I thought to myself ...

The pilot ordered us to take our seats and to hold onto anything we didn't want to lose ... Including our stomachs. I scrambled to my seat, and strapped myself in. Many of the others (including some other Earth refugees that we had saved earlier in our mission) sat strapped into their seats.

I eyed my remaining squadron ... Eleven I counted out of my original thirteen. My eyes wandered to each of their faces as each one nodded in acknowledgement ... When they came across the seat that Kyle Deepe was occupying ...

"Stryl and Rider!", he yelled at me, trying to make the words audible over the turbulance, "They're the ones missing ..."

I turned my head for a minute and grieved in my own way ... Of course, not showing weakness to the other squadron's members ...

"Let them always be remembered for their efforts on this mission!", I yelled ... Again, trying to be heard across the great turbulance.

The young man I had saved was sitting just across from me, and the other young man (the squad member who had been struck by the Bane) also lay in his seat with some medical bandages strapped across his shoulder and torso. Apparently, the medical attendant didn't have time to properly care for him before we took off -- She would do so later, after we had broken orbit.

Just as I took a sigh of relief, I felt the craft take into it's ascent into space ... Gut-wrenching feeling ...

A few of the other members lost hold of their stomachs, and a few other things rattled around the compartment. Anything that wasn't tied down slammed into the back-door because of our extreme speed.

As we approached the upper-atmosphere, the pilot again yelled back at us ...

"Brace yourselves! We're going to be taking --"

Before he could finish, I could feel the cuncussive force of Bane Anti-Air fire at the rear of the craft. We had been hit by one of their assault-ships.

"Everyone alright back there? We've lost a portion of our shields ... We can't take much more of this beating!", the pilot yelled at us, as he pushed the acceleration shift higher and higher ... Hoping that speed would save us.

As I looked through the viewing-windows, I could see six other Hedgehogs leaving the atmosphered about the same time as we did. One of them didn't make it much further than we did after taking three direct hits from the assault-ship. It exploded, and I could see a few of the larger outer-hull portions float off into space.

"Six left ...", I thought.

We had dodged the last volley of anti-air fire, but another was already headed towards us.

"Bank starboard!", I screamed at the pilot, hoping he would hear me in time enough to avert the fire from the on-coming fire.

We quickly veered, just in time to miss the majority of the fire ... But we still took damage. I looked again, after gathering myself, to see another of the Hedgehogs break up as they reached the outer orbit of Earth ...

"Five left ...", I thought to myself, "Please, let us make it out of here alive."

It was about that time that I saw an A.F.S. cruiser enter the area as it launched a stream of cannon-fire at the assault-ship that was clipping us. As the steady stream of fire launched onwards toward the assault-ship, I noticed it veering to avoid the fire. It didn't turn in time, and the shields took a serious beating.

"This is Admiral Howelle of the A.F.S. Stalwart. You should be clear of any on-coming fire. Get out of here ... Now!"

Before the comm clicked off, you could hear in the background, behind all of the frantic commands that the Adrmial was giving to the crew and alarms of the ship...

"Fire a balistics volley!"

Just as the Admiral shouted the order, the comm clicked off, and we could hear the sound of A.F.S. missiles darting towards the assault-ship, leaving behind them a trail that clearly spelled the assault-ship's doom. Again, I looked out of the viewing-window to see that the missiles were just approaching the assault-ship ...

The first one struck it's shields, and failed to damage the ship itself. The other two firmly planted themselves in the port-bow of the ship ... Striking the command-center.

Just as the missiles exploded, the ship began to break apart from the inside ... One after another, I could visually see six explosions, followed by one of the climactic, gigantic explosions ... It was ripped to shreds. Nothing but debris was left behind in it's wake.

The assault-ship was caught off-guard with it's pants down while firing at the fleeing dropships ... Meaning it had no time to re-arm it's ship-to-ship assault weapons. It never even got a shot off at the Stalwart, but did manage to take out one last Hedgehog before disentegrating into space-junk.

The pilot opened the comm-channel again to thank the Admiral ...

"All clear! We appreciate the assistance, sir! Good luck out there! O'er and out ..."

As I counted the remaining Hedgehogs (four were left ... not including ourselves), the young man awakened again, just long enough to eye the crew aboard and peer out the viewing-window. The medical attended got out of her seat (we were far out of orbit and past the gravity-pull of the Earth for it to be safe) and went over to the young man, who's name I found to be Jaren Quintaine (I think he said) and give him an injection to aid in his recovery.

After she injected him, he fell back to sleep, and she went to tend to the other members wound.

"It's not that bad ... I should be able to patch that up right here, sir.", she said as she peeled back the restraits from the solider, and then un-wrapped his wound.

I called to the pilot ... "Send a comm-message to the others left on Earth ... Get them into that compound! Those people are still safe and need to be rescued."

Just afted the pilot had finished sending the message the pilot got another comm transmission ...

"All A.F.S. ships housing refugees are to report immediately to Foreas! Repeat ..."

And as the comm-link clicked off, the pilot turned us to the direction of Foreas, and I nodded off into sleep ... Knowing the long trip ahead of us.

Twenty-seven hours later, we landed at the A.F.S. base at Foreas ...

Comments (0) | 2007. 06. 22. 15:21:38
  Quintaine's Account : A Medic's Nightmare (Part 1 of 2)  
Date : November 3rd
Location : Underground Military Hospital just outside of Los Angeles

The doors flung open as another gurney came in with another scourged body came into the infirmary -- Just another amongst the countless many that had been wheeled in within the past 30 minutes. So many that they just started to be carried in without a gurney at all. People began piling up in the hallways, and as we passed, we'd look through the bodies to find the ones able to be saved.

For many, there was little we could do for them other than a sedative to ease the pain of their passing. The wounds were so horrific ...

The entire compound was covered in a bloody canvas that was, to say the least, indescribable.

To see death in such numbers weighed heavily upon our hearts, but we still had to keep our heads up. It was so hard, though ... Not because of the horrifying scenes of death, but, instead, for the constant shake of the ground from the booms of the explosives being set off overhead often left, in it's wake, fallen crash-carts and I.V. stands -- Making it even harder to tend to the wounded.

The worst was yet to come, however ...

As we ran down the hallways after being called outside to the roof of the compound to get a high-ranking official into the compound the ground stopped to quake for a moment.

Maybe it was just the adrenaline from being in such a flurry of panic, but something told me that a catastrophe was about to happen. At first, I hesitated leaving the compound -- I was scared to death! However, seeing my colleauges turn and signal for my hurry, I quickened my pace, finally reaching the compound door.

My head officer imputted a code to open the blast-doors which had been shut off on the roof to prevent "them" (we still didn't know what was going on, or who was bombing us) from getting in. As the doors slid open, a scene like no other opened before my eyes ...

The sky was a deep, crimson red, with no sun to be found. Smoke trails of balistic fire could be seen against the red sky, as well as the trails of tracer rounds, which was, no mistake, from laser cannons.

A thundering fire could be heard as the sky lit up with the explosion of some form of aircraft (I couldn't tell what it was -- Unlike anything I'd ever seen).

We rushed to the copter, but before we could get there, another aircraft entered the immediate airspace (Again, unlike anything I'd seen before) and a bright red light shone from it to the ground. In it's wake it left a band of lobster-like soliders armed with large weapons. As they grunted and scrambled about, shots could be heard coming from the copter as they fired at the aliens.

I turned to run back into the compound, only to find another officer closing the blast doors which kept anyone from accessing the compound.

It was then that I saw a pulse pistol on the the body of a dead officer. I quickly grabbed it and braced myself against one of the walls of the compound -- Glaring at the band of alien soliders headed my way. I quickly took aim at one, and fired off not even two rounds when, in the distance, I was another alien aircraft headed towards me.

From the look of it, I could tell that it wasn't the same kind that had darted in previously. It was much different from the other ships, and much like our own kind of crafts. As I went to fire off another round, the craft began to fire balistics at the group of soliders, just before landing on their dead bodies.

The blast from the balistics shook me to the ground, and I struggled to get myself back up and into a position where I could fire again.

As I took aim again, this time at the new craft, I noticed the letters "AFS" painted on the side of it. The doors burst open, and a group of soliders walked off of the ramp. That's when I knew they weren't enemies ... So, I lowered the pistol, and let it slide to the ground, just before I, myself, slumped to the ground.

I looked down at my watch ... 3:07 A.M. ... I was still in a slight state of delirium from being awoken from my sleep by the frantic screams of the wounded, thinking it was all just a dream. I took the tail of my coat to wipe my brow of sweat, only to find it soaked in blood.

One of the men approached me, and asked my name ...

"Jaren ... Quintaine", I said, still shaken from the events which had transpired.

"We are the Allied Free Sentinels, and we're here to help", said the man ... Obviously human, in some form or another.

I was exhausted, and don't remember anything other than feeling overwhelmingly safe, for once ...

The next thing I remember is waking up in an aircraft and looking out the window to see Earth covered with a crimson smoke, surrounded by many different space-ships. Trails of cannon and balistics fire could easily be spotted. A few of the ships were severely damaged, but most of them the enemies. The AFS ships were leaving the area ...

I looked over at the other passengers aboard the ship ... A few familiar faces amongst them, but not many ... Most of them hidden behind masks and tactical equipment.

A woman came over to me ... Obviously an AFS medic, as she was dressed the part ... And asked if I was alright. I just nodded as she injected me with some sort of medicine.

I couldn't even ask what it was before I blacked out again ...

That was over 8 months ago.

Now, we're on "Foreas", and I now know the lobster-men to be known as the "Bane" -- A fitting name. Not that I had much of a life on Earth, but they took it away from me ... Everything ...

I try not to think about what happened to those left on Earth, as it only slows me down from my day-to-day activites, but when the thought does cross my mind, I just feel ... Well, you can only imagine.

I've always regarded life as as very precious gift, which is what prompted me to become a medical technician in the first place. The senseless slaughter and loss of so many lives just overwhelmed me so much ...

Now, I've pledged myself to the AFS in order to save lives on the battlefield and I'm slowly learning how to take the lives of the Bane, as well, through their combat training.

A new life ... A clean slate ... Tabula Rasa ...

Comments (0) | 2007. 06. 22. 15:20:48
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