Chapter 3

Jim tried to tinker with his suit's radar, but no luck. I read the right directions, but the coordinates were all off. When Jim compared his with the rest, he found out that he had been blown way off target-about 50 miles. There was no way that Jim could get back to his jump team on the limited fuel of his speeder. When the time came to move out, Jim and his team departed for the meeting point. Jim took the fuel from the speeder and distributed to the other men's suits to conserve energy. Jim then had a private take all of the salvageable parts off of the ship, which turned out to be a positioning system, and the two medium-gauge explosive shell launchers. They set out in a proper single-file military fashion, spreading out when the radar showed something coming. Usually it was a rock or a ship part. Jim's radar then showed a huge red blotch that began to cover his entire radar. He tapped it twice and asked the privates if they had anything. Jim was going to dismiss it when he realized that the new Combat Suits, which the privates had, had their radar's changed to dismiss any large objects. Most privates would be scared stiff at the sight of something giant heading at them when it was normally a cloud or an uncharted mountain. Jim turned toward the blotch when he saw nothing ahead. He checked his radar again when he remembered that a red dot meant that the target was above him. He looked up to see the most awe-inspiring sight in his life.
When one of the privates turned in the same direction.
"Holy Mother of-" The private said as all of the privates then turned. A Dothian Battlestar Cruiser was entering Jupiter's atmosphere. The friction of reentering made the entire sky look like a ball of fire. The clouds were consumed as it swallowed them whole. After about five minutes of staring, a large black-gray mass thrusted it's way through the fire. Jim just remembered they were sitting ducks and ordered the company to take cover. The whole experience was oddly silent as none of the troopers had their outer microphones on. When half of the ship, or what was hoped half, was finally through, it started to rotate and spiral very slowly toward the ground. More and more of the ship emerged from the inferno and continued to spiral. Then a second part of the ship emerged right next to the first tumbling toward the ground. Escape pod after escape pod was launched from the ship as it plummited toward it's doom. After 10 minutes of traveling through the atmosphere it finally collided with the soil of Jupiter. The collision wasn't heard, it was felt as the shockwave knocked all of the men off their feet, and the lower gravity of Jupiter made them fly 25 feet into the air. Jim stood up and made a quick system's check. After the all-clear sounded, Jim headed toward the large crash site, looking for something salvagable.
After they arrived, they looked for something that resembled a door or hatch. One of the Technical Specialists located a control box and rigged it to open a door to the left of it.
"Alright, three in front, two behind, weapons hot, scanners on active." Jim said as 5 men powered up their guns. Three took the front as two more perched their guns over the first's shoulders. They walked into the dark, alien ship very slowly. Jim and the other privates prepared to enter in 5 minutes. After the five minutes passed, the privates walked in with Jim taking point. Jim turned on his locator and searched for the first privates' signatures and saw they went left, toward the front of the ship. Jim and his party headed right. Jim was in awe as he walked through the pitch-black hallway, only his shoulder lights illuminating the path. He poked his gun in every room before he looked in. He remembered his Drill Sargeant noting his performance of shoot first, shoot some more, keep shooting, and when everyone is dead, ask a question or two. Jim came to a large set of doors and had two privates take his flank and the other three get on one knee and aim forward. Jim walked to the control panel, trying to figure out how to work it. He then took the butt of his gun and bashed the panel. After some sparks flew, the two large doors slid open halfway.
Jim put each hand on a door and tried to spread them open. After that didn't work, he activated the servo power joints and muscled the door open. He pulled his gun up immediately as a private activated a large room-light. Jim turned off his shoulder lights as the bright room-light illuminated the huge room. Jim looked at the sheer size and noticed two doors, about 100 yards wide each, both closed.
"Must be the fighter hanger. I want every one to split into groups of two, and search for anything salvagable." Jim ordered as he stepped forward.
"How are we to know what's salvagable? Dothian equipment is completely different from ours." A private said as he lifted some sort of small gadget.
"Give it your best shot, O.K. guys?" Jim said as he looked for anything with a moving part, battery, or a button. After searching with another private, they stumbled onto a Dothian fighter. Dothian fighters were 15 meters long, and shaped like a disk with one side folded in, which made a U-shape. Jim looked for a cabin, door, anything and finally decided to break the window in. When all of the privates looked at Jim after the loud crash noise, Jim yelled "What?" over the intercom.
Jim peered in and saw what resembled a seat with a whole lot of buttons, switches, and other movable objects. Jim climbed in and began to imagine sitting in this, in space, where there is no air, ground, or hope, trying to keep alive. The suit monitor showed that his heart rate increased. Jim looked for something that would resemble a ship's log, when he noticed the only screen. He touched it and it broke. He walked out of the ship, and continued his search. Jim bent down to pick up a box, when the door on the other side opened and six figures walked out firing weapons.
The energy blasts resonated in the hull as they missed their targets. Jim's crew was two spread out to make an effective bottle-neck, but they still had a chance. The Dothians didn't know how many were in here, Jim hoped, and that gave them an advantage. Jim told two privates to lay low and the rest to fire at the Dothians. Jim ducked low and walked over by his partner. Jim pulled out his gun, set for fully automatic, and just let loose. The private turned on his scope and tried to sharp-shoot them, but the scope wouldn't lock on. He then set his gun to fully automatic, and let out a wall of ammunition. Jim's gun was turning white-hot, to the point when you could see the ammo traveling down the barrel, when three Dothians dropped. Jim was hit in the shoulder, and flew back five yards. He told the three privates to cease fire. The room went silent as the Dothians walked forward. They still had their weapons drawn. Jim tried to aim his weapon at them, but his shoulder servos were out, so the gun weighed an extra 80 pounds. With his left arm, he pulled out a small pistol and aimed. He told the privates to fire, and the Dothians were totally surprised Jim let out three shots and the Dothian he aimed for was hit twice from the front, and three times from the side. The rest of the Dothians dropped down as Jim tried to stand. He walked to the Dothian and looked at his suit. It looked more stealthy than his suit. Jim then remembered how it looked like a very old ship, called the F-117 Stealth Fighter. It was obvious to him why his targeting computer couldn't get a lock. He bent down and picked up the large, rifle like weapon it had, but it was attached to the suit itself.
"Sir, we have discovered something interesting, sir." A private's voice over the intercom said.
"Private, where?" Jim said, setting the weapon down.
"Sir, in the ship's bridge, sir." The private said as an arrow appeared on Jim's Heads-Up-Display. Jim followed the arrow, with two other privates. Jim walked down the hallway, cautious as ever, looking in every corner and room. Jim arrived where the arrow pointed, and walked into a large, surprisingly working room. Jim walked by the seats, displays, and a large, circular table. The Private over the intercom touched the screen and a model of the Sol Terran System, or Solar System for short. Jim turned on his translator, and listened to what the table had to say.
"We are to have seven BattleStar Cruiser groups to attack Jupiter with the Electron Induction Beam, for a weapon's test. Should the weapon prove successful, we are to proceed to Pluto, where upon arrival, make ourselves known. When the Terran Navy engages the groups, we are to proceed and destroy the planet Pluto. While the Terran Navy is in awe of the destruction, we will destroy whatever the blast didn't of the engagement force. Upon destruction of the Terran Navy, we are to destroy Terra Major's single moon, which should devastate their population. With the Terran government at our knees, we will repeat the process on Terra Minor. Should the Terran government still not proceed with a surrender, we shall destroy thier single star.
"Your orders are to proceed to Pluto, and to engage the Terran forces by fighting at only 45% of your full potential. This will make the Terran forces believe that they are winning. We will then destroy Pluto, and the destroying planet should anhililate most of the navy. Then use all of your resources to destroy the remnants of the engagement force.
"Should your battlegroup survive the encounter, you will then escort the Electron Induction Beam to Terran Major space, then protect it from any hostile forces. May Gre'shek be with you."
Jim watched in horror as the table turned off. He looked around to the other privates, hoping to get a look at thier faces, but remembered that the tinted glass made that impossible. Jim began to walk out of the room, when a stream of static played over the intercom. He had is suit locate the place this transmission was coming from, and had three privates follow him. He walked down the halways, still poking his gun into every dark area, and began to wonder why there were no bodies anywhere.
They arrived at the door to the room where the static was being transmitted from. Jim tried to open the door with his one good arm, but it didn't work. His suit was the only one old enough to be equipped with a power glove, so forcing the door open was impossible. He had one of the privates attach a small limpet mine to the door and they all stood back. The explosion echoed as a huge cloud of dust and debris moved like a wave down the hall.
"Private, how much explosive did you use on that door?" Jim said irritated.
"Sir, I used a small limpet mine, the door was pretty much destroyed from the landing, sir." The private said as he drew his weapon.
"Private," Jim said signaling the private that blew the door, "Go in and investigate."
"Me?" Jim heard a gulp along with the private's voice, "Sir, me? Why me?"
"Because, private, this is your mess, you can clean it up by telling us what's making all of this static." Jim said, pushing the private in by his one good arm. The private stumbled in, with his weapon drawn. Jim turned on his outer microphone, and he heard what most humans will never experience, the constant hum of a Dothian Battlestar Cruiser. A loud screech rang in his ears, as a bright flash came out of the room. A shot rang out.
"Private? Private, report." Jim said into his intercom as he began to point a small, hand held weapon into the room.
"Sir, I'm fine, I found a Dothian in here. I'm willing to bet that it wasn't static that we heard, but in fact a micro-transmission, sir."
"Are you sure he's dead, private?" Jim said standing back from the room. A shot rang out.
"Sir, I am now, sir." The private said with a small chuckle under his breath.
"Good job soldier, let's move out, there is nothing here we can possibly use." Jim said as he walked down the hall, his left arm holding a pistol-type weapon, and his right arm dangling at the side. He walked out of the crash site and had his suit ping off to signal where he is. The company met up with him and they moved along the eastern edge of the Judeas Canyon on Jupiter. They moved in a classic single-file line, with Jim taking point. When they reached the cliff over-looking the only body of water on Jupiter, they could see the base in the mist on the other side. Jim turned off his magnifiers, and they brought up the map to see if they can get across.