No Intelligent Life, Part 2
H’ia was running all the protocols and regulations through his head. What if there is sentient life here? What is first contact protocols? We aren’t prepared for this. We are simply a recon scout team – observe and report back. The last war left the Thinkers and the Council nervous. Now we observe first, let them make the decisions.
The scout ship’s landing system hiss and moaned as it came to rest on the beach of a large lake. To the south of them was the ruins of a city. Half the team spread out to collect radioactive material they could process while the other half set up the fuel extractor. Drie’a and H’ia both survey the ruins.
“Who were they?” Drie’a said, noting the crumbled towers and large arena like building not far from their position.
“No telling. No one has ever been out here.”
Suddenly, a projectile hit Drie’a in the shoulder, penetrating a weak point in his armor and into his scaly flesh. The Utali grunted and looked in the direction it came. Over a pile of rubble coming at them were several dozen humanoid figures in rags and furs, armed with apparently very potent archaic weapons. On closer observation, some were actually armed with archaic slug throwers.
“Incoming! Take positions!”
The both of them took positions behind some rubble piles, sending volleys of plasma energy tin the direction of their enemy. The fuel extractor team abandoned their work and did the same. The dozen targets grew into two dozen and then more. The Utali scouts adjusted their position as best they could to cover all flanks. Thank gods we have a lake behind us!
H’ia realized he had spoken too soon.
Various projectile shots started coming from behind them. A number of small sailing vessels emerged from the haze over the lake, with more humanoid assailants launching and firing projectiles at the Utali. They were flanked and if H’ia didn’t do something soon, they were going to lose this battle.
The ground forces of these creatures had taken heavy casualties and were taking cover, waiting for the water forces to have some effect. Two Utali were wounded, not counting Drie’a. One – Jafie’a the second engineer and the fuel extractor expert – was bleeding badly.
The ship was a good thirty yards from their positions, downhill. He had to navigate rough terrain to get it it. But it had the fire power to take out those boats. H’ia had once chance and took it.
It seemed like their gun fire doubled as he dashed from ruin to pile of rubble back to ruin. He felt one round bounce off his armor. Then another. One penetrated but his suit’s internal pain meds kicked in. He would deal with it later. Only a few more…
An explosion threw him over a pile of rubble and on to the beach. Explosives!? Who are these savages? H’ia felt a severe pain that not even the meds could subside in his abdomen. A piece or two of sharpanel had penetrated his already beaten armor.
H’ia shook off the daze enough to hear something running towards him from the water. One of those things was charging him with a barbed blade of some kind and he looked like he knew out to use it. H’ia raised his rifle just in time for the creature to swipe it away clean out of his hand. H’ia grabbed the creature sword arm as he went for the killing blow, while the other reached for his combat knife. H’ia with his superior strength and stature one this battle. The creature fell to the ground with a gash in it’s abdomen.
Watching the creature fall, its furs, hair and rags fell away to reveal it’s face. It seemed oddly familiar to H’ia. Perhaps somewhat mutated but… maybe.