Federated Commonwealth

Sarna March


August 15, 3055


Lieutenant Rosemary Church ducked as a series of rifle rounds smashed into her cover and grimaced as she cocked her assault rifle.  What the hell were these people doing here trying to rebel against the Commonwealth?  She shook her head at that and turned to the men and women of her platoon hiding behind the cover.

“Listen up people,” she projected into her microphone.  “Second platoon’s about to open up.  As soon as they get the attention of the rebels, we get it back the old fashioned way,” she noted with a snarl and her platoon chuckled back.  Terra’s Pryde was still only a few months old, and with large monthly spending for food, wages, and other expenses, the Colonel had split off the infantry to find work near Outreach to get that money.  It wouldn’t make the unit rich, but it did pay the bills while the rest of them were going off towards the periphery to help the Commonwealth track down some pirates.  Just general cadre duty, it was supposed to be a nice quiet little stretch of pace where all they really needed to do was teach the local police forces how to fight better.

She winced as another shot ricocheted off a nearby rock, and then heard an assault rifle open up.  It had been one of the police force weapons until two days ago when the rebels found and wiped out a full company of policemen.  So much for training the police to fight.  Rosemary had found the bodies, and some of them had been killed most artistically.  She shook her head, trying to get that image out of her mind, and wondered how anybody could do that to the people that were protecting them.  It just didn’t make sense.

Then twenty-one assault rifles from across the valley opened up, pouring hot lead into the rebels below them and Rosemary smiled coldly as she brought her hand up with three fingers up.  She pulled one down, then the other, and finally the last one as she rolled around the large rock she’d hidden behind and flopped onto the ground, looking over the lip of the ridge.  Below her, trees and rocks fought for control of the ground, but there weren’t really enough trees to obscure her vision too much.

Over a hundred rebels caught at the bottom of the valley hid behind trees and rocks as they returned fire towards the platoon messing up their day.  Of course, that platoon was on the other side of the valley from Rosemary’s platoon so as she looked down she saw nothing but wide-open rear ends waiting for her to shoot them off.  She pulled her trigger and sent more hot lead down towards them as the rest of her platoon joined in and the hundred screaming rebels were suddenly more like eighty.

They tried to turn to fire back, but between the two platoons they were sixty screaming rebels within seconds.  A grenade sailed lazily through the air to explode over the rebels and more of them went down under its shrapnel.  Rosemary shut her mind off, refusing to feel sympathy for the rebels as they started trying to run.  Nobody got away with killing policemen.  Nobody.  She’d none every one of those men and women and was <I>going</I> to get payback for their deaths.

Twenty screaming rebels nearly made it out of the valley, but Rosemary had made this little trap well.  She turned and nodded slowly towards the one man who’d so far not fired a single shot and he nodded before pushing a single, innocent-looking button.

The valley rumbled as two explosions shattered rocks on either side of the valley, sending their shards ripping through the air, and anything else in the way, as they flew to meet each other in the middle.  Rosemary turned back to see the rebels, shredded by rock shards, lying on the valley floor in a bloody mess.  The lucky ones were already dead.  She nodded curtly, rolled back around the boulder, and pulled a long-range radio out of her uniform jacket, flipping the transmitter on with a smile.

“Headquarters, this is Church.  Tell Gyrn that we nailed one of the rebel groups,” she said crisply.  “We’re still searching for the others but I don’t think we have to worry much.  They’re no match for us.”

“Thanks Church,” headquarters responded quickly.  “Alisender’s been here the whole time.  He’s impressed.”

“Wonderful,” Rosemary muttered softly before transmitting back.  “Tell him I’m sorry about his men.  We’ll get the rest of the bastards who did that.  One way or another,” she finished with a snarl.