Athena: Marooned GDF
Her GDF Academy recon training was cut short when the Strogg invaded Earth. When the Terran were ready to counterattack the Strogg homeworld years later, Athena was among the first in line. But the Strogg were expecting them. Just after the dropships launched their pods, a powerful EMP disabled all but a few. She assumed her pod would become her coffin. Then, a miracle: ground forces destroyed the Slipgate generator, sending a shockwave of otherworldly energy outward from the surface. It swept across her pod, taking her… somewhere else.
“TCM Central Command to Command Staff, TCS Ogoun and TCS Apedemak: OPERATION ALIEN OVERLORD, final objective designations: Primary: Establish mass-data communications uplink (optimal and fallback target locations identified in attachment B). Neutralize planetary defense system, code designation “Big Gun.” Neutralize Strogg slipgate generator. Eliminate Strogg Chief Warlord, designation Makron. Secondary: Neutralize Cerberon laser defense grid. Establish on-site base camps (optimal and fallback target locations identified in attachment E). TCS Ogoun companies to pursue primary objectives. TCS Apedemak companies to pursue secondary objectives, then prepare to engage primaries in case of initial failure. Godspeed, Marines.”
“TCS Ogoun to TC Command. Slipgate transit successful, Stroggos atmospheric incursion successful, all systems nominal. Request final go/no go. Attention all units, green light confirmed. Alien Overlord is go; repeat, Alien Overlord is go. Alpha Company, deploy! Beta Company in 30… Alpha Company impact in five-point-five mikes. Looking good so far; planetary batteries appear unable to target drop pods. Impact in four mikes. Units Alpha 802, 803, 807, 811, adjust heading. You’re too tempting a target clumped like— Power surge in planetary defenses! We’re not reading— EMP! EMP! My God, it’s — Full atmospheric coverage! All pods, brace for—”
“No idea if this thing’s even recording. It looks like a few internal systems rebooted off the emergency life support battery, but I don’t have screens to tell me which ones. All major systems are offline. Hatch release failed. So did the emergency backup because THIS POD’S A PIECE OF SHIT AND I’M GOING TO DIE IN HERE WITHOUT FIRING A GODDAMN SHOT! Sorry, frustrated. This is unit Alpha 808, Lance Corporal Athena Hayes, Terran Coalition Marine Expeditionary Force, recording. I hope. Location unknown. Trapped in drop pod, sounds of engagement audible but distant and fading. Shit.”
“Been stuck in this tin coffin for days now. Undetected by Strogg, which is a plus. Also undetected by TC forces—if there are any left—which means suffocation or starvation when LS-systems finally run out of juice. So that’s maybe less of a plus. You know I wasn’t supposed to be here? Laney, she was the one who was gonna be a soldier. Global Defense Force officer. Follow in the footsteps, family tradition, make Mom and Dad proud. They groomed her her entire life for this. And she washes out three weeks from graduation.”
“Didn’t even try to hide that she’d done it on purpose. Nobody gets through academy training and then fails final proficiencies that bad. Know what she told us? That after all the pageantry, all the talk of duty, she realized she could never actually kill anyone. Family disowned her, but standing up to them? First thing she did I really respected. I also saw a chance to finally catch Mom and Dad’s attention for myself, for a change. Hell, I’d been coasting for years. They ignored me for her, so I was everything she wasn’t. No goals. Didn’t care.”
“Never wanted to be a Marine, but never wanted anything else bad enough, either, so… I figured if I pulled off what she couldn’t, I might find some meaning. And some parents who gave a shit. Barely made the academy, but damn if I didn’t grow to love it. Parents told me every week they were just waiting for me to show my true colors, drop out. So I just worked harder. Would’ve graduated top of my year, too, if I’d had a chance to finish. Maybe that would’ve finally pleased them. Strogg ruined that plan.”
“No time left for officer training. Too many grunts needed. Once we finally drove them off, better believe I wanted to go finish the job. But now I guess it’s up to Rhino Squad. Still salty about Rhodes making— The hell was THAT? Some kind of blast. Everything’s distorted, tinted red. Oh god, don’t throw up, don’t throw up. The generator. They must’ve gotten the slipgate generator! Fuck you, Strogg! But if that… when the shockwave hits… Dammit. Maybe Earth is safe now. If this is recording, tell my mom and dad I’m sorr—”
“Half the viewport’s blocked. Best I can tell, I’m in a stone ruin. And I mean in it; pod’s stuck halfway in the wall, near the ceiling. Combat happening here. I’ve seen more than one firefight now. Cyborgs, aliens I’ve never seen, and a Marine, I think, in old, bulky body armor. Someone new coming into… Jesus! Anyone gets this record, they’re gonna think I’m crazy. It’s some kind of zombie! No cybernetics to keep him going, just a goddamn walking corpse in medieval armor! This can’t be real. Where the fuck am I?!”
“Okay, that last entry was embarrassing. Sorry. Life support’s failing. Hatch still jammed. I think I can reroute power from the systems still working into an electrical discharge. If I wait until one of the cyborgs is nearby, they may see it — or feel it. If not, I’ll slowly suffocate or die of thirst. If they do… they’ll probably try to kill me. But they’ll have to break open the pod to get to me. Maybe I can survive the first blast from one of those guns. Bad odds, but I’m dead if I don’t try.”
Voice Over Lines
- I’ve been in some hair situations. This is no different.
- My place has always been in the sky.
We have a superior force. Let’s take ‘em.
- Hah, should’ve ducked.
- Had enough yet?
- Engaging target.
- That stirred things up.
- I’m five by five over here.
- Oh, I have you now.
- Tango down.
- Please tell me someone saw that.
- I’m on fire today.
- No one will see me comin’.
- Flyin’ high and fast.
- You like that?
- That’s just how dad said to deal with bullies.
- I can’t imagine that going worse for you.
- There’s only one top gun in this fight.
- Who’s a hot shot now?
- I’ve been knockin’ ‘em down since boot camp.
- You may just want to sit this one out. You’re out of your league.
- Hit ‘em hard, and hit ‘em fast.
- Just try and keep up with me.
- You’re outta your league kid.
- I’m comin’ in for another pass.
- Pick your shots.
- I didn’t spend months behind enemy lines to lose to the likes of you.
- About to begin a strafing run.
- Run and hide, it won’t do you a damn bit of good.
- Try to hide, it won’t do you a damn bit of good.
- Time is runnin’ out for you.
- I’m in the pipe and lookin’ good.
- Let’s go low, let’s get fast.
- You won’t even know I’m comin’.
- You can’t hesitate when you have a shot.
- Don’t hesitate if you have a shot.
- Just like we trained, soldiers.
- Never stop pushing.
- Did someone order some air support?
- Reinforcements have arrived.
- I’ve always got my friends’ backs.
- I’m getting lit up!
- I’m not gonna make it easy for you.
- They’re hitting me hard.
- Target area is hot.
- Things are gettin’ rough out here.
- Ugh, evasive maneuvers.
- Keep ‘em off my back.
- It’s gettin’ crowded out here.
- They’ve got me in their sights.
- Can’t take much more of this.
- What? Rides over?
- I could use some r’n’r after that.
- That was something else.
- Lock ‘n load.
- Don’t give ‘em any breathing room.
- Light ‘em up.
- Give ‘em hell.
- Watch your six.
- Keep moving! You stop, you die.
- Don’t wait. Take the battle to them.
- Can’t catch me now!
- Death from above!
- Area’s hot.
- I’m getting killed out here.
- Cover me.
- I’m hit.
- Taking fire.
- Going down!
- They’re hot on my tail.
- They’ve hit me with something.
- Taking damage!