We're so screwed
Creatures in the Corner
Money had her marines spread out 4 meters apart, facing the general direction of where the colonists had stated the Qirs were coming from. That was 5 marines, 5 Security, and then the rest of the camp to stave off and defend an entire town from an unknown number of alien creatures. The odds were not in their favor. If the Qirs decided to attack en masse, which seemed to be the case with all the screeching communications going on, then this whole camp was doomed. They didn't have the numbers to prevent being overrun.
It was quiet, too quiet, the rest of the wildlife aware of the Qirs and having gone silent. It was eerie, a light mist from the humidity in the air lazily wafting through the forest with the ever-so-slight breeze.
Paxton came up next to the Captain, speaking in a low tone. "We're set, Sir. For what good it'll do us."
"This is why Starfleet does not plan ground battles," offered Money, her own cynicism and sarcasm coming through. "Our own people put us in the middle of a trap. We should have done aerial scans before any boots ever touched the earth."
Paxton, his own cynical humor matching hers. "That's why we get the big bucks, Captain."
"And the shit-end of the stick." Replied Money, no less cynical. "I don't care what anyone else says, that mine up there is the key. It's just above the forest canopy, and provides a view of the entire valley. If the Qirs came out and saw all this strangeness," she motioned to the colony. "They would be curious and explore. It's obvious they hunt and forage for their food, and this is like a can of tuna just sitting in front of a starving person."
"They're animals, Sir." Paxton shook his head. "I've had dogs that showed more promise for sentience. These beasts are like targs, they come out to feed and breed, and if anything gets in the way of that instinct takes over and they eliminate it. Simple."
"Captain!" A hissing shout from her right, with Money going over to Private Biehn. "I got movement. One O'clock in the trees."
Kneeling next to the private Money took her rifle in hand and laid it upon the barricade they had built. Using her own sniper scope she flipped through the different settings. Thermal, infrared, ultravision, the works. Ultra seemed to work best, and there was the beast, visible even through the trees and foliage, thanks to computer enhancements. It was big, approximately ten feet tall. Long tail with tall spines on its back, the elongated skull tapering down behind its shoulders. The face was full off vicious, metallic teeth, and several times she watched it stop and rest, stretching an inner jaw of smaller teeth outward, a gel-like substance plopping onto the ground from the inner jaws as it slid back into the head. "We are in trouble." Money did not hide what she thought from her troops, and looking at this beast in its natural form, casually moving around as it seemed to be getting its bearings.
Biehn nodded, still looking through his scope. "If they are all like that, I agree, Sir."
Money tapped her combadge. "Money to Eclipse."
"Go ahead, Captain," the Petty Officer on the comm console said as she snapped her fingers to one of the cadets to go get the XO in the Ready Room.
Shannon was relieved to hear the comm from the ship. "I need to speak to Commander Quinn, immediately."
Cassandra walked out of the Ready Room, rubbing her sleep filled eyes, and said, "on speaker," to the ensign then said, "talk to me, Captain."
"Commander," said Money. "We are outnumbered down here, by far. Even if we add in the colonists we are going to be overrun. I am requesting that another 20 marines be sent down by shuttle. The Qirs I am looking at is right around ten feet tall, and looks like a killing machine. If you don't feel like writing that many eulogies in a single day, please hurry."
"I will contact the Freedom and get you some more help," Quinn said. "Until then...do not engage." Wide awake now, Cassandra looked at the ensign and said, "get me the Freedom."
"Aye, Sir," acknowledged Money. There was not much in this galaxy that frightened her after all she'd been through in life, but being eaten alive and turned into a protein shake was not on her bucket list.
"Channel open, Commander," the ensign said.
"This is Commander Quinn...who am I speaking to?" Cassandra asked.
"This is Lt.Colonel MacPhearson. Executive Officer. What can I do for you, Commander?" came the reply.
"Our Marines on the surface need some backup," Cassandra said.
"That's what we're here for, Commander," Mac replied. "Send me the coordinates."
"Thanks Mac," Cassandra said and nodded to the nav operator. She cut the transmission and had comm open a channel back to the Captain. "Eclipse to Money....your reinforcements are on their way."
Money, down below, gave a nod to that. "Thank you, Commander Quinn. Money out." She tapped the comm off and looked around. "The cavalry will be here shortly, pass it down the line. Do not engage unless attacked."
A few minutes later two shuttles filled with 40 marines landed nearby and the first one out was Gunnery Sgt. Franco wielding her sniper rifle. The rest followed.
Several screeches came from different locations in the small canyon Money and the marines were in.
Franco moved to a boulder and placed her elbows on the rock as she looked through her rifle's sights.
Money saw the ships land, stuffed to the bulkheads with marines who had been at standing room only. "Set up the fire line, now! Move!" The marines broke up and got set to defend the colony.
To Be Continued