Jump to content
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.

Dawn's Early Light.


Recommended Posts

Dawn's Early Light

by Lt. Commander Hannibal Tiberious Parker

(( Late 2373, Fire Base Sierra, Planet TR 144, Tyra System ))

::The planet wasn't much... Class M, smaller than Earth, similar gravity...unremarkable in its natural resources or of much importance other than a beachhead against the Dominion. It was here the 282nd of the Starfleet Marines had engaged Dominion forces for the previous two weeks. Time after time, they drove off the drug-addled monsters, managing to keep their base camp from being overrun. Neither side had managed a clear advantage over the other, and in the skies above, Starfleet and Dominion forces engaged in a deadly cat and mouse game of survival. There had been talk of a major engagement by the fleet, but as far as Sargent Hannibal Parker was concerned, it was all talk. They had supplies, comms, and ammo. Power for the base camp kept the Jem'Haddar out due to the force fields they had put up...but they had to go outside the force fields to engage the enemy.::

::The Marines held the high ground, with the Jem'Haddar camp three clicks away. The land between them was a rabbit warren of scorched earth, craters, and destroyed foliage. Smoke rose from the gulf between the two camps, and from their vantage point, Hannibal and his men could see the beginnings of some sort of structure. Intelligence told them it was a ketracel white facility, and their job was to eliminate it.::

::Going into the communications bunker, Hannibal went to speak to the commanding officer, Colonel Sampson. The look on his face never seemed to change...he would have been a good poker player, his grey eyes set into his head with a way that would look right through you. They had been on this rock for three weeks, and he had not ever seen the man smile...but there was not a great deal to smile about. There were once two hundred and fifty Marines here..they were down to one hundred and twenty five. Looking down on the much smaller man, the Colonel spoke, raising his voice over the whine of a fighter squadron swooping down on the Jem'Haddar..::

Sampson: Looks like those fighters are going to do the job for us, Sargent...

::A thunderous explosion, felt more than seen, rumbled through the bunker. Looking outside, four mushroom clouds, flecked with flame and smoke, rode their way ominously skyward, the booms from sympathetic explosions rocking the void between them...::

Parker: We'll see, Sir...those [...]s are proving to be quite hard to kill.

Sampson: That should take care of them.

Indeed it should. Starfleet at the moment ruled the skies and the space above it, which could only mean one of two things...the Dominion was busy elsewhere, and losing the facility was the cost of doing business, or they really were going to keep a grip on the sector...which meant the Sovereign Class USS Charleston would be back to pick them up in short order. No doubt he could use a shower, as could everyone else in the unit by then.

::Sitting at the Communications console, a Starfleet Lieutenant... Carlson? turned to speak to the General...his flushed face told Hannibal that whatever it was, had to be important...::

Carlson: Sir..this just came in from Admiral Ross. The fleet is engaging the Dominion. The Charleston is recovering their fighters and going to join the fleet.

::Hannibal didn't like that one bit. Sure, the Jem'Haddar had been dealt with for now, but there was always a chance there were survivors, or something would put them back in the fight. Without air cover. Looking back at the Colonel, he spoke..::

Sampson: All we have to do is sit tight till this thing is over, Sargent.

::Turning to a subordinate, Colonel Sampson issued another set of orders...:::

Sampson: Stand down from alert status, and lower the shields. Save the power for when we need it.

::The subordinate nodded, and the hum from the shield went away. Something in the back of Hannibals' mind told him it was a very bad idea, and that feeling of dread only increased as the hours passed.::

:: Eating chow in the mess tent four hours later, Hannibals' worst fears were realized as the Starfleet Lieutenant raced out of the command bunker, his face white with fear and shock. The Colonel, sitting at the head of one of the mess tables, stood up as the man approached.:::

Carlson: Colonel! The fleets' gone!

:: All conversation stopped dead with the news. If what he was saying was true, they were marooned, behind enemy lines...::

Sampson: What the hell are you talking about? There were over a hundred ships in that fleet! Confirm that last report..

Carlson: I did Sir...I'm only getting ID's from ten ships. Ten out of 112.........

:: Their worst nightmare was coming true. They were trapped, behind enemy lines, and it was only just beginning. One hundred and twenty five Marines on the verge of being slaughtered by a relentless enemy. The Jem'Haddar were not interested in taking Marines as prisoners, and everyone in that tent knew it. Colonel Sampson stood up, his face resolute, his voice calm..::

Sampson: Hannibal, get your men ready to fight. Set the perimeter. Carlson, get those shields back up and get an inventory of our supplies. Make sure our sensors can track incoming ships, friend or foe.

::Before Hannibal could answer, Carlson spoke again, his voice tinged with fear...::

Carlson: General...should I send a distress signal?

:: With a finality as solid as permacrete, he spoke...::

Sampson: The only one who will hear it will be the Jem'Haddar, Lieutenant....on your way...Hannibal, you too. Lock this place down.

Parker: Aye, Sir...

Carlson: Will do, Colonel.

:: Picking up his rifle, making sure it had a fresh power cell, he spoke to the Marines in the room...::

Parker: Get all the water, ammo, rations and grenades you can carry. You know the drill. We got company coming. Pass the word. Move it!

:: The scraping of boots and clang of weapons as the Marines gathered their weapons and made their way over to the makeshift armory, all the while passing the word to the other Marines on watch. Marines took extra ammo, food and water to their compatriots on the line. Hannibal took his position forward, looking out over the now burned out Jem'Haddar position. The waiting game had now begun..:::

:: Day turned to night, and with no moon and no lighting, the Marine camp was black as a tomb. The occasional shimmering from the shields was the only light, its brief illumination just enough to temporarily ruin his night vision. A light on the horizon, too low to be a ship, arched high into the sky, followed by a shriek that sounded like ripping heavy burlap...::

Parker: INCOMING!!!!

:: The warhead slammed into the shields, the sound of the explosion cracking against his ears. Another. Then another. Screams from the Marines, holding their ears as those closest to the impact point had their eardrums shattered by the impacts. With each succeeding blast, the shields flared less and less blue, and began to flare red. The shields were failing, until one final fusillade took them down for good. The sounds of explosions now replaced by darkness and calls for medics, who rushed from the command bunker to treat the injured.Hannibal could hear the Colonel calling for status reports, wanting to know how fast they could get the shields back up. The reply was cut off as the assault began anew, this time the first shell slammed into the command bunker, the concussion knocking Hannibal off his feet, debris raining down upon the besieged Marines.::

:: Hannibal was furious. They were being methodically chewed to pieces by long range artillery they somehow managed to get to the surface. The command bunker, along with Colonel Sampson, was gone, consumed in the fire started by the artillery barrage. The power supply was gone. So far, their stocks of food and water were unscathed. They still had plenty of ammo, but no one to shoot at. The surviving medics did what they could, patching up the wounded, and those who could not be saved were given a lethal dose of painkiller. Fortunately, they still had medical supplies, so they could at least survive until the bitter end, which Hannibal knew was coming.::

:: A quick survey of the medics and surviving Marines told the tale. Hannibal and one other Sergeant, Thompson, were the only surviving officers. Twenty nine Marines, including the Colonell, were dead, with another nineteen wounded. That left only seventy seven fully whole Marines out of two hundred and fifty they hit the rock with. He didn't know if any would be left by morning::

:: There was no place to hide, no place for cover. Those who could fight stayed on the line, phaser rifles at the ready. Others were collecting weapons and supplies from the dead, and placing the dead in body bags.. They worked quickly, never knowing when incoming fire would interrupt the process of collecting the dead. Hannibal knew only one thing...if he was going to die on this rock, he was going to die like a Marine. He didn't fear it...he embraced it...The only possible good news was that they knew that they were facing Cardassian artillery, thanks to a few fragments they found...which meant that this part of the system the Dominion allowed the Cardassians to control. Now, if they would only come out and fight. Cardassians were brutal, but at least you could see them coming and they stayed down when shot.::

:: Working his way around the camp, Hannibal found one man, a Starfleet Ensign. He had dove into a shell crater to escape the bombardment. Curled into a fetal position, he was almost hysterical, shaking as though he was being electrocuted. Babbling to himself, Hannibal first felt pity for the man...then anger. Kneeling down into the crater, Hannibal jerked the man up, the Ensigns' eyes filled with terror..::


:: The young man tried to pull away, but Hannibals' grip only tightened on the mans’ uniform.:::


:: Before he knew it, Hannibal backhanded the Ensign, then slapped him again, splitting his lip. Drawing his Bowie knife and placing it under his chin, Hannibal spoke to him in a voice more chilling than the enemy itself…::

Parker: WE are going to fight until we can’t. To the last man. WE are going to stay here and DO OUR JOB! If you try to run, I will kill you myself. IS THAT CLEAR!!!

:: The young man was still shaking, but the haunted look in his eyes began to fade. Hannibals’ lip was quivering in anger, and only then did he realize his outburst had drawn a crowd. With Sergeant Thompson watching him from a distance, Hannibal continued…:::

Parker: Fear is a choice, Ensign. Choose to live. Choose to fight. Choose to die. Now.

:: Hannibal had no use for cowards, and he had decided if the young man wanted to die, his knife would make quick work of him right here and right now. Slightly moving the knife away from his chin, the man nodded..::

Parker: Good. Now get your [...] on the line. When they come over that hill, just keep pulling that trigger until you’re dry, then snap in a new clip. Can you do that?

Ensign::nodding:: Yes sir……

:: Watching the young man take his place, Hannibal took his, and waited for daybreak. It wasn’t long before the sounds of incoming fire drew their attention…::

Parker: HERE WE GO MARINES!!!!!!

:: Checking his combat tricorder, he could see it was being jammed. As the rounds began to fall around the compound, the explosions were smaller,which meant mortars..which meant a ground assault was imminent. They still had mortars, but because they could not see exactly where their enemy was, they could only guess in the darkness before dawn. The Marines lit the sky with their mortars, pounding the positions they thought the enemy was located. A bright flash from the former hilltop held by the Jem’Haddar told them they had hit paydirt. Round after round dropped on the enemy position, fanning out from that position, until enemy fire stopped falling. Lighting off a tracer round, they found what they were looking for as dawn broke above the embattled forces. Cardassian soldiers were moving through the no mans land between the two positions. This was the moment of truth. There were at least three hundred Cardassians moving towards them, spreading out so they were not such easy targets. Surprised by being lit up, they began to run towards the Marines. Thompsons’ voice rang out…::

Thompson: Wait for my signal. Make every shot count! Grenades at the ready! Let ‘em have it!

:: The thump of grenade launchers put up a wall of shrapnel, slicing into the Cardassians, but they were not enough against them. Inside phaser range, Thompson sang out again…::

Thompson: It’s been an honor...FIRE AT WILL!!!!

Parker: YES SIR!

:: From behind their sandbag barricades, the Marines cut loose, the blue beams from their rifles contrasting the the red beams from Cardassian weaponry. It seemed like the more they dropped, more took their place. Shots hit the sandbags around Hannibal, one slicing through and catching him in the hip. He was grazed pretty deeply, but he ignored the pain and fought on. Out of the corner of his eye, he saw the Ensign who had been cowering in a shell crater, drop his rifle and began to run away..::


:: It was too late. A disruptor blast caught him in the back, and as he spun around, another caught him in the head. He was finished..::

:: Only seventy five yards separated the Cardassians from the Marines. Most of the Marines had grenade launchers attached to their rifles, but once they had expended them, the fire was too intense to reload them. Throwing them from behind the wall blind was their only option as the enemy crept even closer. A Marine next to Hannibal went down, a perfect hole blown in his chest. Running between positions, Thompson was cut down. It was now only a matter of time before the Cardassians would move to outflank them...they still had superior numbers, and if they managed to accomplish it, game over. The Cardassians would pay dearly, but the Marines would lose the battle. Slapping another clip into his rifle, Hannibal was making his superior marksmanship work for him, cutting down the reptilian troops with abandon. Above the din of dead and dying men and women, a flash of light and heat blew Hannibal back off the line..::

Parker:Oo This is it..Oo

:: Hannibals’ greatest fear was to die a dishonorable death. When he was younger, his father told him the greatest thing a warrior could do was to die with honor. There was nothing more honorable than dying in a last stand against innumerable odds , and he only wished that his day to honor his father would come a little later than today. If anyone found his body, there would be no doubt about how he died, facing his enemies, gun or knife in hand.::

:: Another blast..then another. Either the rounds were falling short and the Cardassians were cutting down their own men, or...hope beyond hope, there was a Federation starship up there providing fire support. Whatever it was, the rate of fire from the Cardassians was easing, and the Marines poured it on between the blasts. In another ten seconds, all firing had stopped coming from the Cardassians... the battle for Fire Base Sierra was over. An eerie quiet settled over the battlefield, and as the smoke cleared, it revealed a sea of dead Cardassians mingled with the previously killed Jem’ Haddar. Out of that quiet, a voice Hannibal thought he would never hear again came over his commbadge..it was Captain Taylor of the USS Charleston.::

Taylor: =/\= This is Captain Taylor of the USS Charleston. Any commanding officer please respond.=/\=

:: Thinking it was a trap, Hannibal responded, and asked a question only the captain would know…::

Parker: =/\= This is Sargeant Parker, Captain. How many days did I get in the brig for drunk and disorderly at Starbase One?=/\=

Taylor: =/\= None. The charges were dropped. You’ve got ten minutes to get your people together and get off that rock before we need to bug out. We’ll destroy what you can’t take from orbit.=/\=

Parker:=/\ Copy that, Captain, and thanks for the air strike. Parker out.=/\=

:: It was indeed Captain Taylor all right. Looking around at his spent Marines, he yelled out to them..::

Parker: We’re bugging out! Get the wounded ready to travel!

:: In short order, the wounded, the dead, and the surviving Marines were back on board the Charleston. His first stop was Sick Bay, where he could get his hip tended to. They still had to make it out of the occupied area and into Federation space, but he felt confident that if Captain Taylor could escape the carnage of the battle, he could certainly get them home…::

Sargeant Hannibal Tiberious Parker
Starfleet Marines

Lt. Commander Hannibal Tiberious Parker

First Officer

Embassy, Duronis II/USS Thunder

Edited by Toni
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use.