fEDERATION MARINE CORPS
ASSAULT AT ARGELIUS
Captain Alec Troutman walked into the strike group’s bay ready to assume command of his new unit. The two companies were at parade rest all decked out in their dress uniforms in formation. The bay of the U.S.S. Decatur which housed its complement of Federation Marines was decorated with banners of the member worlds of the Federation along with several Star Fleet officers from the Decatur to include Captain Jameson. The ceremony was to be a short and concise affair. Due to the fact that the Federation was currently at war with the Dominion, ceremony had become almost nonexistent. Captain Jameson would hear none of this. He believed in tradition and had come to depend on his complement of Fleet Marines that were on his ship. They, the marines, had more than once proved themselves during this long and devastating war.
The ceremony last all but twenty minutes. A speech from Captain Jameson and then a speech by Captain Troutman. After this, everyone was dismissed and reported back to their duty stations. Troutman ordered the marines to remain behind once the Star Fleet personnel had left the bay. He looked over his new strike group. It was one of the most decorated in the fleet. He was proud to be here as he surveyed his personnel.
“Marines, I’ll make this talk short,” he began, “I believe in certain specific things.
“Always above all else, place the needs of the Federation and Star Fleet above yours. Next, always keep in mind that you are the best that the Federation has. Everyone here standing is a volunteer. No one was told to be a Federation Marine. We are not peacemakers, we are warriors. This is what separates us from the rest of Star Fleet.
“We are paid to kill. Simply put. So without wasting anymore time, company commanders, take charge of your units and report to me at 0600 hours for mission brief.
With that, Captain Troutman called the strike group to attention and marched out of the bay.
His career inside the Star Fleet Marine Corps had been very good to him. In ten short years he had accumulated several decorations for bravery and heroism to include the Federation Medal of Valor. During the Cardassian war, then 1st Lieutenant Troutman single-handly took out several fortified positions of Cardassians thus enabling follow-on forces to land and successfully take the planet. During the recent conflict with the Klingons, he prevented the take over of his forward base on a strategic planet in the neutral zone. Both actions earned him several medals and an early promotion to captain.
He was a standard Terran human born and raised in the deserts of the state of Arizona on the North American continent. Troutman grew up dreaming of going to the stars like any other 24th century citizen of planet Earth. He deeply believed in the principles from which the Federation was based on and took great pride on being a citizen.
His unit, Fifth Strike Group consisted of two rifle companies. Each commanded by a lieutenant. Also under his group, there were three flights(companies) of killer bee fighter craft. The total number of marines under his command totaled 80 men and women. They were of various races from among the Federation. Mostly were human. There was one Vulcan. Several Andorians and even one Klingon exchange officer.
Among the Klingons, the Federation Marines were the only honorable military force that they even considered even existed to fight alongside. They, the Klingons, found a kindred spirit among these Marines. They weren’t afraid to fight and ask questions later as opposed to the main naval forces of Star Fleet. Lieutenant Korvath was even in charge of Alpha Company.
Alpha Company consisted of two platoons, 1st and 2nd. 1st Platoon has the two weapons squad and the two rifle maneuver squads. 2nd Platoon has the scout squad plus two more rifle maneuver squads. Bravo Company has one platoon, 3rd Platoon which contain the boarding squads. These squads are specially trained in entering and clearing enemy vessels.
The three flights (companies), Alpha, Bravo and Charlie were the strike group’s tactical, strategic and aerial drop shuttles. Tactical(Alpha) and strategic(Bravo) fighters consisted of ‘Killer Bee’ attack shuttles. These are fast, highly maneuverable, and lethal for close-in and planetary bombing missions. Aerial drop shuttles(Charlie) are the primary means Marines use to seize and occupy planetary installations or enemy vessels. The starship Decatur had extra shuttle bays to accommodate the Marine’s shuttles.
The Marine Strike Group was designed to carry on several different missions in conjunction with the starship it’s assigned. These types of operations include planet-side maneuvers and the boarding of enemy starships. They are mainly used to secure or defend Federation planets, bases and stations, as well as their allies, from numerous dangers such as, but not limited to: invasions, natural disasters, relief efforts and evacuations.
Captain Alec Troutman considered all this while he made his way to his office to pick up the latest intelligence reports on the Dominion and their progress into Federation space. The planet Vulcan was nearly invaded, but fortunately Star Fleet had turned the invaders back. This had put more of an urgency to finding a way to defeat the Dominion and send them back to the Gamma Quadrant. Federation forces were getting thinned out along every front.
The Decatur’s current mission was in support of the Seventh’s Fleet attempt to regain a foot hold in the Argelius Sector. There was a strategic planet in the Senturi system that contained a sensor array that needed destroyed. This sensor array was tracking all ships in the sector and didn’t allow Star Fleet the ability to move its ships without the Dominion knowing about it. Troutman received the captain’s orders for his marines and read them.
Their mission was simple, really. Drop on the far side of the planet. Move along undetected on the planet’s surface avoiding any and all enemy forces. Move up to the Jem H’Dar base. Destroy it and await extraction from the Decatur. Yeah, real simple. It was the simple missions that got you killed, he mused. Oh well, it had to be done. This was a critical operation that could bring the war a little bit closer to being over. Or so he hoped, Troutman thought.
He looked up and saw his company commanders approaching for the operations order. Well, he thought, time to go work.
…In the shuttle bay, …
Gunnery Sergeant (GnSgt) Rodney H. Armstrong, 1st Platoon’s platoon sergeant, was busy giving the warning order to his squad leaders about the upcoming mission. Even before Captain Troutman had left the change of command ceremony, the group had already known about the upcoming operation. His company commander, Chief Warrant Officer Two(CW2) Warren Joseph, was at the operations order and he had left his platoon sergeants to conduct the pre combat inspections necessary that were conducted before each operation
He looked over his platoon, a mixture of races and sex from around the Federation. Looking down at his PADD he began.
“All right, marines, listen up.
“Our mission is this: execute a drop on the far side of the planet. We’ll be cloaked and will avoid all enemy patrols. Once on the ground, we’ll be using the new ATAC suits with individual cloaking devices.
The second phase of the mission is to infiltrate and destroy the Jem H’Dar base. Once the base is destroyed, the Decatur will de-cloak and beam the teams up.
This mission has a low probability of success, but we’re marines and we’re supposed to make our own success,” he finished.
“Any questions,” he asked as he surveyed the platoon.
There were none, Gunny Armstrong was proud of his platoon. They had seen combat several times, once with the Klingons, and then with the Dominion. His platoon had grown into a well disciplined unit that fought with distinction.
“All right, pre-load inspection will commence in two hours, dismissed,” he ordered as he left the bay.
The two flights of attack shuttles headed for the Jem H’Dar base at full impulse. The starship Decatur provided cover against any other ships the Jem H’Dar might have. The shuttles’ mission was to attack any and all fortifications at the base. The drop shuttles, while cloaked, would drop their marines forty kilometers from the base. Once they dropped they would provided limited bombing and strafing runs on the base to add to the confusion already provided by the two attack wings.
“All flights, check in,” ordered Captain Troutman. He was piloting his own attack shuttle and would command the battle from within.
“Alpha flight, confirmed,” replied Lt. Delev, the Andorian commander.
“Bravo flight, roger, confirmed,” answered Lt. Sakarov.
“Charlie flight, confirmed. We are cloaked and running silent for the targeted coordinates,” CW1 Henderson replied.
“Acknowledged, execute the attack,” Troutman ordered.
The attack shuttles headed for the base. On their way to meet them, several Jem H’Dar attack wings came up and met them. The Federation attack split up in an attempt to spread the Dominion forces thin. This maneuver work a little bit, but most of the Jem H’Dar ships continued to press the attack towards the Decatur.
Troutman looked at this development and swore. How could the Jem H’Dar detect the cloaked starship?
“All wings, regroup and follow the enemy vessels. We have to stop them from attacking the Defiant or this mission’s a bust,” he ordered.
With that, the Federation attack shuttles attacked the Jem H’Dar and took some out. The marines put up a fight, but the Jem H’Dar was slowly gaining the upper hand. Federation forces were suffering some heavy losses.
….on the Defiant….
“Sir! Enemy fighters heading towards our position! ETA is twenty minutes!” the cops officer reported to Captain Jameson.
“Damn,” he said, “I guess our little hide and seek isn’t going to work,” he turned to the tactical officer, “Prepare to drop cloak and bring weapons and shields on line.”
“Aye, sir,” the tactical officer complied.
Seemingly out of nowhere, the Defiant de cloaked and brought her main weapons to bear on the approaching enemy ships.
Although the Defiant seemed to be out numbered, her weapons were starting to make an impact on the enemy vessels. Along with the attack from the marines, the Jem H’Dar were slowly being destroyed. But this was taking too long. The marines on the ground needed more time. With the Defiant de cloaked, several Jem H’Dar attack vessels were en route to the planet.
…on the ground…
After the drop off, the marines were making good time on the terrain. A Co. under Korvath were five minutes to the base. His company had the honor of being the main effort of entering and destroying the power generator for the base. Despite the marines being individually cloaked with their ATAC suits, they still preceded with caution. The Jem H’Dar defenses were still mostly unknown and they had to ready for any unexpected attack.
As the first platoon approached the perimeter, Korvath hungered for battle, but he knew the value of stealth in certain circumstances.
He deployed his cloaked marines in and around the facility. It was going too easy, he thought, no alarms were going off and his marines were undetected so far.
All of a sudden, two marines that were setting charges next to the power core were vaporized. Korvath looked to see several squads of dismounted Jem H’Dar soldiers approach them.
“De Cloak! Deploy and return fire!” he ordered.
At once, the Jem H’Dar soldiers were surrounded by dozens of Federation Marines. They converged phaser fire into the group of Jem H’Dar soldiers. Many soldiers fell, but they returned a murderous barrage of disrupter fire at the marines. Korvath was having a good time. He had brought his bat’leth and was hacking away at several Jem H’Dar.
He spoke over his communicator, “Danzer, bring your company up and finish the job. We will take the fight to these dishonorable pateq. Quapla! Danzer.”
Danzer’s company was already in position and still cloaked. He looked at his combat tricorder locating the power core and what was left of A Co.
“All units, this is Danzer, we will remain cloaked and finish the job. Nobody leaves this planet until that power core is destroyed! We will assist A Co. after we have destroyed the core. Understood?” he finished.
A series of ayes came from his platoon leaders. Without further, the company made their way into the battle
…on the Defiant…
“Damage report!” ordered Jameson.
“Shields down to 86 percent. Phasers are down, structural integrity is down 45 percent. Our warp core is becoming unstable,” reported the tactical officer behind the captain.
“Acknowledged,” he looked to the con officer, Mr. Daniels, “Keep those fighters busy. Continue to fire and help out those marines.”
“Aye, sir,” Ensign Daniels complied.
The Defiant pivoted in space to bring her photon torpedo tubes to bear on the Jem H’Dar fighters.
“Status of the ground team?” he asked his tactical officer.
“Sensors show heavy phaser fire in and around the power core, but no indication that it has been destroyed,” Lieutenant. Serlik reported.
“They need to hurry up,” he commented to no one in particular,” he looked to Serlik again, “ETA of the approaching Jem H’Dar vessels?”
“One hour, fifteen minutes, thirty two seconds until they reach us, sir.”
The captain merely nodded his head in acknowledgment. Hope we can keep it together till we complete the mission, he thought to himself.
Troutman looked around, as he flew his shuttle, and noted that the battle was finally turning to their side. Jem H’Dar craft were being destroyed left and right. He had received a transmission from the Defiant that several Jem H’Dar attack vessels were enroute and were due in system in just over an hour. He decided it was time to assist the effort on the ground.
“Alpha and Bravo flights, follow me to the planet. Charlie flight, finish up here and see to our drop shuttles. Ensure that they get back to the Defiant with our ground forces intact,” He ordered.
The two flights of killer bee attack shuttles headed at top speed towards the Jem H’Dar base. Troutman figured that the ground troops could use some close air support.
He checked his display. The marines were clearly displayed on his monitor by the indicator chips in their ATAC suits. Troutman selected some targets, individual Jem H’Dar soldiers, and preceded to vaporize them where they stood.
… on the ground…
Korvath’s marines were killing Jem H’Dar soldiers left and right. The bodies of both Federation marines and Jem H’Dar soldiers littered the area.
Danzer’s company, still cloaked, had met with minimal resistance and succeeded in placing the charges next to power core. They, all the of Marines, now had two minutes to leave the area. Danzer gave the order to withdraw.
“Korvath! Get your company out of here! You have less than two minutes to leave!”
“Acknowledged, human! All units, break off and rally at location Omega!” he ordered his company.
With that, Federation marines, both cloaked and uncloaked began to retreat from the base. Their ATAC suits allowing them an increase in their physical abilities to run several times faster than they could without the suits.
As they withdrew, Danzer hailed Troutman on his shuttle.
“Red One, this Bravo One, the egg is laid. One minute and thirty seconds and counting. All forces are headed for rally point Omega.”
“Acknowledged, Bravo One, we’ll provide cover for you until the drop ships arrive,” Troutman answered.
As the marines left, Jem H’Dar soldiers continued to attack. Despite aerial attacks by the shuttles, the Jem H’Dar still pressed their attack. Losses by both sides were overwhelming, but the marines were still surviving.
All of a sudden, a huge explosion erupted over the horizon. The power core of the Jem H’Dar facility blew up and leveled it. Everyone on the ground was thrown down. The shuttles in the air above fought to remain airborne, but thankfully the all the remaining shuttles were undamaged. Troutman looked over the terrain, noting that his marines were still there and were keeping the remaining Jem H’Dar soldiers busy with ground phaser fire.
“Korvath, Danzer, respond!” Troutman spoke into his communicator.
“Listen, the drop shuttles are two kilometers from your respective positions on the other side of that small rise to your northwest. Acknowledge.”
“I copy, Red One, we’ll be there in next twenty minutes,” Danzer reported.
“I will be there, Red One, it has been glorious, sir!” Korvath said.
Troutman’s comm unit indicated his getting a transmission from the Defiant.
“Troutman here,” he replied.
“Troutman, get your marines out of there in the next thirty minutes or you’ll be living on this dirtball,” Captain Jameson ordered.
“Acknowledged, sir. We won’t miss this ticket home. We’ll be there.”
“Mr. Serlik will transmit the rendezvous coordinates to you once you’ve left the surface.”
“No problem, sir. We’ll see you there. Troutman out.”
Troutman flew his shuttle over the ground marines. They had set up a defensive perimeter in defense of the landing shuttles. The Jem H’Dar soldiers, or what was left of them were still attacking. Boy, he thought, they never give up. Oh well, their loss. His marines were killing everyone of them.
In a short time, faster than expected all his surviving marines were onboard the drop shuttles. All the shuttles were headed for the Defiant. Mission accomplished, thought Troutman, but not without a heavy price. A total of twenty four marines had died during the mission. Twenty four more names to add to an already long list of names. Troutman felt the sting of command whenever he had to write that letter home to a deceased’s next of kin for each of marines. Knowing that they died for the defense of the Federation didn’t make much of a difference when he wrote those letters, but it did help a little bit.
The shuttles finally docked with the Defiant. Troutman and his marines assumed their starship battlestations. Battle wasn’t over yet. The approach over three Jem H’Dar heavy attack vessels wasn’t a good sign. Help from the Seventh Fleet was due in thirty minutes with the starships, Enterprise and the Sovereign and the Ticonderoga. The last being one of the new Deadelus class dreadnoughts…
To be continued….