Join Date: Jul 2005
Okay, this one is for Alumette. It's long, and I struggled with it, but I really liked the results. Comments again are welcome.
“Thank you and welcome back to Peace of Paragon, the country’s window in the lives of extraordinary individuals.”
Rachel Max flashed the brilliant lopsided smile she was famous for while sitting behind the glass and steel desk that was her trademark. Her television show, showcasing heroes and extraordinary achievements from all over the nation, had become an instant primetime hit after the war, and was watched on syndicated television worldwide.
“Tonight, our headline interview is with a woman many of you have heard about, particularly if you follow happenings here in our city. A leftenant in the British super powered defense team the Dawn Patrol, lets give a warm welcome to one of the most visible and beloved of our city’s defenders, Grace Angélique Courbier better known as Alumette!”
Standing, Rachel clapped along with a rousing cheer from the studio audience as Alumette walked in from off stage. Dressed in an asymmetrical cut black dress that clung to her from the silver and garnet necklace around her throat to mid thigh, she smiled brightly and waved to the audience and camera. The slim, unassuming woman of barely 5’2” strode out to greet the audience and wave, her heels clicking on the wood floor as she exchanged kisses on the cheek with her host and the two sat down.
The applause died down with a few whistles in the background ending with a final ‘marry me’ shout by a young man in the back.
Rachel smirked. “Sounds like you have some admirers. Any words for the boys?”
“I’m engaged to a sniper.” Alumette said, tilting her head down and looked out at the audience with a mischievous grin.
A collective “ooOOOooohhh” followed by laughter rippled through the crowd.
“So I heard you just got back from northern England to help with some administrative issues. The Dawn Patrol monitoring station up there, as I understand it, requires you to take a rather small plane in order to get anywhere near there. Now it’s well known that up until recently, you had some problems with heights. Did it bother you to make a ten hour flight north of London to do paperwork?”
Alumette laughed a bit along with the audience. “Actually, my team and particularly my fiancée helped me deal with that fear along with many others in my time working with them. The heights and the flight really didn’t bother me at all. – That didn’t make ten hours in a plane any better.” She mock frowned. “If I’m going to spend that much time flying, I’d like to at least find myself somewhere warm and fun.”
Rachel winked. “So it was the paperwork that got you after all. See? She’s not that much different than us?”
The four engines of the C130 transport plane roared their constant drone as the plane rattled against the pounding snow and wind of the storm. Looking out the window, Alumette caught glimpses of the landscape below, and her stomach gave a twinge, a faint echo of her once mind numbing fear of heights. Turning her head around, she met the stares of the ten SAS soldiers who were pretending rather unsuccessfully not to stare. Crossing her legs, she tugged a bit at her Dawn Patrol blue and white leathers, adjusting them and looking away, their voices and whispers filtering through in snippets.
“We gave up heavy weapons space for a girl?”
“When they said we had hero support, I thought they meant Statesman, not Victim Girl.” – Laughter
“Wonder what she did wrong to get sent up here.”
Alumette sucked in her breath and turned to regard them, flashing a warm and patient smile. Interlacing her hands across her knees, she maintained her friendly gaze. The soldiers lost interest in the subject, and the interior of the plan returned to the dull roar of the engines.
It would be a long flight.
Rachel picked up an information sheet on her desk and studied it, her lips pursing as she looked over its contents.
“It says here that you are able to channel fire and pure energy around your body. Can you give us a demonstration?”
“Sure!” Alumette responded enthusiatically, smiling as she took off one bracelet. Holding up her hand, her eyes flashed briefly with a yellow light as a pale blue flame erupted from her fingertips, rest of her palm covered by a soft red glow. Turning her hand palm up, she cupped the torch-sized flame as Rachel leaned back in her chair.”
The audience oohed, ahhed, and then applauded as Alumette held her hand up for the camera and onlookers.
“Well there you have it, folks. That’s why she gets paid the big bucks. I bet that’s useful for all kinds of things like…um…”
Alumette chimed in “Making crème brulee, keeping cookies hot on the way to the office, dealing with bugs without touching them, warming up after a shower…”
…holding off over one hundred Rikti warriors…
The team had switched to a VTOL Interdictor class light troop transport at the blustery airfield where they landed. The craft had shot skywards moments after Alumette had stepped on board, the sudden movement throwing her off balance. One of the soldiers had caught her arm and steadied her, the others looking at her with incredulousness and disgust as they read the loss of balance as a weakness.
“Thanks.” She said softly, nodding. The soldier that helped her shook his head and went to sit down.
If the journey to the strip was rough, the trip to the observation post was pure abuse. Winds buffeted the tiny craft as it whipped close to the ground, the landscape tearing at terrifying speeds to the point where it the journey felt like an uncontrolled sideways free fall. The voice came over the com after what seemed like only a few minutes.
“Everyone suit up! Landing zone is hot! Repeat, Landing zone is hot!”
The SAS troops were instantly in motion, strapping down body armor, gathering equipment, checking communications beads, and taking up positions by the door. Alumette walked up behind them and stood patiently, ignored and mostly forgotten.
With a high descending whine and a thump, the craft touched down, the rear door falling open to crash into the hard packed earth as the winter wind blasted into the compartment. Through her com bead, Alumette heard the captain’s voice. “We have ten technical personnel to get out of here. Find who you can, get them into this craft, and get back here. No heroics.”
Alumette rolled her eyes at the irony.
Through the snow and the wind, Alumette heard a sound all too familiar. The high whine of plasma weaponry echoed through the base as she stepped into the snow and surveyed the scene. The compound was situated on the plateau of a mountain overlooking a wide expanse of territory lost to the Rikti during the war. It was a listening post, and used mainly to monitor the remaining Rikti for movements towards major population centers. For the most part, it was quiet.
That was until sometime about a week ago when the Rikti decided it needed to be torn down. The base was defended, but wave after wave of gradually increasing Rikti numbers had turned a dangerous situation into the lethal one they now faced. A blast of plasma smashing into the VTOL focused Alumettes attention.
One of the containment walls had a massive hole blown though it, about the size of a large truck. The SAS troops fanned out, laying down a curtain of fire at what was obviously a group of Rikti guards that had taken up position there. The troops were well trained, and rapidly their precision small arms fire dropped several of the guards to their knees to pitch forward into the dust. Two disk-like drones then floated over the top of the wall and returned fire, their plasma sending white blue blasts among the SAS personnel as they rapidly took cover.
Even under fire, it took only moments for the special forces to set up two custom heavy machine guns trained on the breach while three others headed for the barracks to find the technicians. Alumette sucked in her breath. The soldiers were doing everything right and by the book: The covering fire, the weapons placement, the speed of their movements was textbook.
Textbook for fighting humans, not Rikti.
“Merde” she muttered as she watched the drones stop firing and just hang there.
The machine guns opened fire, pouring a steady stream of explosive shells into the assembled Rikti mass that was now pushing again towards the opening. For a moment, the mass seemed to falter. Then, with a growling roar that rose to a high pitched shriek, three armored Rikti gunmen appeared on top of the soldiers manning the heavy weapons as those positions were relayed back to the enemy by the sensors of the advanced drones. The men screamed as the Rikti’s heavy plasma rifles blew them to pieces, their weapons and bodies fusing into melted slag. Their primary target eliminated, the gunners turned on the support unit now split in half by the destruction of their heavy weapons.
A dull thump followed by a burst of yellow and blue light was the only warning the Rikti soldiers had before Alumette was among them. None of the soldiers actually saw her move. She was just, suddenly, there; an apparition of fire and power materializing among them. Her lips pursed, Alumette swung a backhand at the abdomen of the first soldier, her energy covered fist crunching into the creature’s armor and doubling him over. Raising both hands above her head, she swung them down together, the smashing sound of her fists against the metal of the back of its helmet louder than any gun shot. The force of the two handed punch drove the Rikti down with such speed that its body bounced off the ground and back up again only to be punched and launched fifteen feet towards the breach, the smoking carcass skittering across the black ice of the compound floor.
The other two Rikti turned and fired, point blank. The super heated plasma of the energy weapons smashed into her with enough energy to shatter concrete, but the shots only staggered her back one step, and then another. “TRY HARDER!” she screamed back at them, launching herself into the air in a spin that carried both fists around her body like a windmill, each hand smashing into both helmets before she landed. The Rikti teetered and staggered, stunned by the force of the attack. Reaching out a hand to either side, she grabbed hold of the two soldiers and smashed them brutally together before letting them fall over.
“Get the technicians! Do it now!” she ordered, the pleasant and comforting voice of Grace now surplanted by a commanding and authoritative tone that echoed with power and antiquity. Without knowing exactly why, the SAS troops rushed to obey. Meanwhile, Alumette had already closed the distance to the breach as the commotion drew the Rikti’s attention. Planting her feet, she laid into the first alien to approach with fists crackling with bright red energy, screaming out challenges as they came. Ten. Twenty. Thirty. In moments, the girl was surrounded by over a hundred aliens.
“Jesus, we have to get her out of there” the captain stared in disbelief as the wisp of a girl they had carried for so long held the breach against the mountainous alien hoard. Soon, all he could see from the canopy of the VTOL was the glowing light of her flames from between the backlit bodies of seething aliens trying to bring her down. One by one the troops returned, escorting the technicians. 1…2…3…4…5…
“Hang in there.” the captain whispered, transfixed by what he was seeing.
The chief soldier finally made it to the front. Stepping forward, his dead, alien eyes locked with Alumette’s as he pulled a two handed sword glittering with power. “BRING IT!” she shouted, casing her arms wide. With a flare, the ground around her exploded igniting the breach and turning it into a furnace in seconds. Alien screams filled the air as warrior after warrior pitched over, was flash fried, or backed away trying to put out a flames that burned through energy fields, armor, and flesh with equal voracity. The chief soldier strode into the flames unconcerned to tower at nearly twice Alumette’s height. With a double handed swing, the blade slammed into Alumette’s body and drove her to the ground with a shriek and crump that cracked ground beneath her. As she tried to rise, he lifted the weapon high over his head and brought it down again, slamming it into her head and back and driving her flat. Dazed, stunned, and now uncertain, Alumette again tried to stand.
*First in battle” she muttered, blood dropping from her mouth to vaporize in the flames.
“First to fall…” she whispered shaking as she tried to push her legs under her.
“NOOOOO!” the captain yelled as he watched the blade rise.
With another downward stroke, the Soldier drove the sword into Alumette’s prone body, her arms flailing upward as the impact literally drove her into the earth and doused the flames surrounding her with a soft pop.
“We have them all!” the SAS Sergeant said. “We HAVE to go!”
The captain nodded in abject horror. “Go…go go go go go Get us OUT of here!” The VTOL powered up with a roar as the last of the troops came on board.
The Chief soldier planted a foot on Alumette’s back as his troops surrounded him. Pointing to the rising craft, he screeched a command and in unison the aliens raised their rifles.
“NEVER FALL!” Alumette’s voice echoed through the compound heard everywhere and aboard the craft as her fallen body exploded into flames. Twin wings of pure yellow and red fire expanded from her back as she broke free from the ground, her eyes blazing with white hot fury. The captain shielded his face as the warriors surrounding the risen phoenix burst into flames. Lashing a hand forward, the now hovering Alumette seized the Chief Soldier by the throat, and staring into his eyes as the wings of blazing flame enfolded him, she pressed a single finger into his forehead, the touch superheating his armor and cooking him inside. Letting go, she dropped his corpse to the smoking earth.
And just like that, it was over: Alumette, surrounded by a ring of fallen and smoking aliens, turned and ran for the departing VTOL.
Rachel shook her head and laughed at Alumette’s list of mundane uses for such an obvious power.
“Well, you have been an inspiration to a lot of heroes and a lot of teams, but can’t be all fame and glory, right?” Alumette smiled at the comment, but said nothing. “For the rest of the show, Alumette will be helping me show some real life examples of Dawn Patrol’s community involvement and the inspiration she’s had on ordinary folks, the kinds that the Patrol works to protect every day…after all, a hero’s primary contribution is always…
<Camera pans back and the show continues>
Somewhere over Croatia
Eight British SAS troops sit strapped into a C130 transport headed for a landing strip near the border. The troops say nothing. The camera pans in on a small, hand made patch on each uniform. Blue and white with a background of yellow flames, the patch reads
“First in Battle, First to Fall, Never Fall”
Last edited by Gabriel's Fury; 07-20-2005 at 08:46 PM.