Well, that was a damn cockup, that was. Cap’n tells us on the pads that we’re takin’ a different mission, then the damn beam drops us in the middle o’ two dozen natives. Bang off start to a covert op. For once I was glad ol’ Grumpy had us combat ready on the drop, but it didn’t help much. So there we are, glarin’ red in the middle of a frackin’ steampunk nightmare with a goddam balloon of all things. Some stupid luck or fraggin’ genius made one or another of the team to blow the damn thing to hell, which bought me enough time to start thinkin’ quick and talkin’ quicker. Ain’t much you can do when you’re wearing red uniforms and holdin’ guns that make their arms look like tinkertoys, but I bought us a doubt or two. Coulda been more, but the others “helped” a mite. Fussy’s a tad sore about bein’ the boss, so I made sure they knew he was our main man. Mistake.
We get dragged off to their base (and it’s a damn good thing I picked up that fraggin’ rock when everyone was busy), and Soldier-boy points at me and sez I’m the leader. Well, that fracked our story from here to next week it did, so I spent my time patchin’ up all the goofs everyone else had been tellin’. We’d gotten to be almost taken serious-like by them natives as scroungers, so our cover was good… the team dropped off the wee gizmo, and we was set to go. Thing is, ‘round midnight planetside, some hoohah of a blast goes off and wakes everyone in the next three orbits. Bein’ conscientious types, we took off lookin’ to help with what was goin’ on, and were ourselves shocked by a ginormous hellcat rippin’ the shreds off the villagers. I figgered we coulda jest booked it in the chaos, but some o’ the gang were worried ‘bout them civvies. Now, I know it’s the duty of a marine ta follow orders, so I was a wee pissed when Trigger Happy blasts the damn cat ta Kingdom Come, showin’ everyone that there were no way in the Nine Hells we were from their rock. Thinkin’ back, I kin understand how he was thinkin’, I’d feel a mite dirty had we jest left ‘em. I’ll leave it to the higher’s ta make them sorta judgements.