|Explosive anti-matter shells and the high whine of particle-cannon suppression fire shattered the morning calm of another cold and grey Cleveland day . Marines jumped to their station in their fighting holes on what was left of Brook Park Road, as the buzz of air-raid tweets chimed in the ears of the 3rd Battalion 25th regiment. Training took over and quickly they began to return the enemy fire, greeting the new day the same way they had the previous hundred, the only way they knew how, trying to keep the goddamn 'Pedes' from securing the Cuyahoga Valley and allowing the godforsaken bugs to reinforce their fragile supply lines in an effort to take the port.
"What's a couple of legs between friends? That couldn't have happened, the Gunny's gotta be snowing us about that, ain't he?" said the unit's newly deployed machine gunner Private David Thoms to Lance Corporal Evans as they dodged laser blasts.
"Hell no Davey, and if you don't want to worry about the Pedes' harvesting you, just let Gunny hear you imply he was lying,won't be enough left of you to office hour let alone feed a bug... Honestly, Gunny's brother's unit had a member in the Color-guard at that U.N. sponsored peace conference, he saw it happen," replied L Cpl. Dewey Evans as he chucked a smart grenade up into the hell-fire above him.
Thoms quickly followed up Evan's throw, with a thirty second burst from his rifle as overhead a number of Ultra-harriers and advanced drones attempted to hold their own against the alien's gun platforms."So what the hell really happened? Last I heard we was getting those Millipeded bastards from Sirius to finally sit down with the those hundred-leg fucks from Proxima for a peace conference, then next thing you know they bushwhack us and I'm getting drafted," said Thoms over the din of the battle.
"Yep, went south real quick. Apparently all it took was one of those egg-head negotiators of ours to point out how dumb it was for two species ten light-years apart, whose only noticeable physical and cultural differences amounted to a few hundred vestigial legs, to be fighting when they had both proven they could coexisted peacefully with us right in between them, sans any problems, despite our significant lack of appendages," replied Evans, as the order came over their in-bedded ear links to hunker down, while an Air-force 3c on a clear orbital path launched a kinetic-missile bombardment.
"You gotta be shitting me? Are you saying we convinced them it was stupid not to mend fences cause they had so much in common and the thanks we get is they decided to tag-team us instead?" Thoms grunted in amazement .
"That's about the size of it. Our guy even gave a big speech ending with that hundred leg between friends bullshit. Now, ain't none of that made the papers yet, it's all classified tip top. The company line is that economic and colonial disputes triggered the conflict, but that's what the scuttlebutt says. Well, that and I heard a couple internet videos of kids frying earth bugs with magnifying glasses didn't help much..." laughed Evans, shrugging as he mimicked a child holding a magnifying glass, for a moment, before the Gunny cut him short with a sharp bark.
"Evans, Thoms, shut your sucks and get on the deck before those crossed eyed space-monkey's and their flying tin cans mistakenly open a can of raid on your asses too."
"OORAH," they yelled back with a grin, tasting dirt as they dove for cover.
And above them the heavens rained fire.