Slowly she gripped the stock of her rifle and as if from a dream lifted it from the ground. Everything seemed to take forever as she gave it a small shake to clear off the debris.

Her other hand took an agonizing long time to come up and grip the guard as her first hand returned to the pistol grip. Her mind was racing as her body slowly lunged forward. The concussion blast had propelled her trough the glass face and into a store.

In an instant she was through the shattered remains of a buy one get one free advert window and back onto the street. Ears ringing, voices… no shouts… started to dawn on her conscious.

The blast originated two buildings behind her on the other side of the road. Debris was still raining down onto the less fortunate members of her company. A mass of solders and medics were already busy attending to the wounded and taking up defensive positions. Seeing no immediate threat she lowered her rifle and took a moment to size up the situation.

The building was simply gone. A music store if she wasn’t mistaken. The buildings to either side were fairly undamaged. From the debris the blast went straight out into the street. Maximum casualties, minimum structural damage. A Hob Kregian mine.

“Lieutenant!” came a guttural shout from behind her.

“Yes Captain?”

Captain Donnavon slowed to a stop beside her and in unison both of them starting walking towards the scene.

“What the hell happened?”

Shrugging the stock of her rifle towards the ruined building “my guess is an old mine left over from the war. Private Jen-kalia wasn’t too far behind me. His presence might have set it off.”

“That’s just great. I warned them bringing Kree into our ranks was dangerous.”

“Captain, I don’t think…” she trailed off as an older man dressed in a very dirty lab coat huffed his way to a stop in front of them.

The man took a couple of pants… “Captain…” took a few more pants before managing to come under some semblance of control.

Doctor Ferris was a very good and talented doctor, especially at the age of 72. Sadly, he was physically unprepared to being drafted into the 302nd Company.

“Yes Doctor?” said the Captain.

“… Yes… okay…” the doctor said while still catching his breath, “six dead… a dozen wounded… and a few dozen more were effected by the explosion.”

“And the package?”

“Status unchanged… she shows no sign… of being effected…”

“Good. Very good. Dismissed Doctor.”

With a curt nod of his head the doctor turned around and raced off.

“Lieutenant. I want you to reposition any remaining Kree personal as far away from the package. Who knows how many more mines sit between us and our destination.”

“But sir, that could be…”

“Do it Lieutenant.”

“… Aye… sir.”

Lance Terry Hildebrand