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Aberrant: Stargate Universe - War Games [Fin]

Noah Weston

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(This takes place after “Settling In”)

He ran at full speed. A normal person would have been heaving on the ground, bunched up in cramps or puking their guts out, but Noah wasn’t a normal person anymore. He was a Specialist.

He was about 3 miles out from the Alpha base when he stopped to get his bearings. The object of this training assignment was simple. Get to a specific site in the surrounding forest, capture the guarded flag and get back to the Alpha base site without getting captured or taken down.

Noah pulled out his mission map and compass to quickly oriented himself. He was a mile an a half off the mark and had yet to run into opposition. He didn’t doubt that Cpt. Billings had Marines sweeping in behind him, probably from the Alpha site.

Noah glanced at the map again before folding in back up and returning it to its waterproof pouch. Adjusting the grip on his weapon he headed deeper into the woods, eyes open for any opposition.

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Stupid, stupid, stupid! Noah thought as he dodged another energy pulse. He’d walked right into that ambush and before he’d even realized his opponents were shooting at him. A normal person hit by one of the weapon’s energy pulses would be lying on the ground, stunned and most likely moaning in pain and while Noah was made of stronger stuff he didn’t really want to find out if he was any more resistant than a normal human. Staggered by a blast that nearly clipped his left ear, Noah dropped and rolled behind a fallen tree trunk riddled with moss and rot.

Energy bolts flew, several thumping into Noah’s temporary refuge and he could hear shouts and more soldiers converged on his location. He popped up during a lull in the enemy fire to pop off a few rounds of his own. They were random, unaimed shots but he was hoping they would at least scatter his opponents and send them scurrying for cover.

Noah had a brief moment to assess the situation. He couldn’t stay where he was that was for certain. His cover wouldn’t last forever and with the numbers he guessed were around him he would maybe a minute before he was surrounded. What he needed was a distraction. He dropped back down behind the log and scanned the area for something, anything he could use to distract his opponents. Another Intar pulse hit his makeshift bulwark and inspiration struck; the log itself could be his distraction. Rolling onto his knees and digging his hands under the log, Noah heft it with all his might; hurling it ten feet in the air.

The log sailed about twenty feet and crashed into a tree with violent force, erupting into a stinging rain of dead rooted wood, earth, and moss. Noah didn’t wait to see how effective his distraction had been but ran full tilt in the opposite direction, while shouts of alarm, surprise and confusion clamored behind him.

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Twenty feet up in an ancient oak tree, Noah shifted his position slightly, trying to make as little noise as possible as two soldiers stalked slowly below him. He mentally prayed that they wouldn’t discover his boots as they moved directly under him. The soldiers were efficient and alert as they moved around the tree and it was only a moment before they found is military issue combat boots.

As the two snapped instantly alert and scanned the surrounding woodlands Noah let go of the trunk of the tree with his hands as he stepped lightly onto a thick branch. Crouching, he very slowly and quietly let himself swing down until he was hanging upside down and let go with his hands. Whatever it was that let him cling to any surface kept his feet firmly anchored to the strong branch until he was ‘standing’ upside down. He was just raising his own firearm when his two opponents finally looked up.

“Oh shi…” was all the first soldier manager to utter before Noah’s shot hit him on his left shoulder. The man fell like a sack of potatoes and the young specialist had already fired on the second soldier before the first had hit the ground. Both were twitching as the Intar’s energy coursed through their nervous systems. Noah smiled slightly with pride as he ‘let go’ of the branch and twisted mid-air to land on his feet.

“Sorry,” he said to the soldiers as he gave each of them another shot from his Intar to knock them out. He stepped over to one of the soldiers and pulled the little radio earpiece out of the man’s ear to and put it in his own. He listened to for a moment and swore under his breath. One of the soldiers managed to relay his position before he immobilized them.

Noah stood and was about to take off but he hesitated. He needed another edge or else he’d up shit’s creek in no time. He looked up at the tree again. A good idea but if he was spotted he was screwed. He sighed and began taking his clothes off.

“I can’t believe I’m doing this,” he said to himself quietly. When he was naked he strapped his black and green web belt with the waterproof pouch back on and picked his Intar back up, slinging it onto his shoulder by the strap. He stepped closer to the tree and closed his eyes briefly. Noah’s skin seemed to ripple and color swirled over his body until he was perfectly camouflaged to the tree.

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  • 2 weeks later...

For the next hour the remaining Marines harried Noah. Where they had numbers and superior firepower, Noah had stealth, terrain advantage and super powers. The young soldier had taken out three more opponents before his Intar ran out of power. Unfortunately his spare clips were back with his uniform and the majority of his gear, the little waterproof bag having just enough room to hold his folded up mission map and a compass.

Noah checked his map again while suspended from the trunk of a particularly large tree, his Adhesion power keeping him firmly rooted. He snapped out the compass and quickly took a reading before slipping it back into the safety of the pouch. Noah swore softly under his breath as he rechecked his is position on the map. He’d been driven way off course and now there was a lake between him and his objective. If he was right, he only had an hour or two more before his time limit was up. He considered his options carefully. Back the way he’d come, around the southern edge of the lake, were at least 2 squads of 4 Marines each. Not insurmountable odds but it would slow him down considerably. He considered going around the northern edge of the lake but again that would take more time than he wanted to spare, and most likely there were marines coming around that direction as well. They would try to pincer him off. Also, it was probable that they were aware by now that he was in the trees so they would be ready for any height advantage he had. Noah smiled as an idea came to him.

Leaping from his position, Noah arced over to another, much smaller tree and let his momentum bend the tree deeply as he impacted it. He let go of the tree just before it snapped back up and dropped the last fifteen feet to the ground. He wasn’t too concerned with the noise; he wanted his opponents to think he was still thrashing around in the trees. A quick dash through the foliage brought him to the edge of the lake where he hid for a moment and scanned the shore, searching for any of his pursuers. With the coast clear, Noah slowly waded into the water.

The cold was a shock, but Noah could already feel the tingle of what the doctors told him was Quantum flowing through him. He fully submerged in the frigid water and as his body became energized, he felt the changes occur. His chameleon skin continued to blend with the surroundings and membranous webbing quickly formed between his fingers and toes, The cold seemed to fade and most amazingly, gills sprouted along his neck and throat, allowing Noah to breathe comfortably in the water. At first the feeling was unnerving but this wasn’t the first time Noah had pulled this particular trick. The doctors had made the young man practice with his environmental adaptive abilities for over a week back at the SGC.

The trip across the lake was quick and quiet as Noah slid though the water like a creature born to the sea. His objective was close to the shore of the lake, on a little strip of rocky beach. While still in deep water, Noah poked his head out just enough to take in the situation. The flag was stuck into the rocky gravel of the beach about fifteen feet from the waterline. There were at least five Marines in Noah’s line of sight. Two were stationed near the flag itself while the other three were walking short patrols in the immediate area. It was obvious that he wouldn’t be able to just sneak up a take the flag but would have to subdue these soldiers before he could make off with his objective.

Carefully and quietly he slid out of the water and onto the shore, water running down his still naked and camouflaged form. He crept forward, staying low to the ground, moving slowly and as silently as possible. Noah slipped the strap of the now useless Intar from his shoulder and held it by its barrel. If it couldn’t be used as a gun it made a fine club. As he was adjusting his stance some pebbles shifted beneath his feet, alerting the guards to his presence but by the time they had gotten a bead on him he had already sprung into action.

Noah crossed the short distance to the two flag guards as they were still raising their weapons and cracked the first one in the helmet with his makeshift club, knocking him out. The second guard fired his weapon but couldn’t compensate for the Specialist’s sudden movement and missed. The shot alerted the three patrollers and as they turned to fire, Noah grabbed his opponent’s arm and twisted it into a submission hold, using his captive as a human shield to avoid the blasts of energy.

The now unconscious guard hung limply in Noah grasp and he took up the man’s weapon returning fire as he continued to use the poor soldier for cover. His fire scattered the remaining marines, sending them diving for cover but not before he tagged another of them. Another well-timed shot took out the man to his left and that left one woman standing. She fired another short burst dropped back down behind her cover, which is when Noah made his move. He let his human shield and the weapon when was still strapped to the man drop and charged the rock the marine was hiding behind.

She fired again and Noah threw himself to the ground, rolling and dodging away. He came up and vaulted over the rock hoping to catch her by surprise but the marine was ready for him and he took the butt of her rifle to his midsection. He grunted and knocked the weapon out of her hands with a backhanded swipe snapping the strap in the process and sending the gun sailing away. Both combatants immediately dropped into combat stances and sized each other up.

Noah observed that the women was short, probably five foot two or so but solidly built. She had short brown hair and brown eyes. The name patch on her uniform read McKinnon. His opponent sized him up as well, staying just outside of his reach. If he wanted to hit her he would have to extend himself and give her an opening but so would she. The pair bobbed and weaved, each testing the other for openings and weaknesses.

“You’re pretty good,” Noah said trying to distract his opponent. McKinnon just grunted in response.

“You always run around butt naked during Ops?” She said in reply. “You gotta nice ass kid.”

The comment threw him for a moment and while he blushed in embarrassment, Noah dropped his guard. McKinnon stepped in and landed a right cross to the face and while it didn’t injure him, Noah staggered back. Taking the opportunity she grabbed the young man by his shoulders and drove her knee hard and fast into his groin. Pain exploded between Noah’s legs and he dropped like a sack of potatoes. As he lay gasping for air, McKinnon made a break for her fallen weapon.

Noah felt that tingle of energy run through his body again. Just as McKinnon reached her weapon Noah got to his knees and his tongue shot out of his mouth. Six feet long and thick as his wrist, it whipped out at the female marine as she was picking up her gun. It wrapped around her ankle and she let out a shocked cry. With a jerk of his head the tongue lash jerked McKinnon violently into the air, and slammed into a nearby tree. She grunted in pain and slid down the trunk as Noah’s tongue recoiled back into his mouth before he’d even processed just what he had done.

He got to his feet quickly and picked up McKinnon’s Intar as she lay breathing heavily among the roots of the tree, above her there was a noticeable indent in the tree’s trunk where Noah had slammed her. “What. The fuck. Was that,” She rasped, a slight hint of panic in her voice. “Was that your fucking tongue?”

“I, I don’t…Are you okay?” Noah stammered as he held the gun pointed at her, his hands trembling slightly. “I think you better radio the base.” He said before falling back to his knees and throwing up.

Within the hour Noah was back at the Alpha site with full team of medics surrounding him, poking and prodding, running preliminary tests, and bombarding him with a variety of questions he just didn’t have the answers to. All he knew was that he was scared and freaked out and wondered what this meant. Was this kind of thing going to happen a lot? He was starting to feel that maybe these abilities or powers or whatever they were weren’t as cool as he thought before.

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