"Commander, Pirates have been detected by our scanners and they are landing within range of our mortars. Shall we fire?"
"Always, Procene." The commander replied, a calm expression turning to a sly grin as he added, "Our prison cells are a bit empty." then becoming serious again, "Alert Frenchy, Old Ben, and Doug to man the mortars. I don't care if it is raining, we need to thin their numbers before they reach our walls and meet our turrets."
"Yes, Commander." She affirmed, immediately turning to patch herself through the commlinks that Doug had converted from gear picked up from fallen enemies.
The Commander, a well-rounded leader named John Whitehouse, called 'Trigger' for his quick-draw on his pistol and the minigun always on his back, was a man of efficient words. He had a mind for survival and the nerve to do what had to be done. Stepping outside with no rush, he took no shelter from the pouring rain. The fog was a hindrance for most but his bionic eye gave him the advantage, and gave him the sight to help guide the mortar fire.
A seemingly fast four hours passed before Procene's sweet voice rang in the commlink on his ear, "Commander, the Pirates are done preparing and taking losses and are approaching quickly from the East." Trigger responded immediately, his coarse voice ordering back through the commlink to all units, "All units with ranged weapons take positions in the courtyard immediately." And then switching to reach only Mushinto, a Hunter who had been here as long as he had, "Mushinto, bring your sword."
"You couldn't stop me if you tried." Trigger only smirked to himself, always impressed by the sheer gall Mushinto had. He was a hardened man just as Trigger was, and neither of them had ever been bothered by the sight of death or gore.
Trigger himself had been in a battle with Tribals a long year and a half ago when he lost his arm to a warrior wielding a sword. It had been replaced by a better bionic one by Tom, a peaceful Settler, but he missed his organic one. He remembered the moment in which he lost his arm, looking into the man's eyes as he unloaded his pistol into his gut, falling back and fading to black only to wake up in the Medical Ward.
Even though his arm was gone, he felt relieved that the base had not fallen. That would be the last time they would see Pirates for over a hundred days. The last battle with Pirates had been less of an issue with upgraded defenses, and this one would be even less so. In the course of 250 days, they had fought constantly with two different Tribes and two different Pirate Bands. The only allies they had had been bought with gifts of silver, and they were an Outlander Town named Acrobat's Burg. They would assist in any battle if Mushinto was on the Comm, but Trigger didn't like asking for help.
It took the Pirates another ten minutes to reach the walls, and everyone in the courtyard heard the first gunshots over the slowing rain. They took their preferred positions behind cover, half of the eight of them with M-24 Sniper Rifles, and prepared for the first of them to break through the door they could all see. Their gunfire would join that of another five turrets aimed at that door, and if any survivors made it through all of that, they would only meet another six turrets, all the while being fired at by snipers and people equipped with assault rifles. Trigger, of course, was there in the middle of all of it with his Minigun.
The defenses were not designed to physically stop intruders, the original three of them had decided that that was not the best way. Instead, each of the walls had an opening through which one person could walk at a time, efficiently slowing the flow of them as they met the other side. Coming from the East, these Pirates would find an opening in a wall between two parts of the mountain the base was constructed in.
The opening led to a room where two turrets were built into the side of the mountain, a door stopping them from progressing to the courtyard where more turrets and Colonists awaited them. All of the turrets did not face the door they were coming from, but the door they were heading for. Invaders would not even know the turrets were there until they passed them and they were being shot at, effectively trapping them in a false sense of security and a blanket of gunfire.
Finally, they heard two small explosions. The two turrets had been destroyed and now there was a loud beating on the door. The Colonists gripped their weapons and pressed them into their shoulder, trying to mellow out their breathing but failing with quickly beating hearts.
Trigger and Mushinto were not afraid of battle these days, and Doug was next to follow that trend in Trigger's mind. He was a bright young man, and Trigger saw him as the next leader when he inevitably passed. After all, Doug had single-handedly done all the research that had put them here, including the mortars and how to turn the giant rocks into stone blocks properly, and that was all before his eighteenth birthday. Not to say that a scientist was the best leader, but Doug showed promise in many ways.
The door was broken now, and as it fell the Pirates poured into the courtyard in single file. They tried to move as fast as they could through the potato fields to the concrete that would get them to some cover, but the opening of the door had unleashed a round of fire that started a grand firefight. The advancing Pirates were quickly beginning to reconsider their plan, and one of them turned to run immediately.
Trigger counted twenty as they spread out from the perimeter door, and he pulled the trigger on the Minigun with a malicious smirk. He had come to enjoy battle, the rush that he got from the adrenaline coursing through him. The bullets sprayed from his gun, targeting helped through the fog by his bionic eye. The Pirates started to fall quickly, the colonists landing shot after fatal shot.
Mushinto was there around a corner from the perimeter door next to a turret. He waited for the last of them to pass and then would go behind them and strike. His skills with the steel were unmatched among Colonists. He had proven that when fighting the previous wielder of his sword, Ol' Walt, in a swordfight. Ol' Walt had since been crushed in a horrible mining accident, and Mushinto used his sword as a memento to his memory.
Mushinto ran through one of the Pirates with his sword and watched him fall to the field of Potatoes, bleeding profusely. Bullets whizzed around him, and he looked to the next victim, only to see the remaining Pirates fleeing. He slashed and stabbed at who he could as they attempted to run South through a small hallway that had no doors leading to what might be their only chance at freedom and life.
There were several that were lying in shock on the ground, but plenty dead, and as the battle finally came to an end the Colonists all cheered loudly. They had suffered no casualties, and that was always something to celebrate about.
Lercha, a previously Tribal man they called, 'Swedish Chef' would be preparing some fine meals tonight. They celebrated through the night, having captured five prisoners and gained plenty of new weapons from the fallen. 'Morticia', a darker tribal woman Trigger had recruited several months ago, would be busy in the crematorium tomorrow. The Colonists had grown tired of digging graves, realizing there would never be an end to the influx of cold flesh soiling their fields.
"Frenchy, come to the main room and update me about the prisoner situation." Trigger said over the Commlink. There was no response, but Frenchy was there in no time, grabbing a meal and sitting down at the table. Trigger joined him, taking off the helmet to his power armor and grabbing a meal as well. The meals were all made of fresh Strawberries and Potatoes, and somehow, the Swedish Chef made it taste good, and kept it varied throughout the week. It was the reason everyone was fine with him doing nothing but cooking, because he was the only one that could work that kind of magic.
Frenchy, whose real name was Jean de Dion was a large man with a clean face and a giant red mohawk. He was previously part of the Pirate band that had just attacked them, and he personally knew some of the prisoners they had captured. Having been an executive before that, he had quite a silver tongue, and had been quite difficult to persuade to join the Colony. Trigger was responsible for that finally happening, as sure as Frenchy was that his companions would come to his rescue. He had not been so lucky.
The only person to escape the prison at Onimal was a Tribal man named Cambiar, who had been lucky to have the prison wall hit by a mortar shell fired by besieging Pirates. That was after Frenchy had already joined them, however. Frenchy had gotten his own room in the prison though, Trigger saying that Frenchy had been a prisoner too long and that he needed to be upgraded to 'VIP' status.
Explained later after the room had been built and nicely furnished with a Royal bed, a table and tiled floor, and even some potted plants, Trigger unveiled his torturous plan when the lights were to be installed. Doug had created colored lights during his research. He discovered that the color blue - due to the sky being blue - would naturally inhibit one's ability to sleep easily. You could still get to sleep, but the blue was the perfect Sky Blue that would fatigue the eyes quickly. Trigger decided that Frenchy would stay in what he dubbed, 'The Blue Room'.
Frenchy stayed imprisoned for almost 11 months. It was 157 days by Frenchy's count, and he was certainly the person that would know. By the end of it, he hated the color of the Sky.
"The new five prisoners are people that I knew personally. They are dedicated members of The Crimson Suns and are not willing to talk about joining us now. They called me a traitor, one of them even tried to swing at me."
"How long do you think it will take?" Trigger was about results.
"I could get at least three of them within the month, we might have to get to threatening the other two with slavery or organ harvesting, I don't think a simple beating will do it."
"Good work. Take Dick with you, let him show them the knife he uses, see if that helps."
"Aye, Commander." Despite Frenchy's name, his accent was decidedly not French, but some kind of more Eastern European country Trigger couldn't discern. He wasn't an Earthborn Human and wasn't too familiar with it's geography or culture. Especially not now, considering there was a period of 500 years in which he had been frozen cryogenically.
It was several weeks later that they were having a special lunch for Mushinto's Birthday. He was turning 50. He didn't look as old as he was, admittedly, and Trigger never minded that one of his best friends on the Colony was almost twice his age. The old man in heavy armor with the sword at his side was muscled beyond compare to anyone else on the base. Leaning down with his massive frame, he blew out the candles on the cake the Swedish Chef had made especially for him and everyone cheered.
"Alright, everyone enjoy this rare break and have a slice of delici-" Trigger was interrupted by Procene in his commlink, loudly anouncing Tribals approaching rapidly. Everyone fell silent as he touched his fingers to his commlink to respond,
"From which direction?"