I’m writing this scene, and it’s got 3-4 things happening simultaneously, so that information is coming in more or less at the same time.
Can you follow the scene? Is it too chaotic? IRL, I don’t know anyone who can listen to two radio nets at the same time and understand both. You can only focus on one at a time. Another neat skill is using two radio nets with two different audiences and inhabiting the space in between. And so, the nature of combat is that you get bits and pieces of things, but you will never get the entire picture, nor will you get all the information you need (i.e. casualties, a team’s status, where the enemy is, what are you doing to respond to it, why isn’t that team answering the radio, where is your team, and what does your chain of command want you to do that’s going to be different from your autonomous reaction to events that you will need to carry out based on their understanding of things you have no idea about?). See? It’s never just easy.
Here’s the text:
Team two breached the control room with careful precision born of repetition in standard military procedure. Private Mu “Cowwy” Chen said, “keep your hands in view, and nobody gets hurt.”
Two station personnel raised their hands, and the single ACP marine in the room —an officer in green armor with no helmet—turned his head to affix them with a cold stare.
“You too, sir,” said corporal Vims, who’d been last through the door. “Zoob, go relieve him of his weapon for the time being.”
Private Zuberi approached the officer, identified by his armor as Captain Stantac, G. “Sir, I need your weapon.”
“You have no authority to do this,” the captain said. “Who is your superior officer?”
“Sir, I need your weapon.”
“And if I refuse?”
“I’ll shoot you as a collaborator in league with the saboteur of this wormgate, sir. With all due respect, I’ve asked you twice politely, and my superior officer needs me to accomplish my mission, and I won’t ask politely a third time.”
“I’ll have your ass for this, private… Chen.” The officer said.
“Yessir. I’ll return it to you as soon as I have the word that you are stood for.” Chen took the proffered weapon and slung it on his back.
“Well done, Chen,” Radawski said as he entered. “Captain… Stantac? We are here to prevent the destruction of this wormgate structure. What is your mission here?”
“Who are you?” Stantac said.
“Captain Radawski, ACP. Our team was inserted here to prevent a saboteur from destroying the wormgate and cutting off this system from all other parts of this galaxy. So, again, captain, what is your mission here?”
“The same. We are to prevent any interference with the wormgate operations by external sources… such as yourself.”
“We are not here to interfere with the operations. Rather, we had an urgent need to track down the saboteur and prevent further damage.”
One of the two techs in the room cleared his throat. “Can we put our hands down? I need to do work or there’s gonna be problems when that freighter finishes its transition.”
Radawski viewed the people in the room. The other technician looked at his control panel. “Incoming coms. We’ll need to answer that, or…”
“Take the call. Cowwy, secure the captain and guard him for now. Vims watch the techs. Guajardo, need to secure this area with team one.”
“Guajardo copy, on the way.”
“You two, where is the station master?” Radawski asked the techs.
“Probably in his quarters.”
“Guajardo, belay that, send team one to secure the station master, bring him to the main control center.”
“Copy, team one to secure station master, on the way,” Guajardo said.
“Sir, we have a problem,” Vimhefo said.
“What kind of problem?” Radawski said.
“A Imperial Frigate coming through the ‘gate about… is this a milli?” Vimhefo asked a tech, reading the tech’s screen. The tech nodded. “So, an Impfrig is on the way in less than four millis. Timer, 600 seconds, countdown, commence now. Hey, this list on this screen, this is stuff already transitioning, yes?” The tech nodded again.
“How bad is it?” Radawski said.
“That’s the Imperial fleet response to our activity,” Stantec said. “It will be destroyed by our fleet once it is outside of the immediate vicinity of the mgate—or it may be phased out by your saboteur.”
“Not my saboteur, thanks. Phase out?” Radawski said.
“Something done to ensure the ship is not whole or functional from its transition,” Stantac said. “A neat piece of work to kill the ship without effort. Very efficient.”
“And you think this isn’t going to be a problem once the Empire sees what we did here? You phase them, they’re going to phase you.”
“Team one, contact front, under fire!” Radawski’s identifier indicated private Huff made the broadcast.
“Guajardo copy. Fix them there Huff, moving to flank.”
Radawski checked his map. He could see that team one, Tub, Peft, Mackie, and Huffy—his suit had their nicknames—had been moving up a hallway to the Station Master’s office, but all four icons were in a hallway junction. Their suits reported the approximate position of the hostile and estimated numbers, but the hostile was not on the ACP identify friend/foe. Guajardo was moving that direction but to one side, paralleling the fight.
“Sir! The Sotouboua Castle has completed its transition!” Vimhefo said.
Radawski looked at the techs. “That’s the freighter?”
“Uh, yessir. The freighter. Sorry sir.” Vimhefo said.
“Peft is hit!” Mackie yelled in the radio. “He’s down!”
“What’s the time for that impfrig to hit? How much time do we have?” Radawski said.
“Keep them fixed team one, covering fire!” Guajardo said on the radio.
“Countdown is at 567. Sending it to your suit, sir.” Vimhefo said. A countdown popped up in Radowski’s screen after he granted it permission to run.
An alarm sounded with lights on one of the tech’s consoles. The tech looked at it, looked puzzled. “Transients outbound from the freighter. It’s not clearing the gate. We need to get them clear of the gate exit, we’re going to need to communicate with them,” the tech said, looking at Radawski for permission.
“Transients?” Radawski said.
“Objects have ejected from the freighter, paths indicate they are under power and adjusting course for the ‘gate structure. Probably shuttles.”
“Go ahead and contact them.” Radawski said, walking behind the techs to get a better view of the console.
“Thank you, we’re sending text and voice. Sotouboua Castle, Sotouboua Castle, Reville Mgate, you are not clear to remain in this area, you must move immediately, this is a controlled area and there will be a collision if you do not move. Acknowledge our transmission and move immediately.”
“Got one enemy!” Guajardo yelled on the radio. “Two more are moving back, first team move up this position, clear to move. What’s Peft’s status?”
“One copy, moving, Peft is wounded, the suit is playing doctor.”
Radawski clicked on Peft’s status, and Peft’s suit reported he was severely injured in the left arm, not alert or oriented, and not stable, tourniquet was being administered with painkillers.
“Those are shuttles attaching to the ‘gate near our airlocks!” The second tech said. “Why do you people feel the need to keep attaching to our ‘gate?”
“Those aren’t my people,” Radawski said.