| "The Road Not Taken" |
|Affiliations:||United States Army|
Spec-1 Billy Cox had been studying for an M.A. in political-science when he was drafted during the U.S. military build-up after the second Syrian crisis. His platoon was commanded by Lieutenant Shotton with Sergeant Santos Amoros as the senior non-comm. He and his unit along with armor and artillery were deployed on the UCLA campus just prior to the landing of the Roxolan star warship Indomitable. They witnessed the landing of the ship and the deployment of the Roxolan foot who then executed their usual all-out attack with muskets and cannon.
The initial volley caused some casualties among Cox's platoon but body armor protected them from the worst. Sergeant Amoros ordered immediate return fire but his soldiers had already started firing back with their Neo-Armalites. Cox had his on auto-fire and hosed down the Roxolan foot with clip after clip. The second volley was stillborn with only a few new shots. Also, the field artillery along with rocket-propelled grenades began to bombard the alien spaceship.
A Roxolan flyer swooped down and dropped a bundle of gunpowder filled pots along with musket fire from the troops it carried. Amoros spotted it and warned his forces who took what cover they could. The explosion of the pots was deafening but caused only a few more casualties. A Cottonmouth crew took up position and launched their shoulder-fired AA missile but the pilot of the flyer sidestepped it with an unearthly acceleration. However, he did not notice a USAF F-29 approaching from his blind spot in the rear. It launched two missiles which shot down the flyer.
The cease fire order came quickly thereafter, first to the artillery, then to the infantry. Lieutenant Shotton ordered his men forward who discovered their attackers had equipment "like in the movies, pioneers and all that good shit". As they approached, Captain Togram stirred and began to regain consciousness. Cox called out a warning and immediately several other soldiers jumped Togram and and took him prisoner.