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No Medic Is Safe by Jim “Erkle” Madsen

Chapter 1

Dawn Patrol

Dawn was breaking on what promised to be a busy day. Last night the medical team from the TCS Groton, a Confederation Marine Transport, finished treating the latest batch of casualties. The fighting is fierce here on Rigel, only one jump from Ghorah Khar. Rumor had it that a rebellion broke out on Ghorah Khar, but that hasn’t decreased the tempo of the war. Rigel doesn’t have much going for it besides its four jump points. The planet is a lush but hazardous jungle, where a wrong step could get you in just as much trouble as a Kilrathi assault.

Paul Graham was a new field medic with the 159th marine landing group. Three weeks ago, they made planet fall to support the standing army base. Two weeks before that the Imperial Guard jumped in and caused havoc. The Kilrathi task force consisting of several light carriers and ten transports have been chased off by the Confederation Navy. But they quickly had to move on to the next hot spot. Now it is up to the ground troops to secure the planet. Paul was alternating between patrols with the marines and duty at the base hospital. As he looked out to the rising sun he cursed that this was a patrol day.

The standard field medic pack weighs in at 25 kilos, not that bad of a load. Add to that the standard rifle, ammo, grenades, communication gear, food, water, and on and on…. It will quickly add up. Paul made his way to the front of his barracks to line up with the rest of the squad.

Staff Sergeant Nieves liked what he saw, nine men ready to go to hell and back. Today they would make tough luck for the Cats hiding in the jungle. For once he wished that these Cats adhered to the standard set of Honor that they usually do, but these are different. Hit and runs, snipers, booby traps, even retreats, they fight more like humans. With that thought he led the men off on the dawn patrol. Just a quick ten klicks in a cloverleaf pattern to make sure the perimeter was clean.

“Collins On Point!”

“Yes, Staff Sergeant” came the immediate reply from Chris Collins. Chris may only be a Private First Class, but he has been doing point work for years and knew how the Cats liked to think.

As they left the base compound, Paul unslung his M-42 laser rifle. Not as fancy or exotic as some of the others, he figured that when the shit flies he’ll be to busy keeping people alive. He trusted the others to pay attention to the important stuff. He just usually walked along the line somewhere in the middle. How he hated the patrols.

Chris led them along the first five klicks without any problems when he heard a single shot. The next thing he knew Sergeant Nieves was on the ground with blood pouring from his chest.

“Everyone Down!!! Sniper!!!” Chris started scanning the trees franticly looking for the Cat. As more Mass Driven metal slugs came pouring in around them, he finally lined up on the bastard. Chris quickly snapped into place his long range scope and fired several flechette rounds into the tree. The flechette unlike the Mass Driver, emitted dozens of fragments like a shotgun of old. The Mass Driver only spat one shot at a time, albeit at a high rate of fire if you wanted it to. Chris had the satisfaction of seeing the Kilrathi torn apart by the red hot shards of metal. Then he heard the screams.

Paul ran to Sergeant Nieves before the shooting even stopped, as soon as he got there, he knew that the Sarge didn’t have much time. Another marine was calling for a medevac while the rest set up security. Paul cut away Nieves’ flack vest and saw the damage underneath. OK, OK, it’s not too bad. Just need to work fast. Paul got him on the oxygen enricher which would pull extra oxygen in from the surrounding air to help the patient breathe. Next Paul placed a trauma bandage over the gaping hole in the Sarges stomach. The trauma pad had a built in clotting agent so anything bleeding onto it quickly stopped. Paul then looked for a suitable vein for fluid replacement. Going into the Sergeants belt pouch, Paul removed the premixed bag of blood expanders, already matched to the individual soldier carrying it. Once that fluids where going through the ante cubital vein of his right arm, Paul began to relax. Just in time, here’s the SAR.

Chapter 2

Ward Duty

Two days after the sniper ambush, Paul was pulling his shift on the base Medical Ward. Here there is room for a hundred different patients. With space for triage, sterile operating theaters, ICU’s, even a small morgue. Unfortunately the morgue sees more than its fair share of the patients. Of the original 15,000 regular Army troops, more than 8,000 died over the past standard month. With the addition of the 3,000 Marines, the base still wasn’t up to full strength. Estimates put the number of landed Kilrathi around 1,600 to 2,400. Who knows how many we’ve killed so far.

Dr. Jim Lynch was overseeing the ICU that day. Right now the most critical patient was Staff Sergeant Nieves. Today he would turn around or not, the med team has done all that they can. After extensive surgery to repair both the spleen and stomach, Sergeant Nieves stands a good chance of recovery providing he gets over the blood loss.

Off in the distance both Jim and Paul heard a siren activate.

“It’s the raid siren” shouted Dr. Lynch, “everyone battle gear now!”

Paul ran to a wall locker, grabbing a helmet, flack jacket and a side arm. Next they had to prepare for incoming wounded. As he made his way to triage, Paul could hear gunfire closer and closer. God I hope they don’t breach again….

When Paul got to triage, he saw a dozen men and women already strewn about with various wounds. From gunshots to missing limbs from a closely exploding grenade. Paul jumped right in.

“Doc, where do you need me?”

“Check out the shrapnel injury over at bed 5” replied Dr. lynch, “I think she got to close to an exploding fuel tank.”

As Paul started his exam, he noted several small lacerations to the Marines face. Pulling the ID tab he glanced at it for a medical history and blood type. Hmm Private Jennifer Owen… blood type A Pos, no significant history or allergies. Paul started cutting clothing looking for wounds. Modesty doesn’t count in combat, and besides Jennifer here was barely coherent anyway. As he removed the shirt a huge stream of blood started to pour onto the floor.

“I need help over here!” Paul started to suction away the blood as he tried desperately to find the source of bleeding. As Paul found the source of bleeding in the liver, Dr. Lynch came over with another medic.

“What do you got?”

“Liver lac, started bleeding bad when I exposed it. I got my hand on it now tamponading the bleed.”

“Good lets get a pressor field on that and get some blood into her. Any other injuries?”

“Nope, not yet.”

As soon as the pressor field was set up, Paul was able to remove his hand from Private Owen. The pressor field created a force field along the length of the laceration. As Dr. Owen sutured the injury, Paul intubated to patient to protect her airway as another medic started to hang blood. I hope she doesn’t need too much, we don’t have a whole lot left. Unfortunately, most of the people that get injured in these attacks, don’t survive long past the initial wounding. But those that do tax the resources. But every life saved is a victory over the Kilrathi, not to mention saves the Confed hundreds of thousands in training and equipment costs.

Gunfire erupted in the hall as the Cats breached the outer building security. Three Kilrathi burst into the triage center and started firing. Wounded soldiers where killed without mercy. Paul grabbed his M-23 laser pistol and lined up on the weak part of their armor, right under the face plate. Shot after shot scored the Cats armor around his face before a shot finally scored home. Some of the wounded soldiers where able to cut down the other two before much more damage was done.

Paul turned around surveying the damage and his eyes fell on Dr. Lynch. Half of the Doc’s head was missing. Paul knew that there was no hope. A low rumble filled the room. Everyone that was able ran outside to see what hell was coming next.

“Look over there!”

Paul turned to look and saw a squadron of F-44 Rapiers fly over the camp. Missiles glinted on the rails and the name TCS Concordia was painted on the tails. Thank God help has arrived. Off in the distance ten Marine Landing Craft where on the way in.

Chapter 3

Planetary Assault

Shit that’s a lot of damage, thought Jeannette “Angel” Devereaux as she over flew the camp. My my what’s that over there?

“Lead to flight, Kilrathi staging area at heading 137 degrees ten klicks out.”

As the flight lined up, Angel switched to full guns, both lasers and particle cannons. A much better combo then the old lasers and neutron guns of the Tigers Claw days. The particle cannon while stronger and with better range, took a little longer to fire. No matter though, not when killing infantry.

The flight lined up for single ship strafing runs, the threat receivers where all blank as the Kilrathi didn’t bring any AA/AS guns. As Angel rolled into the clearing, she opened fire. Even while flying at her slowest speed of 1 kps, that is still fast when going after a ground target. After completing her pass, the other 11 Rapiers completed their run after her.

As Rapier 306 lined up for her run, Mariko “Spirit” Tanaka opened her comm channel. “This is for Philip!!!” Spirit just found out recently that her fiancé Philip was missing and presumed dead from an attack on Epsilon Station.

Once the clearing was a smoking ruin, the recently arrived Marine First Commando Battalion “Cat Killers” advanced on the remaining Cats. Colonel Merritt gives his first command “take no prisoners.”

Meanwhile back at the base, a massive medevac is taking place. Paul looks around at the shuttles arriving for the wounded. Finally his patients will get the definitive care that they need, not just the patchwork field work that they can do here. Both Sergeant Nieves and Private Owen survived the attack on the hospital and should recover. As the last of the shuttle landed and was quickly filled with the wounded, Paul looked around. Looked at the surrounding land, most of it filled with freshly turned soil in a somewhat sloppy arraignment. But still regulation three feet by seven feet, and six feet down. Several thousand unmarked graves for the defenders of Rigel.

Paul grabbed a rifle and field pack. Time to finish the work.

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