The squads were instantly covered. The sand blasted against the energy field like a tidal wave hitting the shore. The sand interfered with the cannons and prevented the tracking of the enemy. Visibility was zero. Com links were ineffective because of the level of noise. Matt tried desperately to regain his feet and prepare for what was coming. After a few moments, the sand storm began to die down but then the Khad’s attacked.

The storm had masked their approach and they seemed to burst out of nowhere striking the site from three directions simultaneously. Matt surmised the Khad must have been warned about earlier encounters with the HORIZON combat troops as the horde charged in waves like disciplined commando forces.

Matt had one fleeting thought about how terrified Sadia must be, but that faded quickly and was replaced with an unbridle desire to spill enemy blood. He fired laser bursts, but in the confusion and poor visibility their effectiveness was limited as the laser beams fragmented in the wind-blown sand.

One of the cannons finally went back online after haywire the team was now in the range of fire. Matt had to time it just right to warn the crew before it triggered and started sending blasts in every direction. “Hit the dirt!” Matt screamed and everyone dove for the ground.

Quite a few enemy troops were killed by the blasts but after a short time the cannon was out of ammunition. The momentary carnage was enough to allow Matt to regroup, “individual force fields on full power.” Matt ordered. They could only sustain full power for several minutes but that was long enough for them to take back their position.

Matt made a dash right down the middle of the horde scattering the enemy as he went, Khad soldiers flinging all over the field and crumpling against the rocks. The salvos by the Armada were deflected by the body shields. Soon the squad realized they were impervious to enemy fire and their bravery increased. The return fire by the settler was a far different story. Enemy soldier’s body parts were flying everywhere.

No sooner did they have the Khad’s on the run another sandstorm hit. But Thanks to the body shield they could keep their position. This time it was the Khad’s that were scrambling in the dark. The cannons could fire before the sand reached them. They easily took out the remaining enemy leaving bodies sprawled across the desert. When the storm cleared the settlers were the only ones standing.

“Power down and Conserve your energy. This is not over yet. In fact, it’s just beginning.” No one liked what they heard but everyone agreed with it. Matt wasted no time making it back to the compound. Sadia joined him. Matt stopped and removed his helmet. Seeing the look on Matt’s face she wanted to know what was going on.

“Matt what is it. Didn’t we do good?”

“No Storm. The Khad are a lot smarter than I expected.”

“I don’t understand?”

“That was a tactical move to see what we’ve got.”

“They let all those troops be slaughtered?” He let Sadia come to terms with it. “What do we do now?”

“It’s time to launch our air assault!”


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