"Alright boys, listen up. We've reports that there are several alareen scouts in the area," said Major Johnson. "If they discover our location, and are able to relay it back to their command, we'll be up the creek without a boat. And since I don't plan on getting my feet wet anytime before my evening bath, you'd all better pay attention. Is that understood?"
"Sir, yes sir!" replied his troops.
The major began to pace along the line of marines. "Now, as you know, the last attack on our position left us with no battle tanks, armored walking tanks, ranged support tanks, or tanks of fuel. Furthermore, with no means to radio for air support, we've no supply tanks, tanks of ammo, additional replacement tanks, food tanks, or tanks of ale! That's unacceptable! Am I right?"
"Sir, yes sir!"
"Tank you." The major paused for a moment, before shaking his head at his slip. He continued to walk down the row of soldiers. "Anyway, we're high and dry, in more ways than one, but under no circumstance, none, not one, not two, not three or more, not even one that's really, really, relevant, not even one that you that makes you stop and think, 'hey, maybe I should reconsider,' and not even one that makes you want to stop and take it easy for a while, but under NO circumstances, are we to allow those scouts to find the location of headquarters! Am I clear!"
"Sir, yes sir!"
Still walking along the soldier line, he continued. "As you are all aware, our current weapons have little effect on armored alareen. And if we can't neutralize one quickly and efficiently, we'll attract the attention of the others, and easily be overwhelmed and taken prisoner, and I'm not about to be manhandled by some giant blue chick! I'll only be manhandled by a real man! Am I clear!"
"Sir, yes sir!"
"Good. Now I..." he stopped, and looked confused over what he'd just said. Shaking it off he continued down the line. "Now I know this may seem impossible, but our intelligence reports on captured alareen have revealed a great deal about their nature. While we don't have the means to fight them, we can at least take them out of commission. We have the means, boys, crazy at it may sound, right here." He stopped and turned to point to a crate place near the middle of the soldiers. "Command has concluded that carefully planned deployment of what they have termed the Anti Alareen Sensibility Overloading Locational Embankment, or the AASOLE for short, can stop even the most fearsome alaerin fighter. Reports indicate that these AASOLEs can even effect alareen at range. However, the closer one gets to an AASOLE, the more potent it becomes. So it's important to lure them in close, then let the AASOLE do it's job. One report indicate that just one AASOLE is enough for many alareen to be rendered completely helpless. But, since we need to take them out as quickly as possible, the more AASOLEs we stick in one spot, the more effective they will be. Everyone understand so far?
"Sir, yes sir!"
"Good!" the major said, still continuing to walk the long line of soldiers. "Every one had better..." the major stopped to look at the single row of more than a hundred soldiers. "Why the hell are you all in one straight line?"
"Sir, you said line up, sir!" they responded in unison.
"I didn't mean just one line! Make it more compact, now!"
"Sir, yes sir!" With a short scuffle they rearranged themselves into a neat rectangle, twenty soldiers across.
"That's more like it." He turned and paced back the other direction. "Now, we have a lot to do and very little time to do it. I've drawn up plans for proper AASOLE alignment along key entry points in the surrounding canyons around our location. Odds are scouts will take these routes. We'll split into teams of ten. In addition to AASOLE placement, you'll need to deploy the Anti Alareen Seeking High Altitude Traps, or the AASHATs, nearby, to complete the snare. Everybody will receive a copy of the plans. Are you ready?"
"Sir, yes sir!"
"Good! Now hurry up and grab an AASOLE and lets do it to it!"
"Sir, yes sir!"
Othiira cautiously made her way through the fairly narrow canyon. She glanced about on full alert, hugging the rock walls where possible. At an intersection she pause. Hearing nothing, she spun out into the open, gun ready to fire. Seeing nothing to note, she called into her transceiver, "Trooper Othiira here, sector fourteen clear."
"Affirmative, trooper. Proceed," came the reply from base.
She continued down the passage, glancing up every now and again to to tops of the rock walls, leveling off at about double her height, to see if any humans lay in ambush. She continued this way as quietly as she could. As she neared another intersection, a sharp crying caught her attention.
"Huh?" she said. "What...is that?" Approaching the left opening, she heard the cries grow louder. Back against the wall, she prepared to jump at what ever was making that sound. Then with a quick spin, she held aimed her gun down the corridor "Freeze!" she commanded in English, followed almost immediately after by a surprised "Oh!"
Rather than anything human, not far in from of her sat an open box. Inside were eight small kittens mewing seemingly constantly. Underneath her helmet, Othiira began to blush. "Oh...so...cute," she said, as she took a step toward them.
Suddenly she stopped. "Wait a minute, kittens? Here?" She then quickly moved back to a readied stance, and scanned the corridor. "Humans. This has to be a human's doing. Who would leave kittens...cute...sweet..." she began to look back down, "...helpless....kittens...here." She crouched down slightly, hearing more of their mews. "Oooh...they're hungry. I know it! They're really hungry! And...and...lonely and...."
She bolted back up right. "No, no, this has to be a trap. It has to be! Who would leave kittens here?" Backing away but keeping her gun at the ready, she nervously looked about. "This has to be a trap, but..." she stopped, "they're....so cute...." She shook her head to clear her thoughts. "No, no, no! Get a hold of yourself! You have a job to do! Move it!"
Collecting herself, she moved away quickly, and began to trek down the other passage. After only a few steps, she slowly backtracked, peeking her head around the corner, looking back down at the box. Her face was becoming more flushed down, and she began breathing more quickly. "But...but..." Two of the kittens began to wrestle with each other. "Aww...look at them go! So cute!" She started to drop her guard and reach out as if to touch them. Pulling back, she slapped her helmet a few times. "No! Get a grip girl! This is definitely a trap!" She looked overhead to the tops of the walls, tossing her free hand in the air. "Look at that! There's a big net right over the box! Who do they take me for, anyway! Like I'm gonna to fall for this. I'm outta here."
With a firm resolve she turned around and made for the other pathway. Less than ten steps later though, she slowed to a stop. Pausing for a few moments, trying to get herself under control, she then went back to the box of kittens. Looking at it, then up at the net, she said, "Well...if I'm really quick...I can...grab them and....and...but it's a trap! A trap! But...they're....so cute." She moved her free hand to her helmeted head. "So...so...cute."
Just then, one of the kittens tried to climb up the side of the box. Once it neared the top though, it lost its grip and tumbled back down.
"AAAHHH!" Othiira screamed. "I can't take it anymore!" She tossed her riffle to the side, then quickly removed her helmet and threw it close by, followed by her gloves. She rushed over to the box, quite purple in the face with a big smile, careful not to knock and dirt into it, then sunk to her knees. Placing one hand by the box, she used the other to carefully tip the kittens into her open palm. When they were out of the box, she cupped her hands and lifted them to her face. "Don't worry little babies. Othirra is here for you." She slowly brought them against her cheek. "Oooh...I'll take care of you. Oh, you're so adorable!"
Just then she heard several near instantaneous clicks, and froze. Before she could even look up, she felt the weighted net fall over her. As it draped across the ground, limbs emerged from the metal balls at the corners, which then began to secure it to the rocky ground. She then tried to move, but the net held firm.
"Nooo-ho-ho-hooo!" she cried in despair. "Whyyy!" She looked back down at the kittens in her hands. "Well, at least I have you guys, eh?" She smiled, and began to nuzzle them again.
At the top of the cliff overlooking the alaerin, Major Johnson commended his troops. "Ha, ha! You see that boys! It takes a real AASOLE to do the job, am I right?"
"Sir, yes sir!" his team of six replied.
"Good. Now, let's check in with the others," he said, and began to contact the other teams.