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"Hey Big Guy, See anything?" Pvt Mills asked Bartley as they followed the three naval technicians into the forest. "What are hell are they collecting?"

"Samples." Pvt Bartley simply replied. His eyes constantly scanning left and right at the clearing where they stopped.

"Damn, I know it's samples, but for what use?" Pvt Mills grumbled, he slapped away an insect that landed on his neck. Both of the Marines were wearing No. 4 forest camo fatigues and open-faced helmets with their armoured chest plates and equipment harness. Except for Bartley, he lugged along a PK-299 heavy machine gun, that was attached to an exoskeleton frame that he worn over his body armour with several large pouches containing ammunition for his weapon.

"To study." Pvt Bartley simply replied again.

"You know what? You are all fun and games, really." Mills gave up trying to chat with Bartley and walked up to one of the techs crouching over a plant. "Hey, whatcha doing?"

The technician turned and lifted up a small transparent container with a sample of a leaf inside. "Well, we are cataloguing the plants to see if they can be eaten or used in some way." He gave the bottle a little shake before placing it carefully into his bag.

"Eh, ok." Mills straightened up, unimpressed. "So this blue-green plants are edible?" He plucked a leaf off a small tree. Most of the leaves of the plant life in Blake's world are bluish in colour with a hint of green.

"Well not this," The tech stood up. "Over here," he waved Mills over and kneeled down to a tiny growth with blue fern-like leaves. "This here is a kind of tuber or root, in case you jug heads don't know what a tuber is."

The rest of the techs laughs as the tech continued his explanation. "The guys at the lab says it tastes like carrot and potato and carries the same nutrients and vitamins as them. So they called this a 'car rat o'."

"Oh wow." Mills rolls his eyes while Bartley looks on in interest. "So other than the tuber root 'car rat o'. Nothing more interesting found?"

"Hahaha, we found plenty in the last week." The tech proudly said. "There a tree sap that tasted like maple syrup but when dried becomes like rubber."

"Also there's this berries that the other team bought in," The rest of the techs chipped in stories. "- that huge monster fish from the sea."

"-mushrooms from the -"

Mills listened with half an ear to the excited techs talking about new discoveries on this planet. He waved away the insects buzzing around his face and leaned against a tree. He boredly looked around the clearing, pulled out a pack of protein bar and started chewing on it.

"Mills," Bartley said in a soft tone. "Mills, something is watching us."

"What?" Mills jolted up. "Where?"

"I am not sure." Bartley slowly rotated on the spot to look around the forest. His eyes narrowed intently trying to find the source of his unease.

"Are you sure?" Mills fingered his weapon's safety. He casually walked towards the techs still in a lively discussion. "Guys, I think we should start to pack it up. It's getting late." They are roughly an hour on foot away from the base.

"But we are not done here. It's still early!" The techs protested. "We only collected less than half of the samples needed"

"We can do it tomorrow, for now, pack it up, we are heading back," Mills growled at the techs.

Sensing something was not right, the techs quickly grabbed their gear and equipment. Less than a minute, they are all ready to return.

"Quickly now, let's go." Mills led the way with Bartley covering the rear. The group quick marched through the forest, climbing over massive tree roots and in certain areas, dense foliage.

"Mills," Bartley commed. "It's following us. I can hear it."

"Shit!" Mills cursed. "Base, this is Dog Two, we might have a situation here." He commed back to base.

"What's the situation?" Base radio back.
"We appear to have something following us. Unable to identify,"
"RTB immediately, a rapid response team will meet up with you along the way for escort, over."
"Roger that!" Mills ended the comms. "Let's go," He pushed the group to travel faster.

They pushed through the dense foliage and emerged out into a field of grass. The wind caused the grass to sway like waves. "This is not good." Mills said as he scans the surroundings. The closest treeline is about 200m away. "It's too open."

"Big guy, hold the rear. We advance by frog leap," He told the group. "I go first. Once I reach the tree line, I will give a signal then you guys are next. Just run ok? Don't stop till you hit the trees."

Mills looked left and right before dashing across the field in less than forty seconds before he arrived at the edge of the forest. He quickly got into a ready position to cover the rest and waved the techs to start running. The techs seeing his signal quickly ran towards him. Once they reached the cover of the trees, Bartley followed suit and sprint across.

Suddenly a huge roar erupted from behind Bartley, causing him to pause and turn. A wolf the size of a bus leaped out from the foliage and landed several meters behind him. Everyone stood and stared in amazement before yelling for Bartley to run. The giant wolf-like creature, has two horns like a buffalo, and grey-blue colored fur coat, making it seemingly blend in with the surroundings. It made a leap towards Bartley who was running towards the trees under the encouragement of the group.

Mills flicked his safety off his M7A1 and took sight on to the creature. The 2x red dot sight mounted on the weapons seemed to enlarge the creature furthermore. Once he was certain Bartley was out of the line of fire, he triggered his weapon, sending a long burst of fire into it. This time, instead of the C type rounds, he was hot loaded with AP rounds.

The AP bullets slammed directly into the centre of the creature, causing it to tumble. Sparks and bluish blood burst out from the impacts. The creature yelped in a very dog-like manner and as it rose up, it shook its body causing specks of blue blood to scatter all over the fields.

"What the fuck!?" Mills roared. "That's cheating! It's bloody armor piercing rounds! It fucking shrugged it off!" Pissed, Mills continued firing at the creature.

By this time, Bartley made it over to the tree line. He took a deep breath and braced himself as he hoisted his PK-299 up and fired a stream of bullets at 1,400 rounds per minute. The tracers from the HMG was like a laser, striking the creature, and tearing it into meat chunks.

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