A Heroic Last Stand by HairyGoggles
Heroic Last Stand - Team Trident
Date: 23 January 2011, 4:12 am
Department: ONI Section 3
Security Classification: Top Secret. For Eyes Only.
Item: Report on SPARTAN II project. Excerpt taken from Chief Colonel Mendez's report as dated below
110 = Adam ****
017 = Stewart *******
143 = Meghan ********
099 = Kaitlin ********
021 = Holly ******
October 10th, 2518: The recruits are showing vast improvements in skills and physical and tactical prowess. Certain groups have formed within the recruits as well. Most notably between 110, 017, 143, 099 and 021. 110 is proving himself to be a fine leader in combat displaying his tactical acumen and lethality with every weapon he has been given. 110 has also been a fine adviser and guide to his fellow recruits, helping them achieve their absolute potential as the soldiers we need them to be, all of these fine traits in a leader of a small squad. 017 has shown us he makes an excellent Second to help back up his comrades and support his friends throughout the hardships and can bounce back from sudden drops or obstacles in his path. He also is one of the fastest and most agile in his group and is oddly the lightest out of all the recruits, almost half of 117's weight. It can be said that 017 is the lynchpin that holds this group of five together, keeping things together and calm. 143 and 099 possess very similar attributes to each other. Both display a high level of intelligence, much like the rest of the recruits; however both of these female recruits possess ways of thinking out of the box for strategy. This can be beneficial or a bane in tactical situations, but 110, 017 and 021 help to balance it out. When the two work as a pair, often with 017 in tow they can overcome most obstacles with decisive ease. But the two can sometimes bicker over certain subjects in combat, 017, 110 and 021 all help to control them in that situation. 021 though has been an interesting recruit to study and train. She is lethal in ranged combat, almost as good as 058 with a scoped weapon, but she seems to posses grace in close combat and in movement. Not as agile or as quick as 017, but 021 makes up for it with her flowing and calm temperment in hostile situations.
I will be recommending for all five of them to be kept within their small group when they become fully fledged SPARTAN IIs, their close friendship and complimentary styles of combat simply cannot be wasted if they are separated.
Everything seemed to be dulled for a few seconds as Stewart picked up his blue and black Scout class helm, placing it over his head. A small hiss of pneumatics interrupted the white noise ringing in his ears before suddenly everything became clear again. Blinking and looking around, Spartan 017 recovered his rifle which had been blasted out of his arms, green bolts of superheated plasma hissing past him. A voice echoed in over his intercom, turning to look at the source of the noise using his motion tracker, he looked at a male purple and white coloured Spartan, the bolts of plasma and the battlefields explosions reflecting in the golden visor of the Spartan's Security class helm. Blinking, Stewart recognised him, Adam 110, the leader of his small squad, Team Trident and one of his closest friends. Adam was waving his arm towards himself, calmly shouting down the comm., "Get moving Stew! We got Covenant armoured cavalry coming in to clear this sector! Recon's picked up two Scarabs!"
Instantly, the power of movement returned again to 017's legs and he sprinted through the battlefield, killing four jackals as the bird like aliens attempted to try and destroy his shields temporarily by firing overheated plasma pistol charges at him. A warning tone bleeped in his helm as it picked up an enemy contact behind him, turning himself mid run, the Spartan found himself looking at an Elite, the armour indicating that he was an officer and a plasma repeater hummed menacingly in his hand, the elite roared out before attempting to strike 017. The self defence training he had learned since his conscription into becoming a Spartan instantly kicked in and the regal blue and black coloured Spartan brought his arm up to block the swing. But the Elite's swing only reached halfway down its arc before its body suddenly jerked back with force and its head exploded like a ripe watermelon. A female voice came in through the comm. and almost shouted, "Keep running Stewart! I've got your back!"
Stewart smiled behind his mask before replying as he continued to run and leapt over a pack of grunts, killing them with a dropped grenade, "As always you do Holly! I owe you one!" Looking up as he ran, Stewart spotted the distinctive glint of the golden visor on Holly 021's Recon helmet and her beloved S2-AM Sniper Rifle. Turning as he jumped, 017 released further shots at the Covenant who came across his sights.
Another female voice cut in over to comm. feed as the three Spartans began to fall back whilst laying down a punishing amount of fire, to stop the enemy from getting too close. Stewart instantly recognised it to be his fellow squadmate Kaitlin 099, but the black and teal armoured Spartan preferred to be called Katie. She had been tasked with final member of Team Trident, Meghan 143 to clear an LZ of Covenant to allow for a Pelican dropship to land and pull the team out. Katie's voice sounded urgent, "Commander, Meghan and I are repelling a shed load of Covvies at the LZ! We need to hurry or we'll be overrun!"
Another female voice then crackled over the comm., but it wasn't anyone from Team Trident,
"Trident Leader this is Gauntlet! I'm heading in for a final run to evac you is the LZ clear?"
The team leader brought his left hand to his security helm and replied, "We're all clear but not for long, get here as fast as you can Gauntlet!"
The radio crackled back over the entire team's comm. network, "Affirmative, burning towards you as fast as we can Trident! ETA two minutes."
Adam bit his lip whilst he effortlessly dispatched another two grunts with two shots from his DMR before calling out over the team's comm., "You heard our designated driver Trident! Two minutes until we're pulled, so let's make sure our taxi's got a place to park!"
Four green lights winked on 110's HUD as Stewart linked up with him, the pair slowly pacing backwards whilst laying down a punishing rate of fire from their respective DMRs whilst Holly killed two more Elite officers, leaving the grunts to panic and turn back, before she effortlessly slid down the side of the outcrop she had been using. Landing beside the two male Spartans in their team, the three of them continued to retreat backwards, using grenades to slow the Covenant's advance through the rocky gorge, towards the open plain where Kaitlin and Meghan continued to repel further enemies from overrunning the landing zone.
Meghan silently cursed in her head; two minutes would be too long at the sheer rate of covenant forces trying to overwhelm her and Kaitlin's position! Her HUD picked out the other three members of Team Trident falling back to the landing zone, killing copious amounts of Covenant as they did so. Loading a fresh clip into her assault rifle, the black and teal armoured Spartan destroyed the shields of an Elite Ultra before throwing a grenade at it. The white armoured Ultra disappeared in a flash of orange flame and shrapnel, his roar of defiance and rage drowned out by the explosion. A second later, all that was left was some torn limbs and shredded armour. Kaitlin smiled behind her ODST helmet before going back to back with her comrade Meghan. Meghan was laying the enemy low with her assault rifle before quickly switching to a shotgun and dispatching a charging Elite, whom was wielding a buzzing power sword.
"That was close!" the orange and black armoured soldier commented with a slight grin on her face, throwing a recovered plasma grenade at a group of grunts and jackals, proceeding to wipe them out with a blue explosion. Kaitlin replied after she'd reloaded a fresh clip of ammunition into her sidearm, killing two grunts wielding needlers, "You're getting sloppy Meghan! I would have killed it long before I'd have had to use a shotgun!"
Meghan continued to grin behind her Air Assault helm before answering in her sarcastic voice, "Of course you would have Katie! You skills are just so much better than mine!" Suddenly the grin on Meghan 143's face disappeared in an instant.
"We got a pair of hunters heading for the LZ!"
The team had seen plenty of times the sheer havoc and devastation the fuel rod toting aliens could dish out. Instantly their commander Adam formulated a plan and spoke the orders down the comm. in his usual calm voice when he gave out orders,
"017, with me, we've got some hunting to do. 021, suppress any serious Covenant threats who get too close to 099 and 143, but don't make yourself an easy target. 099, 143, don't come up with any plans to field test. I'm having you come back in one piece without one of you receiving a purple heart this time! Let's go Stew!"
Stewart nodded and proceeded to sprint off with Adam behind the cover of a long outcrop of brown rock, both of them bringing out knives and grenades. Holly nodded and found herself the ideal spot to snipe any Covvies who could be in her comrades' blind spots, aiming up; she instantly killed an Elite officer wielding a Concussion Rifle before he could even raise his weapon to aim at Meghan and Kaitlin. The female pair standing back to back with each other however protested over the comm. and demanded that Adam took back his comment on their plans, to which the team received a muted chuckle off of the two males in the team.
Team Trident may have sounded like a rabble of militia over the comm. at that point, but they were all Spartan IIs, they were a well oiled killing machine that is nigh unstoppable and within a minute, the hunters were quickly executed by Adam and Stewart, cutting the orange fleshy strands to the back of the multi worm xenos with ease before sprinting to Meghan and Kaitlin, whom were very low on ammo and the area around where they moved was full of alien bodies. An eerie silence echoed through the plains they had been fighting in for a short moment as Holly sprinted towards them, dropping a flare for the Pelican to spot. Red smoke billowed across where the team stood as the familiar roar of the Pelican became audible and a small black dot appeared on the sky ahead of them.
"Trident team this is Gauntlet, now have a visual of your location. Just in time too, three Scarabs are a click away to the South heading here."
Adam nodded his head before replying,
"Plenty of time then Gauntlet, awaiting pick up."
Heroic Last Stand - Evac (Part 2)
Date: 22 March 2011, 12:23 pm
Sand and dust swirled around the SPARTAN team along with the red smoke from their marker and as the dropship thumped down onto the ground, the back door opened allowing the team to enter. Adam nodded at Kaitlin and Meghan, indicating they were first to get on, before Stewart and Holly turned to join their comrades onboard the Pelican. Just as Stewart put his foot onto the plating of the ramp, a sudden flash of bright light from a Covenant sniper flashed through the dust and struck Holly square in the top side of her helm, causing her to spin and land in a heap on the ground. With a sudden flash of movement and a barking order from Adam to get the Pelican's engines at full power, the two male members of Team Trident grabbed Holly and dragged her and her sniper rifle into the Pelican. Adam inspected his HUD's data, Holly's bio signs indicator a flash of orange, the sniper's light blue Recon helmet had a deep black gouge on her left side, it didn't look promising for her. Stewart knelt down and began to pull the helmet off before a hand snapped up and grabbed his, Holly's grip was firm, yet soft and she said with a huffed voice of frustration, "I can get onto a Pelican on my own you know boys!" and with that she took of her helm, revealing her bright green eyes and short blonde hair. The burning gouge had penetrated through her Recon helmet completely and left a sizeable burn line across the side of her head, starting from her ear and finishing at her crown. The smell of burnt hair was noticeable to Holly as the entire team sighed in relief, Adam commenting as he stood up, "You don't get taken out that easily do you Holly?"
Holly simply grinned mischievously and answered, "No sir! Takes more than an off target sniper to take this Spartan out!"
With that, Holly stood up, gathering her wrecked helmet and her sniper rifle before sitting down by Meghan as the orange and black armoured Spartan sat with her, lightly slugging her shoulder, "Can't have this team lose it's female superiority can we?"
The team laughed as they strapped into the bucket seats.
The military green dropship's engines thrummed and whined entering full power, the land outside suddenly was pulled away, the Pelican soaring back into the sky. The rest of Team Trident took their helmets off and looked at each other with their eyes for the first time in hours before looking outside again at the planet Novus III, thick black smoke was everywhere, billowing out from settlements and battlefields. In the distance though, a worse sight was visible, a bright column of almost blinding light was moving over the planet's surface, slowly turning it to glass. The Covenant was systematically purging all traces of humanity from the planet. As they did to all planets they encountered humans on. Harvest, Bliss, Kholo to name but a few and now Novus III would join that roster of the dead. The near death incident Holly had just experienced was instantly forgotten by the entire team as they saw the merciless destruction and it sent them into silence. It left a bitter taste in Stewart's mouth as he watched, his normally warm deep green eyes looked cold as he watched before the backdoor closed and sealed completely. A sudden rush of g-forces indicated the team were entering orbit, heading back on board the Frigate class ship Pureheart. Then they would leave, regroup and find another battle to attend. Adam looked over his team and at their stony expressions after seeing the glassing taking place, tapping some data into his TACPAD, he said, "This wasn't a loss team."
Kaitlin looked at him, her eyes were still aflame from the battle, "It sure looks like it though
Adam frowned, rubbing the black stubble on his chin. "We managed to evac 50 million citizens in three days. I'd say that's a victory to humanity."
Stewart and Holly both nodded, with Stew smiling a little, thinking of their fellow Spartan, the Master Chief. He never knew of the concept of losing. Everything was a win with him, not because he was delusional, but because he was too damn good! The team then returned to silence, unsure of what to say next, Holly inspected her sniper rifle, rubbing a scuff on the housing to help to try and ignore the thumping headache and searing pain she received from the sniper shot, whilst Meghan looked into her reflection on the silver visor her Air Assault helmet, but clearly her mind was elsewhere.
Flight Sergeant Danielle Cookson, the pilot of the craft frowned her smooth, rounded face, she rubbed her itchy chin as the uncomfortable silenced returned to the Pelican as it continued to rocket towards the Pureheart. Her heart was still pounding in her ears form the sudden surprise sniper shot that had caught one of the Spartans off guard, but it was slowly quietening. Bringing her hand back down to the controls, Cookson flicked open the comm. to the Spartans and asked with a slightly nervous voice, "Ermm Trident Leader, you helped to save a few squads of Marines from Charlie Company down there didn't you?"
Trident's leader blinked at the strange question before he nodded a little where he sat, despite the pilot not being able to see him. Answering with a slightly curious voice, the Adam answered, "Yeah we did Gauntlet, down in Crescent Gorge on the western side of New Auckland."
Flight Sergeant Cookson smiled a little and replied, "Well then I want to thank you and your team personally, you helped to save my husband's squad from annihilation had you not cleared those dropships. I owe you one!"
The team all visibly smiled a little, getting that personal touch of thanks was something Spartans rarely received as they were held in secrecy and only received thanks from the top brass when they pinned on their medals. It cleared the air of the mild depression that lurked in the Pelican earlier and it almost completely healed Holly's headache into becoming a mild twinge. Putting his Scout helmet back on, Stewart said to Cookson, "Don't worry about it Gauntlet, it's our job. I'm sure you'll pay us back with another lift at some point."
Flight Sergeant Cookson's smile widened as she banked the Pelican lightly to turn towards the loading bay of the Pureheart. Activating the retro thrusters to slow the craft down, she announced, "Approaching the loading bay now, touch down in one minute."
The team nodded from where they sat and put on their helmets and picked up their weapons. The Captain would be waiting for debrief in his quarters once the ship slipspaced out on a random vector, as per the Cole Protocol.
Heroic Last Stand - Pureheart (part 3)
Date: 31 July 2011, 6:18 pm
Gauntlet expertly docked into the loading bay, the dull thuds of clamps holding the Pelican in place echoed slightly in the aircraft. Undoing the straps in her seat, Cookson stood up from the pilot's chair and sighed in relief before walking into the hold and declaring "Final stop ladies and gentlemen! Please take all of your belongings with you and have a nice day aboard the Pureheart!"
Team Trident cheered a little and stood up with their gear, Holly's still smouldering helmet in her right hand with her sniper rifle in the other whilst the rest put their helmets back on and placed their weaponry on the mag clamps on their back. Cookson pressed the bright red button to open the rear doors and with a groan of machinery, the ramp thudded down onto the deck, revealing Landing Bay Two. The landing bay looked like chaos to the normal eye, but within the maelstrom of people carrying munitions or mechanics fixing damaged equipment there was order as each person was tasked what they were commanded to do. But as soon as the SPARTANS stepped onto the deck of the Pureheart, everything around them seemed to stop as people looked at them in awe. Some saluted at the team whilst others simply gaped as the team walked past whilst Flight Sgt. Cookson stayed behind, working on inspecting her bird for the next drop. The heavy thud of the SPARTANs' armour seemed to echo above the noise of engines whining up and the shouts and orders coming from the crew in Adam's ears. As he led his team to the main corridor of Deck F, he nodded at some of the crew who paused to get a glimpse of their heroes in battered armour. He knew full well that he and his team were a morale boost to every soldier and crewmember aboard the ship and in the fleet. Team Trident were SPARTAN IIs, the best of the best, heroes in a war the humans were losing to the relentless Covenant. The very sight of Adam and his team were slivers of hope to everyone, the purple armoured SPARTAN smiled at that thought behind his upgraded Security class helm. The door leading to the main corridor and to the bridge slid open with a pneumatic hiss and the team walked through, heading for the main lifts.
Flicking on his comm. to Adam, Stewart asked him, "Who do you think is going to be scarier to debrief with, Captain Winters or Major Alsace?"
Adam smirked slightly, "I'd rather deal with a Scarab singlehandedly than get debriefed by Major Alsace, especially since her new equipment took a plasma bolt to it!"
Holly visibly pouted at the exchange as the team walked to the main lift, their leader pressing the button to call the lift before Holly retorted with an annoyed tone "It's not like I could have avoided it!"
Adam looked at her and unpolarised his large lens and replied "We all know that, but the trick will be convincing Major Alsace that it's the truth. You know how protective she is over the prototypes we field-test for the rest of the SPARTANs. Remember the laser that Meghan managed to mangle completely with her 'inspired' plan of using it as a wedge to move that trapped destroyed Wraith from the road?"
The team winced ever so slightly, nothing should scare a SPARTAN, but the ONI Agent's ice cold eyes and glare was more vicious than a pissed off Brute with a Gravity Hammer. A small rush of gravity indicated the lift going up to the bridge as Meghan protested, "Hey, my 'inspired' plan still worked though didn't it? I managed to clear the road for a convoy of civilians to escape."
Kaitlin instantly answered jokingly, "Yes Meg, but there was a perfectly good metal signpost in the road that would have sufficed!"
"Oh rubbish Katie! It clearly wouldn't have been dense enough!" The orange and black armoured SPARTAN shot back as the pair continued their ribbing.
"No, of course not
you seem to like dense things as they're just like you now aren't they?" Kaitlin smirked behind her Teal ODST helmet as Meghan gasped mockingly. "Such scandalous remarks! I will have to hurt you now Katie!" Meghan approached to swat her team-mate before Stewart cut in with a raised hand and a slightly amused tone in his voice,
"Ladies, please. You're embarrassing the rest of us."
The two female SPARTANs began to protest but the chiming of the lift indicating that it was there stopped them.
Just before the Spartans had a chance to step into the lift, a beep in their helms indicated an incoming transmission; Adam noted that it came from Captain Winters himself. Opening the comm link, Trident's leader called, "Captain Winters, Trident One here."
The voice of the Pureheart's captain crackled through, his voice sounded like he was pumping full of adrenaline as he said, "Trident, our debrief will have to wait. The space above the planet's going to Hell fast! Head to the Armoury and fix yourselves up. The way it's going up here we may have some alien guests on board."
The team tensed visibly, Holly looked at them curiously as without her helm she had no access to internal communications. Adam visibly nodded, replying with a firm voice, "Understood Captain, heading for re-arm and repair."
Taking off his helm, Stewart looked at Holly, frowning at the new burn that still hadn't been looked at; the area was already starting to heal fast but he could see the pain that Holly was ignoring. "Captain Winters needs us to re-arm and get ready for any Covenant visitors. You also need medical attention."
Holly nodded and the team entered into the lift, filling it out completely due to their armoured bulk. The door closed with a pneumatic hiss before Kaitlin keyed in to go the Deck C, the Armoury and the quarters of Team Trident. Meghan looked at Holly and asked her, "Considering the state of your fried helmet, what helmet do you think the Quartermaster will replace it with?"
Adam looked at the TACPAD on his left forearm and tapped in some data before informing Meghan and Holly,
"With the current types, it will probably be an ODST helmet as there's a decent amount for the 67th. Katie seems to have done perfectly fine with the modified version."
Holly nodded with a smirk, her green eyes sparkling slightly, "They hate us enough already since we're using their one piece of their equipment, imagine how they'll react with two ODST helmets being 'borrowed!' I think there'd be a mild riot!"
Stewart chuckled a little, taking off his Scout helm again to run his hand through his short dark hair, a jagged scar on his forehead present, courtesy of a fall during training on Reach when they were all around ten years old. Mendez told him after whilst in medbay that it was a reminder to keep your cool and watch your step, because in real combat, you won't get that second chance. The blue armoured Spartan took that to heart afterwards, always the cautious one within the team. The lift continued to ascend as Team Trident performed armour diagnostics whilst they waited to reach Deck C. As the doors opened with a chime, the five of them all walked in a diamond formation to the Armoury.
Meanwhile on the bridge, screens glowed green and blue into the faces of the crew as Intel from Novus III continued to run through the B-net. Voices updated the Captain and the rest of the crew of the Pureheart's situation and readiness as well as the ongoing battle below and in space. Team Trident filed in and stood to attention, waiting for the captain to debrief them once he had a moment. Captain Winters rubbed his salt and pepper coloured bristly moustache once before looking to the AI's hologram and asking, "Arianwen, has the Covenant Cruiser made a beeline for us yet? It seems to be quite interested in us from afar."
Arianwen's silvery white features frowned slightly as she rechecked all of the sensory arrays, ice blue code running up and down her body, her hologram dressed in the military uniform of the Pureheart before she replied in a firm voice, her Welsh accent brushing every syllable, "Negative Captain, although it's still scanning us, it's staying put and just observing. The other Covenant ships are also ignoring us, but they're pre-occupied with the rest of the fleet."
A flash of red code suddenly pulsed through the AI's hologram before she exclaimed, "Cachu! Sir, the Ardent and the Queen Victoria are out of action! A plasma bolt ripped right through the Ardent and the Queen Victoria' venting atmosphere and reactor coolant!"
Captain Winters and the crew stiffened, the Queen Victoria had a large amount of the population of the city of Sagan aboard whilst the Ardent was a vital lynchpin in the UNSC's defences. Running his hand through his short greying hair, Captain Winters looked to his raven haired and olive skinned Engineering Officer and ordered, "Jameson, prepare to heat up the reactors ready for a random Slipspace jump, once the last of our units are on board and Admiral Keene gives the word, we Slipspace out of here."
Jameson shook some of her hair out of her brown eyes and replied whilst tapping data into her console, "Aye sir! Slipspace ready in two minutes!"
Captain Winters gave a firm nod of approval before he looked to the Weapons control console and regarded the skinny middle aged man there, ordering, "Mikoyan, warm up the MAC cannon in case that Cruiser gets a little more curious. How many Archer missiles do we have left?"
Mikoyan consulted his console's green screen and answered in his thick Moscow accent, "MAC charging commander! It will take some time with the Slipspace engine also charging, Archer missile banks D through to G are still operational sir!"
Winters cursed in his mind, looking to the Ship's AI he commanded, "Arianwen, get the perfect balance to allow both MAC and Slipspace to be ready in the shortest time possible. Novus III's already going to Hell in a hand basket, but we're sure as hell aren't going to let that happen without a fight!"
Arianwen blinked once and answered with her cool voice, "Done Captain, we will have the MAC cannon ready in five minutes two seconds and Slipspace ready in three minutes, thirty four seconds."
Winters cursed again, his sharp blue eyes were weary with mental fatigue from the ensuing battle, but he held strong for the sake of his ship and her crew.