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A Marine Named Peters by GLADIATRRR3000

A Marine Named Peters: The Fight For Alpha Base
Date: 17 June 2003, 1:55 AM

"Jesus! There's more of them!"

"Where do they keep coming from?"

"Keep firing!"

"I need more ammo!"

Private Thomas A. Peters was having a tough time dealing with the Covenant ever since they found Alpha Base. Alpha Base had been one of the best-equipped bases in the sector just a day ago, now it was all burned out. 28 of the 30 bunkers had been taken out, and the hospital was gone, along with the 76 wounded and the 32 doctors. Casualties were high, and ammo was low. The munitions bunker was one of the first things the covenant took out upon arrival.

"Peters! Stop daydreaming and kill some of those bastards, dammit!" said an enraged Sergeant Mendez.
"Sorry, sir! Thinking of the best way to kill them!" Peters said, just before the Sarge's face melted due to a well-aimed plasma shot.
"Looks like he was too busy getting' mad at your sorry ass to duck," said Private Anderson, the rebel of the squad.
"Jesus! I thought you were killed at the mess hall! You're always eating! Good thing you weren't hungry today!" Peters said, ducking behind cover just as 6 needler rounds passed where his head was moments before.
"I WAS hungry. I was next in line when those damn Grunts came runnin' in. They made me lose my spot, and I made them lose their heads." Anderson said, as he stood up and shot a Jackal in his exposed head.
Peters finished off the clip in his MA5B, the standard assault rifle, when an Elite jumped over the trench and started firing. "Oh crap!" Peters yelled as he ran for cover. He finished reloading his gun when the Elite noticed him crawling away. He laughed at him, raised his gun, and prepared to annihilate the human when his head blew off, spraying the wall behind him with bits of armor and brains.
Peters looked at where the shot came from and saw Private Brethauer, the team sniper. Peters gave him a nod, and Brethauer acknowledged it with a one-fingered gesture, saying, "You made me waste a bullet."
Peters laughed and put a Grunt in his sights and pulled the trigger, releasing a three round burst. One bullet pierced the armor, passed through his body, and ignited a plasma grenade, which took down two additional Grunts and a Jackal.

"They should all be dead by now, 'Talseer. I am very displeased."
"I am sorry, your Excellency. We are sending in two Hunters in the back as we speak."
"...And the banshees?"
"On their way."
Peters could see no Covenant in the area, so he decided to check his sidearm. A standard M6D pistol. Nothing special, but it gets the job done. He started to clean the pistol, when it suddenly fired. "Dammit! Man, this trigger is sensitive!"
He heard a thud to his left. He looked at what made the sound and gasped in surprise. On the ground was a dead Hunter. The misfire from his gun had shot the bullet straight through the gap in the Hunter's armor, killing it. "I haven't seen anyone nearly as lucky as you, Peters," an astounded Anderson said.
"Neither have I. But we should be careful, I heard that Hunters travel in pairs."
Anderson was about to say something about Peters being to paranoid, when a plasma bolt the size of a large beach ball blew out his torso, leaving the legs and head to fall to the ground in a puddle of his own intestines.
Peters looked where the plasma had originated, and saw another Hunter staring at him. "Look, about the Hunter that I killed...it was an accident..." Peters tried to say to the alien that was now leveling its gun at him.
The Hunter replied by letting his fuel rod cannon charge with a bright green color.
Peters ran.
He picked up a radio and yelled into it. "Help! Help! Heeeelp! There's a Hunter one my tail! Any demolition experts, come in!"
The COM channel filled with static, then, "I hear you! Where are you?"
Peters dodged around a corner just in time. The wall next to him exploded in a ball of fire and plasma. A piece of the concrete wall flew at him, cutting his face. Peters shrugged it off. "I'm on the second floor, nearing the sniper nest! Hurry, I don't think he's going to miss this time!" He stepped outside.
Peters turned around just in time to see the Hunter come around the corner and come outside. The Hunter, knowing that the primitive human that stood before him would cease to exist, let his guard down for a second and laughed. Half way through the laugh, a rocket flew toward his torso. He noticed it just in time to see that he was going to die. As the rocket hit, the impenetrable armor that it wore was blown to pieces, and the soft flesh inside burned and liquidated, shooting out of its body and covering the walls with its orange hue.
Peters said thanks, and tried to find some more Covenant to kill, preferably Grunts.
Alpha Base was now almost completely gone. The remaining bunkers had been wiped out, along with many marines. There were very few places to hide from the searing plasma that was flying over their heads, and Peters was glad that he was near it. The command center, surprisingly, wasn't gone. Fortunately for the marines, there were enough supplies to last a week in there, providing all the Covenant just happened to die then. As Peters started to sprint to the command center, he saw a file of Jackals facing the opposite direction. He took the opportunity to throw a grenade in the middle of them, and was satisfied when their blue and orange shield turned purple with their blood. He paused to wipe the sweat and blood off his face and heard the sound that he wanted to never hear again. The sound of Banshee's engines. Judging by the sound, 4 or 5 of them.
He ran inside the command center. "Banshees!" he yelled.
"Great. Just GREAT. How many rockets do we have left?"
"Three." The marine fired a rocket and left four Banshees still in the air. "Two, now."
"Great. Any ideas?"
Peters raised his hand. "What do you got?"
"The command center has a garage connected to it, am I correct?"
"I'll take a Warthog and lure them away from Alpha Base. You can get to the chain guns on the roof while I'm gone and I'll drive back, bringing the Banshees with me. When I pass, see if you can take them down with the chain guns."
"...And if you don't come back?"
"Get another idea."
Peters was taken to the garage, where he was given a warthog. "Just get it back. These aren't cheap."
The garage opened and Peters drove out. He was going as fats as the terrain allowed him, which was currently 86 mph. The Banshees, attracted by the noise of the vehicle, started to follow. Peters nearly wet himself as plasma hit the ground around the warthog, making glass out of the now super-heated dirt. Peters now wished that he had asked for a gunner. Unfortunately, he did not see the 10-foot drop in front of him, and the Warthog soon flew off the side, threw Peters from the seat, and landed upside-down. Peters, unable to lift the warthog, was now forced to either run back to Alpha Base and die on the way, hide and die when the Covenant found him, or fight and take the some Covenant down with him when he died.
Although he lost 2 grenades in the tumble, he found his pistol, his MA5B, and some ammo for both. He climbed up the hill and spotted the Banshees. He knew it was suicide, but he aimed at one and pulled the trigger of the pistol 6 times, half emptying the gun. The Banshee, now smoking, turned and came at him, along with another flying vehicle.
Peters, now wetting his fatigues, aimed at the damaged Banshee and emptied his clip. He must have hit something vital, because the Banshee started turning wildly, hit the other Banshee, and caused both of them to explode, raining shrapnel and fire beneath them.
This alerted the remaining two Banshees, and Peters ran for cover. He hid behind a rock that was promptly blown to pieces when plasma rained upon it. Peters was now exposed, and had only seconds before the Banshees could turn around again. He spotted a tree and ran for it, knowing that it would give him two seconds worth of cover. One Banshee, hoping to crush Peters with the tree, blew up the trunk, but found itself being crushed when the tree fell in the opposite direction. It was knocked out of the air like a fly and exploded into tiny pieces as the ancient tree fell upon it.
The remaining Banshee, however, was not going to be fooled as easy. It flew 30 feet over Peters' head, knowing that his weapon would be very inaccurate at that distance. It started to charge it's fuel rod cannon, and Peters knew that he was going to die, like so many before him. He closed his eyes, but instead of hearing the humming sound of energy weapons, he heard the popping sounds of human weapons. "Old Faithful", the LAAG gun on the back of Warthogs, to be exact. Unable to turn in time, the Banshee was blown apart by the high rate of fire.
Peters opened his eyes in time to see three Warthogs fly over the drop, land perfectly, and come to a stop. "What are you doing here? I told you to wait for me at the command center!"
"We got another idea." The man Peters had talked to at the command center said, smiling.
"Did we win?"
"Pretty much. There are still a few Grunts running around, but I think we can take 'em out."
Peters, knowing it was over, smiled and passed out, landing hard on the dirt.
" 'Talseer, you failed to achieve victory. We suffered a major defeat, losing countless infantry and five Banshees."
"I am sorry, your Excellency. It will never happen again."
"You are right, 'Talseer. It won't happen again, because it is hard to fail when you are no longer alive."
"Please, your Excellency. Have mercy... please...no. No! NO!"
The End

Hey, this was my first halo story thing. Tell me if it was good, or if it sucked. Email it to me at gladiatrrr2002@hotmail.com

A Marine Named Peters: Forward to Bravo Base!
Date: 17 June 2003, 6:02 PM

**My computer got a little screwed up half way through, so they paragraphing might be a little off later on.**

"Are you sure this'll work?"
"Almost positive."
"Great. Just great."
Gagaw the Grunt checked his Needler again. There were rumors that there were humans in the area. Everyone wanted to be the one lucky person to destroy the primitive aliens, because Field Master 'Putametee had promised a reward to the one or ones who killed them. Gagaw, being a lowly Grunt, had never had a single reward or acknowledgement from a higher being, such as an Elite. He leaned over to Sasat, another Grunt.
"I will kill the puny humans with my Needler. They will never make it back to their base."
"That is true, except for one thing. I will be the one who kills the devils."
They both chuckled and checked their gear one more time.

"Everyone take cover. I'm setting the timer for ten seconds."
"That gives the Covenant ten seconds to get away."
"They won't."

Gagaw stood up. He was tired of waiting. He began to pace back and forth and wondered if the rumors were true. He turned around and began to walk away, when a huge explosion behind him blew everything apart. "Is anyone alive!" he exclaimed.
No one answered.

"HaHA! I told you it'd work!" said a happy Private Jones., the teams demolitions expert. He carried a rocket launcher.
"Stop gloating and kill anything that moves, private," said a recently promoted Lieutenant Peters. "Fire at will!" he commanded his squad, the FireBats.
Shortly after his fight for Alpha Base, he was given an award for bravery and was promoted to Lieutenant. He never thought he'd get past Private, because he believed that he was going to get shot down in his first fight. Amazingly, however, he was able to kill 16 Grunts, 4 Jackals, and 2 Elites, along with 3 Banshees. Pretty good for a guy who wet himself when he got too nervous.
"Alright, lets haul ass back to Bravo Base and see if it's still there." Peters told his squad.
"Why didn't we just fly there?" Jones questioned.
"Because, private, all air support was lost in orbit. It's better to have them stop the Covenant from glassing the planet then to ask them to fly us 100 miles to a base we don't know still exists or not." Peters retorted.
"Ah, that's why."

Gagaw was running for his life. He hoped he could make it back to the dropship and get the hell out of this hellhole. That would take luck, and not very many Grunts were lucky. He saw a dropship 100 units in front of him. "Wait! Wait! Don't leave me here!" he yelled, but the dropship took off.
He started to think that he was going to die here, but then the dropship exploded in midair, and he realized something worse. He was going to die here.
He started to run again, and saw a few Grunts to his left. Surprisingly, Sasat was among them. "Sasat! I thought you died in the explosion!"
"I almost did, but the explosion blew me across the field and I landed in a pool of water."
"Good. So, does anyone have an idea as to how we're going to get out of here?"
"I do," said Pak, a higher Jackal. "And since all the Elites are dead, making me the commanding officer, what I say is what we do."
Gagaw didn't know if having a Jackal as a leader was any better than having an Elite. He decided not to question him or his motives. At least with a Jackal, they'd have a shield to stand behind.
"My plan is to kill the remaining humans. I saw them shortly after the explosion, and there are very few. There are four humans, perhaps five. One is wielding what they call a 'rocket launcher'. He is the primary target as of now. With him gone, there will be fewer explosions, which can destroy many with one shot. Next, we will attack the 'sniper'. With him out of the way, they cannot kill us with distance." Pak continued. "Then, we will attack the two or three humans with their close range weapons, the 'assault rifles'. I believe their leader is one of those humans, and I want him to die last. I want him to see how easily we, the great Covenant, can destroy him and his people."
"Any questions?"

Peters and his squad were running. They were low on ammo, and didn't know how many covenant there were. Also, they had yet to finish their primary objective, reach Bravo Base. Bravo Base had not sent a single transmission in a week, and with all satellites wiped out, they had no choice but to get there by foot. Peters had requested two Warthogs, but he had been denied them, being told they were too expensive and would be trouble in the mountainous terrain they had to cross.
"How close are we to Bravo Base?" asked Private Karls, the squad's sniper.
"Three miles. We should be there by nightfall if we hustle."
"Then hustle we will!"
They came upon a small cliff, maybe 100 feet down to the ground. About 2 miles after that was a mountain range codenamed MR 10-5. In MR 10-5 was Bravo Base. Bravo Base was nearly impossible to see from above, which was another reason they couldn't see what happened to Bravo Base.
About half a mile from where the FireBats stood was a small town. Luckily for them there was a small army outpost there. If they were lucky, there would be a Warthog, maybe even a Scorpion tank, even though it was highly unlikely.
"Okay, people, lets find a way down this cliff and check out that outpost over there. Maybe we'll find a ride there."
The FireBats acknowledged and moved out.
"I found a hill over here!" Karls said over the radio. "It isn't steep, so we can go down it. It leads right to the town, too."
"Good work, Karls." Peters replied. "Okay, team. I'm marking the location of the hill with a NAV point. Last one there gives up their cigarettes for a week."
Everyone made it there within five minutes. Everyone except Jones. "Probably slowed down with all the explosives." Peters said.
Peters didn't show it, but he was worried. "Okay, that's been long enough. Let's radio him."

"Jones, are you there? Come in Jones."
Gagaw couldn't understand what was coming from that metal box the human carried, but he knew it was from his four remaining teammates.
"Good job, people. Let's take his 'rocket launcher' and move out." Pak said.
"But the Prophets forbid the use of human technology!" replied a lesser Grunt, Tasat.
Pak leveled his plasma pistol at Tasat's head. "The Prophets aren't here right now. Are they?"
"Don't. Ever. Question. Me. Again."
"…But the Prophets sai…" Tasat never got to finish his sentence, because Pak fired a plasma bolt through his skull, splattering brains and blood over the remaining 3 Grunts.
"Anyone else have a problem?" Pak questioned.
"No, your Excellency."

"Dammit. Okay people, it's time to move out," said a discouraged Peters.
"Hey, what about Jones? We can't just leave him here!" Karls cried.
"Look, Jones should have been here by now. My guess is that the Covenant got him. He was always fast, even when carrying the explosives. So, unless you want the Covenant to catch us too, you will follow my orders and move out."
"Yes, sir."
Just as the FireBats started to move out, a rocket flew over their heads and detonated when it hit a rock 50 feet away.
"Jesus! What the hell was that?"

The Grunt who fired the rocket launcher was blow back. The force of the shot had pushed both the gun and the Grunt back so fast that he hit a boulder and it crumbled, crushing him.
"Uncover the weapon. Leave the dead." Pak commanded.
Gagaw and Sasat, being the only Grunts left, were forced to unearth the rocket launcher from the rubble. Gagaw, surprised by the weight of the human weapon, fell backwards when he lifted it, and hit Pak on his head. Pak fell to the ground, his skull crushed. Gagaw and Sasat just stared. "This… never happened."

The FireBats were almost down the hill. Karls had been right. The hill not only led them to the city, it cut off a quarter mile of their trip. "Karls, scope the area. I don't want to get caught in an ambush."
"Yes, sir." Karls then proceeded to look at the town through his sniper rifle's modified 15X zoom. "My God… the town… there's nothing left…"
"What do you mean, private?"
"The Covenant have been here. There are skeletons all over the place. The residential section has been… glassed."
"What about the outpost?"
"Intact, but heavily damaged."
"Okay, people. Proceed to the outpost, and try to find a ride. Not a Longsword, it'd be too hard to land in the mountains. Try to find a Warthog or a Scorpion."
They proceeded to look for a vehicle. After about five minutes, Johnson, the teams vehicle expert, found one "Sir, I've got a Warthog over here. Intact and everything. Still has some ammo for the LAAG, too."
"Good. One person will have to sit in the back, though. Damn, I wish this had an extra seat." Peters said.
"Sir, I've found a Covenant vehicle over here. I think they're called 'Ghosts'," said Parker, an expert on the Covenant. He had been sent along to try to salvage any Covenant weaponry or machinery. "Looks intact, too. I'll drive this to Bravo Base."
"Sounds good," said Peters. "You do that. We'll make sure no Covenant air support gets to you."
They then began to drive to Bravo Base.

"What should we do?" Gagaw asked, knowing that Sasat wouldn't have an answer.
"I know what we should do." Sasat said.
"…You do?"
"Yes. We'll chase the humans, and when we kill them, we'll get a reward!" Sasat's eyes glazed over when he thought what wondrous things would be bestowed upon him when he took down an elite human squad.
"How do you suppose we'll catch up to them? No doubt they'll use a vehicle to get to their destination faster." Gagaw stated.
"We'll look for a vehicle of our own!" Sasat said. "Just think, when we kill them, the Prophets might allow us to return to our planet and never ask us to fight again!"
Gagaw, hungered by the fact that they might not have to fight again, complied and began to search for a vehicle. After a while, they found an overturned Ghost. "Let's flip it over and take this!" Sasat said.
"It's a one-man vehicle. We can't both fit on it!" Gagaw pointed out.
"We're small, Gagaw. We can squeeze in!"
Sasat won the argument over would drive, so he got the front, and Gagaw got to hold on for dear life in the back as Sasat drove wildly off. Gagaw then realizes something. "Do you actually… know how to drive one of these?"
"No, but I'm learning!"
Gagaw then soiled himself and began to scream.

"Does anyone else hear that? … Or smell that?" Karls asked, covering his nose. The two vehicles then came to a stop to listen.
"Sounds like… another Ghost, with an engine problem." Parker said.
"Sounds like a screaming Grunt." Peters said. "Whatever it is lets start moving."

"AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!" screamed Gagaw, over and over again.
"Will you shut up?" asked a very annoyed Sasat. "Look, I can see the humans now. If you shut up, I can kill them!"
Gagaw continued to scream.

"We're almost there!" exclaimed a very content Johnson. "Look! We're almost at the start of the mountain range!"
Parker was about to say something when a wave of plasma washed over him. The surprise attack caught them all of guard, and Parker's right arm was blown off. Spiraling out of control, Parker crashed into the mountainside and caused a landslide. The landslide cut off the Warthog's path, so they had to pile out and climb up the trail to Bravo Base on foot. "Come on! Look! Only another mile!" exclaimed Peters.

"I'm picking up a signal on our radio." Gagaw yelled over the engine. "They're sending a dropship our way!"
"No! This is OUR kill! I will NOT let some 'holy warrior' elites take that from me!" screamed Sasat.
He's gone crazy. I'm going to die. Gagaw thought.
They raced up the hill. Unfortunately, Sasat didn't see the large rock in front of them, and the Ghost hit it, flinging both Grunts out. Immediately after, three humans jumped on Gagaw and Sasat and pinned them down.
Sasat tried to pull out his Needler, but one human took out a pistol and shot him twice in the head. Sasat's muscles relaxed, and he awaited his entry into Paradise.
"One's down. Let's see if the other is more cooperative." Peters said. He faced the remaining Grunt. "Do you speak English?" the Grunt struggled, and Karls punched him in the face. Peters asked again. "Do you speak English?"
The Grunt stared at him and said, "Y-yes."
"We're going to ask you a few questions." Peters explained. "If you answer right, you won't get hurt. Now, where are your reinforcements?"
"They are in a dropship, and they are going to land somewhere around here." The Grunt said, obviously angered that he was becoming a traitor.
"Jesus, that'll put them right on top of Bravo Base!" Karls said.
"Next question." Peters said. "What do you know about this area?"
"I know nothing. The Prophets, however, know everything. They know that I am betraying them right now, and I shall be killed when I return." The Grunt replied.

Why are they asking so many questions? Why aren't I dead yet? How low is my methane tank? The last question was answered first. He began to suffocate and wheeze. The humans, wanting to interrogate the alien as long as they could, removed his methane tank and placed Sasat's tank on him. Relieved that he could breathe, and amazed that a human would actually save his life, he began to talk more cooperatively.

After a few more questions, Peters had had enough. "Thank you for your cooperation. Now, I'm normally not supposed to do this, but I'll give you a choice. Come with us, or go back home?"
After a few minutes of thinking, the Grunt replied, "Home."
They removed all the Grunts grenades and guns, and let him run away. They then began to sprint to Bravo Base to tell them that they were about to come under attack.

** Back on a Covenant Starship**

"So, lowly Grunt, you are the last of your battle group, are you not?" Asked a Prophet.
"Yes, I am, your Excellency. The rest were destroyed by the humans."
"I have reason to believe that when they captured you, you told them many things of the Covenant, am I right?"
"Well, yes, but, your Excellency, I can explain…"
"Silence! I did ask for an explanation! You have betrayed us all, and you will die a most dishonorable death!"
As an Elite with a plasma sword walked up behind him and readied himself to execute the traitor, the small Grunt uttered his last words, "Can't we talk about this…?"

The End

My second story for halo, also the second story for the series: A Marine Named Peters. Check it out! …or, of course, don't, but I'd like some people to read what I wrote. again, my computer got screwed up and the indentation is messed up, but i hope you can get through it.

A Marine Named Peters: Bravo Base
Date: 20 June 2003, 8:31 PM

**Note** you should read the first two, or at least the last story, of the series. Good stuff!

"We did it. It cost us two men and a bitch-load of ammo, but we did it. We got to Bravo Base!" Lieutenant Peters said.
A small cheer went through the remaining three people, Peters, Private Karls, the team sniper, and Johnson, the vehicle expert. They rushed into the base, which looked like it had been in a battle just a few days before. The communications tower had been destroyed, and from the looks of it, it looked like plasma burns had toppled the tower. Dammit, Peters thought. Looks like the Covenant already found Bravo Base. I hope this time we have better defenses. **see #1**
As they walked in, they were greeted by 50 assault rifles, 14 sniper rifles, and 11 pistols pointed at their heads. "Are… we in the right place?" Karls asked. "This is Bravo Base, right?"
"State your name and business," said an older man, most likely the commanding officer.
"Lieutenant Peters." "Private Karls." "Private Johnson."
Peters continued. "We came here from Alpha Base. We lost contact with you a little over a week ago, and we were sent to find what out what happened. Judging by the communications tower, you were under attack recently."
"Good. Sorry for the rude welcoming. Not only have we been under attack by Covenant, but some damn space pirates have been raiding our base for supplies, too. Just had to be careful. I am Captain John A. Williams. I am the commanding officer here at Bravo Base."
"One thing, sir." Peters asked. "Would the hospital still be intact? My leg's been acting up."
"Yes it is. I'll have two men escort you to it," said Williams.
"No need. I'll go there myself." Peters saluted and started towards the hospital.
In boot camp, years ago, when Peters had just enlisted, he was on the obstacle course. There was a live ammunition part of the course, where targets popped up and shot stun bullets at any person who was close. Peters had just pulled out his pistol and aimed at a target, when the man next to him was hit by a stun round. The man still had the trigger down when he got knocked out, and when he fell, five live rounds hit Peters in the leg. Most of the muscles had been obliterated, and the doctors predicted he'd never walk again.
Peters had shown them.
He went to the front lines, and became the man he is today. Lieutenant Thomas A. Peters. Hero of Alpha Base. Decorated for his bravery, and commended for his actions. But his damn leg still acted up. "Jesus. I can't wait until they find a better painkiller."
Peters walked into the hospital wing. He looked around. It was much better furnished than Alpha Base's. Magazines, not ones that were decades old, but new ones, from earth. A coffee machine. Chairs. Damn, Peters thought. Just like a real hospital back on Earth.
"Can I help you, sir?" a nurse asked.
"Uh, yeah. I was wondering if there was a doctor available." Peters replied.
"Yes, there is." She turned around. "Doctor Martin! A patient has arrived!" she turned back. "The doctor will see you now."
A lot faster than a hospital on Earth, though. "Thank you."
Peters walked into the room. It was a small room, maybe 5 feet by 10 feet. A small mat was in the corner. Peters could tell that it was covered in blood shortly before. Behind him, the door opened. "Yes mister…" the doctor looked at his clipboard. "Peters." He finished. "What can I do for you?"
"My leg was acting up, and I was wondering if you could give me some painkillers."
"I'm sorry. The man who was here before you used them all up."
"All of them?"
"Yes. I believe he had a Needler round to the forehead. He was still alive when he came in here with half a head. The most we could do was give him pain killers until he died."
Peters looked at his leg and compared his minor pain to a man missing half a head. "Thank you anyways."
"No problem."
When he got back to the command center, he found that his two squad mates had become pretty popular. He caught a little of the story. "…Then six, no SEVEN dropships came out of the sky, and I blew them all to hell!" "No, you're wrong! There were TWENTY dropships and I blew them up!" A small fight ensued. Funny, I don't remember that part. Peters thought.
"Hey, Peters! Come over here and tell them what happened!" Karls called.
Although Karls should have said "sir" instead of "Peters" because he was still in uniform, Peters ignored this and went over. "So you want to know what happened? ONE dropship came, and a man from my squad, who is no longer with us, blew it up." Peters then got softer. "But these two, they took down four HUNTERS."
Everyone laughed. Peters had always been a terrible liar. "Please excuse me." He said and walked over to the Captain. "Sir, may I have a word with you?"
"Of course."
"Earlier, me and my squad interrogated a Grunt. He said that one or more dropships will be landing in the area. I believe he was not lying."
The Captain stared out a window at a setting sun. He sighed. "Alright." He turned on the intercom. "Everyone to their battle stations. There are incoming dropships. We have no definite number, so be on your toes. Ready the anti-aircraft guns, and man the turrets."
Tables scattered with cards and beer cans were overturned as people ran to their stations. One man came out of the bathroom with his pants still down, ran a few feet, fell, and got up. Everyone laughed at this. "At least morale is high." Peters muttered to himself.
The sun set. It had been almost an hour since the Captain had given his orders, and every one of the 78 people in the command center was getting bored. One man heard a rustle in the bushes 20 feet away. "Sssshh!" he said and readied his MA5B. Everyone was quiet. Even Peters, in the middle of the room, could hear the heavy breathing of Grunts. To his horror, he could even hear the clanking of armor. "Hunters." He whispered, just as a big ball of green plasma blasted into the wall, killing 3 men.
***To be Continued in A Marine Named Peters: Bravo Base 2: The Battle***
Hahahhahah SUSPENSE! I'm going to MAKE you read the next one. I had to shorten this so the next one could be HUGE. Yes, there'll be a marine in his underwear in this one (to whoever wrote that comment)
Looking back, though, this one was VERY tiny. I'll try not to do that in the future

A Marine Named Peters: Bravo Base 2: The Battle
Date: 20 June 2003, 8:39 PM

"Hunters." Peters whispered. Just as he finished saying the word all marines dread, a giant green plasma bolt hit the command center's wall, killing three men.
"Fire at will!" Captain Williams yelled. The marines didn't need to be told. They had all been firing for a full three seconds already.
Peters manned an empty gun turret. It reminded him of "Old Faithful", except it wasn't attached to a Warthog. He went temporarily insane with the power he had in his hands. "YOU WANT SOME? YOU WANT SOME? COME AND GET SOME MORE, YOU BASTARDS!" he yelled. People could hear him over the turret, across the room. An Elite exploded. Grunts were mowed down like blades of grass. Jackals were flung back when the barrage of bullets bounced off the shields "I'M INVINCIBLE! YOU ARE ALL GOING TO DIE! YOU ARE GOING TO BURN IN…" the turret then ran out of ammo. "…hell."
The Covenant, now rushing over, began to overpower the smaller bunkers further from the command center. They then took the small landing pad. Next was the munitions bunker. There was only one thing left… "The hospital!" Peters yelled to no one. He ran over to the Captain, who was firing out the window with his M6D pistol. "Sir, permission to take the remaining members of my squad and protect the hospital."
"Granted." He turned to the marines. "Marines, cover the FireBats on their way to the hospital. They're going to try to save some lives." He turned back to Peters. "Hurry."
"Yes, sir." Peters rounded up Karls and Johnson, who were laughing and talking while firing out the window.
"Have you seen that new movie? What's it called… you know the one where the guy goes crazy?" Karls asked.
"Oh, yeah! That kicks ass! I own it on DVD 7! You know, the new DVD that shows up on you eyes." Johnson replied.
"Oh, I've heard of that! Is it any good? I heard that it blew a guys head off during Terminator 38!"
"Just rumors. All rumors."
Peters could have laughed at how relaxed they were during a battle. Then he remembered the hospital. "Shut the hell up! Both of you! We're going to go rescue anyone that could be in the hospital."
"Good." Karls said. "I was getting bored just sitting here."
"Follow me" Peters said. They moved outside. There were bodies of people who had tried to make it inside from the mess hall and gym. None had made it. When they passed the mess hall, Peters looked inside. Inside was a single man, in his boxers, eating a sandwich. Surrounding him was a pile of dead Grunts and Jackals. "This is a damn good sandwich." He said. He looked at Peters. "Want some?"
"No thanks. Why are you…"
"In my underwear? It was hot out today."
"Weren't you worried that the Covenant's plasma guns would tear through you without armor?"
"Nope." He finished off the sandwich, and reached for another. "Hold on. I'll put on my fatigues and come with you. It'll only take two minutes."
Peters thought for a second. "Why the hell not. You have two minutes."
They waited for the marine. He showed up, perfectly dressed, exactly two minutes later. "I'm Private Banks. I'll be your Covenant killer for the day."
"I like him." Johnson whispered to Karls.
"Any guy who can kill Covies in his underwear is O.K. with me." Karls whispered back to Johnson.
They then started to the hospital. Again. 'Sloppy.' Peters thought. 'Normally I'd have been there for minutes.' When they got there, two Jackals and three Grunts were outside, meaning there were Covenant inside. "Damn." Peters said. "Karls, do you still have your sniper?"
Karls felt he shoulder to see if the gun was still strapped to his back. "Yes, I do, sir."
"Then take them out from afar. I don't want to take them out up close, where they can fire back."
Karls crouched down, turned off the safety on the gun, made sure there was a bullet in the chamber, and started to work. 'Okay,' he thought. 'Five Covies, four bullets. Can't take one out later, it'll probably run inside and alert others. Let's see… Two down, three bullets left. Dumb, stupid, dumb bastards. Okay, four down, two bullets left. Hahaha, look at him panic. Opps, hard to panic without a head.' He stood up. "All clear."
They walked inside. The nurse who Peters had talked to minutes, maybe hours, before had been shot several times, beaten, then killed. They moved on. 'Now, if I was a Covie, where'd I go…' the answer came soon. "Let's find the mess hall. No doubt they'll be attracted to the place where the most people are."
They went to the mess hall, and Peters looked around the corner. By the looks of it, everyone in the hospital had been herded into the mess hall and slaughtered. The walls, ceiling, and floor were painted red with blood. Luckily, the Covenant were tightly packed together in the center of the room. The Grunts were asleep, the Jackals were sitting down, and the Elites were the only ones alert. Peters readied a grenade, counted to three, and threw it in the center of the Covenant troops. The grenade exploded as soon as it hit the ground. Peters jumped back behind the corner just in time to have Grunt and Jackal's arms and legs fly past. One of the Jackal's energy shield had survived and landed at Peter's feet. He picked it up and saw that it fit perfectly to his hand. He pressed a button and the shield turned on, he pressed another and it turned off. He decided it could come in handy, so he kept it.
He looked around the corner. Only one Elite was left, and it looked like he was holding something in his hands. Peters shot him in the forehead with a three-round burst from his assault rifle. The Elite then died, and the thing he was carrying in his hands was his own small intestines. "Should we search the rooms to see if anyone's left?" Karls asked.
"No. They're all dead. The Covenant always make sure they get every last one or die trying."
"So," Karls said. "Should we go back to the command center to see what's happening?"
"Sounds like a good idea." Peters looked around the room one last time. "After all the Covenant in the area is eliminated, we're going to have to do the body count here."
When they got back to the command center, they saw that they hadn't suffered many casualties. 63 were left, meaning only 12 died. Here, at least. They had yet to count the hospital casualties and any people who might have been in a bunker too far away to get back. The Captain had suffered a minor wound. A Grunt got in a lucky shot and got the Captain in the arm. He only got one shot in, however, because after he had given away his position, three automatic turrets had turned him into a pile of bloody pulp. "Alright, people." The Captain said. "Good job. We held them of for a while and suffered minor casualties. Five minute break." He turned and saw Peters and his group. "Well? Were you able to stop the Covenant?"
"Unfortunately, no. The Covenant got there before we could." Peters took a deep breath. "No survivors."
The Captain turned away and whispered something under his breath. When he turned back, he had a solemn look on his face. "You can return to Alpha Base. Tell them that we are low on supplies, and we need repairs to the station immediately."
"Yes, sir."
Peters started out the door. A man ran into him and fell. He got up and started running over to the Captain. Peters started walking again, but something in the man's conversation with the Captain made him stop. "Sir, I have… bad news."
"Yes, sir. Radar picked up a signal. A very BAD signal…"
"Well, what the hell is it then?"
"200 Banshees are flying in an attack pattern towards Bravo Base. 50 dropships are following them. 75 Ghosts are on the ground."
"My God…"
"…And…" The marine paused. "…And there's a small Covenant cruiser in orbit above us. They're going to glass this base."
Peters' blood ran cold. He knew that one Banshee, three dropships, and five Ghosts could kill them all. But that many? For a single base? And a cruiser? What did they want that was so important?
"We've got to get the hell out of here." The Captain said.
Peters thought the same, Johnson felt like killing every last one of them, and Karls felt hungry. "Can we pass the mess hall on the way out?" He asked.
Peters turned to him. "We are probably going to die here, and you want a DAMN SANDWICH?!"
"…Not just one…" Karls muttered.
"Nososalee, how are the troops doing?" a Prophet in the shadows asked.
"The first wave died as expected, your Excellency. The rest are on their way. The humans are expected to run." Nososalee replied. He smiled. "They will all be dead by the rising of the sun, your Excellency."
"Very good, Nososalee. Leave your old, beaten armor at the door." The Prophet said.
This confused Nososalee. "Excellency…?" He looked at the Prophet, hoping an answer would come. None did. He turned towards the door and saw why he had to leave the dull magenta colored armor at the door. There, suspended by shimmering beams reaching up to the ceiling, was a suit of armor, glistening gold. Nososalee was stunned. They hadn't even one yet, and he had been promoted. He turned back to the Prophet. "Your Excellency, I have made no victory yet today, why do you honor me so?"
"Do you question my judgment?"
"No, your Excellency." Nososalee was now determined more than ever to find the holy relics hidden in the mountains surrounding the pitiful human outpost.

"Maybe if we radio for help, we can hide in the caves until backup comes." Karls said.
"They'd find us." Peters said.
"Maybe we could take all the Warthogs and run." Johnson said.
"They'd catch us." Peters replied.
"Then what should we do?"
Peters sighed. His leg still hurt, and there weren't any painkillers for miles. "I don't know what to do. Maybe, if we had a couple of Scorpions, some Longswords, and a miracle we could live."
Peters took a look around the base. It had suffered so much damage in the last attack, plus the damage it had taken before they got here. There was no way it would hold another.
"I… don't know."
Out of nowhere, a giant beam of bright light hit the middle of Bravo Base, destroying it instantly. Peters, Karls, and Johnson were blown back. Peters was knocked out. When he came to, he was in a dark cave. He opened his eyes and Karls was above him. "They glassed the base a little early." He gave a weak smile. Karls was known to have a good attitude even when it had hit the fan, but this discouraged him.
"Did anyone else make it?" Peters asked.
Karls took a deep breath, held it for a few seconds, and exhaled.

To be Continued in A Marine Named Peters: Run For Your Life, Fight For Others'
I posted two this time because the last one was very short. If anyone has suggestions, please tell me. I want people to predict what happens to Peters

A Marine Named Peters: Run For Your Life, Fight For Others
Date: 23 June 2003, 12:18 AM

"Did anyone else make it?"
The words hit Peters like a bullet to the chest. There were 63 people in the base, at least one had to make it. "Are you sure? Did you check?"
"The only reason we're alive is because I dragged you from the base to this cave. The Covenant flooded into the area just after they blew the base." Karls said grimly. "The only other person I know made it is Johnson, and he's looking for supplies that might be stored in a storage shed half-a-mile that way." He pointed behind him. "Also, I found something… weird. It doesn't look like human materials." He pulled out a rock.
Peters observed the rock. It was made out of granite and had small jewel like things on it. One side was slightly triangular, and there were small symbols on it, which reminded Peters of ancient Aztec writing. He rubbed it with his hands, closely examined it, and came to the conclusion that it was old, very old. "Any idea what it is, sir?"
"No, but I think I'll keep it. Give it to a scientist if we get back."
"Sir, while you were out, I came up with a plan on how to get out of here." Karls said. "We could go pick up Johnson, Go around the mountains, and then get back to the abandoned army outpost we were at a while ago."
"Good idea. With luck, we could get a Longsword and fly it back." Peters said. "Let's go."
Peters stood up, but blinding pain in his leg made him fall again. The pain was so intense, Karls had to put a stick between Peters' teeth, so he wouldn't bite off his tongue. Peters was writhing in pain. He looked down and saw small patches of blood surrounding small tears in his fatigues. Karls noticed this too, and peeled back Peters' pants. What had happened was when the Covenant glassed the base, small bits of plasma and white-hot metal had mixed together and formed a deadly poison that, when attached to an object, burnt its way inside of it and spread. Some of it had been blown away from the baseand hit Peters. Peters had plasma and white-hot metal coursing through his veins. "Oh, God it hurts… My leg…" Peters cried.
Peters was usually able to bottle up his pain, and ignore it until it became overwhelming. Suddenly, the pain stopped. Peters removed his sweat drenched fatigues top and wrapped it tight around the top of his leg. "Something's in my leg, and whatever it is, I don't want it spreading."
Eventually, they were able to move out. It took them a little over eight minutes to get to the shed, because Peters would have small pains in his leg and they'd have to stop. When they got there, Johnson was nowhere to be found. They waited a whole hour, which was completely unsafe due to the Covenant Banshee patrols that went on overhead. It looked to Peters like they were looking for something. Eventually they gave up waiting and moved out.
"I told you damn bastards, I won't tell you anything!"
"Very well."
Johnson was in excruciating pain. The Covenant had captured him when he was looking for supplies, and brought him to their temporary base of operations. They tortured him over and over again. Asked him questions. Where is the rest of your squad, where is the rest of the humans in the area, where is the holy relic. Johnson would tell them nothing, and they would attack two glowing devices to him, one on his right temple, the other on the back of his neck.
A gold-armored Elite walked in. He stared at the torture devices. "Fascinating, aren't they?" He asked in a very distorted English. "Do you know how they work? They sent electrical shocks through your nerves. Makes you skin feel like it's on fire." He paused. "However, it only works so long. After awhile, it burns out, permanently damaging your nerves. You'll feel this the rest of your life, and there's no way you can stop it."
Johnson started sobbing. He couldn't tell. He can't let his squad down. He can't let his friends down. But it hurt. All the pain he had felt in his life mixed together wouldn't amount to half the pain these gave him. "I… won't…tell you… anything."
"Have it your way." He turned towards two Grunts. "You know what to do."
After the Elite left the room, the two Grunts moved in. They were about to adjust the torturing devices when Johnson broke free from his restraining devices. He grabbed on Grunt by the neck with one hand, and with the other, he twisted his head. The Grunt's neck broke in three places and neon blue blood flowed from his mouth. He turned towards the other Grunt, removed its breathing apparatus, and stuck it, along with half his arm, down the Grunts' throat. The Grunt began to vomit profusely in order to remove the arm somehow, slightly burning his hand. After a minute, the Grunt stopped moving. He removed the carcass from his arm and observed the room.

"We can't leave him behind! He's got to be coming back soon!" Karls said.
"Listen, Private, we have to assume he is dead, otherwise we will be." Peters said.
"Sir, Johnson, he's my friend, sir. We've known each other since we were three. We can't just leave him behind!"
Peters sighed. "What do you suggest we do?"
"Find him."

On the table to his right, two small circular things sat. He picked one up and pressed a button on the side. Glowing plasma jumped out of one side. "A plasma sword." Johnson said. "This'll be great for silently choppin' up some Covies." He walked towards the door, but it wouldn't open.
"To hell with this." He said, shoving the plasma sword into the door. He held it there for a few circuits, and the door, its circuits fried and melted, opened. Johnson poked his head out. The hall was clear. He started down the hall and turned a corner. There was a group of Grunts facing the other way. He began to slice them open. The plasma sword was so hot, it fried their innards and prevented blood from dripping onto the floor. Johnson hid the bodies and continued on. The resistance was light so far. He came upon a room filled with weapons. He took 6 plasma grenades, a plasma pistol, a plasma rifle, and a needler.
Finally he got outside. He took a look around and saw that there were no Covenant. He wondered why there were no Covenant in a Covenant base. He started running. He didn't notice that the Gold-Elite was watching him. "Going somewhere?" it asked.
Johnson turned. "Actually, yes. I'm getting the hell out of here, and you can't do anything to stop me."
"I'll see about that."

"Come on! I can see the Covenant base!" Karls said.
"How are we going to find him in this?" Peters asked.
"He'll get out. Somehow, he's going to show himself.

The gold-Elite pulled out a plasma sword. "I see you have a sword too, Goldilocks." Johnson said. The Elite ignored him.
They charged at each other. Johnson lifted his arm and threw at down at the Elite's head, hoping to cut it in two. The Elite blocked it with his plasma sword and forced the two swords into a stalemate between them. They stared into each other's eyes with hatred. Johnson kicked the Elite in the torso, pushing him away. The elite fell, and Johnson stabbed at it. The Elite rolled out of the way, and the sword cut a two-foot hole into the ground.

Nososalee was amazed. How could a human with no sword training be so gifted? He pushed the thought out of his head. "You fight well, but it has come to an end." Nososalee said, pulling another plasma sword out. "Now, you shall die."

"Shit." Johnson said. The Elite ran to him, swords ready. Johnson sidestepped and elbowed the Elite in the back of its head. This only angered it, and it roared. It swung one sword at Johnson, and Johnson tried to duck, but the sword grazed his arm. It blistered the skin and gave Johnson a third-degree burn. Johnson fell in pain. The Elite jumped into the air with his swords above his head. He came down, swinging his swords. Johnson stuck out the sword.

Nososalee saw the sword too late. He tried to move, but he couldn't stop his descent. The human's sword pierced his armor, then his skin, and finally came out the other end of his body. Nososalee was stunned. The human had defeated him. He looked at the human one last time, his sight blackening.
"Curse you and your species…" Nososalee said.
Nososalee shuddered and died.

Johnson got up and started moving again. Nothing could stop him.

You know the drill. **To Be Continued**

Thanks to HaloFan91 who actually IM'ed me with suggestions!
And to David Christensen and Philip Chow who emailed me!

A Marine Named Peters: Saving Private Johnson
Date: 1 July 2003, 11:41 PM

"Where the hell could he be?" Peters was getting angry. They should have found him by now, or at least found what was left of him. "I'll give him ten minutes before we haul ass out of here."
"He's got to make it, I know he will!" Karls said. Peters didn't have the heart to tell him, but no way one man could fight his way single-handedly out of a Covenant base.
"Okay, I'll give him fifteen minutes, then we haul ass."
Johnson was running. There was no way he had gone unnoticed. He had escaped a torture room and killed a gold-armored elite. They had to have known he was there by now, but what scared Johnson was that he didn't see anything. He put away his plasma sword and pulled out the plasma rifle. "Come on, come on, where are you? Give me something to shoot..."
He came upon a large Covenant building in the center of the complex. When he got closer, the doors opened. He looked inside to make sure he wasn't walking into an ambush, and then he walked inside. The doors closed behind him.
He walked for about twenty seconds when he saw a big room to his right. He looked inside. There were hundreds of screens and pictures in this room. There was a digital map of the area covering an entire wall, and on the map were several red x's and green circles covering certain areas. Johnson had no idea what these meant, but he walked into the room, leaning against the wall. He saw a few Covenant that he had only seen in videos before. They were floating a few feet above the ground and typing rapidly onto keyboards made of light. Johnson, relieved that there was something to shoot, opened fire.
"Five minutes, Karls. Are you alright?" Peters asked. He was worried for Karls. Of the time he had known him, Johnson had always been next to him. It appeared to him that they had been best friends for a long time.
"Yeah, I'm okay." Karls sighed. "He still has five minutes, right?"
"Four, now."
When Johnson had killed all of them, he turned towards the computer. It looked like it was the control center for the entire base. "I wish I had an A.I. here, it'd love to get into a Covenant database. He looked at it for a good ten seconds. "I guess I'll blow it up."
He laid down the plasma grenades he had taken earlier along with the ones that the Covenant he had just killed dropped. There were about twenty in all. "Okay, plasma grenades have three seconds before they explode, and it took me twenty seconds to get here walking, so it'll take me about five, running..." He did the math in his head. It didn't look good. "Okay..." He started for the door. "One..." He took out a grenade. "Two..." He took one last look around the room. "Three!" He ignited the plasma grenade and threw, at the same time running backwards. He was almost at the door when the first grenade exploded. As he got out the door, the chain reaction caused the rest of the grenades to explode. The explosions must have hit something vital, because the whole building went up in flames and exploded in blue-green plasma. The power core in the building sent a power surge through the entire base when it exploded, and the sudden jolt of energy caused every Covenant device to overload and explode. It took the base a good twenty seconds to stop exploding, and Johnson was lying on the ground, to far from any building to get a serious burn, screaming. "AHHHHHH! OH GOD! OH GOD! AHHHHHHH!"
"Holy Christ..." Peters stood amazed. Not half-a-mile away was a Covenant base bursting into flames and exploding. He had never seen this happen without a nuke or another large bomb. "I think... Johnson took out a Covenant base..."
Karls grinned. "I TOLD you he'd show us he made it somehow."
After the explosions died down, there was a sound that was being carried throughout the entire mountain range. "OH SWEET JESUS! I MADE IT!"
"That would be Johnson." Peters laughed.
They went down to the base and looked around for Johnson. They found him in the center of a clearing cowering. He looked up at them. "I think I wet my pants."
Karls laughed. "By the smell of you, that's all you did to your pants."
Johnson looked down at his pants. "Hmm. I guess it isn't."
They all laughed, oblivious of the two glowing devices on his temple and on the back of his neck.
One of the remaining Elites saw the humans in the center of the clearing. He pulled out his binoculars from his belt. He saw that one human was still wearing his torture devices. "You! Grunt! Tell me, are there any more triggering mechanisms for the torture devices?"
"I will look, your Excellency." He ran away and came back shortly after. "There was one left, your Excellency."
"Well, give it to me, you fool!" He took the remote. "Let's see if they are still in the device's range..."
"What happened?" Peters asked. He was very curious how one man took down an entire base. Johnson was about to respond when he started to scream.
He fell to the ground. He was twitching and screaming, clawing at his neck and head. "GET THEM OFF!" He screamed. "GET THEM OFF!"
"Get what off?" They asked. They couldn't see what he was talking about.
They looked, but they couldn't see them. Johnson was covered in blood from him clawing at himself. The blood was covering everything on his face, and slowly glowing down his neck. Anything glowing was now covered in blood, greatly reducing the chances of them finding it. "Stop scratching! We can't find them! Point them out!"
Struggling to raise his arm, he pointed out a small bump on the back of his neck. Karls ripped it off and threw it. When it hit the ground, it made a small explosion. "Where's the other one?" He pointed at his right temple and Peters ripped it off. He was about to throw it, but it exploded in his hands.
"DAMMIT!" He yelled. The explosion didn't take off his hands, but the burned him badly.
Johnson rolled onto his back and began breathing heavily. Peters tore some cloth off his shirt (tied around his leg, if people remember why) and wrapped it around his hands. "Jesus, could this day possibly get worse?" Karls asked.
"Let's hope it gets better." Peters said. "Come on. Let's get out of here."
Johnson, still weak from his recent torturing, had to be supported by Karls. They began to move towards the cover of the trees. Peters kept spinning around in circles to see if they were being followed. His leg began to hurt again, but he was still pumped with adrenaline, so all it did was give him a slight limp. Peters saw a Grunt run across the clearing. He shot it twice with his M6D and it fell. Karls looked ahead and saw another Grunt. He raised his sidearm, took careful aim, and shot it once in each kneecap. The Grunt fell, blood gushing out of its wounds.
Blagak was in extreme pain. Never before had he been shot, and he did not like the feeling. Surely the humans would kill him. He began to crawl away, when another bullet flew right past his head. He turned and saw a human point it's gun at his head and kneel down. Blagak was terrified. Now ignoring pain, he tried to stand up and run, but the human grabbed him by his environmental suit. The human hoisted Blagak onto it's back, and began to walk towards the trees.
Blagak was on the verge of passing out, but he tried to see what they were saying. Being a Grunt, he had learned only a little Humanese in training, but he was able to understand a little of what they said.
"Just kill it. It'll give away our position first chance it has."
"We are keeping it alive, so that we can interrogate it and possibly find their home planet. That is worth more than your life or mine."
Blagak couldn't understand the rest, but it appeared to him that he was going to live. He sighed once and passed out.
"Come on, Johnson! We could move a lot faster if you just walked!" Karls said.
"I'll try." Karls let go of Johnson. He took a few steps, stumbled, and got up. "Ok, I can walk."
"Good, because I wasn't going to drag your ass across the entire planet." Karls smiled. "It's good to have you back."
"It's good to be back."
Peters had to break up the reunion. "Now that we're all together, we need to get back to Alpha Base and tell them the bad news. We should be able to make it back in a week, walking."
"WALK?" Karls cried. "Hell no. HELL NO. With you limping and Johnson... being Johnson, I would be the only one able to walk all the way back!"
"He's right." Johnson said. "I AM too lazy to walk that far. Oh, and the Covenant would catch us by then." He quickly added.
Peters sighed. "Any ideas?"
Karls laughed. "Of course! Remember the old outpost where we got those vehicles? We never checked the airfield. There could be a Longsword there. If there isn't, we could always take another Warthog, but it would still take us a few days to get back that way."
"That seems like it's the only chance we got." Peters said. "Let's get back to the outpost and find us a ride back home."
"How can we make sure that that Grunt keeps his mouth shut?" Johnson asked.
"We'll make a deal with him." Peters replied.

**To Be Continued**
Because I'm too lazy to write anymore. Keep reading!

A Marine Named Peters: Move Out!
Date: 9 July 2003, 5:20 PM

"Okay. You have two choices. You can help us, or you can die."
Peters trusted this Grunt. Every Grunt he had killed seemed to be an extreme coward, and he doubted that this one would be an exception. It would obviously choose life over death, so it would tell them all of the Covenant secrets. There was still the possibility that it would give away their position, so whatever deal they made had to be good for it, too. "I know you speak English. Either help us, or die. What will it be?"
The Grunt didn't speak for a few seconds, but eventually he talked. "I will help you." It paused. "Only if you swear to let me live afterwards."
Peters thought a moment, turned around, and began to talk to Johnson and Karls. "What do you think?" Peters asked. "It seems to be telling the truth." Karls replied. "Just shoot the damn thing!" Johnson suggested.
"We have very little time. We need to do something fast." Peters said. He could hear Banshees not to far off. He turned back to the Grunt. "We will let you live only if you tell us what we need to know and stay quiet when we tell you to."
The Grunt thought for a moment. "Yes... I will help you..."
Peters kneeled down so that they were at the same height. "I'm Peters. The person behind me is Karls, and the person next to me is Johnson." Peters said. "Look, we do need your help, so anything you need, short of getting us killed, we will get you."
"I need more methane!" The Grunt cried instantly.
"Okay." Peters thought for a moment. "Where can we get that?"
"Each Grunt has an environmental suit which cools us down to our home planet's natural temperature and contains enough methane for us to breathe." The Grunt said. "If HE," It pointed to Johnson. "Didn't blow up the Grunt's building, there should be a small room inside containing more methane packs and food."
"Alright." He turned back around to Karls and Johnson. "We need this Grunt to make it back alive. To do that, we need to get it's 'environmental suit' back." He turned back to the Grunt. "Will you tell us your name?"
This enraged Johnson. "We don't need to know it's goddamn name! We don't need to get friendly with it! It's just another Covenant, and it'll kill us first chance it gets."
"I think that too." Karls said. "How do we know we can trust it?"
Peters sighed. "Listen. We need to learn more about the Covenant to destroy them. They have vastly superior numbers and better technology than us. This war has been going on for far too long, and this Grunt could end it."
"We already have prisoners!" Johnson said. "Why don't we ask them?"
"Because," Peters said. "We didn't treat them well. It's easier to catch flies with honey than vinegar."
"Don't give me that old bullshit!" Johnson said. "I'm getting out of here, and of you want to live, I suggest you do the same."
Karls looked at Peters. "He's right, sir. We have no way of trusting this Grunt. We need to get back to Alpha Base."
Peters sighed. "Okay. We'll hog-tie the Grunt and interrogate him when we get back."
Johnson agreed, but Peters could see that he was still angry. They moved out. As they were climbing down the mountain, they could see Banshees flying overhead. They would pass every five minutes, so Peters and his men would have to hide in the bushes for cover, which slowed them down. After two hours, they got down to the base of the mountain, and Peters ordered them to a halt. "Alright. We made good progress down the mountain, but we have a problem. We have to cross this plain yet again, and there is no cover, save a few rocks. It's two miles back to the town, and another half-mile from there to the hills. Any ideas on how to make it there alive?"
Everyone started thinking. After a few moments Karls yelled. "Hey! The Warthog that we drove here on! It should still be there!"
"Good idea. Let's move out. Johnson, carry the Grunt." Peters said, looking at Johnson. Johnson cracked his knuckles and moved towards the Grunt. "On second thought, Karls, you carry the Grunt." Johnson looked slightly disappointed, but backed off.
They began to walk towards the place where they last saw the Warthog. When they were close enough to see it, they some something more. They saw what could easily be fifty Covenant salvaging the area. "Karls!" Peters said. "Try to snipe as many as you can, then Johnson and I will go in and mop up the rest."
"Yes, sir." Karls said. He climbed up a boulder and steadied his rifle. He took careful aim, and fired four times. He reloaded and repeated this process several times. Every few seconds, however, he'd have to hide behind the rock, as plasma would fire at him. After ten minutes, he came down. "There aren't many left, so you and Johnson..." He looked around. "Hey, where is Johnson?"

"Hahahaha! Try to run, you filthy Grunt!" Johnson said. He had freed the Grunt, so that he could hunt it down. 'These creatures don't take prisoners, so neither should we!' he thought. 'I'm going to hunt it down, kill it the way these things are supposed to be killed. Not in some camp, but in the wild, where there is danger. Where both people can be killed, the hunter and the hunted.'
Johnson could hear Peters yelling for him, but he didn't care. He never liked him. Peters was so stuck up. Arrogant just because of the one battle he was in. He was no leader. 'I should be the leader!' Johnson thought. He continued hunting down the Grunt, listening for the cracking of sticks on the ground, or the rustling of leaves. Every so often, he'd hear the Grunt yelp. Finally, the Grunt stopped. Johnson ran at it, plasma grenade in hand. The Grunt turned around. Johnson primed the plasma grenade and stuck it to its face as he ran by. The Grunt tried to rip it of, but after three seconds, the grenade exploded.
Johnson didn't have time to celebrate, because the grenade blew off part of the Grunt's armor, and it stuck into Johnson's leg. Johnson tried to pull it out, but it had lodged itself into Johnson's leg. He began to crawl away, when Covenant, attracted by the noise, came by. They slowly surrounded Johnson, one by one raising their guns.

Peters heard a loud scream, followed by plasma fire. It echoed for a few seconds, and then finally died out. He turned back to Karls. "He's gone. Let's go." He walked passed Karls, then turned around. "Move OUT, soldier. That's an order."
Karls turned to face Peters. "He never liked you. That's why he died. He couldn't stand to follow orders from someone he hated." He paused for a moment, then shouldered his rifle. "Okay. Let's move out."
Peters gunned down any Covenant that moved, then leaned against the Warthog. "Do you want to drive, or gun?"
"I'll drive." Karls replied. "So, are we making a stop at the outpost, or are we just going back to Alpha Base?"
"Let's make a stop. With luck, there will be a Longsword there, and we can just fly back home. If not, we can take a tank."
"Good idea." Karls turned on the engine, and Peters hopped onto the back. Karls turned the vehicle around, then burnt rubber. Every few minutes, a Banshee would pass a few hundred feet away, and they would kill the engine and hide behind the Warthog to make it look like an abandoned vehicle. Eventually, they got to the outpost. It was still intact, but everything was still upside down or broken. They split up and searched opposite sides of the outpost. A few minutes later, Peters caught sight of a communications dish, still intact. He searched the area for a radio, then he found one on the ground.
"Karls!" He yelled. "Get over here! I found a radio!" A few minutes later, Karls showed up, carrying more ammo.
"Good! Call for evac! Now!"
Peters turned on the radio. It was static, he changed the frequency to the one most used by Alpha Base and started talking. "Hello? Can anyone read me? Lieutenant Thomas Peters calling Alpha Base. Can anyone read me?"
They waited a few seconds, then over the radio came, "Yes, we can read you, Lieutenant Peters. What's your status?"
"We got to Bravo Base, but it was glassed by the Covenant. The Covenant have taken the area. We managed to take a few of them down, but no one made it back from the base, and my squad has only two members left, myself included."
"That's bad news, Lieutenant." The voice said.
"Yes it is. I am requesting backup now. I'm at the old army outpost two miles south of Bravo Base."
"Evac is on the way. Do you need any medics?"
Peters felt his leg give a sharp pain. "Yes. We need a medic, and a surgeon ready back at Alpha Base."
"Roger. We'll be there in 2 hours."
"Thank you." Peters turned towards Karls. "Any idea where we should rest? I haven't slept in days."
"Yeah, there's a bunker a few hundred feet that way. We can rest inside."
"Okay." Peters began walking, his leg now hurting with no adrenaline to numb it. "Should we take shifts sleeping, or should we risk it?"
"No one knows we're here except for the evac team, so I think it's safe enough to risk it."

"Your Excellency. We have just intercepted a transmission." Said an elite from the shadows.
"Good work. Does it involve the Holy Relic?" Said a Prophet, sitting on his hover chair.
"No, your Excellency. But it does involve a human named 'Peeterz', who is believed to be the leader of a squad who killed many today. He himself is considered the hero of a battle which the humans refer to as 'Alfa Bace'."
"Send three dropships to deal with him. Fill one with two Hunters, and the other with Elites."
"Yes, your Excellency. This human will not see tomorrow's light."

A Marine Named Peters: Fly Away Home
Date: 10 July 2003, 2:03 AM

As Peters slump into a small mattress, he started thinking of his girlfriend back on Earth. She had probably forgotten all about him by now. It must have been three years since he saw her last. He had shipped out on a hot summer day, accompanied only by three people. His brother, Patrick, his best friend, Mark, and his girlfriend, Denise. His parents had disowned him as soon as he signed up for the army. He only had two small suitcases, filled with what little clothes he now owned. He hugged Patrick, kissed Denise, and waved to Mark. That was the last he saw of them. Patrick died in battle in some far off planet, which was glassed shortly thereafter. Mark had been tortured to death by space pirates in the middle of space. Denise, claiming she would write, never did. She probably had gotten a different man the day after he left. As Peters thought of this, he fell into a deep sleep.
An hour later, he was awoken by gunfire. Still thinking this was a dream, he turned over and closed his eyes again. Then Karls yelled. Peters woke, still groggy. "Sir, the Covenant must have intercepted our transmission! They got here just a minute ago! There must be at least ten Elites, and there are two Hunters!"
Peters felt his blood run cold. Maybe if they were in better condition, and if they had better guns, they could survive this. But they were tired, outnumbered, and low on ammo. It would take evac another hour to get here, unless they went ahead of schedule. There was no way they would get out of there alive. Trying to make the impression that he was confident, Peters laughed. "We must be damn good if they sent that much for so little!"
Karls bent down, reloaded, and kneeled up. He poked his head out the window and looked around. "They're gone!" Peters began to sweat.
"Why would they come here to get us and just run away like that?"
"I have no idea, sir."

"Your Excellency, scanners in the area of 'Peeterz' report that the Holy Relic is nearby!" exclaimed a technician.
"How can that be? Just but a few hours ago the Holy Relic was in the mountain range!" said the Prophet.
"I can answer that question." A Special Ops Elite walked out of the shadows. "I am an expert on the humans. I have studied their culture to..." The Prophet cut him off.
The Elite's voice shook in fear, although he remained calm on the outside. "Although the humans are primitive compared to our standard, they are somewhat sentient. Therefore, I believe that one of the humans realized the importance of the Relic and brought it with him."
"So, you say that the humans are smart, do you? That is not only treason, that is blasphemy." The Prophet said, a hint of anger in his voice. The Elite began to sweat. "But, seeing that that is the only good explanation, I will allow you to live."
The Elite sighed. "Thank you, your Excellency. Your judgment is always correct." He bowed and left the room.
"Your Excellency," stuttered another technician. "Seeing as the Relic is in the hands of a human we are trying to kill, is there not the possibility that we might... destroy it as well?"
The Prophet thought for a moment, then replied. "Yes, that is true. Call off the attackers and send in the stealth squad." He paused for a moment. "Send the 'human expert' in as well. Let us see how good he is at his expertise."

"Hey, did you see that?" Peters asked.
"See what?" said Karls, searching the skies.
"Not in the sky, on the ground. It looked like a blur in midair." He pointed towards it. "You see it?"
Peters then recalled the time he first saw a stealth elite. One killed an entire squad before gunned down. As he remembered it, it all started when someone thought the ground was blurring. "Oh, shit!" he cried. "It's a stealth Elite!"
"What do we do?" cried Karls, as plasma came out of thin air.
"Shut all windows and close the door!"
"Oh, that'll hold them off for a LONG time, sir!"
"You have a better plan?"
Karls looked around. "Look! There's a sandbag! We'll pour the sand on the ground, then we can see their footprints!"
"Good idea." Peters cut a hole in the bottom and emptied the bag on the floor.
They hid in a dark corner of the bunker, readied their weapons, and aimed at the door.

'Prothesty ordered his men to a halt. He had trouble counting his men due to the camouflage they all wore. When he had checked them all in, he made a series of hand gestures. The Elites had trouble seeing them, but understood. Two went around the back to see if there was a rear entrance, and three went inside. A few moments later came screams. 'Prothesty saw blood erupt from thin air, then three corpses fall. How could this be? Humans could not see them, they were near invisible! He looked at the ground, and saw that they had left footprints. He then heard screams from the rear of the building, and knew that the others had met similar fates. Being the only one left, he knew he had to finish the job or be killed.
He stepped into the building, careful not to step on the ground. He put one foot on a shelf, and the hoisted himself up and grabbed an overhead light. It squeaked slightly, but the humans did not seem to notice. He grabbed another light and moved forward. One human said something under his breath, and 'Prothesty did not move. He waited a few moments and moved again. After a minute had passed, he was behind the humans. He took hold of a pole and shimmied down. His feet touched the floor. He was right behind them when one of them yelled, "NOW!"
They opened fire in him, too close to miss a single shot. Since his camouflage was on, his shield was off, so the many rounds tore through 'Prothesty's weak body. Confused, 'Prothesty fell and died.

"Thank GOD for motion trackers!" Yelled Karls.
"Thank God indeed." Said Peters. He then had a severe leg pain, which took the better part of ten minutes. When it was over, Peters asked, "When does evac get here?"
"Five minutes."
"Good." Peters sighed. "Very good."
Peters reloaded his MA5B. He checked his pocket to see how much ammo he had left, when he felt a rock. He pulled it out and saw that it was the strange rock Karls had found in the caves. It looked strangely familiar, like he had seen it in a book somewhere. He thought hard, trying to remember where he had seen it before, then gave up. He stood up, looked outside, and heard the exact sound he wanted to hear. The sound of a Pelican's engine. He saw the Pelican clear the hilltop and slow down for descent. He motioned Karls to come to the door, when he heard another thing. Something he didn't want to hear.
He turned around, and sure enough, a platoon of Covenant were running at them. Elites, Jackals, Grunts, and Hunters started to open fire. Peters and Karls started running towards the landing pad, trying to signal the Pelican to hurry up. The pilot must have noticed, because he stopped lowering the landing gear and just hit the ground. "Get in!" yelled one of the two men in the passenger area. Peters threw Karls into the Pelican when he realized that he had left the rock behind. He told them to wait ten seconds before lifting off. He ran faster than he had ever run before. He got to the bunker, found the rock, then began to run back to the Pelican when a Needler round hit him in his bad leg.
"AAAAGGGGHHHH!" Peters screamed. He fell down. "GO!" he yelled at the Pelican.
Karls jumped out of the Pelican, ran towards Peters, picked him up, and carried him to the Pelican, which immediately took off. Peters' vision was blurring, and the pain was going away. "He's going into shock!" Yelled the medic.
"Well, stop him!" yelled Karls.
The medic plunged a needle into Peters' chest, emptied it, then threw it out. He pulled some biofoam out of a bag, put the nozzle into the recently created hole in Peters' leg, then filled it with foam. He then gave Peters some morphine to numb the pain. "You okay?" he asked.
"Never better." Peters laughed.
"Good." Said the medic. "Your trial is tomorrow at 1200 hours."

**To be Continued**

A Marine Named Peters: To Kill A Pegasus
Date: 25 July 2003, 8:41 PM

"What do you mean, trial?"
"I'm only the messenger, kid. I don't know any more." Said the medic. "They told me to tell you the time and place, nothing else." He paused for a moment. "Oh. Forgot to tell you the place. Blame old age. Anyway, it's onboard the Pegasus. Don't worry about the specific location, I'm sure the guards will help you find it."
"What the hell did I do wrong?" asked Peters.
"If you need a witness, just ask me." Said Karls. "I was there the whole time. You didn't do anything wrong."
"Why would they do it onboard the Pegasus? It's ten miles out of the stratosphere! Why couldn't they just give me the trial at Alpha Base or somewhere else planet side?"
"Beats me." Said the medic. "Maybe they think it's safer, or maybe they just like space. Either way, you'll have about three hours of sleep. This Pelican isn't the fastest, and it won't go much faster once we clear the atmosphere. I'd rest here, while you can."
"To hell with rest!" yelled Peters. "I want to know what the hell is going on!"
"Don't we all." Said the medic, slightly reclining and closing his eyes. "Now, please shut up so I can get some sleep."
Peters sighed, kicked the side of the Pelican, then massaged his toe. "Great. Now my foot hurts."
"Everyone sit down back there." Yelled a pilot from the front. "We're going up now."
Peters sat down, and almost immediately he felt the gravitational pull. Karls, who had not sat down in time, fell to the back of the Pelican, hit the airlock door, and swore loudly. He moved to the side, grabbed a seat, and began to pull himself up. Finally, he found the seat he wanted, tied the seatbelt around his waist, then turned himself to face Peters. "That sucked."
Peters fell asleep. He dreamt about flying, but his dream came to an abrupt stop when the Pelican slowed down drastically. Not being able to see what was happening, he called to the front. "Why are we slowing down?"
"We're approaching the Pegasus."
When they stopped, Karls untied his seatbelt and stood. "Why did they use a Pelican to get us here? Couldn't they have used a shuttle? It'd have been faster."
"Don't ask me." Said Peters.
As soon as Peters finished talking, the airlock opened and eight guards walked in. They pulled Peters out of the Pelican and took him to a small room. "You will stay here until your trial." Said one of the guards. He pointed to another room. "There is a shower in there. I suggest you take one. There is one of your extra uniforms from Alpha Base in the closet. You are not to try to contact anyone before the trial. Do not leave. Also, you will be watched by various cameras placed in this room." The guard took a breath. "You will only talk when talked to during the trial. You will ask no questions, and you will answer any questions they may have to the best of your abilities. Do you understand?"
"Yes." Peters said. "By the way, is there anything to eat here? I'm starving."
"There is a small cabinet filled with food to your right." Said the guard.
The guards left, and Peters flopped down on the floor. He took a quick little nap, then went to the shower. There was a video camera directly above the shower. Peters laughed, covered it with a towel, and took the shower. When he was done, he dried off and went to the closet. He took the uniform and put it on, noticing that it had tracer bugs all over it. "You already see me, do you need to know where I am even more?" he yelled at a camera. "What's with the tracers?" There was no answer.
He went to the cabinet, and just as the guard said, it was filled with food. "Not very APPITISING food!" Peters yelled. Inside were stale crackers, moldy bread, expired milk, and beer. He took the crackers and the beer and sat down. He had just finished eating when the guards came back in. "What's with all the bad food? You guys ever clean this place?"
"No, actually. This is the first time someone's been in here for a while." Said a guard. "Anyway, the trials about to start. You better hurry and get ready."
Peters stood up and wiped the crumbs off his uniform. He followed the guards to the door, and they immediately surrounded him. "Easy, easy." Peters said. "What, do you think I'm going to escape? WE'RE IN SPACE, YOU MORONS. I couldn't get very far!"
"Just shut up and keep walking." Said a guard behind him.
After five minutes, they reached the room where the trial was being held. As they walked inside, Peters tried to see who would be trying him, but the only light in the room was over a small chair. "You sit there." Said a guard. Peters walked over to the chair and sat down. It wasn't very comfortable.
"Are you Lieutenant Thomas Albert Peters, born in Oakland, California, United States Of America, Earth?" Asked a voice from the shadows.
"Yes, I am." Said Peters.
"Are you aware of why you are here?"
"No, I am not."
"You are being tried for aiding the deaths of Private Jacob Jones, Private Jaime Parker, and Private Carl Johnson."
"WHAT?!" yelled Peters. "I didn't kill them! The Covenant killed them!"
"But you sent them on a suicidal mission. You made them come with you towards Bravo Base, even though the area was covered in Covenant. You sent them to their deaths."
"I did nothing like that. I didn't choose my squad! They were assigned! We were told where to go and how to get there, and we went! We may have suffered casualties, but we completed the mission!" Peters yelled.
There was a slight pause. Peters could hear whispering in the shadows, which meant he may have convinced a few people of his innocence. After a minute, the same voice spoke again. "Very well. Although the mission was suicidal, you did do your best to accomplish it, and came out alive." Peters sighed. "But," Peters sat up again. "There is another matter to discuss. I have just learned that you were... friendly to a Covenant warrior."
"What?" Peters thought for a moment. "Oh, yeah. But I only did it so that we could receive information on the Covenant!"
"We have prisons for that, Lieutenant. What you did was unnecessary." He paused. "Ah, your... friend has told us what you have done during the mission. He seemed to be convinced of your innocence, but we have found a small detail. Before you reached Bravo Base, did you or did your not release a Covenant prisoner of war?"
"Wha..." Peters thought again. "I did. He followed through with his half of the deal, so I let him go."
"Are you aware that this event could have alerted the Covenant of the base's EXACT location, which could have allowed the Covenant to glass the area?"
"I could have, but..."
"Ah, so you admit it." There was again a pause, in which everyone in the shadows began to whisper. "We have decided that although there is no hard evidence to prove this, this is the only explanation we can find. As of tomorrow, you are demoted to Private and reassigned to the planet Draconis XI."
"But you have no evidence! You can't do that! It's illegal!" Yelled Peters. "And besides, Draconis XI is covered in Covenant!"
"Yes, we felt like we should reassign you to some place you could do some good. Private Karls will join you."
Peters was about to start yelling again, but a guard pulled him up and carried him out of the room. Peters tried to struggle, but just gave up after he realized the guard was too strong. The guard took him back to his room and told him he'd leave the next day. When the door closed, Peters tried to open it. He pulled with all his strength, but it wouldn't open. They had electronically locked his door. "Dammit." He slumped into a chair. "Great." Peters listen for movement outside his door for a few hours, then, bored, fell asleep.
Peters woke up. He thought he had heard a crashing noise. It almost sounded like the Pegasus had hit something. He shrugged it off, knowing that the crew would have it under control already. He tried to get back to sleep, but then he heard gunfire. He thought it may be space pirates looting the ship, but then he heard plasma fire. "Damn, damn, DAMN!" Peters was stuck in this room while the Covenant boarded. He was pretty much dead. The door was electronically locked, which meant that it could only be unlocked from outside the door or if the power went out. Just as he thought this, the lights turned off and the room turned black. "Excellent." He felt his way towards the door, and with all his strength, pulled it open.
He still couldn't see anything when he got into the hall. He started walking, touching the wall as he went to feel where he was going. After five minutes, he came to a corner. He turned, and instantly saw light. He ran towards it and saw that it was a flashlight. He picked it up looked around. The entire hall was covered in plasma burns. Suddenly, there was a sound behind him. He shone the flashlight on it, and saw that it was an injured marine. Peters ran up to him. "Oh, God. What the hell happened here?"
The marine gave a cough. "The... Covenant... they got past our radar and... boarded the ship. They're all over the place."
"Why didn't they just blow this ship up?"
"I- I don't know. They must be looking for something."
Peters instinctively felt his pocket, where the strange rock was hidden. Could this be what they were looking for? After all, he had found it in an area where the Covenant were searching for something. "Where's the nearest armory?"
"Down the hall to the left. The key-code to get inside is..." He coughed again, except this time he coughed up blood. "22452." As the marine finished, his arm fell limply to his side, and his eyes closed.
Peters stood up and began to run. Suddenly, a Grunt walked around the corner in front of him. Peters saw that he was alone, ran up to it, grabbed it's gun, and fired it five times into it's face. Now covered with neon blue blood, he was easier to see. He looked down the hall and saw three more Grunts chasing after him. He shot each one three times, and they all fell to the floor missing various limbs. He got to the armory and punched in the key-code.
The door opened and Peters walked inside. He grabbed a MA5B, a M6D pistol, and four grenades. He looked around for anything else that could help, and saw several medical kits. He took one and walked out the door. To his left were six Grunts, to his right, two Elites. Luckily for him, they were all facing out. He threw two grenades, one to each group, and ducked back into the armory. A second later he heard the explosions and stepped back out. There was only one survivor: An Elite with one arm missing. It was holding its plasma rifle in the other hand. It saw Peters and opened fire. Peters picked up the torso of a dead Grunt and used it as a shield. The plasma burned through the Grunt's armor quickly, then began to eat through the flesh. Peters threw the dead body at the Elite, which surprised it momentarily. He fired twenty rounds from his assault rifle towards the Elite, causing the energy shield to flicker and die. The Elite was stunned briefly, and in that time, Peters had ran up to it, pulled out a grenade, and shoved it down the Elites throat. Peters dived forward and hit the ground. He covered his head just as the grenade went off, showering the area in purple blood, bits of brain and bone, and shrapnel.
Peters stood and wiped brains off his uniform. He started walking again, not knowing where to go. After ten minutes of aimless walking, a man's voice came over the intercom. "All crew. This is Captain Frank Bryant. Everyone who is able to make it to a vehicle capable of space flight, I suggest you run. We are initiating Cole Protocol. I have set the self-destruct sequence for three minutes."
Peters stood still for a second, trying to process what the captain just said. Then something clicked. "HOLY CRAP!" He started to run. He turned, left, left, right, left, then went straight. " WHERE THE HELL AM I GOING?" he screamed.
Then he heard people yelling. He ran towards the voices and saw that people were piling into a Pelican. It was way overcrowded, but Peters jumped in before the airlock closed. Someone from the front cried, "Does anyone know how to fly a Pelican?"
There was silenced for a few seconds. Then Peters said, "I can try!"
Peters climbed over several people to get to the front. HE sat down in the pilot's chair and pressed random buttons. The Pelican shot forward at full speed. Everyone was pulled to the back of the Pelican. Peters pressed another button and the Pelican slowed down. Everyone in the back shot to the front. "DAMMIT MAN! WE'RE HURTIN' BACK HERE!"
"Sorry!" Peters said. Suddenly, a huge explosion rocked the Pelican. Peters turned it around to see the explosion, and saw the Pegasus exploding. The middle of the ship was where the explosion originated, the spread out as other machines overloaded and exploded. Soon, all that was left of the Pegasus was bits of the hull. The small bits of the hull shot out into space everywhere, and several shot towards the Pelican that Peters was flying. Peters pressed more buttons and the Pelican sped up again, out of harms way.
Peters sighed and said over the intercom, "The Pegasus just 'sploded. We're out of harms way." Then he turned around and saw that his last statement wasn't true. Harms way was right in front of them.
**To Be Continued**

A Marine Named Peters: Snow Day
Date: 3 August 2003, 12:47 AM

"Oh, God."
"You don't want to know."
Peters had just flown everyone out of the pan, but he also had just flown them into the fire. Sure, they escaped an exploding ship, but in front of them was a gigantic Covenant ship. It didn't seem to notice them, because if it did, they'd all be dead by now. "Anyone know how to turn this thing?" Peters asked.
"Turn the steering-wheel thingy!" someone yelled from the back.
Peters pushed down hard on the yoke (I hope that's the right word) and the Pelican dove down. They missed the Covenant ship by yards. Peters sighed and rested his head on the control panel. His forehead hit a button, but he didn't care until the words 'Self Destruct Sequence Activated 0:15' appeared on the screen in front of him. "Anyone know how to stop the self destruct sequence?" He asked.
"PRESS THE BIG BLUE BUTTON!" screamed someone from the back.
Peters looked around and saw the big blue button. He pressed it and stopped the countdown at 0:01. He sighed and leaned back. Suddenly, the screen was filled with 'Covenant Inbound'. Peters yelled and started pressing random buttons again. The Pelican sped up drastically and Peters aimed it towards the closest planet. He didn't care what it was, just as long as it had air and the Covenant weren't there. A small notice came on-screen and said that the planet had a breathable atmosphere, but didn't say if Covenant occupied the planet. "Damn, I am lucky." Peters said to himself. "If I have any more luck, I'll land near a base or something."
Peters jerked the yoke to the side to avoid some plasma fire and steadied the ship. He looked around for an instruction manual or any other thing to tell him how to fly the Pelican. He opened a few containers and found a manual. "Auto-pilot... Auto-pilot..." He muttered to himself as her looked for a way to turn on the automatic pilot. When he found it, he followed the instructions perfectly. The auto-pilot started and began to slow down to land on the planet. Even though the Pelican wasn't build to enter atmosphere in high speeds, it handled well enough. Peters stayed in the front to catch a glimpse of the planet.
As soon as they cleared the clouds, he was able to see the tips of mountains. The mountains were extremely tall and covered miles of ground in their shadows. Peters kept looking, when suddenly plasma hit one of the engines. The engine exploded and the auto-pilot shut down. The Pelican dropped instantly towards the tallest mountain in the area. Peters pulled back as hard as he could on the yoke, but it was jammed. He tried to turn on reverse thrusters to slow them down, but the internal computer had been fried.
Peters screamed at the top of his lungs. He felt the horrible feeling of freefalling for a moment, then grabbed onto his chair and buckled in. He could hear people praying and screaming in the back. He stared ahead at the mountains, rapidly getting closer and closer. He could see snow covered trees, cliffs, and huge boulders. After what seemed an eternity, the Pelican grazed the treetops, and milliseconds later, crashed into the mountain.
Peters woke up lying in ice-cold snow and clutching what remained of the yoke. He didn't know how long he had been out, but judging by the color of his skin, he had been lying in the snow long enough. He stood up and shook off his drowsiness. He reached to brush snow off his face, but screamed at sudden pain. He looked at his arm and saw a three-foot long pole piercing it. He tried to pull it out, but almost fainted at the pain. He decided to leave it in as long as necessary and walked towards the remains of the Pelican. The front had been blown off, which explained how he had gotten out alive. The back looked like it had gone through a blender, then hit with a sledgehammer over and over again. Breathing hard, Peters made his way to the back to see what had happened to the Marines.
What Peters saw made him vomit into the snow, which added green and brown to the already blood-red ground. The entire crew had been blown apart on impact. Heads, legs, and arms were thrown around like a child had ripped off the limbs of a doll. Intestines were wrapped around the walls and ceiling like some horrible decoration. Bones were cracked and thrown around. Peters couldn't look at it any more. He fainted and fell head first into the snow.
"Wake up!" Peters heard a voice cry.
"Dude, he's not going to wake up. Leave him." Said a second voice.
"No, you don't understand, this guy is invincible! He has to wake up!" The voice seemed strangely familiar...
"Leave him!"
"No! He can't die! If he can escape hundreds of Covenant, he can walk away from some crash!" Peters knew he had heard this voice before...
"Get up NOW!"
"Wake up, sir! Wake up!" Karls...?
Peters gasped and sat up. His vision was still blurry, but he could see two people drenched in blood. He blinked a few times and his vision cleared. He saw one marine he didn't recognize, then someone he never expected to see again. "Karls!" Peters yelled. "How did you make it out alive? Everyone else was smashed and torn apart!"
Karls took a deep breath. "We were in the middle. The others... cushioned us."
Peters shook the image out of his mind. He felt his arm again and saw that the pole was gone. "We took it out while you were asleep." Karls said.
"Thanks." Peters stood. "Any idea where the closest town is?"
The marine spoke. "I saw lights a few miles that way." He pointed to Peters' right. "It's downhill, so if we could find a sled of some sort, we could get there in an hour."
"Peters, this is Sergeant Madison, Madison, Peters." Karls said.
Madison snarled. "As I was saying, we could make it there in an hour, but there's one problem."
"ONE problem?" Peters yelled. "We're in freezing cold snow, we're all injured, we have no supplies, about 15 men just died, and the Pegasus is destroyed!"
"One more thing." Madison said. "The Covenant are here."

A Marine Named Peters: Sledding is Fun, Unless the Covenant Are Behind You
Date: 10 August 2003, 10:35 PM

       "The Covenant are already here?"
       "You were out for a good five hours." Said Madison, bandaging Peters' arm.
       "What are we going to do?" Karls asked. "We have no supplies, no extra ammunition, and no shelter. Except for the Pelican, and I don't think anyone wants to sleep in there."
       Peters pictured the interior of the Pelican and shuddered. "No, we are not sleeping in there. Besides, in a few minutes the Covenant will search for the Pelican and kill any survivors. We need to get out of here."
       "Those lights I saw," Madison said. "It could be a small village. Maybe some people live here."
       "Yeah, good idea." Peters said. "And besides, you are the commanding officer here. What you say we have to do."
       "Commanding officer, my ass. I just became Sergeant. You were a Lieutenant for what, a few months?"
       "Yeah, but I was demoted to Private. Didn't you know about my trial?"
       "Who didn't?" Madison laughed. "You're a celebrity. Which is a bad thing if the Covenant have intercepted any radio transmissions. Then they would know how big a bad-ass you are and send a hunter-killer team after you."
       "Yeah, right." Peters laughed. "Like I would ever be big enough to assassinate. Lets head for the lights."

      "Is the hunter-killer team ready?"
       "Almost, Your Excellency."
       "Good, I am very pleased to hear that. This 'Peeterz' has caused too many deaths of good soldiers. He shall rue the day he was born."

       Peters rolled over onto his side, and felt a sharp pain in his leg. He braced himself for the usual pain that followed, but it never came. He looked down and saw a small lump in his pocket. He pulled it out and saw the same small rock he had found in the cave near Bravo Base. He looked at it again, and saw that the small Aztec-like symbols had changed colors. "Strange..." He muttered to himself, putting it back in his pocket.
       Peters stood up. "Let's move out." He called and the two remaining soldiers followed him. Let's hope there isn't an avalanche... he thought. Suddenly, a noise engulfed them. "What is that?" Karls yelled over the sound.
       "It sounds like a Banshee!" said Madison.
       "No. It's too big. It's a dropship. Two of them." Peters said.
       The sounds softened, and they could hear twenty Elites hop out of the dropships and landing in the cold snow. "Dammit." Peters said. "Run. Run. RUN! NOW!"
       They all bolted downhill. "It's this way!" Madison yelled, and everyone ran towards him. Peters turned around and gasped. The Elites were at the top of the mountain, but they would catch up with them in thirty seconds. Four Ghosts were barreling down the hill, four extra Elites holding on to the sides of each one. "Guys! We need to go faster!"
       "Here! Try this!" said Karls, pointing at a large piece of metal that had apparently fallen off of the Pelican when they entered the atmosphere. They all climbed on except Karls. He went behind it and pushed as hard as he could. The large sled began to move, but slowly. Peters hopped off and helped Karls. The sled started moving faster than both of them, so they dived forward and landed on it. The sled was moving incredibly fast now, and they ice-cold wind was freezing Peters' face. The Ghosts were still gaining on them, but now much slower. The sled hit a bump and started turning. "Please, no cliffs. No cliffs, no cliffs, no..."
       "CLIFF!" Madison yelled. Karls yelled like a girl and dove off the sled. Madison did the same. Peters stood to jump, but then a low branch hit the side of his head. He fell down and passed out.
       "Peters! Get off the sled!" Karls yelled, but Peters had already gone off the cliff. Peters blinked and woke up in mid air. He looked over the side of the sled and screamed. The sled began to tilt towards the side Peters was on. He rolled towards the other side and the sled evened out. He heard the yell of Elites behind him and guessed some of the Ghosts hadn't been able to stop either. Peters felt the sled hit the ground and continue moving forward. Snow erupted over the side and blanketed him. He guessed he was still alive and screamed again. He felt the falling feeling in his stomach and knew he had gone off another cliff. He heard several explosions behind him and the death cries of Elites.
       The sled landed much sooner this time and came to a stop. Peters waited for a moment and sat up. He looked behind him and gasped. The first cliff he had fallen of was easily one hundred feet. The second was thirty. Under the first cliff were the remains of three Ghosts and the broken bodies of 15 Elites. He saw plasma fire on the top of the cliffs and guessed that some Elites had survived and were fighting Karls and Madison now. A body fell over the side, but Peters couldn't tell if it was human or Covenant. Peters couldn't wait any longer. He was freezing and had to find shelter. He squinted and looked for the lights that Madison had talked about. He found them and was glad that they appeared to be close.
       The lights surrounded a strange structure. It didn't look human, but it seemed too big to be Covenant. It appeared to be hovering. Whatever it was, Peters had to go there or freeze to death. He began the hard walk. Every now and then he would stop and look at the strange rock. The Aztec-like symbols had changed colors again, now a blood-red color. Why did it change colors? No rock on Earth changed colors like this. Maybe it's radiation. Peters thought. But that doesn't explain how the markings got there... He shook off the thoughts and started walking again.
       After a half-hour of walking, he looked up and gasped. A Covenant ship was hovering one hundred feet above the ground, and hundreds of soldiers were beneath it. "My God." Peters said. "What are they doing?"

A Marine Named Peters: From One Crash To Another
Date: 14 August 2003, 12:42 AM

       "What are they doing?"
       Peters saw, but he did not understand. A quarter mile away were around 500 Covenant soldiers. They appeared to be spreading out in all directions. Banshees flew overhead, and dropships landed to pick up troops. Peters could hear Elites yelling and Grunts barking. He crawled behind a rock and peered over the top. How am I going to take down these guys? he wondered. All I have is an MA5B, two extra magazines of ammo, and a grenade! They have hundreds of troops!
       A dropship flew overhead. It went a few hundred feet past Peters, turned back, and hovered over him. It fired a few plasma shots, which Peters dodged, then flew towards the Covenant ship. "Oh, shit." Peters said. Almost immediately, several Banshees raced towards him. "Uh, oh."
       Peters ran. He didn't care where. He just needed to get away from the plasma raining down around him. He was soaking wet from the fountains of water bursting out of the ground, due to the superheated plasma melting the snow around him. The Banshees pasted overhead, flew over a small hill, then turned around. Peters hid behind a tree when they fired. The tree caught fire and Peters got out from under it just as it collapsed. Peters tripped, hit the ground, and stood up. He made a large snowball and threw it at an incoming Banshee. Why the hell did I think that would do anything? he wondered.
       The snow hit the Banshee in the front. The Banshee did a few sharp turns, fired more plasma, then flew into a cliff. Peters stood, amazed. The snow had blinded the driver. His mouth opened wide and he grabbed more snow. He threw it again at another Banshee. The Banshee hit a tree.
       Peters pulled out his assault rifle and turned off the safety. He aimed at the nearest Banshee and pulled the trigger. Bullets pinged off the armor. One bullet, however, hit one of the wings and blew it off. The Banshee barrel-rolled into the ground and burst into flames. One Banshee was left. It went low to the ground in attempt to run over him. He dove out of the way and rolled. The Banshee hit a snow dune and stopped. The driver got out and shook his head. It looked like he was stunned. Peters ran up and pointed his gun at the Elite's head. The Elite kicked it out of Peters' hands. Peters grabbed its leg, twisted its foot, and flipped the Elite backwards. The Elite hit the ground.
       Peters jumped on top of it and began to punch its head over and over. Peters' fists hurt due to the shield, but the shield flickered and faded. Peters continued hitting it. The Elite tried to sit p, but Peters punched it in the stomach. It yelled and fell back to the ground. Peters again punched the Elite's head. A fang fell out of the Elite's mouth and the Elite coughed up blood. Peters hit the Elite in its face. The Elite tried to hit Peters back, but Peters grabbed its hand and bit it. Peters stood and began kicking the Elite. He kicked it in the torso over and over. The Elite tried to roll away, but Peters Ran up to it and grabbed its legs. He began to spin it. Once they were both spinning, he let go of it and it crashed into a tree. Peters walked up and broke a branch off of the tree and began to beat the Elite with it. More teeth fell out of the Elite's mouth. Ribs broke, veins popped. Peters' mind turned off with all of the violence. Long after the Elite was dead, he continued to hit it. Finally, too tired to hit any more, he collapsed into the snow, breathing hard.
       Peters thought he heard the Elite breath so he stood up and kicked its face again. The helmet broke and blood poured out. Peters walked over to his gun and picked it up. He made sure the barrel wasn't filled with snow and picked up the plasma rifle the Elite was carrying. He walked over to the Elite's Banshee and examined it. It looked fine, so Peters crawled inside and looked around. It appeared very simple. There was one button and two levers. Peters pressed the button and the Banshee hummed to life. He pushed forward on one lever and the Banshee shot forward. He pulled back on the other and the Banshee rose. It took a while for Peters to get used to the controls, but he got the hang of it. He flew over the mountains, hoping to find Karls and Madison. He looked everywhere around the mountain, then finally, the crash site. When he passed over it, the Banshee went into a hail of bullets. Peters screamed and dove the Banshee into a snow dune. On impact, the control panel set fire and Peters screamed again. He crawled out and a bullet hit him in the foot.
       "OW! GODDAMN IT! THANKS A LOT, YOU IDIOTS!" he yelled.
       "Holy crap! It's Peters! How the hell did you survive that fall?" said Karls, running over.
       "LUCK! DAMN, YOU SHOT MY FOOT!" Peters yelled. Madison was laughing. "Shut up!" yelled Peters. He pulled out his MA5B and shot Madison in the foot.
       "DAMN IT!" Madison yelled. "WHAT THE HELL WAS THAT FOR?"
       "YOU SHOT MY FOOT!"
       Peters heard Karls laughing, so he shot his foot, too. "OW! WHY THE HELL DID YOU DO THAT?"

**Two hours and a roll of bandages later**

       "How are we going to get off this planet with no ship?" asked Madison.
       "And without supplies?" asked Karls.
       "And with hundreds of Covenant a mile away." Said Peters.
       Karls and Madison yelled at the same time. "WHAT? HUNDREDS??"
       "Yeah." Said Peters. "After I fell off the cliff, I saw them. They sent a few Banshees after me. I stole one and took down the rest."
       Karls smiled. "You're good at taking down Banshees."
       "What do you mean?" Peters asked.
       "I was at Alpha Base. I was in the warthog that picked you up. Remember? No, of course you don't. You were too tired to remember." Karls laughed. "You took down, what? Four or five Banshees by yourself? It should've taken ten men and a prayer to take them down."
       "Dear Yahweh! You took down how many by yourself?" asked Madison.
       "Yahweh?" Karls asked.
       "I took down around five by myself." Peters said.
       "Yahweh?" Karls asked.
       "Five? That's amazing. And you just took down some today!"
       "Yahweh???" asked Karls.
       "SHUT UP KARLS!" Peters yelled.
       "I'm glad I'm on your side." Madison yelled. "But what are we going to do with all of the Covenant?"
       "Well, we can't get off the planet. We're outnumbered. We have no supplies. I think we should just take down as many as we can before we get killed." Peters said.
       "Seems like an idea. That's what the army pays us for, anyway." Madison said.
       "Hold up." Karls said. "YOU GET PAID???"
       Peters paused. "Yeah. You thought you do this for free?"
       "HAHAHA!" Laughed Madison. "Are you this dumb all of the time?"
       "Hey!" said Karls, tackling Madison.
       Peters walked over to the Banshee and picked up a sharp piece of metal. He could use this as a knife. He walked over to the Pelican, now covered in snow. He held his breath and walked inside. He rummaged through the bodies looking for ammo. He found a sniper rifle with five extra magazines, a pistol with 10 extra magazines, and 24 magazines for a MA5B. He slumped outside and tried to wash the blood and guts off of the guns. Every now and then he'd hear an "OW! Watch the foot!" or "YOU POKED MY EYE, YOU BASTARD!" from behind him. He finished cleaning the guns and stood up.
       "Guys! Shut up and stop wrestling. I found some guns and ammo. Karls, you get the sniper. Madison, do you want the pistol?"
       "No thanks. I'll just use my assault rifle." He replied.
       Peters pocketed the M6D and the ammo. "Ok, Madison has three magazines of ammo, Karls has three, and I'll take the extra ammo. Just tell me if you need more."
       They all jumped when they heard plasma fire. Ten Elites were standing a hundred feet away and firing their plasma rifles. Peters, Karls, And Madison ducked, readying their weapons. Karls was the first to notice. "Why aren't they shooting at us?"
       "What are they shooting at?" asked Madison.
       Peters looked back and yelled. "They're melting the snow! Avalanche!"

A Marine Named Peters: This Time it's Snowboarding
Date: 8 September 2003, 11:58 PM

       "Just when I thought this day wouldn't get worse..."
       "Dammit. I need new pants."
       Peters had just survived a flock of Banshees and now he was going to be killed by snow. A few hundred tons of snow, actually. The Elites turned and ran towards the Ghosts they rode up the mountain. One Ghost rose and shot forward. It swerved to miss a rock and instead hit a tree. One of the wings tore off and split into two. The other stayed on until the Ghost exploded and then flew off as well. The pieces of both wings landed at Peters' Karls', and Madison's feet. "Anyone know how to snowboard?" Peters asked.
       "I do." Karls said.
       "Good." Peters said, picking up one of the pieces and starting to run. "You'll need it."
       Peters threw the piece on the ground and stepped onto it. He started to move downhill and pick up speed. He looked back and saw that Karls and Madison were doing the same thing. He looked forward again and hit a small bump. He caught air and landed back on the ground. "You call that a trick?" He heard Karls yell, but the end of the sentence was cut off by the roaring sound of snow falling. He looked back and saw the snow starting to move. He ducked under a branch and saw the Elites ahead. One looked back and pulled out his plasma rifle. It fired three shots at Peters and missed. It hit the Ghost piece Peters was riding and heated it up. Peters began to move faster. "Hey!" He yelled to Karls and Madison. "If you have any plasma weapons, shoot them at the 'boards'! They go faster when they're hot!"
       Karls pulled out a plasma pistol and fired it faster than Peters had ever seen a plasma pistol be fired. The board instantly turned a dull red and Karls yelled. "MY FEET! DAMN, THIS IS HOT!"
       Madison didn't have any plasma weapons, so Peters threw him a rifle and turned back around. He could hear the snow starting to move fast and almost wet himself. There was no way to go faster than the avalanche, and he knew it. They had a better chance of survival if they were buried at the top, because there was less snow. Then he heard something that made him keep going. The laugh of an Elite. Peters sped up and made for the Elites on the Ghosts. He went off of a ten-foot drop and saw a dropship picking up the Elites and their Ghosts. He jumped off of the shard of Ghost and sprinted towards them. One Elite saw him and opened fire. The rest turned, looked, and opened fire as well. Peters threw snow into the paths of three plasma bolts and saw that the plasma hit the snow, melted it, and absorbed it. The plasma was now had too much weight and sank and hit the ground. There was a small pillar of water where the plasma hit the ground. The Elites looked at each other, and ran back into the dropship. "Yeah, that's right. RUN! HAHAHAHAHAH..." Peters turned around. The avalanche had really started, as there was a 100-foot wall of snow coming at him.
       He turned and ran towards the dropship and tried to jump in, but the doors closed on him. He hit the side and swore. The dropship began to rise, but he ran over towards its gun and grabbed onto it. The gun began to shake wildly in attempts to remove him from it, but Peters held tight. The dropship rose above the wall of snow just in time. Peters felt the snow hit his boots and held on tighter. He looked for where the dropship was going, and almost cried. He was heading towards the Covenant base.
       He looked down and saw a small hill 30 feet below him. Figuring this was his best chance of survival, he let go of the dropship. He fell for four seconds and hit the ground. He sunk into a two-foot snow dune and got the wind knocked out of him. The dropships gun open fired on Peters. The snow took the majority of the hits, but one plasma shot hit him in the back and melted the MA5B he was carrying. "DAMMIT!" he cried, as he threw off the gun. It hit the snow and sunk.
       He was sure more Covenant were going to be there soon, but why run? He had nowhere to run to. He sat down and watched the dropship fly away towards the larger Covenant space ship. Peters sighed. "I wish I had learned the names of these ships. They're beautiful."
       The setting sun gave the purple ship a beautiful orange color on one side, and a dark blue color on the other. There were soldiers being sent down to the ground through a gravity lift, and Banshees were flying out of docking bays on the sides. Then he noticed something. He stared intently at the Covenant ship, then reached into his pocket and pulled out the strange rock he found near Bravo Base. He stared at it for a while, stared at the ship, and gasped. The markings on the side of the rock and on the Covenant ship were almost exactly alike. Was this how they always knew where he was? He lifted it up above his head and prepared to throw it as far away as possible, then stopped. He had gotten an idea.

       A Ghost hovered past several Shades and screeched to a stop. The diver hopped out and ran up to a Gold Elite. The Gold Elite turned and stared at him. "What is it, 'Nalshanee?"
       "Sir. We have picked up the trace of the Holy Relic once again."
       The Gold Elite almost jumped. "That is excellent news. Where is it?"
       "It's less than one unit away. We can assemble a small squad and be there in..." he checked a small screen. "Now."
       "Excellent, excellent. Have you done a thermal scan of the area to detect any human slime that could be there?"
       "No, sir. But only three survived the initial crash and only one is believed to be alive after the avalanche."
       The Gold Elite paused. "Which one?"
       The Blue Elite was confused. "W-which one what?"
       The Gold Elite sighed. "The human. Which human survived?"
       "...I believe his name is ...er... 'Peeterz'. At least, that's what our probes picked up from their conversations."
       The Gold Elite coughed. "PEETERZ? He alone has caused many deaths for our kind and is considered a hero for these humans. It will be great to finally rid ourselves of this nuisance."

       "Okay... The trap is set... Now I need to hide!" Peters backed up slowly, looking at the ground. He paused, lifted up his foot higher, and continued walking. He climbed up a hill and lied down on his stomach. He looked at the Covenant camp and saw two dropships coming towards him. "Hahah. So they were tracking me. Well, I hope, for once, that these dropships are full." He covered himself in snow and kept watching.
       The dropships landed, and ten Grunts and five Elites came out. "Come on... come on..." Peters said under his breath. "Just trip the wires... Set off the grenades... come on..."
       Peters had put the rock on a large stump so that the Covenant would see it almost instantly. It worked. One Elite saw it and walked towards it. Peters saw him pick up one of his feet right where he had set a tripwire. Sure enough, eight grenades went off at once and blew all five Elites and eight Grunts to hell. The last to Grunts looked at each other and scrambled. They didn't make it far, because Peters put them to sleep with a bullet to the back of the head.
       "Ok. Now, more Covenant will come. I just used all my grenades, but these guys have to have some. But they're Covenant grenades, so I don't know how to set a trap with them. He saw a tree near him with a low branch. He had another idea. He salvaged all the plasma weapons and attached them to the branch. He pulled them all back, and the branch pulled their triggers, firing the weapons. He had 15 plasma weapon's worth of power now.
       Sure enough, more Covenant came. When they came out of the dropships, he pulled back the plasma guns and unleashed the stopping power of a small squad. Elites, Jackals, and Grunts fell. He pulled out two plasma grenades and threw one into each dropship's hatches. The hatches closed and the grenades went off. Both dropships exploded and fell.
       Peters saw a Grunt move and ran over to him. He shook his head and yelled into his face. "How many Covenant do you have at your base?" The Grunt didn't answer, so he pulled the breathing apparatus out of his mouth for a few seconds and put it back in.
       "Now, how many Covenant are at your base?"
       The Grunt blinked some blood out of his eye and coughed. "T-t-two thousand."
       Peters gasped. "How can I keep this up?"

to be continued

A Marine Named Peters: Ouch, these walls are HOT!
Date: 16 October 2003, 4:06 AM

       "Two thousand..." Peters sighed. "Looks like another suicide mission."
       "Yes... The probability of you death is quite high." Snickered the Grunt.
       "Why don't you just..." Peters snapped the Grunt's neck. "...Shut up."
       Peter wiped the blood off of his hands and onto his shirt. He shivered due to the cold and stood up. There was no point in living, really. Everyone from the Pegasus was dead, and Karls and Madison were probably dead too. The Covenant all knew he was there, and he had no food or water. "Damn."
       A dropship flew over his head and fired three bolts of plasma at him. Peters didn't even bother to move. Luckily it was poorly aimed, and the nearby tree caught fire and exploded. The fire did make Peters warm though, so he sat down close to the burning wood. He pulled out his M6D pistol and turned on the safety. He pulled out the magazine and looked at the bullets. The magazine was completely full, and the chamber of the pistol carried a bullet as well. He checked his pockets and found two more M6D magazines and a MA5B magazine. He found no reason to carry this anymore since his MA5B was lying melted and burned somewhere. He threw it into a snow dune and sighed.
       He watched the sun set into the alien horizon. The sun cast a beautiful red glaze over the snowy tundra, making it look like the entire planet was on fire. Peters pictured all the Covenant warriors burning and writhing in pain and laughed. He wished that would happen so he wouldn't have to kill them all, but as every other wish, this one did not come true. He opened his eyes and looked at the Covenant base. From this distance they all looked like ants, scurrying and scuttling everywhere. He looked into the now night sky and stared out into space. He tried thinking of what it was like for people generations ago who did not know that the Covenant were out there, when humans were fighting amongst themselves.
       His eyes drooped and closed. Peters opened them quickly, looking around, and they closed again. He struggled to keep awake, but he was soon deep asleep. Suddenly, a small figure poked his head over a small snow dune. He ducked back down and for a moment nothing moved. A second later five man-sized figures jumped up followed by more small creatures. Peters opened his eyes, blinked once, and swore.
       He tried to pull out his pistol, but a blue beam of plasma tore through the air and hit his shoulder. It hit his shirt and burned through the layers of armor in a second. It hit his skin and Peters yelled. Another bolt of plasma hit his leg, and another his arm. Peters could smell his skin burning, and the pain stopped. The plasma had fried his nerves, and he could no longer feel pain, but he couldn't move much either. A tear ran out of his eye and he gasped for breath. Two Elites walked over and picked him up, making a point of bruising his ribs. A red Elite growled and the Covenant moved out. Peters was now a prisoner.

       "...Ugh... Wh-where am I?"
       "You're in a prison cell, man. At least you haven't been tortured... yet."
       Peters blinked the blood out of his eyes and cleared his vision. "...How do you always live?!" He asked.
       "I thought you'd be HAPPY I survived that fight!" Karls laughed. "Madison survived too, but he probably won't survive long."
       Peters sat up. "Why? What's happening to him?"
       Karls took a deep breath. "They're torturing him. He's been gone for hours. I made a plan while you were gone. When they come back to throw Madison in the cell, we charge out and tackle an Elite."
       "Sounds risky. Is there any way we could brake out? Open the cell doors, maybe?" Peters thought.
       "No. The walls in this cell are pretty thick. It'd take days just to get through the armor, then we'd have to figure out which wires to cut, if they have wires, to open the door." Karls paused. "And don't try touching the door. It's pure plasma. It burns worse than their plasma rifles." To illustrate his point, Karls raised his hand. The sides of his hand were blistered so bad, the skin looked decomposed. The further towards the middle of his hand you looked, the worse it got. The skin got more and more charred, and in the middle, there were bits of bone visible. "The nerves were fried, so fortunately, it doesn't hurt as bad as it looks." Karls managed a weak smile.
       Peters was about to comment on how bad Karls' hand looked, when the prison bay's door opened. A Gold Elite walked in, followed by five more Blue Elites. "Ah, so the 'Great Peters' is awake. How good." The Gold Elite said. The Blue Elites made a laughing noise. "I'm glad you're awake. I wouldn't want you to miss this."
       The Gold Elite pulled something out of a bag that a Blue Elite held up for him. Peters looked at it and gasped. The Elite raised Madison's head up high, laughing, for both of them to see. It had many cuts and bruises, and Madison's eyes and mouth were open. "Your friend failed to cooperate. Apparently this 'Earth' will be harder to find than thought."
       "That's obvious. You STUPID species failed to think that some of us humans think there are things important enough to DIE for!" Peters yelled.
       "SHUT UP, SLIME!" The Gold Elite bellowed, rubbing Madison's head against the plasma wall. The skin began to fry and melt, leaving a horrible odor in the cell. The Gold Elite tossed away the head and leaned up closed against the plasma. "You WILL die for this cause. But what you fail to realize is that we are quite close to our goal. Your colonies are falling, your people are dying, and you think that YOU can make a difference? We WILL find Earth! And when we DO find it, we will wipe it out along with your PUNY race!"
       Peters stood close to the plasma, so close that only a few inches and a wall of plasma were between him and the Elite. "Listen... You may have more in numbers, better technology, and be years ahead of us in space travel, but we have something YOU don't. We have hope. While you scuttle around following your superior's orders, we fight to protect the future. We have kids still going to school, people still going to work, and scientists, figuring out new ways to fight for the right cause. And you know what? NONE of them are afraid. We know we will win this war. The casualties may be high, the damage significant, but we humans have always pulled through in the end, and this is no different."
       The Gold Elite stared at him, snarling. Peters heard Karls whisper "Bad ass" behind him. "What makes you so sure, human?" The Elite questioned. "Can you see the future? Or even more unlikely, can you stop us? You have less than one billion warriors. We have 69 billion. Do the math. I know it might be quite hard on your puny brain, but think, one of your soldiers would have to kill 69 of us. The average amount of kills many of you get before you are so easily killed are zero to three. You, however, have gotten much, much more. Maybe you can stop us."
       There was a moment of silence, then all the Elites burst out laughing. "Puny human... sometimes your kind make me laugh. 'Rawlanee. Shut down the cell doors. I want to take this human to the interrogation room. Let us have some fun."
       Peters had an idea. He turned his head and looked at Karls. Karls looked at him for a moment, then his eyes widened. "Now?" Karls mouthed. Peters nodded. Karls stood up quickly and cracked his knuckles. "Here goes nothing..." Peters whispered.
       The plasma turned off. Less than a second later, Karls and Peters changed out. Karls tackled the Gold Elite and flipped him over. He stood up and pulled the Gold Elite in front of him just in time to block the plasma streaking through the air. The Gold Elite screamed as his shield faded and died. Purple blood gushed out of him and rained on the floor. Peters grabbed a grenade and threw it at an Elite. The grenade attached to its gun, and the Elite threw it away in fear. The gun landed on the ground in front of two other Elites, and seconds later, the grenade exploded. The explosion caused the plasma rifle's energy core to rupture and explode as well. One Elite was vaporized in the explosion. Another Elite was blown into pieces all over the room. The Elite's armor broke apart and flew like shrapnel into another Elite's face. The Elite clawed at the shards of metal in his eyes and face and stumbled into another Elite's line of fire. The plasma bolts tore the Elite apart within a second. Two Elites were left. One elite charged towards Peters, plasma sword charging. Peters ducked and hit the ground. He flipped over on his back and kicked the Elite in the stomach. The Elite keeled over and Peters stood up. He grabbed the back of the Elite's head and pushed it into another plasma wall. The Elite screamed as his shield died, armor melted and fused into his skin, and his flesh burned. Peters held its face to the plasma until the Elite stopped screaming and struggling. Its body fell limp to the floor.
       Peters turned and saw Karls kicking the last Elite to death. "Don't...feed...me...for...days...and...kill...my...friend...I'll...show...you..."
       "Karls!" Peters yelled.
       Karls looked at him, still kicking the Elite. "Yeah?"
       "It's dead. Lay off."
       "Oh, sorry."
       Karls stepped away from the dead Elite. Then he ran back and gave it one last, big kick. "HOW'S IT FEEL TO BE DEAD?"
       Peters ignored Karls taunting the dead Covenant. He was already working on a plan to escape. Suddenly, an alarm blared throughout the ship. "Shit!" Peters yelled.
       "What do we do now?"

A Marine Named Peters: BOOM
Date: 24 October 2003, 11:59 PM

       "Great. Just Great. Now that the alarm is blaring all over the ship, everyone knows that we escaped. What do you think we should do?" Karls asked.
       "I say we get the hell out of here." Peters said, prying two plasma rifles out of two dead Elite's hands. "Take some weapons and grenades. They'll come in handy."
       "YOU THINK?" Karls yelled. "We're on a ship filled with an alien race that wants to kill us all, and you tell me to take a gun. You think I would have thought of that?"
       Peters sighed and gave Karls a look. Karls muttered something under his breath and picked up a belt with seven grenades attached and a plasma rifle. "Can I have two guns, too?" he asked, looking at Peters.
       "Fine. Whatever. I don't care." Said Peters, looking at the door. He took a deep breath and ran towards the door.
       "Hey... wait up!" Karls yelled, stumbling over an Elite's carcass. He swore loudly and caught up to Peters. "Follow me. I was awake when they brought me in. I'm... pretty sure where the exit is."
       Peters let Karls take a few steps and started following him. Karls stopped and a corner and peeked around the edge. He quickly looked back. "Three Grunts, five Jackals, seven Elites. They're looking the other way."
       Karls took a grenade off the alien belt he had taken and pressed a button. The grenade hummed to life and turned a bright blue. He turned around the corner and threw the grenade at the tallest Elite, right in the middle of the group. It hit him it the back of his helmet and fused. The grenade began pulsing, and Peters heard a Grunt yelp. Karls turned back around the corner just in time to hear a loud BANG! and see neon blue and purple blood flying through the air. Several arms and legs hit the walls and landed on the floor.
       Karls started running again, stepping over a pile of body parts. He ran towards another door, but stopped as a giant green explosion engulfed the door. He yelled and covered his face as metal shards flew through the door. Peters looked down a hallway and his blood ran cold. A Hunter turned the corner, fuel rod cannon smoking. "Karls..." He whispered. "Get...up...and...run..."
       "Wha-?" Karls muttered, but did what he was told as he saw Peters run past him.
       Peters was running down random halls, turning left, then right, left, left, right. He lost track of which way he was turning, then heard another loud explosion. He heard Karls swear loudly, and another loud bang. "AGH!" Peters heard Karls yell. "THERE'S TWO OF THEM!"
       Peters turned another corner and saw a group of Black-armored Elites running towards him. "SHIT!" he yelled, turning around. He ducked under plasma shooting over his head, and turned the corner. He almost wet his pants when Karls ran into him.
       "Don't go that way." Karls said.
       "Don't go this way, either." Peters said.
       "Where do we go?" Karls said.
       Just then, one of the Hunters turned the corner. It looked down the hall opposite of Karls and Peters, then turned and looked at them. It growled and aimed its cannon at them. Peters and Karls stood still, watching the fuel rod cannon start glowing green. The Hunter laughed, then fired. Peters ducked and pulled Karls down, too. The plasma missed its target, but kept going. The group of Elites that were chasing Peters turned the corner just in time to see a giant green ball of plasma heading towards them.
       Peters looked as the plasma hit the group of Elites, sending purple blood and body parts everywhere. Peters turned to look at the Hunter. It didn't seem to care that it had just killed some Covenant, and started charging its fuel rod cannon again. Peters started to pray, but Karls grabbed a grenade from his belt and pressed a button. It turned bright blue. Karls stood up and charged the Hunter. The Hunter stopped charging its cannon and raised its giant shield. It swung its arm at Karls, but Karls ducked and stepped forward. Karls pulled his arm back and shoved it hard into the Hunter's orange gut. The Hunter howled in pain. Karls pulled his hand out of the Hunter and ran.
       The plasma grenade went off. A bright blue flash engulfed the Hunter for several seconds. Peters watched as the blue cloud disappeared, and was amazed to see that the alien was still standing. There was something not right about it, however. Peters realized what was wrong when the armor began falling apart. There was no alien inside. The armor was strong enough to survive the blast, but the Hunter inside wasn't.
       "Wow. That was cool." Karls laughed.
       "Cool? COOL?" Peters yelled. "How do you stay so calm in battle? You almost died TWENTY TIMES TODAY!"
       "Aw, this is nothing. I was in the battle for Manifold." Karls said, smugly.
       "MANIFOLD?" Peters gasped. "But only a handful of people survived that battle!"
       "Yeah, that was some battle."
       "Why are you a Private, still? You should be a captain!"
       "Bumped down... several times for insubordination." Karls said, laughing.
       Peters heard the clanking of the second Hunter's armor not far off. "Damn. We got to get the hell off of this ship!"
       They ran the opposite way of the Hunter. They went through another door, and were glad to see the docking bay. There were only a few guards, but they were all in stationary gun turrets. "One...two...three... They have four turrets." Karls said.
       Karls took another grenade off of his belt, turned it on, then threw it with perfect accuracy towards the closest turret. "I played football in college. I was quarterback." Karls said as if he was reading Peters' mind.
       The plasma grenade attached to the operator of the turret. The Elite clawed at the grenade in attempts to remove it, but was unsuccessful, as the grenade exploded three seconds later. The rest of the turrets turned to look at the explosion. One more explosion shook the bay, and there were only two turrets left. Peters stepped out behind a wall and opened fire with his two plasma rifles. He aimed one rifle at one turret, the other rifle at the other turret. The turrets turned to look at Peters, and opened fire. Peters ducked back behind the wall and avoided the hail of plasma.
       The Elites didn't notice the human sneaking up behind them. Karls threw one grenade at the turret near the open bay door. The grenade went off, and the explosion sent the turret flying out into the open air, where it fell a few hundred feet and exploded in a ball of purple plasma. The remaining turret turned at Karls and started shooting at him. Karls ran up towards the turret, jumped to the ground, and slip on the smooth floor. He slid onto his back as he passed under the turret, pulled out a grenade, and stuck it onto the bottom of the gun turret. Karls stood up and ran. The Elite got up and jumped out of the turret just as it exploded. Its right leg was torn off by a shard of metal from the turret. It howled in pain and grabbed its rifle, aiming it at Karls. Karls stood still, grabbing for his rifles. Peters, however, had already gotten to the Elite, and started beating it to death with its own leg. He beat the Elite over the head again and again with the Elite's severed leg. Finally, the Elite stopped struggling. Peters was breathing hard, then laughed. "If I knew where his ass was, I would have shoved his leg up it."
       Karls let out a loud laugh. He turned and said, "Hey! Look! Banshees!"
       Peters turned and looked at the row of Banshees. There must have been seven or eight Banshees lined up, all ready to fly. Peters jogged up to one and looked inside. "Let's take two and get the hell out of here!" Peters said.
       "But the Covenant will just follow us!" Karls said.
       Peters thought for a moment. "How many grenades do you have left?" he asked Karls.
       Karls looked at his belt. "One. Why?"
       "Salvage all the grenades that the dead Elites have, line them up around the Banshees, then set them all off." Peters said.
       Karls went off to get the grenades, and Peters hopped into a Banshee. He flew it a few feet forward, testing out the controls, then set it down. Karls got back with the grenades and began setting them up. "Ok, when you're done, hop in a Banshee and push the left joy pad thing forward."
       "Alright." Karls said. He put three grenades under each Banshee and stood up. He started to run towards a Banshee, when a bay door opened and Covenant poured out.
       Karls swore, pulled his last plasma grenade out of his pocket, turned it on, and threw it up in the air. Elites, Grunts, and Jackals opened fire. Karls looked like he was doing a strange dance as he was avoiding the plasma. The grenade hit the ceiling, then started falling towards the ground. "GET OUT OF THERE!" Peters yelled.
       Karls hopped in the nearest Banshee and pushed the left throttle forward. The Banshee shot forward just as the grenade hit the ground. 1 second. The Elites ran to the Banshees and hopped in. 2 seconds. Karls cleared the Covenant ship following Peters by inches. 3 seconds.
       An explosion could be heard over the Banshee's engine, then several more explosions, then a loud BANG! Peters felt a wave of heat wash over him, even though his was protected by a foot of Covenant armor. Several more explosions shook the air, then it was silent, except for the engines.
       Peters sighed and looked for a place to land.

A Marine Named Peters: Did you Hear Something?
Date: 31 October 2003, 1:12 AM

       Peters saw a small clearing a half a mile ahead of him, and steered towards it. Karls saw where he was going, then moved towards it too. Peters circled around the clearing twice, making sure there were no Covenant there, then landed. Karls landed a few seconds later.
       Karls slid out of the Banshee and wiped the sweat off of his forehead. The sky was still dark, but they could see the sunlight creeping out the mountaintops far away. Peters slid out of his Banshee and sat down, breathing deeply. He was exhausted beyond all belief. He hadn't eaten in days, he was freezing cold, and there were probably only one or two human outposts on this planet. Peters heard Karls laugh, and turned to look at him.
       "What's so funny?" Peters asked, his voice almost a whisper.
       Karls pointed at the Covenant ship. "Look. Can you see where we escaped?"
       Peters looked at the ship, and sure enough, he could see the exact place they had came out of the ship. There was a hole in the ship, not big compared to the entire ship, but big enough to do some damage. The grenade's explosion, coupled with the remaining Banshee's explosions, made an explosion big enough to send bits of the ship flying. Even miles away, Peters could see blue and purple flames erupting out of the ship, sending smoke into the early morning sky.
       Peters chuckled, but then realized they were still too close to the ship. Even though they had disabled one fighter bay, there were probably dozens more, each carrying dozens of Banshees. They had to move before the Covenant went out to find them. "Let's get going." Peters said, motioning for Karls to get into the Banshee.
       Karls nodded and stepped into his Banshee. Peters took the lead again, and began heading from clearing to clearing, looking for a human outpost. Peters was almost frozen to death, and he felt like he could go another hour or so before passing out from hunger. They could go back to the Pelican, but there would be no edible food left and the radio was probably destroyed in the crash. He stared straight ahead, towards the sun, looking for any metal or cement he could find.
       Suddenly, he saw a glimmer of light in the corner of his eye. A reflection that blinded him momentarily. He looked to the left, and saw a small building with a large satellite on the top, probably for communication, but most likely a radar for incoming enemy forces. Karls must have seen it too, because he had already turned towards it. Peters, now trailing Karls, headed for it as well.
       After a few minutes, they landed in front of the building. Peters covered the Banshee with snow, so that the Covenant would think no one was here. Karls did the same, but by accidentally crashing it into a snow dune, which buried the Banshee under ten feet of snow. Karls dug his way out and swore. "Well, that's not able to fly any more. I'm stuck here."
       Peters rubbed his arms for heat, then began hitting his legs to get the blood flowing. After several hard punches, he could feel his legs again. He walked towards the door, glad to see that there was no lock, and opened it.
       Inside was much warmer than the outside. All the machinery created excess heat, which made the room a comfortable 85 degrees. Peters sighed happily at the warmth, now burning his somewhat frostbitten skin. Karls had already shaken the snow off of his shirt, watching the snow melt on the warm ground. Peters walked over to the lockers and opened one. It was empty, save for a few empty batteries. He walked to the next one, opened it, and pulled out a magazine of assault rifle rounds. He pocketed them, and moved to the next locker. He opened it and saw that there was a package of freeze-dried foods. He laughed and took the package, tore it open, and grabbed a handful of the meal. He put it in his mouth, savoring the taste for as long as it still had flavor, then swallowed. He ran over to Karls, holding out the bag to offer him some, but dropped it when he saw that Karls was holding a chicken leg.
       "W-where'd you get that?" Peters asked, his mouth watering.
       Karls mumbled with his mouth full of chicken. "Wefigerater."
       Peters looked up and saw an open walk-in refrigerator, filled to the brim with water, beer, and various meats and fruit. Peters ran in, took a beer, and opened it. He laughed gleefully when it sprayed over his face, then chugged it down in less than ten seconds. He let out a loud belch, wiped his mouth, then grabbed a slice of ham.
       When Peters had had enough food, he stepped out of the refrigerator, letting the heat wash over him once again. He saw Karls at a control monitor, pressing some buttons, than grab a microphone. "Hello? Can anyone read me? This is Private Karls, reporting from planet RFC-22, sector 5. Repeat, can anyone read me?"
       Karls stood, waiting, then sat down after several minutes. Peters grabbed a slice of bread, stuffed it in his mouth, then sat down. After ten minutes, the radio hissed static, then a voice could be heard. "Hello? Private Karls? This is Lieutenant Rodriguez from the vessel Sparticus. We read you loud and clear."
       "Oh, thank God!" Karls said into the microphone. "We need pickup NOW. The Covenant are going to find us, the Pegasus is gone, and I'm COLD!"
       "Where's the command for that outpost, private? As I recall, that outpost was for picking up transmissions, not sending them."
       Karls looked at Peters. "We don't know where the command is. We crashed on this planet a few days ago, and the Covenant seemed to have just got here. By the looks of it, this place has been deserted for... a week at the least. There aren't any plasma burns on the walls, either."
       "Alright. We're close to your location. We'll be there in an hour." Rodriguez said, then the radio went dead.
       "What happened?" Peters asked.
       "I don't..." Karls was about to finish his sentence, when the lights went out. A second later, the machinery died.
       "Oh, no." Peters whispered. "The Covenant found us."
       Karls stood up straight, a look of concentration on his face. "No, not the Covenant. Listen, no clanking of armor, no sound of dropships, Banshees, or Ghosts, and we're not dead yet. The Covenant wouldn't have given us time to think."
       Peters listened for a minute, not breathing to hear better. He thought he heard a growl, but it sounded nothing like any Covenant race he knew. "Hey, Karls, grab your gun."
       "I don't have it. I left it outside." Karls whimpered.
       Peters ran over to the lockers and checked every one until he found an assault rifle. He didn't find any ammo, but he remembered the magazine he had pocketed earlier. He slid it into the rifle and turned the safety off. "Whatever's out there... we aren't going to die today."

A Marine Named Peters: Night of the Living Dead
Date: 27 November 2003, 4:21 AM

       Peters slowly walked towards the door. Karls was standing on the other side, ready to jump anything that came through the door. Peters was breathing heavily, and his hands shook. This is like some bad horror movie. Peters thought. Hopefully no one will die.
       Peters leaned up against the door, counted to three under his breath, and pulled the door open. There was nothing there. Peters stood there for a moment, his arm tiring under the weight of the MA5B. Peters slowly stepped out of the warm building, and the cold air stung his skin. Karls followed him, picking up a large stick, holding it like a bat. Peters was looking from left to right, but couldn't see anything. He couldn't hear anything, either.
       "You here that?" Karls asked.
       "Hear what?" Peters said, still looking around.
       "...There's nothing. No birds, no wolves... the Covenant would have already killed us. What is it?" Karls said.
       Peters felt strange. Something was wrong, but that barely explained it. It felt like something was watching him, but it felt like he was being watched by hundreds of creatures. Then he heard Karls scream.
       Peters turned around, expecting to see an Elite, Hunter, or any type of Covenant ripping off Karls' head, but what he saw made him freeze.
       It looked like a snail, slug, and seashell all rolled into one, but it was so hideous that Peters couldn't think of what it looked like. It had wrapped tentacles around Karls' neck, and it appeared to be choking him to death, but then a large spike came out of it, and it shoved itself down Karls' back.
       Peters snapped out of the temporary coma he was in, and ran over to Karls. He kicked the thing off of his back, yanked the spine out of Karls' back, and looked where the thing had landed. It wasn't there anymore; it had exploded in a green ball of slime. Peters looked around, then picked Karls up and dragged him into the building.
       He filled the wound with bio-foam and shook Karls. Karls woke with a scream and sat up. "GET IT OFF OF ME!" Karls was screaming, shaking Peters wildly.
       "Calm down! Calm down... It's dead." Peters said in a calm voice, but on the inside, he was scared as hell, too.
       There was a bang on the door, and Peters jumped to his feet, MA5B shaking in his hands. The thick metal door was dented. No Elite or Human could do that. The door shook again, and another dent appeared in the door. The dent looked like...
       "...a human hand...?" Peters muttered.
       Just then, a skylight shattered, and something dropped down. It was a...
       "ZOMBIE!" Karls screamed.
       Peters put half a clip into the things torso. The rounds tore through it like tissue paper. Green blood flowed out of the holes, and the thing fell to the floor, twitched one, and died. Peters walked over to it, kneeled down, and looked at its face. It was a zombie. Its face was that of a human, but the head was pushed back, tossed aside like it was a useless limb. The face had an expression of excruciating pain. Suddenly, the thing came back to life and grabbed Peters' ankle. Peters screamed, tossed away his MA5B in shock, and clawed at the things hand. The skin on the thing just tore away, already decomposed.
       Seven rounds tore through the things head, and it dropped. Karls walked over, MA5B smoking, and kicked in its chest. "Nice throw." Karls said.
       Peters tried to laugh, but couldn't. He stood up, but his ankle throbbed with a horrible pain. Peters fell to the ground, tried to stand up again, and had the same results.
       Karls stuck out his hand, grabbed Peters' arm, and pulled him up. Peters put his weight on Karls' shoulder, and took a deep breath. "Wow." Peters said.
       "What?" Karls asked.
       "Think this is some Covenant trick? A biological weapon, maybe?" Peters said, shaking his head. "I've never seen anything like it."
       Karls was about to say something, but a clanging sound rang out behind them. They looked back, saw a staircase leading into the basement, and started walking towards the front door. Karls handed Peters the assault rifle, lifted him over his shoulders, and walked towards the door. "We need to run for it. They'll overrun us with these tactics. They're coming in through places we didn't even know were here." Karls said. "We'll have a better chance in the forest, with all the cover."
       Peters was about to say that it was a bad idea, but three of the things jumped up the basement stairs, looked around, and saw them. "Run." Peters said.
       Karls pulled open the door, held on tighter to Peters, and sprinted as fast as he could towards the forest. Peters, slung over Karls' shoulders, was able to shoot down the things chasing them. 8 rounds hit one in the chest, blowing rotten intestines into the air. 11 rounds tore through another ones head. It fell down, sat there for a moment, then jumped back up. "WHAT ARE THESE THINGS?" Peters yelled.
       Peters could hear Karls gasping for air. That thing crawling into his back must have hurt him a lot. Of course it hurt. Peters thought.
       Karls dodged trees, ducked under branches, and jumped over logs. The little shrimp ones, the ones that tried to climb into Karls, fell from the branches of the trees, stood up on their tentacles, and squirmed towards them. Peters held the trigger down, and shook the MA5B from left to right. Aiming wasn't necessary at this range. "I'm out!" Peters yelled at Karls. Karls took one hand off of Peters' leg, reached in his pocket, and handed him a clip.
       Peters shoved it into the assault rifle, and cocked the gun. He looked up, but there were no zombies left. Karls kept running, however, and Peters didn't think it was a good idea to make him stop. Karls sprinted for miles, carrying Peters on his back. He was sweating, even though it was 20 degrees outside, and he was breathing harder than ever before in his life. Finally, he ran until he couldn't run anymore. He ran into a cliff edge. Karls leaned over the side, and almost cried when he saw that it was more than a quarter mile drop. "It's over." Karls said, falling to the cold ground, almost passing out from pain.
       Peters didn't say anything. He was looking straight ahead, into the trees, into the bushes, into death itself. He saw a branch shake, aimed at it, and opened fire. The rounds tore through the branches and splintered the wood. He hit nothing but tree. The bushed to his right rattled. Again, he shot at it, but it was gone by then.
       Then, seeing it in practically slow motion, Peters saw the zombies running out of the forest at them. Peters opened fire, and the rounds tore through the first line's shins. They fell to the ground, and more climbed over their bodies. The ones with no legs continued to crawl. Peters' gun fired its last bullet, and Peters knew he was going to die.
       GET DOWN!
       Peters didn't know who said it, but he fell backwards anyway. He looked at the zombies, and saw them being torn apart by monstrous bullets. Anything that moved was torn apart, turned into a green mush, and completely destroyed. The bullets stopped, and Peters looked behind him. A Pelican was hovering just 3 feet beyond the cliff edge, it's gun smoking. HURRY! GET IN! the speakers on the Pelican projected.
       Karls stood up, half asleep from his ten-mile sprint, and picked Peters up. Peters looked behind him and saw hundreds of zombies running from the trees. Karls jumped into the back of the Pelican, pulled Peters in, and pressed the button to close the door. It was closing too slowly. The zombies were already there, climbing in, jumping at them.
       An assault rifle fired behind Peters. The bullets mowed down the half frozen reanimated corpses, and left their bodies smoking. The door finally closed, and the Pelican started to rise to the sky.
       A woman's voice softly spoke behind them. "I'm Lieutenant Rodriguez. Welcome back."

A Marine Named Peters: Rodriguez's Gifts
Date: 28 November 2003, 9:21 PM

       "Rodriguez? I thought you'd be... a man." Karls said.
       "Well, a lot of people think that. Until they get to know me, of course." She said, cheerfully. "You're lucky we were already on the way to this system. It could've taken us weeks to get here if we were any farther away."
       "How did you find us if we weren't at the base?" Peters asked.
       "Thermal scans. It's easy to see two blotches of heat in a frozen wasteland."
       She smiled for a moment, then looked as if she was thinking something over. "Those things back there... They didn't look Covenant. What were they?" She asked, looking at Peters.
       "We don't know." Karls said, just as Peters was about to open his mouth. "They look like zombies."
       "We'll have Aristotle look into it when we get back to the Sparticus." Rodriguez said.
       "Aristotle?" Peters asked.
       "Oh, that's our AI." Rodriguez said, looking back at Peters. "He's good at hacking into Covenant databases, and even better at helping us design weapons."
       Peters had never worked with an AI before, but he had heard good things. "You design weapons?" Karls asked.
       "Me and my team do. Almost everyone on the Sparticus is a technician, and we design and transport new weapons to systems that need them."
       "What type of weapons?" Peters asked, holding on to his seat as the Pelican hit turbulence.
       "We mainly do modifications of existing weapons, but there is one that's entirely new, and I can't tell you anything about it." She smiled. "In fact, if you tell anyone I told you that it existed, I'll have to kill you."
       Peters laughed. "What kind of modifications do you do?" He asked.
       "Make the magazines hold more rounds, add explosives to the bullets, increase the range of sniper rifles. Stuff like that." She said. "Are you a sniper?" She asked, looking at Karls.
       "Yeah, how did you know?" He said, staring not at her face, but at her chest.
       "I have my ways." She said. "You're going to like one of our prototype weapons."
       Rodriguez turned her attention towards Peters. "Why are you on this planet?" She asked.
       "We evacuated the Pegasus just before it exploded. It was destroyed by a Covenant warship." Peters said.
       Rodriguez turned back towards the pilot. "Send a message to the Sparticus.. There are Covenant warships in the area." The pilot nodded and sent the message. Rodriguez turned back to Peters. "Why were you on the Pegasus?"
       "I was... delivering supplies to their captain." Peters said, not thinking it'd be a good idea he was in trial.
       "Alright. You're a terrible liar, though. If you don't want to tell us, it's ok." She said. "We'll be arriving shortly, then we'll ask Aristotle what those things were, and then we'll equip you with some of our goods."
       Rodriguez walked to the front of the Pelican, looked back at Peters, smiled, and closed the door. Karls waited a moment, then said, "She's hot."
       Peters laughed, slouched down on his chair, and closed his eyes. "She sure is." He said, falling asleep.

       When they arrived, Rodriguez woke Peters up and escorted him to one of the few rooms they had. It had twenty cots in it, and he threw his shirt on it. It hadn't been cleaned in almost a week, and his pants were worse. He took those off, and walked into the showers. He turned on the water as hot as he could, then smiled. It felt good to be warm after spending so much time on a planet made of ice.
       He heard someone open the room's door. Probably one of the technicians that sleep here. he thought. He didn't even look as the person walked into the showers. "Ahem." The person said, and Peters turned.
       It was Rodriguez, and she was blushing, obviously trying to keep eye contact. "Put on the new uniform we made you, and go to the armory. We want you to test out one of our new weapons. Aristotle thinks it'd be better if someone who has some field experience tested it first." She turned around and walked out.
       Peters stood there for a moment, watching her walk away. Karls is right. He thought. She's beautiful. He turned off the shower, dried off, and put on the new uniform that was neatly folded and placed on his cot.
       He was at the armory in five minutes. The door automatically opened when he walked up to it, and what was inside surprised him. There was a huge obstacle course laid out, surprising large for the somewhat small ship they were in. "Hello." Said a voice that sounded as if it was coming out of a radio. Peters turned and saw that it was the AI Rodriguez had mentioned. It was dressed in Greek robes, and wore sandals over his transparent feet. "I am Aristotle. You must be Private Peters, recently demoted from Lieutenant."
       "Um, yeah. That's me." Peters said, looking at the AI. "So where's the new weapon?"
       The AI smiled. "You're all business. I like that in a person. Well, in a real person. Sometimes AI's get on even my nerves. Follow me." The AI floated down a walkway, and turned right. Peters saw that there were projectors all around the walls, which allowed the AI to "walk" from room to room. The AI walked through a closed door. When it opened for Peters, he saw that Rodriguez and a team of techs were standing there, with a somewhat small gun, some armor plates, and a handful of grenades.
       Peters walked up to Rodriguez. "Your AI is a little..."
       "Spirited?" Rodriguez butted in. "Well, we were lucky to get a 'smart' AI to help us with the weapons. He may seem a little angry for a while, but that's because he got in a fight with Alexander, the AI that controls the ship."
       "Over what?" Peters asked.
       "Well, Aristotle believes that we're heading straight towards an asteroid. Alexander thinks that there's nothing in our way. Sometimes Aristotle needs to prove his point that he's more capable of thinking than other AI's." She turned towards the table holding the weapons. "Alright. So, now I'll show you what these are."
       A loud BANG! Sounded behind him, and Peters turned to look. Karls was standing there, a sniper rifle in his hands, and he was crying. "It's.... it's the most beautiful thing I've ever seen." He said, wiping the tears off of his face.
       "We gave your friend one of our most popular mods." Rodriguez said. "We make some of our bullets with explosives inside. More than usual, but less than a grenade. It's all timed, of course. Once the shell casing is removed from the actual bullet, a small timer, set for ten seconds, starts. The dart on the front of the bullet sticks to the target, and once the timer goes off... bang! Five of these are capable of bringing down an Elite's shields. One downside, though. If the bullet gets jammed, it sets off all of the bullets in the magazine, and you get one hell of an explosion."
       Peters nodded, looked at the table, and was about to ask what those things were, when Rodriguez started talking again. "This small sidearm..." She lifted up the small gun. "Is a modification of your normal M6D pistol. The 2X magnification is increased to 5X. Also, the magazine is increased from 12 bullets to 20. They have the explosive features, of course. It can also take regular magazines, as well."
       Peters whistled. He had always like the regular sidearm, but this looked so much better. Rodriguez continued. "These little pieces of armor fit on your shins and forearms. They have tracking devices, and can repel small amounts of plasma. Just make sure that if you're under heavy fire, you don't think these will make you invincible."
       She walked farther down the table to the grenades. "These," She held up a grenade. "are grenades. They're explosions are twice as big, and they send of twice as much shrapnel. They're great for taking down a big group of Covenant that are tightly packed together."
       Peters nodded, grabbed the sidearm, and put it in his hip holster. He put the armor on his shins and forearms, tightened them, and shook them once to make sure they were secure. Then he walked over to the grenades, held them up to see how heavy they were, and attached them to his grenade belt. "Follow me to the obstacle course." Aristotle said, gliding back towards the door. Peters looked at Rodriguez. She nodded, motioned for him to follow the AI, and walked over to Karls.
       Peters looked forward and jogged to catch up to the AI. The AI brought him back to the obstacle course Peters saw when he had first entered the armory. "First up is target practice. The new explosive rounds cause a little extra recoil. You need to learn to fire with it." The AI walked up to a table, and 75 feet in front of it was a target.
       Peters walked up to it, pulled out the sidearm, and took careful aim, when an alarm went off. The room turned red, and Rodriguez ran out of the other room, holding an assault rifle. "Aristotle, what's going on?" She yelled.
       "You know that asteroid I thought was in our path?" He asked.
       "What about it?" Rodriguez asked.
       Aristotle looked as if he was reading something, opened his mouth wide, and looked up. "It's a Covenant Frigate. It'll be right on top of us in ten minutes."

A Marine Named Peters: Abandon Hope All Ye Who Enter Here
Date: 6 January 2004, 4:17 AM

       "It'll be right on top of us in ten minutes."
       Rodriguez swore and put her hair in a pony tail. "Alright. Make sure everyone is at their battle stations. I want three squads of marines all equipped with close range weapons ready in case the Covenant board the craft. Ready the MAC rounds and remove the safety on a Shiva tactical nuke." She took a deep breath and turned towards Peters. "Peters, meet me on the bridge. Grab your gun, some clips, and a backpack with medical supplies. I need to check with something."
       Peters nodded and ran off towards the table he was just standing at. He heard Rodriguez say something to Aristotle. The AI nodded and disappeared. Rodriguez ran to the door, which opened automatically, and turned the corner. Peters grabbed a M6D, an MA5B, and several clips for both. He stuffed the pistol magazines in one pocket, and the assault rifle magazines in another to make sure he wouldn't mix them up. He grabbed a backpack, stuffed two med packs into it, and closed it.
       He ran towards the door. It failed to open automatically, and Peters slammed headfirst into it. He hit the ground hard, rubbed his nose, and swore loudly. He stood up and pulled the door open. It wasn't easy, and it took a lot of energy, but Peters did it. It shut behind him with a slam, shaking the floor beneath him. He wondered why it didn't open on its own and ran towards the elevator. It too didn't operate. He pressed the button several times before he gave up and headed for the stairs.
       After two minutes, he reached the bridge, short of breath and sweating bullets. Rodriguez turned towards him, saw the condition that he was in, and explained. "We don't know what happened. The Covenant have apparently found a way to shut off power in our ships. Luckily for us, its only small things, like doors, elevators, and intercoms. Although I'd rather have them operational, we can do without them."
       Rodriguez turned back to the screens, which showed pictures of the Covenant ship. Numbers and letters were scrolling across the screen. What make Peters feel more scared than before was it appeared to be...
       "...Dead in space..." Rodriguez whispered.
       Aristotle popped up from a panel, and the light from the projector made the room a strange turquoise color. "Correct. I did thorough heat scans and scanned for movement. There were several fires, which means the ship is still pressurized, but the motion signatures..." The screen with the Covenant ship zoomed in on an area, peeled apart the ship's armor, and showed the halls and rooms inside. They were a dark red. "Were all over the place."
       Rodriguez stood for a moment. "Do another scan if you can. Check to see if there are any sounds in that ship, I want to know if the Covenant are in there and talking."
       Aristotle disappeared for a moment, and then came back. "The only sounds I got were the sounds of fire, clanking of the broken walls, and... a dripping noise."
       "Dripping?" Peters asked.
       "Yes, dripping." Aristotle said harshly. "As if they had a leak somewhere... but the sound was everywhere."
       "We're going in." Rodriguez said suddenly.
       "WHAT?" Peters and Aristotle said in unison.
       "Well, it's obvious there are little to no Covenant in there, or we would have been fired at several times by now. Also, the ship is powered down, which is strange for any Covenant ship." Rodriguez said. "Get those three squads of marines I ordered into three Pelicans. I also want six more squads in heavy armor, with assault rifles and shotguns. Tell them to use explosive and normal rounds."
       "Peters... You lead two squads. I'll lead two, and..." Rodriguez said.
       Karls ran into the room, juggling three guns in his arms, ammo falling out of his pocket, and sweat pouring down his face. "Je-j-Jesus Christ... Do you know how hard it is to carry 80 pounds of equipment up three flights of stairs?"
       Rodriguez smiled for a moment, but it quickly disappeared. "...And Karls will take the other two squads. I'll tell you more when everyone's in the drop ships heading towards the ships."
       Several minutes later, Peters was in a Pelican with 9 other soldiers and a pilot. Peters, Karls, and Rodriguez were held in three separate Pelicans, with 9 soldiers armed with shotguns. They would enter through the docking bays on the Frigate's starboard side, while the other 6 Pelicans, holding 60 marines armed with assault rifles, would circle the ship once, checking for any signs of activities the scanners could have missed. After they were done, they would enter the same docking port as the first 3 Pelicans, drop the marines, and head back to their ship.
       Peters was skeptical at first, but seeing as he had nine heavily armed body guards and 89 other marines behind him, he felt almost safe. The radio was filled with Rodriguez's orders, music from another Pelican, and he could swear he heard Karls telling a joke.
       "Rodriguez says she just double and triple checked, the Covenant's shields are off, so you don't need to worry about hitting it and blowing up before we see any action." The pilot yelled out of the cockpit.
       Peters checked out his un-used gun. He took out the magazine, checked the bullets, and slid it back into his MA5B. The soldier next to him tapped his shoulder, and Peters looked at him. "Here, take this." The soldier said, handing him a huge magazine filled with bullets. "It's my modification no one ever looked at. I put three times as many bullets in this, so it holds 180 bullets. And one in the barrel. Add on the explosive caps, and you have one hell of a getaway gun."
       Peters looked at, held out his hand, and dropped it when he found out how heavy it was. It was easily 20 pounds or more. Putting it in his MA5B, held completely horizontal, the magazine would go down to his waist. It was no surprise that no one would use it. It would make the gun so inaccurate, he doubted he could hit anything.
       "Er... Thanks..." Peters said.
       "It's Evans. Private Evans." Evan said.
       "Right. Good luck out there."
       Just then static filled the Pelican, and Peters heard Rodriguez's voice.
       "Alright, men. And women. Our mission is to find the bridge of the ship, insert Aristotle into any machine, and retrieve as much information as we can. If we could somehow PILOT this ship, we would call for technicians, engineers, and pilots and see if we could get this to earth. The least I want to get is the locations of Covenant occupied worlds, their defenses, and what the hell this war is about. Aristotle was able to work out a map, so just follow the NAV points if you can. If you don't have a visor, just follow the rest of your squad there. Be on the lookout for any Covenant. I don't want any casualties."
       There was a murmur of voices in the Pelican, and several people put on helmets, made sure they could see the NAV points, and tightened the straps on the helmets. Peters stared through the cockpit at the Covenant docking bay that was getting closer and closer. It was pitch black. The only lick was from the incoming Pelicans. This was almost like a ghost ship.
       The pilot started speaking. "Aristotle is going to try to start the power supply by hacking into the system. We need to get the shields up in this room, or we're going to need to put on some space suits."
       Peters sat down for a minute. He closed his eyes, took a deep breath, and exhaled, getting ready for a long wait. "...Ok, the shields are on." The pilot said, amazement in his voice. "Apparently, all safeties on the Covenant hard drive were disabled. Lucky us. Atmosphere is in the room, and the door is.... Opened."
       The door opened, and the darkness filled Peters' vision. Their footsteps echoed in the bay, making the only noise they could hear. One marine turned on his flashlight. Peters made no notice of it, until the flashlight revealed something horrible.

A Marine Named Peters: Get Ready, Get set, Reminisce!
Date: 10 January 2004, 11:03 PM

       Peters stared in awe. On the floor in front of him was a Covenant Elite, or what was left of him. There were multiple lacerations on his torso and arms, his head had been torn off his neck, and dangled by a few veins and muscles to its shoulder. Its stomach had been torn apart and ripped out. Intestines were tangles around its legs and sat on the floor, dripping purple blood onto the floor. One marine laughed. "Looks like this son-bitch got what he deserved."
       "But what gave it to him?" Peters said, stepping forward. "Look, there are no plasma burns, so it wasn't another Covenant. There aren't any bullet holes, and I doubt any human could tear though an Elite's shield and chest like that."
       Rodriguez stepped into the light. "Alright. Everyone be on full alert. We don't know if there are any Covenant left in this ship. What ever did this to that Elite sure as hell can do that to us, so if you see anything, shoot to kill."
       The marines acknowledged and started moving towards a door. Aristotle set another NAV point once they passed through the door, leading down a pitch-black hall. Several marines turned on flashlights. The walls were stained with blood, purple and neon-blue. Arms and legs of Covenant warriors littered the ground. Plasma burns were visible on the walls. Panels were torn loose and shot out sparks. They turned around a corner and stopped, their path blocked by a burning metal plate that had fallen from the ceiling. "Aristotle, we need a new path. This way is blocked." Rodriguez said into her microphone.
       Aristotle, inside Rodriguez's helmet, read the layout for the ship and within seconds had a new route mapped. Peters, being in the back of the group, was now leading the squads backwards down the path. Peters hated being in the front. You always had a higher chance of being the one walking into a trap. But opposed to being in the back, he liked it. He had watched too many horror movies where people in the back stopped to look at something, got left behind, then eaten by a werewolf or some shit. He knew it was all bull, but it had stuck in his mind.
       Halfway to the next NAV point, Peters heard a thud near the back of the group. He slowed down, and several marines kept walking past him. Rodriguez and Karls stopped walking, turned, and looked into the shadows. "What is it, Peters?" Rodriguez asked.
       Peters didn't respond. He was feeling... strange. Like in those few seconds before something bad happens, when you gut clenches up. His breathing quickened, and he started to walk backwards. There was another thud, almost right next to them. They all turned to look at what made the noise. Nothing was there.
       CLANK! CLANK! CLANK! Echoed through the empty hallways. Peters, Karls, and Rodriguez all faced down the halls, making sure their weapons were loaded when...
       "Hello?" A marine called out.
       Peters sighed. "It's only the second squad of marines." He said, taking deep breaths. Rodriguez called them out of the shadows, and 60 marines started stepping out. They filled the halls for about ten feet, and Peters finally felt safer. After a short role call, Rodriguez motioned for them to start moving out. It was Karls who realized it first.
       "Hey, where did the first 27 guys go?" He asked, looking around. "The ones we came in with... what happened to them?"
       Peters felt scared again. He remembered when he had stopped to check out the noises, and realized that they had kept walking. "They must already be there." Peters said. "They went ahead."
       Peters heard everyone sigh in relief. Rodriguez, Karls, and Peters walked in the front of the group, and led everyone to the next NAV point. As soon as they got there, Aristotle pointed them towards the next point. This went on for several minutes, twisting and turning in a pitch-black labyrinth. Several marines flicked on their flashlights, creating a bright beam in front of the 3 squads, allowing them to see what they were stepping into. A puddle of blood.
       "Oh, holy SHIT!" Karls said. "It's one of those zombie thingies!"
       Sure enough, a zombie catapulted out of the shadows, landed in the middle of the group, and swung it's arms. Five marines were knocked to the ground after being hit. The zombie picked the nearest marine, kicked in his chest, picked him up, and bit open his neck. It began eating him, when everyone snapped out of their shock. 60 bullets tore through it in the first second, a shotgun blast ripped off what was left of the torso, and a pistol shot the legs out from under it. The pile of flesh that was left shuddered and started to dissolve.
       "H-h-h-holy shit..." Karls said, shaking. "It's one of those things we saw back planet side, man!"
       "Wait, you've seen these things before?" A marine asked, his voice shaking in fear.
       "Yes, we have." Peters said, shaking his head. "What are these things?"
       "Forget about it, we just need to get to the control room, get some information, and get the hell out of here." Rodriguez said.
       "What?" Peters yelled. "These things could be ANYWHERE! We need to get out of here NOW!"
       "Listen." Rodriguez said. "We're already more than halfway there. We need to get some information on the Covenant. Who knows, they may even have information on these... things. Now, move out."
       Everyone started to move towards the next NAV point, checking every shadow for movement, looking backwards every second, and no one didn't have their flashlight on. They we almost jogging, when Peters tripped over something. Everyone turned to look, and Peters screamed. They had found the lost squads. There were bullet casings, assault rifles, and shotguns lying on the ground, along with arms, legs, and a head, which had an expression of fear on it.
       Peters fell backwards, backed away from the body he tripped over, and his hand touched another leg. He yelled again, jumped up, and ran towards the other wall. One marine vomited, another one started crying, but Rodriguez started talking. "Where are the bodies?"
       Karls stepped forward, with an expression on his face Peters had never seen before. He kneeled over, looked at the bloody ground, and looked to the side. "They were dragged away." He said, standing up. "They were dragged... exactly where we need to go." He pointed ahead towards the door. Rodriguez walked through it, and sure enough, it was the Control Room. She motioned for everyone to come into the room. She stood on one side of the door, Peters stood on the other. Karls walked ahead, looking all around the room. Once everyone was inside, Rodriguez and Peters stepped away from the doors. Once they shut, five marines walked over towards it and pointed their guns at it. No one would get through that door. Rodriguez walked up a small ramp, pulled Aristotle's memory card out of her helmet, and stuck her into the hologram that suspended in mid air.
       Almost instantly, the room filled with white light, the doors locked, and Aristotle appeared on a hologram screen on the far side of the room. "Ok, Aristotle. Start copying their information and store in your memory banks. Also, try to find what these things are that attacked us."
       "Alright, it'll take one min..." Aristotle paused for a second. "No, what does that mean? Threshold... Pillar of Autumn...Truth and Reconciliation..."
       "Halo..." Aristotle said, a look of terror on his face. "The Covenant found a weapon in space, they believed it to be built by their ancestors, or some gods, I'm having trouble interpreting that... They found it, but then the Pillar of Autumn, one of our ships, came to that exact location and..."
       "Slow down, Aristotle!" Rodriguez said. "What is going on?"
       "I can't explain it all. These things that you encountered, they are known as the 'Flood', and they take over sentient life forms. They took over this ship by..."
       "How did they take over this ship?" Peters asked.
       "Well, this is the ship you were being held prisoner on a few days ago." Aristotle said.
       "How did you know that?" Karls asked.
       "It's recorded onto their logs. Shortly after you escaped, a meteorite landed on this planet, it was a piece of Halo."
       "What is Halo?" Rodriguez asked.
       "It was a ring in space containing the Flood. Apparently the Pillar of Autumn destroyed it, along with everything on it. But what they didn't realize, being dead, was that pieces of Halo were broken off by shockwaves created by the explosion..."
       "What explosion?" Peters asked.
       Aristotle ignored him. "Pieces broke off and shot into space. That was about a month or so ago. A shard landed on the planet you were on. We thought it was just a meteorite and ignored it. The flood must have hidden in caves or holes on that shard of Halo. Once they landed, they came out, saw the Covenant ship, and ran towards it. This was minutes after you left. They were attracted by the heat and the food, the Covenant. They got onboard after taking over the Covenant guarding the gravity lift, infected them, then went up the gravity lift. The Covenant lifted off to stop more from getting on, but it was too late. The Flood took over the engine rooms, destroyed their power, then hunted them down in the dark. That would explain why this ship appeared to be dead in space when I scanned it. The heat signatures must be where they're breeding, or infecting the bodies. The motion must be the Flood themselves."
       There was a minute of silence, then Karls coughed, stood forward, and asked, "Could you repeat that?"
       Aristotle glared at him, was about to yell as loud as his programming allowed him, when the room started to shake. The doors started to dent and bend. The lights flickered, and Aristotle disappeared. Rodriguez pulled Aristotle out of the hologram, stuck him in her helmet, and reloaded her assault rifle. "Get ready to run for the docking bays."
       "They're coming."

A Marine Named Peters: The Finale, Part One
Date: 16 January 2004, 2:10 AM

       The doors were bending and twisting outwards. Fist and footprints could be seen in the doors, kicking and punching them further and further out with every blow. The doors would be down in a matter of minutes at this rate. The room shook from ceiling to the floor with all the pounding going on. Marines fell to the ground, shaking in fear. Peters stood up. "Men, these things will have no pity on you! They have no soul, no emotions, no pain! They will take you down in seconds, unless you stand up and FIGHT!"
       Some marines began to look up, looks of fear disappearing from their faces. The room was filled with the noise of growls and clangs of flesh against metal. Peters continued his speech. "We have fought for the right cause, we have defended Earth for years. But now Earth can't help us! We can still help HER! We have valuable information on the Covenant, these... Flood, and something about a Halo! If Earth somehow got this information, we could save billions of lives! I am willing to sacrifice MY life for THEIRS. Are you?"
       The marines began to stand now, looks of bravery and determination on their faces. Somewhere in the back, a smile was growing across Karls' face. "You tell them, friend." He muttered under his breath.
       Peters now shouted. "We need to get this to Earth! There is only one way to get there! We have to go through Hell, because we will go there whether we stand and fight or not! STAND AND FIGHT!" Peters yelled just as the doors broke down.
       The marines yelled and charged. Shotguns went off, MA5Bs sprayed automatic fire all through the air, and pistols punched through decomposing flesh. The flood combat forms jumped through the air and landed in the middle of the marines. The swung their arms, knocking down marines, grabbed their weapons, and opened fire. Peters ducked under a trio of M6D rounds, ran up to a flood, and pulled the pistol out of its hand. The hand was ripped off as well, but the flood made no signs of caring. It swung its broken arm at Peters, using the shattered bone as a blade. Peters ducked, grabbed the arm, and shoved it into its chest. The chest popped outwards, and the combat form fell to the ground, dissolving into a green paste. Peters turned around, put his newly acquired pistol into a pocket, and pulled the MA5B from his shoulders.
       Peters opened fire on a group of Flood, tearing their chest cavities apart and sending green flesh into the air. He ran up to a group of marines, grabbed one of their grenades, and threw it into one of the doorways just as 10 combat forms walked in. The explosion sent shrapnel tearing through the Flood, turning their corpses into Swiss cheese. He heard Karls laughing somewhere in the room, counting his kills. "Twenty-ONE! Twenty-TWO! Twenty-THREE!"
       Peters felt almost braver now, knowing that Karls was having an easy time. One last combat form stood. It jumped through the air, landed on a marine's back, and stuck a plasma grenade to his head. "HOLY SHIT!" the marine yelled, just before the grenade went off, blowing him and the Flood into bloody pieces. Peters closed his eyes as the grenade went off. He had seen too many things being blown apart already, seeing a fellow marine he had been just encouraging dying was too much. But it had to be done.
       Once they were sure the hallways were clear, Peters led the marines down the halls. The circuits in the walls, which were exposed due to the wall panels being gone, now illuminated them. "What happened to the walls?" A marine asked.
       Peters ignored him. He wanted to focus on the halls in front of him. He peeked around a corner, looking for signs of movement in the dark, when someone tapped him on the shoulder. He jumped in fear. "Oh, sorry." A marine said. "Listen, I just need to talk to someone. I need to forget we're in deep shit."
       Peters sighed. "Fine. I'm Thomas." He said.
       The marine shook his head. "I'm Colt, Colt Evans. I signed up a few years back. Listen, I heard your speech..."
       "Like there was anything else to listen too." Peters said under his breath.
       Colt continued. "Well, I was wondering, do you think we can get out of here? I don't want to die in space."
       "Well, that's what we do in the marines. We die in the middle of nowhere, usually for a cause we don't understand, fighting for someone who doesn't care if we live or die. But to answer you question, we are going to get out of here alive. Anything else?" Peters said, starting to walk down the corridor.
       Colt shook his head and started walking. Peters' eyes shifted from corner to corner, scanning for anything moving. His breathing echoed in his mind, sweat pouring down his face and stinging his eyes. He ignored this small pain, because he knew that the pain would be much worse if he was caught off guard. Dripping could be heard throughout the ship. Peters concentrated on the sounds, following them to the source. They led to a door, which had been burned by plasma. Peters took a deep breath and opened the door. There was a giant room inside, three levels high. On each level there was a balcony. It looked like a docking bay, but there were no doors to space. There was a circular bump in the middle of the room, and Wraith tanks were scattered across the walls. One had blown up, two were untouched, and one was sparking from a hole in it's armor.
       Peters walked towards the center of the room, trying to figure out where they were. The marines followed behind him, only 40 of them left. They stood in the center of the room. Suddenly, growling could be heard. Squishing noises were rapidly growing closer. Peters realized that the Flood were here again. Before he could say anything, Flood jumped through holes in the ceiling, fell three floors, and landed on the backs of several marines, shattering their spines instantly. Peters opened fire on them, and the rest of the humans followed suit. All the doors on each level opened, and combat forms poured out. There were easily one hundred of them. The marines opened fire on them. The bullets tore apart the Flood on the ground, and some of them hit the Flood jumping down from the upper balconies.
       But there were still too many. Marines who weren't close to the group were overpowered in seconds, covered in combat forms, and beaten to death. The Flood confiscated their weapons and began to shoot at the marines left. There were now bullets flying in all directions of the room. The marines were still too few in numbers to survive this battle. They had less than 30 marines alive now, still fighting against 80 of these undead monstrosities. Just when Peters thought they were dead...
       The lights turned on, and the doors on the ground floor opened again. An Elite with Golden armor stepped out, scanned the room, and barked. Dozens of Jackals, a few Grunts, and twenty Elites ran out of the halls. The Flood stopped fighting for a moment and turned to look at the newcomers. Peters locked eyes with the Golden Elite, saw the expression on his face, and nodded. It appeared to go through to the other marines too. They ignored the Covenant, and shot only at the Flood. The combat forms began to fall now, having bullets tear through their bodies on one side, and have plasma burn their flesh on the other.
       The marines rushed forward, low on ammunition, and started bashing the Flood with their weapons. Karls had somehow gotten a shotgun, shoved it through the chest of a combat form, shot another on the other side, and pulled the shotgun out of the Flood's chest. He slammed the barrel of the shotgun into the side of a combat form's leg, knocking it down. He then put the shotgun onto it's chest, pulled the trigger, and laughed at the puddle of slime.
       Peters pulled out his two pistols, aimed them at different targets, and held the triggers down. The bullets tore through combat forms, and with the new explosive rounds, they exploded, which worked perfectly against the Flood. Peters threw down his dry weapons, ran up to a combat form, and punched his arm through its stomach. He pulled out a rib, jammed it into the Flood's head, and kicked it into a wall.
       The Covenant were working in groups, all shooting at the same targets, then moving on to others. When each member of the group fired one shot, 10 plasma rounds hit a target and killed it instantly. These Covenant were skilled with their weapons, however, so a dozen Flood would go down in a matter of seconds from one group alone. The Gold Elite had a plasma sword, and was hacking through the Flood. Peters watched him for a second, and saw how graceful he moved with it, being able to swing it without touching the blade. The tables were turned now. The Human/Covenant side had twice the numbers as the Flood. The doors opened once again, and bulbous masses of flesh and gas waddled into the room.
       The Covenant seemed to know what they were, and jumped away from them. Peters caught on when one of them exploded, sending little squids into the air. The squids then slithered on their tentacles over to a body, jumped onto them, and shoved a spine down their backs. One marine was caught off guard, and a squid shoved a spine down his throat. Karls seemed to remember these things, and he ran over and ripped it out of the marine. The marine died before he hit the floor. Karls was busy popping it when a combat form came up from behind him.
       "KARLS, LOOK OUT!" Peters yelled.
       Karls turned around in time to see the Flood stab him in the abdomen with a shard of metal. Karls looked down, saw blood flowing out of the wound, and looked up. The world was getting blacker... blacker...
       "KARLS!" Peters yelled.
       The Flood picked up the body and ran out of the room. Several other combat forms did the same, picked up bodies and ran. Peters chased after the combat form with Karls, but Rodriguez tackled him. "NO! He's gone..." She said, pinning Peters down.
       Peters looked through the door into the dark. The doors slowly closed, and Peters wiped the tears out of his eyes. He stood up, now aware of the Covenant still in the room. The marines all slid back towards the wall, out of ammunition and tired. Peters stood where he was. He'd rather die by the Covenant than the Flood. The Golden Elite walked up to Peters.
       There was a moment of scilence. The Elite stood up straight, putting Peters into his shadow. Peters felt sweat trickle down his back. The Elite looked at the marines, then at Peters. He finally turned towards the remaining Covenant, barked at them and turned back. Several Elites and Jackals barked back, looks of anger on their faces and hatred in their voices. The Golden Elite turned back and roared. The roar was so loud, it echoed through the room for a second, then died down. The Grunts walked forward towards the marines and pulled out plasma pistols and rifles. The marines backed farther against the wall, and Peters took a step back. The Grunts walked further forward, leveled their guns at the marines....
       And threw them to the ground at Peters' feet. The Golden Elite tossed his plasma sword to the ground at Peters' feet, stepped forward, then began speaking in a rough English. "You aided us in our cleansing of the ship, so we will aid you to leave. Take these as a way of getting out, for that is all the help you will receive from us." The Elite slouched back over and turned around.
       Peters stood there for a minute, mouth wide open, then began to speak. "Maybe..." He said. "Maybe this battle proves that Humans and Covenant can work together instead of fighting."
       The Elite stopped, turned his head towards Peters, and laughed. "You are still infidels, and your species will die. Now leave before I change my mind and decide it to be better to rid you from the universe and send you to your doom."
       The Covenant laughed, turned towards the door they same in from, and ran through it. The marines stood there for a second, then ran over and picked up one of the weapons. Peters grabbed a plasma rifle and the plasma sword. "Whatever the hell just went on, we still need to get out of this ship."
       The marines nodded and began running through the door on the opposite side of where the Covenant went. Peters was the last one left in the room, looked around then whispered to himself. "Good-bye, friend."
       Peters walked through the door, and the lights flickered once then faded. There was silence in the room for several minutes, then one of the doors opened. A Flood combat form crept out, followed by several more. They picked up all the Human and Covenant corpses and dragged them back to the doors. Three more grabbed all the guns on the ground and ran back into the hallway. The doors closed and the room was silent once again.

To Be Continued.

A Marine Named Peters: The Finale, Part Two: Peters' View
Date: 28 February 2004, 6:56 AM

       Peters was still shaking off the fact that Karls was dead. He had been his only friend for weeks now, making Peters feel lonely. What made him feel even worse was that Karls was going to come back as a Flood warrior and try to kill him. He didn't know if he had the guts to kill his best friend.
       Peters grabbed his last magazine of ammo. He tapped it against his helmet to check that if was full, then jammed it into his assault rifle. '60' flashed across the screen on the MA5B, and Peters sighed. Having a weapon made him feel safer, although not much safer. He looked up to see that the rest of the 24 marines working their way slowly towards the NAV point.
       No one was talking, except for Rodriguez and Aristotle. Peters and Rodriguez were the only ones with helmets left, so they were the only ones able to communicate to the AI. He couldn't stop talking about the surge of information that was flowing through his mind, all the information on the Covenant, all the information on Halo, and most importantly, the 100% accurate map of the warship. He would talk to them for several minutes, then stray off and talk to himself, speaking much faster than any human could, speaking of things no one could understand. Peters eventually muted Aristotle's COM link, focusing more on the sounds of the undead Covenant ship.
       Several marines were praying in different languages. Peters only wished that praying actually worked. He had prayed many times for this awful war to end, only to be responded with the destruction of yet another vital planet.
       A squishing sound behind him forced him to turn. He saw a shadow, black on black, moving quickly. He pulled the trigger on his assault rifle, sending a three-round burst towards the movement. A loud SMACK sound echoed through the halls, then a loud growl. Several marines turned, raised their rifles, and opened fire. 40 bullets tore through the Flood, and it literally exploded into a pile of mush. Peters caught a glimpse of the face, recognizing it as a marine he had seen board the ship with them.
       "Get ready." Peters said, his voice filled with anger. "Here come more."
       Not even a second after Peters finished his sentence, Flood combat warriors burst out of the ceilings, cracks in the walls, and holes in the floors. Gunfire filled the air, and bullets whizzed by Peters' head. He didn't even bother to pick a target. No matter which direction he fired, he was bound to hit one. He held the trigger down, spraying automatic fire across the thin hallway. The explosive bullets were able to tear through the creatures easier than normal, but eventually they would have to reload. And when that happened, the Flood would rush them so quickly that they wouldn't have time to blink.
       "Move towards the NAV point!" Rodriguez shouted over the gunfire. "Quickly! Everyone!"
       Peters finished off his magazine, reached for another clip, and remembered that that was his last one. He turned to run when he felt something brush against his leg. He then remembered the extended magazine that a marine had given him while boarding the ship. He reached into his pocket, felt his hands grab a 20-pound weight, and pulled it out. He shoved the mammoth magazine into his gun, hoisted up to shoulder height, and opened fire.
       The kickback made Peters stumble backwards. The rounds were definitely bigger, as well. He was mowing down Flood faster than he could mow grass with a flamethrower. Lines of Flood fell before him, sending off green gore into the air. Limbs ripped off, flesh tore, bones shattered, bullets pinged off the wall, hit targets, and exploded in their soft torsos. Peters couldn't help but smile seeing the most terrifying things be destroyed.
       After 15 seconds of fire, he let go of the trigger. The rifle had overheated, rendering it useless to him. He threw down the gun, grabbed the plasma sword the Elite had given him, and turned it on. His arm was warmed up instantly, and the hallway was illuminated. Peters' smile instantly faded.
       Although he had completely destroyed dozens of Flood, he had only decimated their numbers. There were easily hundreds of them left pouring down the hallway, gnashing their teeth and flailing their arms. Peters' mouth fell open.
       The first of the Flood warriors came within arm's length of him, and Peters snapped out of his awe. He jammed the plasma sword into the Flood's gut, heard a popping sound, and the Flood liquidated. He tore the blade through three Flood warriors in one consecutive motion, sending their top halves flying backwards. He punched the blade through one's head, sliced it out, cut the legs off another, then spun around to run.
       Several of them grabbed his shoulders and tore off layers of skin. He yelled, turned around, and sliced through their faces. He was covered in green gore, and could hardly breath due to the horrible stench, but more kept coming. He took off his helmet, bashed in the skull of a Flood, kicked in another one's groin, then ripped the plasma sword through a decaying neck.
       "Peters!" he heard Rodriguez yell. "Hurry! We need to lock this door!"
       Peters ripped out the intestines of a Flood, turned, and ran for the door. He passed through the doorway, turned, and started closing the doors. They squeaked together slowly, and Rodriguez ran up and helped him close them. He put his head down and pulled the doors closed with all his might, and realized that he could never get this door closed in time. He had given up hope when...
       Karls ran up from behind him, grabbed the side of the door, and pushed. He was covered in blood, and it took Peters several seconds to recognize him. "...Karls?" Peters whispered to himself.
       He let the door slip from his fingers, in shock that his dead friend was here helping him. "I thought you were..." Peters started.
       He felt the breath leave his chest, even though he hadn't exhaled. He looked straight ahead for a second, vision blurring. He tried to inhale... but couldn't. He raised his hand, touched his chest, and looked at his palms. Blood was flowing out of his chest. He looked down, saw a gaping hole near his lung, and stumbled. He looked through the closing doorway and saw the face of Private Evans, the man who had given him the extended ammunition magazine, smiling with a decaying face.. He was holding an assault rifle, smoke emanating out of the barrel. The doors closed, and the Flood Evans was locked behind it.
       Peters fell back to the floor, vision fading. "Peters!" yelled Karls, running over.
       Karls picked him up, shook his head, and slapped his face. "Don't you die here. Not after all the trouble I went through to get back here and save your ass."
       "...I... thought you... were dead..." Peters said, pain shooting through his chest. "H-how'd you get back?"
       "Plenty of time to tell you back on Earth, friend." Karls said, smiling. "C'mon... stand up... please."
       Peters sat up. "I-it doesn't hurt.... So much... anymore... I think... think I'm getting... better..." He said, looking past both Karls and Rodriguez.
       Karls felt a tear run down his cheek. He knew Peters was going to die, but couldn't admit it. "Remember the time... remember the time when we got signed up for this mission? We were told it'd only last a few days... find Bravo Base and get back home... things sure did get messed up, didn't they?" He said, trying to laugh.
       Peters made a sound that Karls took for a laugh. "Yeah... I never forget bad memories... let's not make this one, ok?"
       Peters coughed. He looked at Karls, his eyes drooping, and struggled to get his words out. "D-d-don't... let... me... become... o-one... of... them..."
       His eyes closed, and his head fell to the side. His last breath blew through his mouth, and his muscles relaxed. He died.

A Marine Named Peters: The Finale, Part Two: Karls' View
Date: 7 May 2004, 5:42 AM

       Karls' head was spinning. Black was all around him, consuming his mind and thoughts. His eyelids were shut tight, closed due to both the utter exhaustion and the subconscious horror.
       Karls didn't know it, but since he had passed out due to blood loss, he had been dragged throughout the Covenant warship by the creatures known as the Flood, lain down in a pile of corpses, both Human and Covenant, and readied to be infested by the Flood.
       Karls' brain was desperately trying to prevent the inevitable. Hundreds upon hundreds of years of evolution were kicking in. His brain was scabbing over minor cuts, and shutting down entire body parts almost entirely. Spiking small amounts of adrenaline into his tired and beaten system, trying to stir some sort of energy spike, causing him to wake up.
       Karls felt less tired now. Although pain was taking over, he was now more-or-less in control of what happened to him. He was still half asleep, but he was remembering how he had passed out. The battle, being stabbed by a hideous creature, carried into the depths of the ship.... Karls jumped up.
       He looked down at the ground. Limbs and blood covered the ground, making the ground look like an abstract piece of art. He was covered in blood, purple, red, and green, and was missing both his rifle and his sidearm. He had no idea where he was until several Flood creatures walked in.
       They didn't seem to notice him at first. They were sorting through bodies, picking out their weapons and ammunition, pulling usable bodies out of the pile and ignoring the useless, twisted bodies of others. They seemed to be learning more and more at a surprising rate. They would pick up a rifle, stare at it for several seconds, then remove the magazine, study it as well, then load the rifle again.
       Karls tried to turn and walk away, but the immense pain caused him to gasp. The Flood warriors turned, realized that one of the Humans were not yet dead, then ran towards him.
       Karls picked up an Elite's helmet from the ground and swung it at the nearest Flood. It smacked into its head with a wet sound, tore it off, and caused a fountain of green blood to spray out. Karls grabbed the Flood's MA5B, tore it out of its decaying hands, and shoved it into the thing's chest. The bullets tore through the creature with ease, spraying the flesh over the walls.
       The other Flood warriors charged. Karls rammed the butt of his rifle into the torso of one, popping the infection form inside of it, causing the body to go limp. He picked one off that was charging at him with several well-aimed shots. The others he just mowed down with automatic fire.
       Karls policed any magazines he could find from the corpses. He felt bad stealing from the dead, but shook off the regret. "It's not like they'll be needing it." He muttered to himself. "Besides, if they don't want me to take it, let's see them stop me."
       He picked up an M6D, a Plasma Pistol, and several magazines for his MA5B. As he walked out of the room, he heard slurping sounds to his left. He looked and saw several infection forms fighting over an Elite's corpse, trying to be the first to take over its spinal cords. He walked over, smashed them all under his boot, and left.
       He knew that taking over the entire ship would be futile. For everything he killed, there would undoubtedly be several more things ready to take his place. His only options were to A, find the rest of his squad, or B, find the Covenant and hope they'll help out again.
       Choice A sounded much better.
       It wasn't that hard to find out where his squad was heading. He just had to follow the trail of re-killed Flood, bullet holes, and empty shells. The problem was the Flood was following them, as well. They were infecting several bodies that he passed, which he immediately eradicated. He was able to pick off several Warriors, along with countless infection forms. After several minutes of jogging, he came across a section of ship that had its power knocked out. Without a flashlight, he was forced to lean against the wall and feel his way through the hallways.
       He passed a dead Jackal, and noticed that his cracked Plasma Pistol was glowing, creating a green light. He pulled out his Plasma Pistol and held down the trigger. The overcharging plasma illuminated the hallway with a bright green hue. He held it above his head and started walking down the hall.
       The echoing sounds of guns and yells started to reach his ears. Without him knowing it, Karls began to run faster. Eventually he was sprinting until he could hear voices he recognized. "Move towards the NAV point!" He heard Rodriguez yelling. "Quickly! Everyone!"
       Anything said after that was drowned out by long, automatic gunfire. He turned the corner, ducked, and jumped back around as he saw dozens of Floods being cut down with armor piercing bullets. He saw green blood spraying around the corner, and bullets pinging off the walls. "Better find a different way." He said to himself.
       He doubled back, making sure not to get lost, and turned around a different corner. He ran down a long hallway, which brought him around the fighting, and near the back of his allies. "Hurry! We need to lock this door!" He heard Rodriguez yelling.
       He turned a corner, and his hearts lifted to see Rodriguez and Peters alive and fighting, along with several other marines. Peters was desperately trying to close a large door, Rodriguez was helping. They would never make it on their own, so Karls ran up and helped them. Peters looked up at him, gasped, and spoke. "Karls? I thought you were..."
       Peters fell back as a bullet tore through his rib cage. Karls closed the door, and sat down next to him. The next minutes were agonizing. It's hard enough to die yourself, but the pain is even worse to lose a friend to death. Although he could not remember much of the conversation, he remembered Peters' last request. "Don't let me become one of them."
       Karls sat there for a second, everything else meaning nothing. For several seconds, he forgot that certain death was being delayed by a thin metal door, but Rodriguez screaming at him was enough to snap him out of it.
       Karls stood up, grabbed Peters' body, and held him over his shoulders. "What in God's name are you doing?" She asked. "He's dead, for God's sake."
       "I'm going to get him out of here. Dead or alive, Peters will see Earth one more time." Karls said.
       "Goddamn it, Karls! This isn't a goddamn Disney movie! Just put his Goddamn body on the Goddamn floor and get the Hell out of here!" She yelled, running away.
       Karls watched her run out of sight, set Peters down, and grabbed a rifle drenched in blood. "There's no way we're going to make it out of here alive." Karls said, and then he laughed. "Well, you know that already, don't you? I have survived many battles with Humans, with Covenant, and a couple battles with these creatures. Not one of them did I flee from the battlegrounds. This is no different. Outnumbered, out gunned, tired, beaten, and dying. My kind of odds."
       "I'm a goddamn army of one, assholes. Come and get me."

A Marine Named Peters: Veni, Vidi, We Got Our Asses Kicked
Date: 28 November 2004, 11:25 PM

       The doors were starting to glow. The Flood were sentient, but that doesn't make them geniuses. Sure, they could have pulled the doors open, but why do that when you can melt them?

       Karls stood there, staring intently at the growing red circle spreading from the center of the door towards the outer rims. He stared down at the ammo reading on the small monitor on his MA5B, saw it read in the 50's, and looked back up. Rodriguez had pulled back some marines to help with the fight, but Karls knew it didn't matter. A medic had dragged the corpse of Peters towards the back of the group. Karls didn't notice what the medic was saying, but it was obviously important enough to make Rodriguez help carry him.

       The doors were turning white now, and heat could be felt from where they were standing. It was the most light they had seen in almost an hour in this makeshift hell. Karls could hear growling on the other side of the door. His heart started beating faster, and adrenaline, constantly flowing for almost a week now, made him ignore some of the smaller cuts and bruises on his body.

       A few shots were heard from the other side of the door, the distinct whine of plasma rifles. Then, there were more. For some reason, however, the door started cooling, albeit very slowly, turning back into a bright red. That meant that the plasma fire was pointed back instead of at the sealed gateway.

       Another marine noticed this, too. "What's going on? Why aren't they trying to get through the door anymore?"

       Silence answered, and it answered loudly.

       After a few moments, more loud growls and plasma fire filled the air. A loud SWOOSH! Tore through the sounds, and the distinct SPLAT of Flood corpses hitting the ground echoed through the ship. A grenade went off, blowing a small section of the door off. A marine went up to it, shoved his shotgun into the hole, and pumped several shells into the hallway beyond.

       The marine screamed as an Elite hand, a real Elite, not a mutated Combat Form Flood, pulled the gun out of his hand. A garbled English voiced came through the notch in the door. "Let us in, and we swear on our honor you will not die by our hands."

       Karls walked up to the door. "Who's there?" He said, anger and sarcasm filling his voice.

       The Elite half-roared, half-sighed, and reached for something on his belt. Karls and the unarmed marine backed off as a plasma sword hissed to life and cut I bright red line through the door. Several Grunt fingers stuck through the crack and pulled each half outwards.

       Every marine, with the exception of the unarmed one, put the Gold Elite in their sights immediately. The unarmed marine reached for a grenade, but the Gold Elite grabbed his arm, pulled it towards him, then pushed him back, knocking over a pair of marines.

       "As of now, you are our only allies." He said, apparent anger filling his voice. "You are the closest things to an ally. Our leaders have abandoned us, and our dead are seeking retribution for our sins. We have noticed your weapons are somewhat... more efficient at the cleansing of the Flood, and we are offering you... a trade."

       Every marine's mouth opened wide. "Wait- why aren't you killing us?" Karls asked.

       The Elite turned and looked at him. "Your squad, if you could call it such, has killed more Flood than my ex-unit. I have decided that you were an asset to several small battles we have fought, and that is reason to let you live for a short while longer. We will give you your lives in exchange for your weaponry."

       Karls looked at another Private, who shrugged in return. "Well, we aren't really in-"

       Rodriguez stepped over one of the marines still struggling to stand from before. "That's up to me to decide. You're telling us to give you OUR weapons, and in exchange, we might survive. No deal."

       The Elite sighed. "Very well. I offered you safe passage, and you declined." He turned and walked away. To the Grunts left standing he said, "Kill them."

       Before half the Grunts could lift their weapons, dozens of bullets tore through the air, pocketing their small bodies with bloody craters. Of the 15 Grunts that entered, the 2 who were already outside the room were the only to survive. "Well, that was pointless." Karls said.

       "Agreed. Everyone, let's continue to the hangars." Rodriguez barked.

       Low on ammunition, the Marines, only about 15 left now, slowly crept their way towards the NAV point. So far, since the incident with the Elite, no Flood had detected them. The NAV marker was only about 500 feet way when a single infection form was spotted, gliding across an adjacent hall on it's tentacles. Someone shot a 3-round burst at it, and it popped, sending ribbons of flesh into the air and splattering a small amount of green blood onto the walls. Everyone held their breath, knowing that where ever one Flood was, the rest were there too. Hopefully they had been quiet enough to evade the rest, but obviously they were not.

       The next hallway down, about 50 feet, split into 2 directions, both of which shot out Combat Forms life a faucet turned on. Ceiling panels behind them burst open, and infection forms rained out. No one waited for Rodriguez's order to fire, but under the circumstances, she was not annoyed in the slightest.

       Karls grabbed a grenade off of a fellow soldier's belt, pulled the pin, and tossed it down the hall. It landed behind the first wave of Combat forms, exploded, and pinged shrapnel around, popping several more infection forms and tearing ex-Elites to shreds. The marines in the back were having a slightly harder time, trying to coordinate firing patterns so they wouldn't all reload at the same time and give the infection forms a chance to overrun them.

       Rodriguez ordered the small group to slowly move forward, trying to get to the hangar bay. The marines in the back crouch-walked backwards, and one of them tripped trying to do this difficult task. As he fell out of the small circle, a fellow marine grabbed his collar and attempted to pull him back while firing, but couldn't do both things at once. The fallen marine tried to stand, and took friendly fire in the chest. He stopped for a second, stared at the hole in his ballistic armor, and grimaced. He fell backwards, and an infection form stuck a small spine through the bullet wound and burrowed it's way into his torso. Just as his skin was turning a dark green color, Karls turned and put a burst of bullets into his dead comrade's stomach, popping the small squid-like creature, which also caused the man's intestines to burst out.

       So far, they were able to keep the Flood somewhat at bay, but they were dangerously low on ammunition. Rodriguez was shouting into a microphone on her helmet, yelling for a dropship from the Sparticus. Apparently, no one heard her, because she swore loudly into the mic. "Aristotle, are you still connected to the Covenant's onboard computer?" She asked.

       Aristotle, who was still in her helmet, answered through a private Com link to her, so only she was able to hear his response. "Good, now, I want you to rupture that small control panel right at that corner." She said, cutting herself off every few words to fire at another enemy.

       A second later, there was a spark at a small hologram down the hall, and a large bright blue explosion, the size of a few plasma grenades, incinerated the remaining Flood in front of them. "RUN!" Rodriguez shouted, and every marine stood and ran forward, outrunning the small Infection forms chasing after them, lusting to infect one of them.

       The distance to the Hangar Bay seemed to rapidly decrease, as all of them were running as fast as their bruised legs and heavy armor would allow them to. One marine got hit in the neck by a panel falling from the ceiling, which tore his artery and sprayed blood into the air. His voice was nothing more than a simple gurgle and no one saw him fall, as he was in the back. He didn't bleed out fast enough, and was able to watch as a sea of Infection forms pours over his body, each one tearing at him, trying to be the one that got hold of his nervous system first.

       The rest of the group was only 100 feet from the hangar and could see the last door in their way. Everyone was shouting, half excitement for their oncoming departure from this hell hole, half terror. They reached the door, but it wouldn't open. Rodriguez pressed on her earphone, and turned and shouted, obviously more nervous than she had every been. "The ships shields are down, and the hangar doors are open. This door is an airlock, and it won't open until the next room has pressure." She paused for a moment. "Aristotle is turning on the shields now... wait... 3 Pelicans are inbound, ETA 2 minutes. Aristotle, put up the hangar doors the SECOND they arrive!"

       "Everyone, hold out until this door opens!" She shouted.

       Everyone's Assault Rifles and Shotguns were pointed straight ahead. The only sound now was breathing and the shaking of their hands. Whenever it got quiet, it seemed, the Flood were always getting closer. Karls leaned up against the wall, breathing hard, and closed his eyes for less than a second before he felt the heat of the assault rifles firing next to him. He opened his eyes and didn't even point his gun before he held down the trigger. Combat form carrying grenades charged at them. The first line on marines, about 5 in total, shot them before they got close. Their legs tore out from under them, and the grenades detonated on the floor, causing a 3 second lapse in the Flood's advance.

       Most of the Combat forms were not carrying weapons, but they were still dangerous. They were hurling bones torn out of corpses as spears, most of which not sharp enough to pierce the Kevlar and battle armor. One spear, however, caught a marine in a joint, and he fell to the ground, screaming. The marines around him pushed him towards the back, where another body lie. Karls looked at it, and realized it was the corpse of Peters. "Rodriguez!" He shouted over the gunfire. "What is Peters doing here?"

       "Every corpse we leave behind becomes one of those things, and we had the time to grab him before we left!" She yelled back.

       "He's dead! Why don't we just leave him?" He said, but was drowned out by a grenade explosion.

       Shrapnel caught 2 Marines in the gut, and they bleed out within seconds, screaming terribly. There were only 10 people left, now, and not a single magazine to spare. One by one, their guns emptied, and the Flood stopped their advance. A growl passed amongst them, sounding somewhat like a combined laugh, and slowly, the moved forward. Intelligent enough to realize there was no threat, they lowered their arms.

       Karls pressed back against the airlock, and silently prayed he had a bullet left to end his life, when over Rodriguez's earpiece, loud enough to be heard by Karls, Aristotle said, "Hangar bays closed! Opening Airlock!"

       The door opened, and the marines fell backwards to the ground. "C'MON BOYS, IT'S PARTY TIME!" Karls heard someone yell, then saw a group of six marines carrying miniguns towards the open doorway. For a second, he could have sworn he heard a Combat warrior swear, then everything was drowned out by the constant shrill whine of hundreds of bullets tearing through the air.

       "WHAT THE HELL ARE THESE THINGS?" One marine carrying a minigun said with a heavy Australian accent.


       The 10 marines who had been sent on the preliminary mission stood up and raced for the Pelican, which was hovering above the hangar floor. The 6 rescue marines saw that they had boarded the Pelican, and slowly started to walk backwards, still holding the triggers down. "I'M HALF EMPTY!" One shouted.


       Karls, still in shock, buckled into a seat and thought to himself, Man, these guys are crazier than I am. After another 30 seconds, the guns emptied themselves, and the 6 marines dropped them, turned around, and sprinted back into the Pelican. "CLOSE THE DAMN DOORS!" They yelled in unison as the last one sat down. Rodriguez, closest to the front, pounded a large red button on the wall, and the Pelican door shut quick, sealing them inside. They heard pounding on the armor, and then Aristotle, who Rodriguez had inserted into a small slot in the Pelican's control panel, said, "Hangar bays open."

       Before the pilot closed the thing door separating the cockpit and the cargo bay, Karls saw Combat forms being sucked into space and freezing instantly.

       Rodriguez was about to congratulate them on surviving, but saw that everyone, save the 6 marines who had just arrived, was already asleep from exhaustion.