[Contact - Chapter 1] Not Covenant...
Date: 16 April 2003, 9:02 PM
The Pelican flew low. Too low infact. It skimmed barely metres above the tree-like vegetation of the Covenant outpost world. The Marines of Bravo Two Zero. They were the best soldiers avalible, humans soldiersthat is. Not Cyborgs.
Tension filled the compartment, not to mention sweat, and the faint echo of a man's last words. It was suicide. But necessary. The armada of mismatched ships, like a patchwork quilt: the sole survivors from Reach had struck Covenant territory. Soon their ships would arrive, board the human ships in search of the Covenant holy grail: the map to Earth.
Bravo Two Zero need to buy them some time.
On Reach they had amassed a small folitila of both civilian and military ships just after the departure of The Pillar Of Autumn with the last two SPARTAN-II models. Contact with Keyes the captain was lost and the ship's electronic signature was offline: a sign that clearly stated it had been downed.
With the SPARTAN-II project lost, hope was failing for the human race. Evidence of Earth had been destoyed at reach. But with so many civilian ships, in the poor excuse for an armada ,with that knowledge, any one of them could be singled out in a conflict and the vital infomation obtained.
With only twenty men, two jungle hogs, a a scorpion, the men of Bravo two zero had to accomplish the mammoth task of simulating a full scale assult on the covenant base.
"One minute to Drop zone", shouted the nervous Pelican pilot of 'Cowboy'. The 'I don't want to die' factor was clear in his voice as he issued the promt to get ready.
No one spoke as weapons were checked and prayers muttured. The other two Pelicans could be clearly seen as nights cloak was cast off by the multiple suns of the Covenant controlled world. Bravo Two Zero braced themselves for the flak that could halt their underpowered attack.
It didn't come.
'Drop Zone accuired!' Yelled the Cowboy's pilot as the engines screamed into a diving land. Within seconds the Marines landed, disengaged the warthog, and lay down fire at the enemy. It was a textbook manuovre. Except no fire was needed to secure the area. No stationry guns needed disabling, nor any wounded needed air-lifting out.
It had already been done.
Covenant bodies lay scattered around the startled marines of Bravo Two Zero. Grunts cleanly decapitated and Elitles taken down by pinpoint accuracy. Whatever had done this was far avanced than the Covenant race, and definately more so than the Human race.
The only thing that was to turn up results was the perimeter estalishing troops. Or troop - as only one returned to say that the Master Chief and other Spartans had opened fire on them with weapons unlike anything experienced before.
But the Master Chief was dead when the Pillar Of Autumn crashed? Anyway why were there more spartans? Or more interestingly, why did they open fire on their own side?
Bravo Two Zero needed Answers. Quickly
Lt. Nicholas Godspeed assessed the situation. He could hear the screams of Marines in the Jungle a stone's throw away. He swore. Not just once.
"Lets get this show moving!", he commanded throught the squad's radio connection. "I want a ride outta here pronto! Cowboy!"
The Pelican decended to ground level next to the shattered remains of the Covennant Outpost. The seven strong group of Marines hurried to it at their top speed. Leaving anything that might slow them behnd. That included the Scorpion. The Warthogs however could be heard in the not-too-far distance.
"Get outta here Bravo, save yourselves!"
"We can't fight their weapons"
"Our equipment is useless"
The desperate cries of the disbanded Marines of Bravo Two Zero echoed accross the broadcasting channel. Their last stands and weapons made no difference to this advanced race, concluded the Lieutenant.
"Cirle the tree tops or whatever the vegetation is, we need to extract Marines", issued Godspeed.
"Marines you heard the Lieutenant! Lets lay down fire to save Marines, and at the same time find out whats killin' em!", shouted the grizzled militaristic sergant. Godspeed's three year service made him look like a greenhorn compared to the sergant.
Disaster struck. The loss of Flak earlier had turned up. In true revenge style this flak was stronger. Too strong for the Pelican's armour.
"Cowboy is going down! Her vital signs are dropping Sir" Screamed the pilot at Godspeed. The Flak from the unknown enemy had pox-marked the transport with holes. Smoke blackened the sights and lungs of the remaining shamble of Marines left as the Pelican decended rapidly. Warning klaxstons turned the flying coffin into a disco from hell as death waited, sycthe ready.
Itcouldn't get worse. Until the radio buzzed into life.
"You can't run. You can't hide. You can't fight"