Death's Reapers by SpartanSRS
Chapter 1: [Landfall]
Date: 15 November 2010, 11:19 pm
PROLOGUE: Several years after the invasion of Earth and the events of which ensued, humanity has begun to rebuild and explore the universe. Several alliances have been formed with small groups of former Covenant enemies, and the UNSC has begun the exploration of the remainder of a galaxy long ravaged by war. Spartans have also begun to be reinstated to the UNSC, very few have actually been called to combat during this peace time.
Spartans have gone onto the forth generation, rolling back the numbers from one to two thousand Spartans have been generated through the Spartan IV program. Though there is little difference between the Spartan II program and Spartan IV program, it stands as a combination of the better parts of both the Spartan II and III programs to create hypothetically the "perfect" Spartan. Advances in cloaking, shielding, and augmentations have made this series of Spartans the most successful of the century.
Aboard the UNSC frigate Transcending Lance, a horrible slip space jump goes wrong, and the ship along with its Covenant allies are trapped in a horrible nightmare.
Chapter 1: Landfall [An excerpt from the developing novel Death's Reaper]
As the titanic frigate explodes out of slip space, electronics are fried and systems are shut down. Numerous minuscule explosions litter the hull of the ship, and panicked crewmen and women jump towards control panels to stop the fires that flourished in the contained environment.
"Lieutenant! Damage report!" barked Admiral Parse.
"Sir, we've lost all systems in decks C and D." replied Capt. Ela.
"Joshua, have you detected any contacts in the vicinity?"
"No Admiral, although I have detected multiple... Never mind just look up" snapped the AI.
Admiral Parse looks up in horror. Hundreds. No, thousands of alien Covenant ships lay lifeless. Their hulks bleeding plasma into the mouth of space. Ahead lay seven planets, each equally aligned in a circle around the sun. The Admiral hadn't even noticed the sun. It glowed a deathly black, as if reaching out to sear the retinas of his eyes. Coils of metal sprouted and erupted from the dying hulks of unfortunate ships. The idea of it was horrifying, a sun or mechanical abomination that engulfed and obliterated objects for its own survival. Men and women across the ship viewed it as some demonic life form.
"Admiral, our Slip space drive is fried. We're stuck here," reported Cpl. Ryan.
"Send out some probes, I have a feeling... we're not alone here."
Encroaching darkness peered over the sun, waiting for its chance to strike.
"Men, we've discovered remains of a Covenant fleet, judging by the wreckage a gruesome battle must have taken place here. Our A.I has also detected life signs on the following planets. Planet one will be designated as Alpha, and Planet two will be designated as Delta. We will scour both the planets and ships to repair our crippled frigate. Any questions?"
The officers and generals present nod in agreement. Each waiting for one another to take the next move. The Covenant Elites were the first to rise.
"How do we know the life forms aren't... hostile?"
"We don't. That's why we're sending a scout party down shortly to find out."
"Do we have any intel on these life forms?"
"From what Joshua's been able to gather, the first species go by the name of 'Drinols', we're unsure if they are a major threat."
The Elite grunts and leaves the room. The hunter pair, A'vent Matri and his brother, follow mindlessly hoping for something much more interesting to happen. Capt. Amup and Spartan 047 clamber out of their way, shuddering in the shadow of the hunters.
"Well, back to the point," begins Admiral Parse, "We'll need a couple of volunteers for the first reconnaissance team on Alpha."
"Sir!" shouts Captain Jackson, "The Orbital Drop Shock Troopers will be glad to take your offer!"
"Very well, we'll need more than fifteen ODSTs to cover a planet now! Come on people!"
"Permission to speak sir," announced Spartan 149.
"Surely the ODSTs will need some heavy support, let me and Spartan 151 assist over them."
"All volunteers are greatly appreciated, that about wraps it all up dismissed."
Officers glance around for their platoons and the mysterious Spartans slip into their chambers. This was going to be a long night.
In the ODST barracks each member helped each other equip their armor. The special operations unit had weathered through a lot worse than this, several of them were old veterans from the historic Covanant war. Afterwards they headed into the armory. With dozens of guns to choose from, their time spent was long. Some of the best marksmen chose the DMR, otherwise known as the Designated Marksman Rifle, while other went the versatile Battle Rifle. Next came the Spartans, each in unique ornate armors. Glints of gold sparkling off their visors from the dim fluorescent lights. With precise confidence they chose their weapons in an instant.
"Sir! Capt. Agib reporting for duty!" hollers the young and ambitious pelican pilot."
"So you'll be our pilot?" inquires Spartan 149.
"Sir yes sir! I've got two Warthog reconnaissance vehicles ready to go and another pilot to transport the other squad on the two Pelicans."
"Good, we'll be seeing you shortly."
Transcending down through the wreckage was harder than we thought. The ODSTs couldn't risk an orbital drop due to the severe amount of wreckage. Capt. Agib struggled to dodge the floating harbingers of death. But he still got us out in one piece as did the other pilot.
Examining the landscape hence smashing through the atmosphere we noticed large amounts of desert. Sand dunes the size of the largest skyscrapers were seen for miles, little vegetation was noticed on the crackling hot sand. Wildlife was very scarce from an aerial perspective, it was as if this entire planet was dead. The group noticed very few things on the surface of the sand, however several holes littered the ground. This gave us a huge disadvantage. The instance we decide to land could be a unrecoverable fall into a death trap. Joshua notified us that there were significant signs of rogue Covenant chatter in the network. Giving a sign to Agib and the squad, guns locked and loaded we prepared to drop. Then it became a living nightmare. Unknown serpentine lifeforms exploded out of the underlying sand. A phalanx of worms surrounded the two lone air transports.
Gouts of sand rocketed into the sky. Shrieks and roars echoed in the arid desert air.
"Capt. Agib take evasive action!" shouted Spartan 149.
"I can't! The engines are clogged with sand!"
The pelican glides precariously above the surface as both engines sputter inconsistently.
"Capt. Jackson, what's your status?"
"We're still good to go, how about you?"
"We're dead in the water, engines are clogged with sand, and the worms will come back any minute."
"We'll give you cover fire from the pelican, take the Warthog and get to the nearest mountain!"
"Roger that, good luck Captain."
"Good luck to you too," grimaced Capt. Jackson.
The Warthog roared to life, getting in while in the air was a risky thing. Capt. Agib was eased into the passenger seat and Spartan 151 manned the gunner seat.
"Hold on, this is going to be a rough ride," grunted Spartan 149.
The pelican was buffeted by worms and sand in the air. A following explosion followed as the pelican was gnarled under horrendous amounts of stress and tissue. The explosion seemed as if to have little effect on the fury of the worms. If they had lingered a few seconds later they would've been dead. Capt. Jackson's pelican opened fire with its entire load of missiles and the chain gun. They took down several worms but dozens replaced them. The Warthog twisted and turned to avoid the serpentine worms. Spartan 151 shot load after load into their thick thighs but it only fueled their rage.
"Spartan! We've run out of ammunition, we'll try to distract the worms and meet you at the mountain!" shouts Capt. Jackson.
"Negative! Send out a signal for reinforcements! We'll be dead before we reach the mountain!"
"Si-" The Captain was cut off.
The transmission was too weak to send anything out now.
The worms erupt ferociously out of the sand similarly to dolphins in water, leaping eagerly towards their prey. Spartan 151 found difficulty trying to decapitate the worms, for it appeared nothing would work on them.
Capt. Agib pulls out a Spartan laser from the trunk of the Warthog.
"I knew we would need this sooner or later."
Spartan 149 nods in approval. Capt. Agib aims carefully letting the crimson weapon of death charge. A single blast alone could take out the most robust tanks of the Covenant and UNSC alike. Spartan 149 hopes the same applies to these monstrous creatures. A blast of fury impales the leading worm hitting it in the gut, the air immediately fills with burnt flesh as spilled entrails of liche purple blood explode from the carcass. Surprised by this new weapon they flee. Reaching the base of the mountain the team rests in a nearby cave.
"We're probably going to be stuck here for awhile." sighed Spartan 151.
"As long as we don't move and set up a visible signal for the others to see we'll be fine."
The light of the flares pierced the night sky; pelicans scoured the air at high altitudes. Not wanting their birds to be swallowed as Agib's did.
"Hey! I've found them, they're over by the base of the mountain," squawked Lt. Owens, "I'm beginning my descent to pick them up, watch my back."
"Roger that Owens." replied the others in unison.
The trio carefully loaded up into the pelican, each equally weary and tired.
"Looks like you guys have been through a hell of a battle eh?" remarked Owens.
The three murmured in agreement too tired to say anything. Just glad that they didn't have to put up with any more ambushes from mutant worms.