Earth's Destruction by Sentinel
Earth's Destruction Chapter 1: The Invasion
Date: 30 November 2003, 7:58 AM
"Floor it!" yelled Corporal James McFarland as he fired the Warthog's LAAG. 50mm rounds flew into the dark sky at incoming Banshees. PFC Garret Reck screamed "Damn, damn, damn!" as the Banshees fired their plasma cannons at the two Marines trying to escape alive. Bullets were flying in every direction at the hundreds of Banshees that carpeted the sky.
This was Earth in its worst nightmare; invaded and nearly helplss, except for the things on the suface. McFarland didn't get why the Covenant didn't glass the planet from orbit instead of coming to where the Human forces waited. Glassing Earth was clearly a lot easier than invading. So why do it?
It had all started with a few U-shaped Covenant dropships, then escalated to hundreds of dropships and Banshees.
It was a miracle that they were still alive.
"Keep this thing moving!" McFarland yelled to his driver.
"I'm giving it all I can!" Reck replied ashe hit the accelerator harder. "I can'tgive it any more than this!"
McFarland shook his head. "Well give it more or we'll be fried!"
We're all doomed, McFarland thougt as he fired the LAAG at the incoming Banshees, destroying a few. They were now dropping like flies. It was insane that this many Covenant troops were attacking the two Marines and never scoring a direct hit.
Covenant Elites, Jackals, and Grunts were swarming out of the fog like ants. One Elite was stupid enough to run in front of the LRV and was sucked under the off-road tires.
"Do you think that hurt?" Reck asked the Corporal over the sound of battle.
A Bnshee had swooped in from behind and fired its fuel rod cannons at the all-terrain vehicle. Corporal McFarlad looked behind him and saw the plasma blast. He knew it wasn't going to miss. He had barely managed to scream, "Oh shit!" before the plasma bolt hit him ad flipped the LRV end over end.
Private Reck managed to climb out of the flipped Warthog and looked at McFarland's burning corpse. He looked away shaking. He grabbed his MA5B assault rifle and ran as fast as he could from the smoldering wreckage.
Everytime he saw a Covenant soldier(and he saw many)he would fre so many rounds into it so that it would be a puddle of shit soaking in the blood-stained grass. Grunts, Jackals, and Elites fell as the many assault rifle rounds tore them apart. He spared none. "Die you bastards!" he screamed in desperation.
It was all hell until a Banshee flew straight at him. It was now worse. The Banshee slowly grew larger. He aimed his MA5B and fired on automatc until the clip was expended. The Banshee was only three meters away.
"God, help me," Private Reck said as the Banshee filled his sight...
The Covenant had invaded and were attacking humans in a city. Marines were engaging Covenant soldiers and vice versa. This had to be the worst battle of their lives. Death rained around this city.
Sergeant Tom Anderson fired his MA5B at a gold-armored Elite yelling, "Oh, I didn't realize you wanted more!" It took almost a full clip to break its shielding. He fired te remaining rounds in his assault rifle at the unshielded Elite.
It dropped to the ground, dead. They were now coming in on Ghosts, in Wraith mortar tanks, and in the Banshees that filled the dark sky. This planet was now a living hell.
"Come' on Marines!" Sergeant Anderson yelled. "There are Scorpion tanks behind these buildings waiting to be used. If you want protection and firepower, then fallow me."
This was enough motivation to cause every Marine to run as fast as possible. No one wanted to be killed by the Covenant.
Unfortunately, this was not their lucky day. A Wraith tank had infultraited the area, and was hurtling mortar bombs at the Marine's position as they tried to flee. One Marine had a rocket launcher with him and was aiming at the tank when an energy bomb burned him to cinders. The rocket launcher discharged its 102mm round a second before the mortar bomb consumed the Marine. The rocket flew into the tank's firing turrent and blew the tank, and the Elite operating it, to hell.
The small band of Marines finally reached the Scorpion Tanks they were told of. Four were sitting there, unused. Two Marines climbed into each while the rest sat on the track pods. "To bad we have clean-up duty," a Marine said wearily. It was gonna be a long day.
To be continued...
Earth's Destruction Chapter 2: The Battle of
Date: 3 December 2003, 11:50 PM
The four Scorpion tanks moved through the nearly destroyed Earth city. Two tanks fird at the Banshees in the sky while the other two destroyed Covenant ground troops. The Banshees came in straight lines, not a good strategy.
Plasma came from the Banshees at the tank, but seemed to be fired in random directions. Not one of them scored a direct hit.
"More ground troops." Sergeant Anderson yelled, firing his sniper rifle at everything that moved. The second and fourth tanks turned their firing turrents at the enemies location. The two tanks fired at the same time.
The plasma weapons from Banshees, Ghosts, and other plasma weapons had started to melt Tank 1's armor. But it held. The snipers on the tanks took out every enemy that the tanks couldn't handle, or that got so close that the tank gunner couldn't fire without killing the men on the track pods.
A Banshee seperated from the groups, and fired its fuel rod cannons. "Oh shit!" screamed Private Ray Caraway as the green plasma melted most of him and the tank. Only the gunner remained alive. He sat in small area where the gunner mainly sat. He, and the crippled tank, was consumed by a Wraith tank's mortar bomb.
"Where the hell are those fucking tanks?" Corporal Tyler Smith demanded.
Private John Turner turned to face him. "No idea sir." Turner saw an Elite leap at him. Without thinking he fired his sniper rifle. The round blasted through the Elite's head. The body landed next to him.
"Damn lucky shot." Smith muttered, shoving the body away. There was now more Covenant on the streets.
Smith looked at the ground as if noticing it for the first time. There were plasma grenades, lots of plasma grenades. There was enough to fill a fifty story skyscraper. A load explosion behined him told him that if a grenade went off, they could all be dead.
He turned around in time to see Tank 4 be thrown five feet in the air, crushing its riders when it landed. He turned around and yelled at his squad on Tank 3, "No one throw a grenade!"
Too late. The clinking sound frag grenades made when they hit hard ground told him that he was about to die. The explosion set off every plasma grenade around the doomed riders. Hundreds of explosions sent Smith's squad to their graves.
But on of them was lucky. Smith woke up on a low ledge of a nearby building. He looked around, then tried to stand. As he got on his knees he grabbed something. A blue smoke apeared in front of his eyes. Then he realized what it was. It was a plasma grenade!
He didn't even have time to scream as the blue-white explosion took his life.
Now only Tank 2 remained...
* * * *
"Get out of here!" Corporal Jack O' Conner screamed in despiraton as he fired his MA5B on full auto. "I'll try to hold them off as long as I can!"
The civilians looked around, and began to run. Covenant force blocked their escape route and hosed them down with plasma fire. Jack turned around and fired at his new(and old) threat. He cut the Covenant on his flank down to size and ran to temporary protection. The Covenat advanced.
Jack fired at the advancing Covenantuntil his ammo counter read 00. He tossed the empty assault rifle away and ran down the street. He found a rocket launcher as he ran. It was fully loaded. Ten Banshees came from the sky in a strait line. Jack took careful aim, and fired! The rocket hit the first Banshee, causing a chain reaction! It was a lucky shot.
He continued running. A Covenant Wraith tank appeared from around the corner. Jack stopped in his tracks. He then crouched to one knee and fired the launcher. The launcher hit, but the Wraith shrugged off the hit. It turned in his direction, and launched a mortar bomb fifty feet straight up in the air.
"Let's blast that tank to hell!" Jack looked up. He knew that voice. It was Sergeant Anderson!
A Scorpion tank appeared from the intersection. Jack was safe now. But he forgot about the mortar bomb the Wraith just launched.
"A mortar bomb is coming right at us!"
The Marines scrambled off the tank, trying desperately to evacuate the area around the tank. But they could not deny the inevitable. The mortar bomb landed and flash fried the Marines.
"No!" Jack yelled. Covenant forces ran into the seemingly "safe" area like cockroches. Jack looked at the ground and saw the grnades. He was now determined t kill every Covenant soldier. No matter what the cost. And he would repay them in full.
To be continued...
Earth's Destruction Chapter 3: Glassed
Date: 6 December 2003, 6:27 AM
It has begun, and they do not know it. Yet the burning heat of plasma has struck this world like so many others ot there. It barely remains. All that is left is one city. One city with all that is left of humanity, one city that we now call home.
Their fleet demolished our forces into dust. Their fleet "glassed many human colonies. They made the human race classified as "endangered" after more than one hundred years of war.
Only a handful of ships escaped, each carrying civilians and soldiers alike. Others that remain are the SPARTAN IVs. But there are not enough left to fight the enemy at full force.
They had managed to escape by using something several Spartan II's found and recovered on Reach, but was destroyed. There was another...
The Covenant have been whiping out every force we had. The Inner Colonies were gone. All that was left was Earth. They attacked frequently until we lost almost everything. This time they got lucky. The date is June 9, 2625. And the Armageddon has begun...
* * * * * * *
Jack threw every grenade he could find at the appraching Covenant forces. Grunts with plasma grenades ran back to their friends screaming, "Get it off! Get it off!", or just plain screaming as they took them all to the fiery depths of hell. The grenades bounced off Jackals' shields and flew straight up. They then latched onto the unsuspecting Jackal's face. Elites were a different story. They usually dodged the glowing blue spheres. Jack's only hope of taking them out was with the Grunts. Jack really wasn't searching for a target, he just threw rapidly at anything that moved. Some grenades missed, but the rest hit.
"This is what you get for trying to kill us off without a reason!" he screamed as a plasma grenade attached to something he couldn't see. After the grenade detonated, however, he saw that it was a camouflaged Elite.
A voice came through his helmet speakers. "This is Sergeant Ryan Tompson. If anyone can hear this, please respond. Over."
Jack keyed his mike. "This is Corporal Jack O'Conner, I read you loud and clear. Over."
Then a bunch of voices came over the frequency at the same time. "Fall back!", "The enemy has us surrounded!"
Then finally, the Sergeant's voice came through. "Fall back to this position." A small circular NAV pointer appeared on his transparent eyescreen. "This is where the pelican will pick us up. Get there ASAP. Over and out."
"No problem." Jack finished killing the rest of the Covenant near him with nice grenade throwing, and finally could rest. He leaned against an overturned LRV and spotted one of ONI's latest projects. The SM8B assault rifle.
ONI reverse-engineered the Covenant's plasma batteries that they used in plasma pistols and rifles. But this was more like a work of art, with powerful destructive capabilities. It was an assault rifle, sniper rile, grenade launcher, and a Covenant shade all in one. Insted of using human bullets, however, SM8B's used plasma rounds. The battery that the SM8B depended on was more like an ammo clip, or a double A battery, but with more power. The batteries held at least five hundred plasma rounds each. There was only fifty ever made.
Jack couldn't belive what he was staring at. He quickly picked it up and activated it. He picked up five more of the compact plasma batteries lying carelessly on the burnt street. He started running.
"Corporal O'Conner. Do you copy? Over." The voice was unfamilar.
"I copy. Who is this? Over."
"This is Flight Captain Andrew Tran of Pelican Echo 719, and we heard you need a lift." The man's voice sounded grim. "And I suggest you hurry. The Covenant are glassing the planet as we speak. We only have two minutes before they reach us. Just hang tight."
"Acknowledged." Jack relaxed against a destoyed Wraith tank. He didn't know whether they'd make it or not. No way to tell.
The ground beneath his feet started to rumble as the pelican approached. It was amazing that after a hundred years, the pelican stayed the same and nothing replaced it.
He saw the back hatch open, and scrambled inside. The look on many of the faces around him told Jack that they had been in a worse fight than him. It began to heat in the compartment as the hatch closed.
Why was it getting so hot, he wondered. Sweat began to pour down his face. The heat temperature began to escalate.
The pilot's voice came through the compartment's speakers. "The Covenant ships are firing their plasma weapons at us!" he screamed frantically. Jack closed his eyes the second before him, the Marines, and the pelican was burned away.
* * * * * * * * *
One of the few ships that remained was in slipspace, heading nowhere at the time. The Firewall sped through in a powerful slipspace bubble. Only two stood on the bridge.
"I can't belive that they glassed Earth." Eric, SPARTAN 367 said, looking at the tactical screen that showed every human world. The last one vanished. "Earth. I can't belive that it's gone." He turned and looked at Vice Admiral John Severen.
He looked at Eric and said, "It was only a matter of time-"
"But why my time?" Eric interrupted as he dropped his SM8B to the deck. "And why now? There could have been a way to save them. Billions of lives wasted." He looked at his fallen SM8B. "There is no way to win anymore. We're all doomed to the same fate.
"It first started with Harvest, then moved to the rest of the Outer Colonies. Next went a few Inner Colonies. The attack on Reach came out of nowhere. Now Earth shares the same fate."
Admiral Severn looked away. "There is nothing we can do."
Eric turned and faced the Admiral. "There is one thing we can do," he said defiantly. "It is the one thing that the SPARTAN IIIs failed to do."
Severn looked at the Spartan, shocked. "You don't mean-"
"Yes. We head to their homeworld, and end this once and for all."
Earth's Destruction Chapter 4: One-Ship Assault
Date: 9 December 2003, 2:30 AM
The Firewall sped through slipspace, at an unknown location. This was the last cruiser in the remaining human fleet. The fleet went from one thousand ships to twenty. If the crew of the Firewall knew what their last mission would be, they'd probably commit suicide.
Only Admiral Severn and Eric(Spartan 467) were the only ones on the bridge. The Admiral shook his head in disbelief. "I can't believe you even thought about this. I mean, this is a suicide mission. If the crew knew about this, they'd panic and kill themselves."
The Spartan stood five feet away from Severn. No one could tell what was going on behind his reflective visor. "It will work. You just have to trust me. Besides, what other way to revenge Earth than glass their homeworld and return the favor."
Severn turned around, looking at the central viewscreen. "No. This is a suicide attempt. No one has ever managed to get near their homeworld for five seconds," he paused for a few seconds, "and live."
"But this will work," the Spartan replied. "If we can gather all UNSC ships that fled Earth, and exit slipspace in the planet's atmosphere. We then can abandon ship, and capture one of the Covenant's leaders."
The Admiral rubbed his chin in thought. "Sounds suspiciously like the mission the Spartan IIs were set out on, before the Covenant attacked Earth."
"Yes. This is that mission, and I may be the only Spartan left to do it."
Severn finally gave in. "Alright, you win." The Admiral hit the ship-wide intercom. "All bridge personnel, report back."
Then he added to Eric, "Go get everything ready, and meet me once we've exited slipspace."
"Yes sir," Eric replied as he picked up his SM8B off the floor. He then added, "Thank you sir," as he left the bridge.
Severn sighed as the Spartan left the bridge. "This is insane." Yet he was forced to agree. This one Spartan was perhaps the most unstable. That meant that he would kill anything, no matter who they were. And he could have snapped the Admiral in less than a heartbeat if he wanted to.
Severn was brought back to reality as all the bridge officers took their stations. "Alright everybody," he addressed the officers. "We're going to do what you'd think is suicide. But, we have a chance." He paused to take a breath. "We're attacking the Covenant homeworld."
One bridge officer fainted and fell out of his chair. Another smashed his head against his station's screen. The third one screamed, "We're all gonna die," as he went into what looked like a seizure. But it was only someone losing their mind.
Admiral Severn looked at the officer at slipspace ops. "Lieutenant McDermott, plot a slipspace course for the Covenant homeworld's atmosphere. And trigger a remote signal for the Firewall to jump out of slipspace as soon as we're in the launch bay."
"It's ready Admiral."
"Good. Let's get to the launch bay."
They all shuffled out of the bridge, Admiral leading the way. They found their way through the maze-like corridors of the UNSC cruiser. After five long minutes they finally reached the launch bay. "I never knew that this ship was this big," Severn muttered to himself as he opened the launch bay doors.
Spartan 467 walked up to the UNSC officers. "We're all ready Admiral. Ten Pelicans, seven Longswords, five Warthogs, and four Scorpion Main Battle Tanks."
"How did you manage to get those attached to the Pelicans?" the Admiral asked curiously.
"We fit one Scorpion in between two Pelicans for each of the tanks." Eric then turned to look at his work. "Nice job, isn't it?"
"Yes," Severn replied. The tanks were rigged on nicely. They now wouldn't be much of a weight problem. "Very nice work."
There was a slight rumble as the Firewall passed through the Covenant homeworld's atmosphere. "Okay," Severn said. "Let's be ready to move now."
A bunch of yes sirs and two minutes later they were all on Pelican dropship. It was crowded. Luckily, Severn had climbed into the co-pilot's seat. Better to ride in the cockpit than in the back.
Severn hit the intercom and said, "Are we ready to exit slipspace via that remote signal Lieutenant McDermott?"
Finally, things were getting underway. "Send the signal on my mark." He then hit the radio switch for all the Pelicans and Longswords. "Is everything ready?"
Twelve yes sirs came through the frequency. Severn turned the intercom on, again. "Hit it Lieutenant!"
The Firewall seemed to tilt over as it fell into the atmosphere. "Here we go!" yelled a voice through the comm. Severn felt disorientation and vertigo as the cruiser fell through the atmosphere.
"Pelican 1 to all Pelicans and Longswords. Punch it! Over." Severn made sure that his Pelican was last as the small ships moved into the unknown atmosphere. "Here we go!"
The Pelican broke its bond from the cruiser and flew into the unknown…
Earth's Destruction Chapter 5: The Covenant Homeworld
Date: 10 December 2003, 5:21 PM
The Pelicans and Longswords descended into the Covenant world's atmosphere shaking violently. They were being fallowed. But this was not an enemy. It was the UNSC cruiser Firewall. It took all the speed and power of the lighter crafts to maneuver out of the way as the Firewall closed in on the Covenant structures below.
"Hold on!" Spartan-467 Eric shouted as the Pelican went into a spiral dive. Straight down wasn't something he wanted to do again. Everyone was flying in all directions. He was the only one anchored to the metal floor.
Through all the haze and fog, you would think that you were thousands of feet up, but they weren't.
The Firewall was trailing them, firing its plasma turrents (they had captured a Covenant ship and reverse-engineered its weapons). The pulse lasers rained on the Covenant structures, wiping them out. Thousands of Covenant soldiers were melted in the Firewall's pulse lasers before the cruiser crashed through the layers of buildings like cutting cheese with a knife.
They had jumped out of slipspace just under Covenant search-and-destroy probes. If the Firewall had jumped out of slipspace just three centimeters up, they would have been flash-fired in milliseconds. The probes just were that powerful.
Seraph fighters swarmed around the Pelicans and Longswords, and they weren't firing their plasma at them. Why? Eric then realized as he stepped into the cockpit. "Oh shit!" They were charging up for what ONI had nicknamed, the "Incinerator", the most powerful weapon in the Covenant arsenal. The only problem was that the EMP radiating from the charge would disable any Covenant ship permanently, except Seraph fighters.
Eric the radio for all the UNSC ships in the area. "Longsword fighters take out those Seraphs, or we'll all be reduced to just about nothing!"
The pilot of Longsword 1 yelled over the frequency to the others. "You heard the Spartan, let's kick some ass!" Then the pilot added, "What the hell are they doing anyway?"
Eric yelled the last word the pilot would ever hear, "Incinerator!" A scream was heard over the comm. frec as the Longsword disappeared under a brilliant white flash. "No."
For some weird reason, five Seraphs fell out of the sky. Eric wondered what happened. They weren't attacked at all. What the hell happened? Then it hit him. He hit the radio as the dropship accelerated straight down even further. "When the Seraphs fire their Incinerator, they have to attack in groups. They burn themselves out, and everything around them with a type of Covenant power source, if they fire alone. So take those bastards out before they can charge and fire!"
The Spartan then looked at the pilot. "Set us down. We can't handle a dogfight in the air."
The pilot said, "You got it!" without turning his head. Through the cockpit, Eric saw lifeboats pass them. The pilot looked amazed. "That's what happened to rest of the crew."
Down below, a firefight had started between Covenant and ODSTs on a circular bridge with a fifty meter radius. "Helljumpers," Eric muttered as the Pelican's 100mm chaingun blew Covenant soldier's brains out. "Land here."
"Aye sir." The Pelican lurched to a stop, hovering three feet above the ground. HEV pods surrounded the area. "That's how they got here, isn't it?"
Spartan-467 turned to the Pelican's pilot. "Yes, that's how they leave a ship, normally."
The Pelican's outer hatch opened and sprayed the Covenant with MA5B, MA6B, and SM8B rounds. Eric jumped out of the hatch, set his SM8B to "rocket launcher" setting, hit the zoom, and fired the plasma at what appeared to be a swarm. The rocket literally melted every Brute, Elite, Jackal, and Grunt that tried to run out of the way. None of them ever had a chance.
It was now the Covenant's day of hell as the Marines fired nonstop at the humungous army that was trying to wipe this part of the remainder of the human race. Yet they were charging in and being ripped to pieces as the human rounds tore through their skulls and blew the Covenant soldier's brains out. Every shot was miraculously precise.
Eric stared at the SM8B's settings. He could snipe the Covenant, blow holes in the Covenant with rockets, rip through them with the assault rifle, or burn the hell out of them with one of the weapon's unstable weapons. One of the unstable weapons was the shade(it's more powerful and compact than the Covenant stationary guns), or he could overload his SM8B with the Fuel Rod Cannon SP. This new type of fuel rod cannon had enough power to wipe out everything on this Covenant bridge. But the EMP from the blast could destroy the gun's system, and blow all circuitry in his MJOLNIR armor.
He just switched to the assault rifle. He charged right in, firing his weapon every second. Everything in the way of the SM8B's plasma fire melted. It broke through an Elite's shield and killed it at the same time.
So many fell before Eric's weapon, but there were too many. At the last second, however, a Longsword swooped from the sky(if you could call it a sky)and fired its 120mm autocannons at the Covenant soldiers. Their assault was getting thinner. As every enemy soldier went down, the Marines charged, spreading their defense.
Soon, every Covenant soldier went down. Bodies littered the metallic floor, both Covenant and Marine. This was the first battle in unfamiliar surroundings, and the Marines actually won. But this was just the first of many as the remaining lifeboats and Pelicans flew through the sky.
The many battles could possibly end the war...
Earth's Destruction Chapter 6: Flying Solo Part One: Midair Melee
Date: 12 December 2003, 11:11 PM
"We ready to attack their capital?" Eric asked through his comm. channel as the seven remaining Pelicans took off from the battlefield. Two of the four tanks from the Firewall had survived the last battle. Which was really the fifteenth on this world.
The pilot, Flight Leader Roger Hallows, started the engines. "Yeah. Everything's ready."
The Scorpion tanks were fit onto the sides of two Pelicans, each parallel to each other. That was enough firepower that won them their last victory. Although the Covenant lost thousands of soldiers, the Marines continue to have minor loses. Weird, isn't it? It's as though the Covenant on their homeworld are weaker than the soldiers that destroyed every human colony.
"Good, "Eric replied as he jumped through the open hatch. "Let's go."
There were 567 Marines, 256 Helljumpers, fifty-seven naval personnel, and one Spartan at the beginning of this fight in this hellhole. Now only 429 Marines, 198 ODSTs (Helljumpers), 37 naval personnel, and one Spartan left, and this was just the beginning. The UNSC forces were now headed toward the Covenant's capital city, far worse threats were there than around the more outskirts of the planet's many cities. Why, the whole planet was one big city, with less protection where the humans were. To the Covenant, in this particular location, were going easy. Not good at all.
The Pelican took off. This was one of the Pelicans that wasn't attached to a Scorpion tank. The Seven Pelicans took off in a V formation. The five remaining Longswords surrounded the dropships. The three Pelicans that weren't holding a Scorpion were holding a Warthog. They had managed to search the Firewall's wreckage and secure the other three Warthogs. The other two LRVs, and two Scorpion MBTs, were destroyed in that recovery mission. Admiral Severn was listed as KIA.
Eric shut off his MJOLNIR armor's external speakers and whispered, "At least he died fighting." That was a horrific battle. The city that they were in unleashed its entire Covenant army on them. Eric had to fire the deadly Fuel Rod Cannon SP from his SM8B, wiping out the army, but killing twenty-seven of his own men. And the thing is that those Marines were one hundred meters away at the time. Eric replaced his weapon with a dead Marine lucky enough to get one.
The whole purpose was to retrieve ammo, weapons, ect. Eric shuddered at the thought. Now back to reality. Eric rechecked his SM8B five times in the copilot seat.
Eric checked his radar. A huge blip was heading toward them, a red blip. Clearly not a good sign. He shouted the pilot to pull up, but Hallows never looked away from the cockpit window. Eric then realized that his external speakers were off and set them to "on". He turned to Hallows. "There's a reception waiting for us."
Hallows had a shocked look on his face, then he remembered his training. The frightened look subsided as hit turned on the comm. "This is Pelican 3 to all UNSC units. An extremely large radar blip is moving in our direction. Let's set the table."
The dropships and fighters continued, battle-ready. Then a swarm of Seraph fighters sped at them with terrifying speed. "This won't end well," Hallows muttered as he reached for trigger on his joystick.
"Let's blast them all to hell!" a new voice came from the comm. "And save them the trouble!"
The Seraphs began to form a straight line, the signal to start the Covenant's ultimate weapon, codenamed Incinerator. The Spartan opened up every human comm. channel. "Longswords, take out those fighters before they blow us to particles." He then added, "And hurry!"
The Longswords accelerated ahead of the Pelicans. A straight white line appeared along each Seraphs' hull. "They're charging the weapon," Eric whispered absentmindedly. "This better work."
The Longswords open fired upon the enemy ships, blowing holes in their charge. The Seraph fighters managed to fire an Incinerator shot, but enough Covenant ships were out to disrupt its aim. The shot fired in a remote direction, one far from the UNSC ships.
Eric sighed. They wouldn't be able to fire another one. Human and Covenant ships alike were swarming all over the place. More Seraph fighters joined the party, continuing to unbalance the odds. Hallows kept his hand on the Pelican's autocannon trigger. If any stray enemies came anywhere close, he'd pull the trigger and blast them to hell. The Seraph pilots clearly didn't have the idea to attack the Pelicans. They just flew around in fancy circles waiting to die. Eric concluded that they were probably screaming. These were the most inexperienced pilots he had ever seen. And ONI thought that the Covenant homeworld's defenses were the toughest enemies. Only the planet's outer defenses were deadly.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Longsword Flight Leader Chris Raider forced his Longsword into a steep dive, dodging Seraph plasma fire. Flight Officer Sam Henderson fired the 120mm autocannons. Both were the most skilled Longsword pilot and weapon specialists in the entire UNSC. Nothing could ever touch them, and they were determined to fight to the end.
"Maintain constant fire!" Raider yelled as he spiraled out of his dive.
Henderson switched to the 500mm heavy-duty cannons. "Not this time! I'm gonna blow each of them in one shot!"
"I order you to switch back to the autocannons now!" Raider said as a Seraph accelerated toward the Longsword. Clearly a collision course.
Henderson pulled his joystick's trigger. "Not this time!" he said calmly as the high-explosive round turned the Covenant craft into molten metal.
"On second thought, continue what you're doing." Raider pulled up just in time to dodge fifty plasma bolts at once.
Each blast missed by a mile as many explosions went off at once...
Earth's Destruction Chapter 6: Flying Solo Part 2: One Vs Many
Date: 16 January 2004, 3:54 AM
Swarms of Covenant single fighters swarmed toward the one area that had human forces on it. They scrambled like flies attached to a piece of cheese. Except the cheese was the hunter.
Raider kept dodging the Seraph fighters in his Longsword fighter while still trying to give Henderson a clear shot. But in this cloud of Covenant ships, UNSC ships, and falling molten debris, he could easily multitask.
"Don't even have to tell me twice," Henderson muttered as he blew another Covenant ship out of the dark sky. No Longswords had been destroyed since this battle began. But compare skilled pilots with sucky pilots, pretty obvious, don't you think?
Longsword Two swerved out of the way of Seraph fighters, and blew them to pieces of molten metal. Although sometimes Covenant pilots would fly out the side of the melting vehicles, to only drop thousands of meters.
A voice came from the command freq. "The Covenant bastards are trying to use their Incinerator. Take them out, NOW!"
"Yes sir," Raider replied. He turned to Henderson. "You ready for this, cause I don't think you are," he said sarcastically.
Henderson armed the main cannons, and pushed them up to full force. "I'm more ready than you'll ever be."
Raider's Longsword approached the Seraph fighters that were lined up in a straight line, a white band of light forming across. He forced the Longsword to dodge another plasma blast while Henderson blew the hell out of the Covenant ships. The band of light grew brighter. Henderson fired the main cannon once, twice, and finally three times before the Covenant fighter's Incinerator charge shut off. But a small amount of the charge blew apart and struck the undamaged Longsword. A loud explosion was heard throughout the cockpit.
"What the hell was that?" Raider demanded as the Longsword slowed to a halt, and began to drop.
"I don't know." Engine Critical showed up in bold letters on the viewscreen. A second later, a cloud of Seraph fighters approached the near-crippled Longsword.
"Oh shit! Our perfect luck huh. We have to get the hell out of here." Raider hit the command freq. "This is Longsword two to all units, and giant cloud of Covenant is heading toward us. Our engines are almost destroyed. Advise you get the hell out of there. We'll buy you some time."
"Roger that. Over and out."
The huge cloud became a tremendous, powerful wall. A white glow formed around the edges. The most powerful Incinerator ever seen in human history. Being inside this was literally like being in hell.
The charge spread to the middle, slowly. "Fire the Proto Cannon!"
Henderson did a double take, the Covenant and Raider. "Firing that thing with this nearly crippled fighter is suicide. I mean that if their charge doesn't kill us, the Cannon will."
Raider's response was almost immediate. "I don't care right now. This is only trying to buy them time. They must escape. They must get away."
The prototype "Proto Cannon" was an unchargable Incinerator, but with more power in it than any UNSC Longsword could handle. The blast could rip through any material like tissue. The only problem was that it took out every bit of power any ship had, and quite possibly even more. Short version; using it was suicide unless you were prepared. And that was not what happened with Raider and Henderson. They couldn't have been less prepared.
"I know you don't understand Henderson, but desperate times call for desperate measures."
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Eric grabbed his SM8B and headed out the Pelican's main hatch. The fight was now calling for desperate things. And risks that had the chance of falling thousands of feet were extremely suicidal. He looked down while a plasma blast burns away 63% of his shield and threw him back. He could feel blisters forming on his hands and face. Only the weight of his MJOLNIR armor kept him from slipping out of the dropship.
He let his shield recharge, then scurried up the side. With all his weight, he threw himself onto the armor of the roof. He stood up while the Pelican was moving in a straight line.
The Pelican jerked to the right just as Erik stood up, and was thrown off the side. He grabbed the edge not a second too soon. The plasma that hit the side, causing him to be thrown off, had melted the external armor. One more blast like that and they'd be turned into ashes. Eric scrambled back up the side, risking everything he had.
Now, making sure he held a handhold firmly, Eric set the SM8B on the "sniper" setting. The targeting was uploaded into his HUD.
"It seems the Covenant are trying to charge up a kill strike," he muttered to himself as the intimidating wall glowed white. He took aim at one of the middle Seraph fighters, and fired.
* * * * * * * * * * *
A small red blast went by Longsword two. "What the hell was that?" Raider asked Henderson, his face pale.
"I don't know sir."
Then it hit him. Raider pulled up the port camera and zoomed in. There, on a Pelican, a small speck of green. He shook his head in disbelief. Only the Spartan would be this nuts.
He turned to Henderson. "Pretty obvious, don't ya think."
Henderson glanced at the screen. "Sniper fire?"
"Yes," Raider replied. "We owe him our lives, again."
Covenant Seraph fighters began to fall from the dark sky…
Earth's Destruction [6:3] All Alone...For Now
Date: 31 March 2004, 11:52 PM
The red blast of plasma sped past Longsword two faster than the eye could blink. It struck one of the tens of Covenant Seraph fighters charging up the Incinerator. The sniper round blew threw the teardrop shaped craft dead center. An internal explosion in the Seraph's engines caused it to drop straight down, but the fighter didn't explode. It crashed into the Seraph fighter below it. A chain reaction blew apart an entire vertical line. The white glow began to fade.
Raider shut off the lights in the cockpit to conserve the remaining power they had. The only light left in the Longsword was the faded glow of the plasma. "Fire the proton cannon."
Henderson looked around for a split-second to see where the voice came from. And then he realized it. "If we don't fire the cannon, we'll live this battle."
Raider shook his head while diverting the last of Longsword Two's power into the proton cannon charge. There was just enough left to hover where they were. "No we won't. We will die here. About several thousand Covenant are moving to our position, and the Spartan can't fire his weapon forever. And you'd know that if you looked at the radar, you'd know this."
Listening to Raider, Henderson glanced at the radar. A red blip filled up almost half of the circle shaped device, but was slightly separated. On this new type of radar, even the smallest separation can mean thousands of miles. "So, we're gonna fire it at the this blip here behind this blip here."
"We're not going to fire at the blip itself," Raider replied, his face grim. "We're not gonna fire at that, because we firing at the base over there." The starboard camera zoomed in on a Covenant structure. Seraph fighters were spilling out of it like ants after their hill was crushed.
Henderson nodded his head and said, "I understand. I'll target it." He hit a few switches on the weapons consol. "But what the hell did you just say?!"
"You know what I said."
"It's armed, charged, and hot. In case you were wondering."
"I'm diverting all power this baby has into the cannon. This our last act in this war," Raider said grimly. "Fire at will."
"Firing the damn thing already!"
An enormous mass of energy shot from the now fully-crippled Longsword. It moved faster than lighting, and had no real target. It took out anything within a hundred feet of where it was being aimed. The Covenant fighters exploded in midair as the lighting-fast streak of energy sped past them. It finally reached its target, one of the major Covenant hangers. Electricity surged around the circular structure until it dissolved. The hanger appeared unharmed, until a flash of light so bright that it could blind you erupted from the Covenant structure. Every Covenant building in a five-mile radius dissolved. This was more destruction than when the Covenant glassed Reach.
"Damn," Henderson said, mentioning the destruction. "We gotta start giving the boys at ONI credit for this weapon."
Raider looked over his shoulder at the weapons officer. "We could, but ONI is obviously not around anymore!" He said with a lot of sarcasm.
"And now we're falling to our deaths," Henderson muttered.
It was clearly true. Longsword Two was dropping out of the odd "evening" sky. With the Longsword out of power, it was going to be an explosive landing.
* * * * * * *
"Longsword Two! Repeat, Longsword Two!" Spartan 467, Eric, said into the com while the Pelicans, with the remaining Longswords, retreated from the midair battlefield. "If you're out there, and alive, retreat to Base Zulu. Repeat, if you're still out there, retreat to Base Zulu."
Eric opened his external speakers. "I don't think they made it." Ever since the destruction of the Covenant hanger it had been slow going, finishing of the remaining Seraph fighters. The Covenant certainly were weaker here. That had to be the reason.
Several other Longsword fighters from the Firewall that had launched earlier than the ones the last remaining human forces had before this battle. They had landed a few kilometers from where the Firewall had crashed. It was amazing that they had survived the three months they were on this godforsaken planet.
Flight Leader Roger Hollows hit the autopilot switch. "I am so sick of piloting this thing non-stop, day after day," he complained, relaxing into his seat.
"Quit you're complaining, the Covenant could appear at any second and take your breath away."
* * * * * * *
Chris Raider forced himself from out of the severed cockpit. As they were going down, power returned to the Longsword. Just enough was given back to slow their decent. It was a miracle. But know they were in unknown territory, just on the outskirts of a Covenant city.
"Why'd fate have to pick this location for us to crash," Raider muttered grimly as he fell to his knees by Henderson's unconscious form. And now they were alone, all alone.
Earth's Destruction Chapter 7: Left Behind to Die
Date: 3 April 2004, 3:54 AM
Chris Raider leaned against a piece of wreckage from Longsword Two. As he played back the decent into this wasteland, he recalled that a Seraph impacted into the fighter, and sheared off the cockpit from the rest of the ship.
"Uuuuuggghhhh." Raider turned his head slowly, expecting the worst, but it relieved him when he saw that it was only Henderson waking up. "What'd I miss?" he groaned.
Raider turned his head. "The Seraph fighter tearing off the cockpit, me being set on fire, and the whole damn crash." A few burn marks remained on his uniform. "I was always told that being set on fire would hurt," Raider continued, "but I never thought it would hurt this much."
As if on cue, the left leg of his pants burst into flame. "Ow! Ow! Ow!" He yelled as he slapped at his leg. The fire only spread. "Get some water!"
Henderson looked around. "Uhh. I don't think we have any."
"Damn everything that has happened in the last few months!" Raider screamed to the sky as the fire spread up his back. "Damn this fucking planet!"
"Oh wait," Henderson interrupted Raider's screaming to the dark, somewhat night sky, "I found the fire extinguisher."
Henderson then threw the extinguisher at Raider, catching him in the back and forcing him to the ground. The fire disappeared entirely. "How did that happen?" Raider groaned as he pulled himself onto his knees.
Henderson put his hand up to his chin. "I never thought it worked that way."
"Just shut the fuck up."
Eric fired his SM8B nonstop at a Brute until it melted into a pile of crap that oozed and bubbled. The multipurpose rifle fired plasma rounds more powerful than the Covenant's plasma weapons. Reverse engineering was very useful now that Earth was gone, along with a majority of the human race. Hell, at least he was still alive.
The remaining human forces retreated from the air battlefield and back to the captured Covenant infantry base the human forces had named "Base Zulu". It appeared the Covenant wanted to retake it, as always in history. But now, human history was almost to an end as the Covenant kept pouring in. Multiple dropships filled the sky as wave after wave came at the base.
There was no more win or lose. It was win, or the human race becomes on the "extinct" list.
Plasma and bullets were scattering in all different directions. The nonstop deaths had become uncountable. Bodies flew everywhere in the brawl, mostly the Grunts standing next to the Spartan.
A Marine screamed as a Gold-armored Elite thrusted his sword into him. As a last resort, the young Private pulled the pin from a frag grenade and held it up to the Elite's face. The alien tried to throw the human before the grenade blew, but was too late. Even the Brutes standing nearby were blown off their feet from the force. At least the Marine took those bastards with him.
Eric managed to see Sergeant Kirk Field lift a Grunt off its feet and hurl it at a group of the small aliens three meters away. The bowling pin joke applied as everyone of them flew in different directions (some even few back into the Covenant dropships the had just departed from).
"Go Sergeant!" a Helljumper cheered as he raised his fist high. His little cheering line was cut short when a Covenant grenade launcher sent his body parts scattering…
"Remove the damn launcher from the damn locker!" Raider ordered Henderson as three Banshees moved closer to the two. Just an hour after Henderson removed the fire on Raider's uniform, three Banshees discovered them and rained hell on them. Well, they at least tried to anyway. Every shot was way off target. But being stranded in Covenant controlled territory was not part of Raider's agenda.
"I sometimes wish I stayed in the Corps, it was a lot more fun," Raider whispered as Henderson held the launcher unsteadily. Raider wasn't gonna have any of that right now. In fact, if he hadn't have lost his right arm, he would still be with the Marines.
That was when he became a combat pilot. He obviously couldn't hold a gun with only a near-crippled left arm and hand. There was really no way of explaining how he could handle at least ten Seraph fighters alone. The only problem was that he needed a gunner, and so came Henderson.
Raider lifted the launcher onto a steady angle so Henderson could fire. The first rocket was a direct hit, consuming the Banshee entirely. No wreckage would ever be found. The second projectile missed the real target slightly, but took out one of the second Banshees' wing pods. The craft tumbled and lost control as it did wingovers. The third retreated when the pilot saw the other Banshees destroyed.
"Damn! I was hoping we could get all three before they could leave and call for help."
"No wait, it's coming back!" Henderson yelled as he pointed the launcher in the enemy fighter's direction. Together, they aimed it perfectly and launched the third high-explosive projectile. The Banshee banked left, but the rocket seemed to home in on it. The third and final display of fireworks appeared in the "night" sky (shoot, the Covenant might call it day). What seemed like a signal flare appeared on the horizon from the explosion…
The Battle for Base Zulu was coming to a close, with the Marines having the advantage of several new Longsword pilots come in and destroy the enemy dropships before they could land. And now ammunition was no longer a problem with the retaken base.
With the extra plasma weapons from a Covenant hanger near the base, the fighters had been rigged with a type of 'plasma chaingun', and several fuel rod cannons.
There was still the catch, more than one hundred humans were killed in that battle, and a Longsword destroyed. Maybe the fighting will end soon, Eric thought, maybe we can finally have peace. But that won't happen until three more months go by. It won't happen until a day of reckoning…
"We've got to get out of here now!" Henderson screamed as he ran to Raider from the small army of Covenant approaching them.
Raider looked up from the Banshee that crashed the night before. It was still operational, except for the fact that the craft was missing the wing pod that was blown of. Lucky enough, it could still get off the ground, but couldn't reach an altitude of one hundred feet.
Raider turned to see Henderson sprinting for his life. "Speak clearly boy!" Henderson stopped to catch his breath.
"The…The Covenant are…The Covenant are heading our way. Advise we get the hell out of here."
Raider squinted his eyes in the direction Henderson came from. On the horizon, all sorts of Covenant vehicles appeared. The horizon became slightly distorted. He pointed at the Banshee next to him. "I got this working, we can get away from them with this," Raider said calmly, gesturing to the Banshee.
"Sure, make me look like a fool," Henderson replied and turned away, annoyed at Raider's ability to be calm in times of crisis. "Damn you you fu…"
Henderson's sentence was cut off mid-syllable as the repaired Banshee lifted off and sped away. He lifted his fist into the air and shouted, "DAMN YOU RAIDER!!!"
Raider heard the echo of Henderson's voice. He was glad to be rid of that asshole. They never once were friends. Ever. Raider pulled the throttle as wide as he dared in fear that the aircraft might collapse…
Henderson dropped his fist. The Covenant were getting closer by the second. There was no place to hide nearby, so he moved near the Longsword wreckage and pretended to be dead. The Covenant got closer with every heartbeat.
He felt cold metal touch his face as took a breath. Then an arm reached out and pulled him off the ground. Henderson knew he wouldn't escape when he opened his eyes and looked onto the face of a red-armored Elite.