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When the Crap Hits the Fan by Justin Pruitt

When the Crap Hits the Fan [Part 1]
Date: 27 November 2005, 5:29 pm

Lance Devon almost didn't realize that he had been hit. He felt something bump into his midsection during the heated firefight with the Covenant patrol, and didn't give it a second thought. But when he tried to shift over to a more secure part of the rock he was using for cover, he found himself on the ground. Private Devon looked down in wordless horror to see the bloody mess that used to be his
"This is... D-devon to A-adams," he stuttered into the radio. "I'm hit, r-requesting immediat-te... m-m-medical assis..."
Private First Class Devon's eyes closed for the last time.
"Goddamnit, we've lost Devon!" shouted Tidwell over the chatter of his MA5B assault rifle.
"This isn't working," Adams shouted back. "We need to fall back to camp!"
"Damn Covies are just gonna keep killin' our damn friends," cried Tidwell, halting his fire for a moment. "They're not going to kill anymore! Not if I can help it!"
Tidwell leapt over the log he was hiding behind, and charged, screaming, at an Elite a dozen meters away. The smoking casings poured out of his assault rifle,
and he almost made it to the elite's position, before four bolts of blue fire converged on his body. Tidwell's flaming corpse toppled to the grass in a spray of cyan and crimson.
Josh Adams watched through a film of tears. He choked back a cry of anguish, and drew a radio from the pocket of his vest.
"This is Adams to Gonzales. Requesting immediate approval of reteat back to camp."
"Gonzales, here," came a staticked reply. "Notify your men, and conduct a fighting retreat 200 meters back up the valley. My forces will rendezvous with you
there, and we'll head home."
Adams felt a tear running down his cheek, and bitterly wiped it away.
"Yes, Sir. We'll be there shortly."
Adams turned back toward his makeshift defensive perimeter, and began shouting the orders.
Master Chief Petty Officer First Class 117, John, stood unwavering before a group of cowering grunts. Plasma pistols clattered as they were dropped to the ground, and the four grunts slowly began to back away. John made a motion with his hand, and the grunts turned and ran, screaming, in the opposite direction. He gave them time to run a few meters, then raked fire from his MA5B across their humped backs. The grunts stumbled to the ground with sickening thuds, as luminous blue blood sprayed. John checked his clip, and trudged on up the steep mountainside.
The M12 LRV "Warthog"s engine began to whine, a high pitched keening that made Corporal Finnigand's teeth hurt. Shaking his head, he turned to the marine driving the vehicle.
"How far until target?" he asked.
"We're currently four and a half klicks north of the building, south-southwest bound around these mountains," the driver replied, raising his voice slightly to compensate for the jeep's roar.
"ETA?" Finnigand half-shouted.
"Approximately 9 minutes, sir," was the reply.
Corporal Dave Finnigand drew back the iron bolt on his assault rifle, and felt a round chamber with a heavy click. He checked his tac-vest for extra ammunition, four fragmentation grenades, and his M6C service pistol. Everything in it's proper place, Finnigand turned to the LAAG gunner in the back of the vehicle.
"When we get in range, I want you to hold fire until the covies spot the jeep. We're coming in on a wide arc around the complex, and I want you to suppress them as much as you can. We're not here to rack up kills, understand?"
The gunner nodded solemly.
The Driver gunned the engine, and with a deep roar the Warthog cleared a deep ravine. The front tires came down first, heavily, and kicked dirt up onto the windshield as the rest of the vehicle followed. Checking his compass, the driver pulled hard on the steering wheel, and the jeep sped up a nearby dirt path.
Sergeant Gonzales met with Adams' force at the appropriate rendezvous point, and they began jogging up a nearby hill. The covenant forces, content with having spilled blood and repelling the attackers, opted not to pursue them. As the marines neared the crest of the incline, though, they heard a sound that made everyone's heart sink.
With an otherworldly scream, two Banshees dropped out of the clouds and began to pour liquid doom into Adams' and Gonzales' position. The marines screamed and dove for any nearby cover. Several were hit by the huge, blue bolts, and were hurled unceremoniously as flaming, bloody ruin down the hill.
As Adams scrambled frantically for cover, a nearby marine was reduced to a pair of legs and gore, with charred stubs spraying crimson. Adams rolled into cover behind a small, jagged boulder, and cursed the misfortune of this mission. Slamming a magazine into his MA5B, he leaned around the rock and fired a long burst into the closest Banshee.
The 7.62mm rounds tore numerous holes into the Banshee's armor, but managed no significant damage. The pilot of the craft roared in his alien tongue, and wheeled the craft around for another pass on the hilltop.
As the covenant flier peeled off from it's attack run, two fuel rod bolts slammed into the marines' position. A boulder was vaporized, killing the three men using it for cover, and leaving a smouldering crater in the ground. The other bomb crashed into the ground, spraying dirt and rocks meters into the air.
Suddenly, both of the alien fliers turned around and boosted away without hesitation. The marines peeked out of their cover, and Sergeant Gonzales walked shakily to the middle of the rise. As the banshees became distant specs on the horizon, Gonzales wondered why in Hell they aborted their certainly advantaged attack.

When the Crap Hits the Fan [Part 2]
Date: 30 November 2005, 3:23 am

Dak Oora'kee heavily clicked his mandibles together, a gesture of frustration. The infidels had been sitting grunts! he thought. There they had sat, atop a sparcely covered hilltop, just begging for retribution. At the very moment of their dooms, though, the higher-ups had called off the attack. Oora'kee paced impatiently in his quarters, awaiting some update from his superiors.
The entrance to the small room swished open, retreating into the walls of the doorway, and Borsk For'laee strode in, boots clicking against the metal floor.
He eyed Oora'kee levely. "I would like to thank you for your quick, effective response to the sudden change of plans."
"But, of course, Sir; I peeled off my attack run as quickly as possible, but I still don't understand why-"
"All information concerning those orders is on a need to know basis, and, to be blunt, you don't need to know," For'laee interjected.
"But, Sir-"
For'laee continued on indifferent to Oora'kee's interuptions. "Don't worry about it, Commander. Everything will present itself in due time. Meanwhile, I would like you to prepare your unit for another sortie into infidel-held skies. We need more reconnaissance data on their movements."
"Yes, Sir," Oora'kee conceded.
The sergeant turned on a heel, and clicked out of the room, leaving Oora'kee alone to contemplate what he'd heard.
Sickly smoke drifted up from the blackened meat that had recently been Corporal Dave Finnigand. Nearby, a tire was burning in a pile of twisted metal, pouring black particles into the air. One hunter kicked over what had been the Warthog's passenger door, standing oddly upright amongst the wreckage. "Piteous infidels. May they writhe in eternal damnation," he said.
"Yes. These were easy picking... almost not worthy for battle," his counterpart replied, looking up from the ruin to meet his gaze.
"Such is the nature of these creatures. They unendingly send themselves to battle, despite being vastly overpowered and lacking the support of riteousness," said the first.
"Well, we've done good to rid the sacred ring of these foul things. If only..." the other trailed off.
"If only..?"
"I hope to battle the Daemon some day. It would be great glory to kill it, or die whilst trying, sanctified by holy combat."
"Such is the will of the gods. All will unfold itself in good time," he told his brother. "Until then, we shall have to appease the prophets by clensing this filth from our pious grounds.
Private Alex Smith squeezed the trigger of his standard-issue M6C service pistol, and the weapon kicked back firmly against his hand. Another grunt fell, screaming, blue-white blood spraying from a gaping hole in his face. Smith ducked back behind his cover, and took a moment to wipe sweat from his forhead. He leaned back around the corner to fire at another alien, and gasped in suprise as a red-clad elite merely inches away swung his plasma rifle in a powerful down-stroke, aimed to crush Smith's skull. The marine reeled backward, loosing his footing, and crashed heavily to the floor, the rifle passing centimeters from his nose. From his fallen position, Smith emptied the rest of his clip into the elite's jaw. The alien roared in pained suprise, shield flaring to disperse the kinetic energy of the rounds. The last few bullets tore a hole in the protective field, and punched through the elite's skull. Purple spattered a nearby wall, and the alien warrior slumped to the ground with blood pouring from his wounds.
Panting, Smith hauled himself out from under the elite's corpse, and checked his surroundings. A few meters away, Jones was swapping fire with a covenant Jackal from behind a metal outcropping. Smith rushed to his aid, and moved for a flanking angle on the shield-wearing creature. Slamming a fresh clip into the grip of his pistol, he fired several shots into the gap on the side of the shield, shredding the jackal's hand. The bird-like alien screeched and twisted to the side; Jones silenced it with a short burst from his MA5B into it's open flank. "Thanks," he said levely.
"Don't worry about it. What happened to Hastings?" Smith inquired.
The other jerked his thumb back towards an area near the center of the room, where two bridges spanned an enormous indoor trench. "Got hit in the knee by some plasma, and fell backwards down the chasm."
Smith shook his head. "We'll have to continue on. Sarge made it clear: get to those generators, no matter what the cost. Personnel or otherwise."
"I know. Let's get moving before some more of those bastards decide to show up."
The two marines readied their weapons and strode into the hallway serving as the room's exit.
Spartan John 117 slid into cover behind the trunk of a large tree, plasma spattering inches away. The aliens' fire evaporated bits of the ground and tore gaping chunks out of the tree, blasting superheated debris through the air. The Master Chief's shield flared as a near-miss tore through past him, just millimeters away. He rolled out from behind the cover and opened up with his MA5B, scattering some of the lesser enemy troops, and causing the elites to duck as their shields flared.
One of the alien leaders charged forward, dropping his rifle in favor of a plasma sword he drew from seemingly nowhere. The blade crackled to life, vibrant, blue doom pouring out into the magnetic containment field. The alien warrior closed withing striking distance as John hurriedly reloaded his rifle. He swung the blade in a high, wide arc, plasma carving through the air just in front of John's helmet. The spartan rolled backward, coming up in a low crouch and firing a short burst into the elite's chest.
The elite roared in an alien tongue, and attacked again. John sidestepped the plasma sword, and smashed the butt of his rifle into the elite's ribs. The covenant warrior stepped back, screaming in pained rage, and was hurled bloodily to the ground by as John emptied the MA5B's clip into his head. The Master Chief kicked the elite to make sure that he was dead, and looked up.
Suddenly, it occured to him that he hadn't neutralized all of the other enemy forces before engaging the elite, yet nothing had fired at him during that battle. He dropped low to the ground, eyes flicking to a clear motion tracker then scanning the perimeter for contacts. Seeing nothing, around him or on his scanners, John straightened a little. "This is Spartan John 117 to Fireteam Zulu. I repeat: Spartan 117 to Zulu. Is anyone reading me?"
"This is Corban. What do you need, 'Chief?"
John's eyes flicked over to his motion tracker once more, just to be sure. "Requesting immediate evac. Can you get a LRV up here, soon?"
A slightly different voice joined the conversation, slightly garbled by static. "Warthog inbound, Sir. ETA... Fifteen minutes."
"Thanks. Spartan 117 out," John closed the comm channel.
The Master Chief jogged over to the tree he had used earlier, and crouched down, awaiting the Warthog's arrival.