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Whisky, Cigars and Secret Military Projects by OpeningAct

Whisky, Cigars and Secret Military Projects [Part I]
Date: 11 July 2004, 8:32 AM

Whisky, Cigars and Secret Military Projects [Part I]

The Hive, Sydney

      The technician thundered through the narrow hallways, occasionally turning his head into the corridor he'd just escaped from. A roar echoed in the distance, causing the lanky man to move even faster. He was confident that that had been the growl of the blue beast he had encountered only minutes ago. The tech recalled it's towering figure and colossal structure and the shadow that it had cast over him. The beast was gaining on the tech. If I'm going to die, I'm going to do it like a man, he thought to himself as he pulled his customized M6D from it's holster. A name was engraved along the silver sheen. It read Edward. J. Portman.
      The ONI tech bolted down the dust-covered corridor, the lumbering warrior close behind. Portman turned to face the oncoming Adonis, firing three slugs directly into the beast's forehead. But to the technician's astonishment, it kept coming. A look of shock still on his face, he turned away from the blue-armored monster and geared down the slender hallway. Portman twisted his head round on his shoulders and smiled when he saw the giant struggling to force his way through the miniscule corridor. The unusually tall technician powered himself further away from the blue beast, zipping along the metal grating. But he didn't make much ground before he heard the sickening crunch of the warrior muscling his way into the hallway. Portman flashed his head round once again to see the Adonis thumping it's way towards the technician, charging it's massive cannon with hot, burning, sickly green plasma. The glowing orb of death collected at the tip of the huge weapon, as the beast aimed it at the escaping man. It let the plasma fly.
      Eddie Portman ducked as he observed the orb of plasma soar narrowly over his back. He felt the overwhelming warmth prickle his spine, covering it in blisters and boils and let out a yelp of pain. Fifty feet down the dilapidated hallway, the ball of searing plasma impacted on the corridor's ceiling, causing debris and wreckage to clatter to the deck, blocking the passage. Portman stared in horror at what the creature had just done. It'd trapped him. Terror and fear overwhelmed the technician, as the beast prepared to bring his huge cannon down on the human's weak skull. Portman got to his feet and scampered towards where the debris had fallen. There has to be a way out, there's always a way out, he thought as he scanned the heap of wreckage.
      Nothing. There was nothing. No exit, no way out, no way for him to escape certain death. Except the pistol in his hands. Portman hauled the M6D shakily into the air, slamming in a fresh clip into the twelve chamber weapon. He unloaded the slugs into the oncoming Adonis, who shook off the minor injuries. Once again it lifted it's cannon into the air, preparing to murder the frantic technician. Portman rolled to his right as the beast brought the cannon down on the debris. A grin spread across Portman's face. The clumsy monster had made a small clearing at the top of the pile of wreckage, just large enough for the lanky man to slip through. Portman made his way to the tiny exit, firing his weapon while avoiding the lumbering beast's slow assaults. He hauled himself up the pile of debris before reaching the hole and squeezing through the tiny exit. In his frantic panic, he scraped his calf on a sharp piece of metal and yelled in anger at his clumsiness. The technician finally made it through the small hole before collapsing on the other side, breathing deeply and grasping the deep gash in his leg.
      Portman attempted to lift himself to his feet, making sure to go easy on his injured right leg. He stood, hopping up and down making sure only to put small amounts of pressure upon the injury. He began to limp down the passage, away from the scene of the battle.

      Corporal Lucas Reynolds hunkered down behind a crate of supplies, clutching his MA7B Battle Rifle to his large, puffed out chest. He jammed a fresh clip into the weapon's underside, loading forty rounds into the rifle. Silently, he commando-rolled out from behind the crate before firing two rounds at an idle Grunt. The slugs punctured the creature's fleshy neck, sending it spiralling to the floor, blood oozing from its wound. The corporal let out the breath he'd been holding for the last two and a half minutes.
      Reynolds placed a bandage around his bicep, and watched as it soaked up the pool of blood from the plasma injury. Biofoam squirted out from under the cotton and Reynolds noted that he was running low. He removed his radio from his chestnut, leather belt and attempted contact once again.
      "Any Hive personnel respond! This is Corporal Reynolds. I repeat any Hive personnel respond!" he commanded. Once again, the only response he got was a load of static. The Corporal had once thought of the hive as an unbreakable fortress, but now all he could see was a Covenant-infested hellhole and he wanted out. He doubted he'd be able to accomplish this task alone though.
      Corporal Reynolds ripped the plastic off a pack of rations and began nibbling on its squishy contents. His jaw battled against the gelatinous goop which passed for food. He unhappily swallowed the sustenance and felt it drop down his throat. The corporal plopped another piece in his mouth and began chewing the rations when he spotted a shadow in the corridor ahead of him. Reynolds gasped. The shadow was large enough to be a Covenant Elite! Would he have a chance against such a beast? The corporal dropped the rations and nervously lifted his MA7B Battle Rifle. Sweat dripped down his pale-skinned face as the figure came ever closer.

      Eddie Portman hauled his arm above his head, shielding his eyes from the gleaming artificial light. A anxious marine aimed his weapon up at the technician, resting it on a crate of supplies. He recognised the sleek weapon as the newly commissioned MA7B Battle Rifle.
      "A technician?" the marine stated in surprise, but even as he said it, a grin began to creep up at the edge of his mouth.
      "Yes sir! Eddie Portman, at your service!" the tech announced cheerily.
      "I'm just happy to see another human face, I was beginning to think I was the only one left" exclaimed the greying marine, strolling over to the technician hand outstretched. "I'm Corporal Lucas Reynolds." Portman grasped the Corporal's hand and shook it.
      "Whoa" growled Reynolds, staring down at the technician's gash. "We need to get that patched up, if you don't want that going gangrene".
      Reynolds strode over to where he had previously been stationed, and examined the contents of his medpac. He retrieved a small canister of biofoam and a roll of bandages, before returning to the technician.
      Portman felt the soothing feel of the biofoam being squirted on his calf and let out a sigh of relief. The Corporal wrapped the cotton bandage around the injury and all of a sudden, Portman felt awake once more.
      "So, how did you get that wound Portman?" acquired Reynolds after finishing off the dressing. The technician explained about his battle with the blue-armored beast, over exaggerating about his greatness in sections. He finished the tale and the Corporal nodded.
      "You faced a Hunter. You must have been very fortunate to survive that encounter" Reynolds announced.
      "Lucky? I kicked it's ass!" exclaimed the exuberant technician. The Corporal waved his hand.
      "Forget it. We could be stuck down here for a while, so we don't want to become enemies" he said dismissively. He turned back to his pack. "Umm, Portman, do you smoke? Would you like a cigar, after all you've been through?" he questioned.
      "Yeah, I smoke Corporal, but always cigarettes. Never tried a cigar before" the technician announced drearily.
      "Cigarettes! Hah! You ain't lived until you've tried a cigar! Give it a go" cried Reynolds, handing one to him. Once again the technician shrugged before taking the cigar in two fingers and placing it's end in his open mouth. Corporal Reynolds retrieved a lighter from his front pocket. He ignited a flame at it's tip and lit Portman's cigar before doing the same with his. The pair blew plumes of smoke out of their lips and watched as the wisps floated up to the ceiling.
      "All this time I've wasted my life having cigarettes, when I could've been having cigars!" Portman sighed. Reynolds nodded.
      "Uh-huh, you better like it, as I just gave you my last one. Possibly ever" the Corporal also sighed. There was silence as Portman's mouth gave birth to yet another plume of smoke. Reynolds rummaged through his pack searching for something else. His hand emerged with a canteen of liquor.
      "Now then, how about some whisky?" he asked emptily.

      "Come in Corporal Reynolds. This is Colonel Ackerson son, so you better respond in the next fifteen seconds or I'll hightail you bac-". Reynolds picked up the radio to halt the Colonel's threats.
      "This is Corporal Lucas Reynolds sir. It's dang good to hear from you Colonel. I thought we were never going to get out of this God-forsaken hellhole." The Corporal announced happily.
      "Can it Corporal. You're not being rescued just yet" the Colonel exclaimed, a tint of anger within his voice.
      "Why not sir?" Reynolds acquired thoughtfully.
      "Because we can't leave a certain piece of technology behind. You don't need to know what this technology is, all you need to know is that if the Covenant get that technology, the battle for Earth may be over before it even begins. You Corporal, and any comrades you may have, are to retrieve this technology and hand it over to ONI. Get to processing. I'll give you further details when you arrive" the Colonel commanded.
      "With all due respect sir, this place is crawling with Covenant. We'll never get there alive" the Corporal complained.
      "Get there double-time Corporal. Ackerson out" the Colonel stated. Reynolds re-attached the radio to his belt, before turning to his only comrade, the sleeping Eddie Portman. The ONI technician lay at his feet, empty liquor canteen next to him. Reynolds kicked the technician in the arm. Portman woke up abruptly, a dazed look upon his face.
      "Get your things. We're moving out."