Posted By: 343 Salty Beans<email@example.com>
Date: 1 June 2004, 11:26 PM
Author's Note: I have a few things to say, since people have been whining about my story of late. Number One: Thanks for the thing about the "code". Since this is my first fanfic, I really didn't know about it, despite insinuations about me being a sociopath. Two: The whole Grace thing? People keep whining about that one, too. Don't complain, it might play a part in the story. Three: If you want to insult me, criticize my writings, or use my mail server to spam your Mah Jongg club, my email is firstname.lastname@example.org.
John put his back against Grace's to brace as he fired his SMG on full auto. The Elites were fast, too fast, and were able to duck and dodge faster than humans could aim. Well, most humans, John thought as he put down one of the shimmering aliens.
Will grunted over the COM as a plasma sword sliced through his thigh armor. Hydrostatic gel and blood leaked out of the gash, but he fired both of his SMGs at the blur that had attacked him. It lost it's footing as a bullet tore through it's knee and fell to the floor. He bashed in it's skull with his boot, and continued to rain bullets at the attackers.
The Chief gritted his teeth and switched to his battle rifle. They were in trouble, and it would be worse if he didn't take action soon. "Team!" he barked on the com. "Foxtrot maneuver on my mark!" He paused, primed a grenade, and yelled, "MARK!"
Each Spartan dropped their fragmentation grenade and ducked around the corner. An Elite screamed, and an explosion shook the hallway. Blood, entrails, and body parts shot out of the conjoining corridor and splattered on the wall. John saw the handle of an energy blade shoot out of the hallway and bounce off the wall. It was about to fall to the floor, until his hand shot out and caught it before it's failsafe activated. He clipped it to his ammo belt-it might come in handy.
"No more signs, of movement, Chief," Cortana said shakily.
The Chief shook his head. "That's what you said last time." He pulled out a medkit and began treating the team's wounds. Will had a gash in his thigh, and Linda had one on her forearm. He quickly stripped the armor on Will's leg, and winced. The score went all the way down to the Spartan's surgically reinforced bone, and had even cut through a bit of that. Will winced as his wound was sterilized, filled with biofoam, and incarcerated shut.
Linda's was less serious, and had only opened up part of her flesh. The same treatment was applied to her, and the armor was replaced.
Cortana was shaken up by her error. She had considered the active camouflage units the Elites were wearing. She promised herself not to make any more mistakes. She diverted runtime from her probability matrix into using the Chief's sensors to check the surroundings. She also boosted the Chief's motion trackers to the highest setting, and flashed a message across his HUD to let him know.
She then accessed the schematics of the base and noticed an outlet built for memory cards, program matrices...and AIs. "Chief, I may have an opportunity to access the databank in this base. Plug me in to the outlet ten meters down this hallway and I can use the information to get us where we need to go."
John waved his team down the corridor and had them stand guard in a semicircle, facing outwards. Not an ideal position, since they could be attacked from three directions, but still good enough as the hatch opposite the wall couldn't be opened without them noticing. He knelt down and popped the memory processor out of his skull. Cortana's presence receded from his mind, and he inserted her into the wall. Then he joined the other Spartans in watching for enemies.
Cortana was silent for almost a full minute. Inside, she checked the security cameras that were installed in every base like this. Many had been blacked out, but others remained. The ones that were intact showed Covenant, a lot more than the report had given. Still, nothing apart from the normal Grunts and Jackals, save a few Elites. Then she checked the outer security system.
Covenant were swarming on the beach...the sheer number was astonishing. Mortar tanks were lining the coast, Banshees screamed over the structure, and Ghosts skittered nimbly through the hundreds of aliens-Elites, Jackals, Hunters, and Grunts. Dropships came and went, each bringing more and more troops.
Cortana switched to cameras inside the building, and noted that the ground troops were pouring in the hatch. "Chief, the Covenant are converging en masse at the structure entrance. I advise that we get the hell out of here. I'll write a relay-waypoint subroutine into the into the database so I can siphon info, then we need to achieve our objective.
John watched through the feeds Cortana had put on his HUD impassively. He unplugged Cortana, shoved her chip back into his helmet, and stepped out of the formation. He knew they had to do this-fast.