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Zanzibar: The Waterworks-Chapter 14
Posted By: 343 Salty Beans<hockyfreak5@yahoo.com>
Date: 19 July 2004, 5:03 PM

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      Author's Note: Okay, sorry for the long time between chapters. The waves sucked, my shoulders hurt, and I got a nice tan. But my vacation is over now.
Hope you enjoy, I enjoyed the beach. I got my driver's license, too...looking good, looking good.

      Another blue needle nearly a foot long bounced off the stock of her rifle, then ricocheted away into the shadows. Linda sighted two Elites with raised rifles and put them down in quick succession.
      She knew how the needles worked. The electromagnetic field around it not only guided it, but helped it penetrate personal shielding. The EM, combined with the tapered point and light layer of plasma around it, helped get it through the ions that made up shields and into the skin.
      She wasn't about to let that happen to her...and the Covenant sniper rifles were no match for her S2-AM SRS99C. She let two more deadly anti-matter tipped, armor piercing bullets rip through the air, taking two more aliens through the chest. She nonchalantly thumbed the magazine release and slammed a fresh one home, noting that there were only two more clips left in the bottom of her ammo sack.
      Linda took aim at the last sniper, finished him off, and settled her reticle on a black-armored Brute. The Chief was covered, and she was ready when he needed her.

      John slammed the butt of his rifle into the back of an unwary Grunt. Its compadre squealed and whipped around, reaching for its plasma pistol. It never got the chance-a trio of heated plasma bolts burnt a hole through it's chest and dissipated on the adjacent wall.
      "Cortana," he growled, "status and directions, please."
      The AI appeared in the corner of his HUD and shook her head. "I'm sorry, Chief. I'm jamming their Battlenet, but word of intruders is spreading via private COM channels. As for those directions..." she gestured, and a NAV marker appeared on his visor. "That," she said, "is the route to the outer balconies. Linda can give you more cover and you'll have more area to move around in."
      John nodded, then motioned his team to a strange-looking hatch to the left. Only he had see the three-piece door design before-on Halo. The lights pulsed green, and it slid open to reveal a surprised Elite. Three silenced bursts from his team's battle rifles broke its shields and tore bloody rips in its body. It keened, then hit the floor with a wet smack.
      Cortana's voice chimed in his head. "Alert. The next hatch leads to the outer balconies. Last seen there were Brutes and Hunters, as well as SpecOps Elites." She paused. "Be careful, Chief."
      He nodded, carbine at the ready. "Team, move forward and hit them before they can hit us. Officer Williams, take cover behind us Spartans. We can take limited abuse before we need to let our shields recharge. Find cover as quickly as possible."
      He took a deep breath and noted that his vital signs were noticeably higher. He had faced Brutes before, and Hunters before, but never both together. He banished the fear into the back of his mind, pushed all his emotions into a corner, and stepped forward.
"Red-Two! Fire at will!"

      Fred halted at the hatch Will was directly behind. The lights on it were red, which meant it was locked. Damn.
      Kelly pulled out her standard-issue lockbreaker and wired it into the keycard slot. They sat in silence for several minutes, keeping watch as it ran through thousands of combinations per second. Finally, a beep emitted, and the door slid open.
      On the other side, a Spartan torso protruded from a mound of rock and concrete. "Glad you guys could make it," Will said weakly over the COM. His vital signs were extremely bumpy, and blood was pooled on the floor around him.
      The two Spartans hauled on Will's arms, and he popped out of the rubble. His armor was dented, scratched, and nearly ruined. Will ran his diagnostics while Kelly unpacked the field med kit and found that his motion tracking systems were out, and his leg armor was near compromise in one area.
      Kelly, meanwhile, scanned his injuries. The handheld MRI showed internal bleeding, a fractured rib, and a lacerated kidney. She quickly patched his external injuries with biofoam, then filled his whole abdominal cavity with it. She tossed the empty can away and reattached his armor plating.
      Will stood shakily up, then stretched his arms and unlimbered his SMGs. "Okay, let's go."
      Kelly watched him limp down the corridor and started to say something, then shrugged. If a Spartan said they were fine, they were fine.