Intro: The Storm
Posted By: Black Furnace<email@example.com>
Date: 21 September 2009, 6:17 am
The City Olympus on Miridem
Second Lieutenant Ryos Walker
Call sign: Zeus
5 hours before Atlas weapon firing sequence
I was behind the low wall of a local restaurant, across the street from my destination, a small city hall for a big city. Buried underneath it was the only hope to save Humanity from being stomped out of existence.
Problem was there were about 50 aliens between me and my goal. 35 of the Covenant's diminutive Grunts, 10 dog-like jackals, and 5 of their leaders, the space-gorilla like Brutes. I wasn't alone though. I could see the squad of 6 United Nation Space Command Marines already in position to my left, hiding behind a statue. By my side were the other 4 UNSC Orbital Drop Shock Troopers from my squad.
Our commander, Captain Mendenhal broke in over the radio, "Ok, the enemy fighters just landed to refuel. You have 5 minutes to get in that building before they are able to scramble another squadron and vaporize you."
I glanced again to my left to be sure the marines were ready. They gave the "ok" signal. I pulled a grenade off my belt and primed it. Duke, our demolitions specialist whispered "1. . .2. . . 3!" and stood up, tossing his grenade into the alien mass guarding the city hall. 10 more grenades joined his as they arced towards the enemy. The Grunts squealed as the grenades exploded. A jackal's mutilated body was thrown over my head as I ducked down. I popped up and let them hear the thunder of my Assault Rifle as I poured a wall of lead their bloodied ranks.
This fight wasn't over though. An alarm sounded and more aliens poured out of the building. We took out at least 40 in the initial barrage, but now their numbers were almost back to normal. And we still had to get inside that building. We ducked down again as a hail of plasma and spikes flew overhead. I yelled "Covering Fire!" and vaulted over the wall as my squad forced the aliens back behind cover or face death. Yale, our medic, followed me and we ran across the street to the right of the enemy position as bullets and plasma danced in the air around us. We got behind an overturned car and unloaded on the enemy from the side, watching as the jackal's weak bodies crumple under our combined barrage. A Brute turned on us and fired his grenade launcher like it was going out of style. I rolled out from behind the car as the grenades blasted the car and sent it skidding across the pavement. Yale wasn't fast enough. The car clipped his foot and sent him on a date with the cement. He was probably stunned from the impact, but he'd live.
Me? That was another matter. The Brute threw aside his empty and charged at me. His roar rumbled in my chest. I pulled up my rifle to fire. *click* No more bullets in the magazine.
"Ah crap!" I yelled. There was no way I could beat a Brute in hand-to-hand combat. He could rip me in two without a second thought. The Brute bent in his shoulder to ram me. I ducked under and shoved the butt of my gun into his chin throwing him right onto his back. While he was stunned, I pulled out my magnum and blasted his brains out.
I turned to help Yale, but a grunt had gotten there first. The little guy had a plasma grenade in hand and was about to throw it. *CRACK* the grenade exploded, but while it was still in the grunt's hand. A thin trail of a sniper bullet could be seen lingering in the air.
Joker, our sniper, yelled at Yale "Keep your head on Einstein or else I'll let them take it off!" She ran over to where I was, picking off enemies left and right. We holed up behind a concrete barrier.
Yale responded "Tell me that the next time you need me to stitch your butt back on after it's been blown off!" He pulled himself up and picked up his battle rifle, slicing through the grunts as he regrouped. He was cut off by a round of plasma fire and settled for a nearby blast crater.
Rex, the heavy weapons specialist joined us, his rocket launcher still lying strapped to his back, his silenced magnum in hand. He barely made it over the increasing amount of enemy resistance. They may have been disorganized before, but even after we've thinned their numbers, their organization and numbers were starting to give them the upper hand.
I yelled over the gunfire to him "Take that piece of junk off your back and use it for a change!"
Rex laughed at me "This isn't even gotten to elementary crazy yet. I only use the boom tube when it gets to the end-of-the-world crazy. I might be using it now if we had been carrying more ammo, but SOMEBODY told us to travel light."
I stood up to fire, but screamed in pain instead as I was knocked down by a barrage of Spiker fire. I could feel the spikes rooting themselves deep into my skin. If getting hit by a Spiker was painful, taking out the spikes were far worse.
"MAN DOWN! MAN DOWN!" Joker yelled.
"I can't get over there! I'm pinned down!" Yale hollered. The situation was looking worse every second. It might kill me, but I had to stay in the fight.
"Calm down, I'll live." I said, fighting the pain as I got back on my feet. The blood oozed from my wounds, and the spikes settled deeper into my muscles as I contracted and relaxed them. But if there's one thing I've learned from being an ODST, it's that the quickest way to end the pain was to end the fight. Deal with the pain later. Others lives are more important.
Joker looked at me with a worried look, but then went back to picking off the more courageous aliens. Rex never stopped popping grunts in the head. That was his way.
"Boys and Girls, those fighters have been scrambled and are on their way. ETA 3 minutes. That's your window. Get in there before the Covenant makes you a permanent stain on the road." Captain Mendenhal's tense voice added more insanity to the scene.
I unloaded my clip into the nearest Brute, stripping him of his shields, and Rex capped him in the head. "Captain, we're pinned down by two dozen hostiles still. Seems they're as interested in this place as we are. Any way you could stall them long enough for us to get inside?" I responded.
"Negative Lieutenant. They have heavy anti-air batteries surrounding our position, and we haven't made a breakthrough in their lines yet. You're on your own."
I looked across to the Marines on the other side of the Hall. They looked in worse shape than we were. I could see that 5 of them were still alive, but 3 of them had severe plasma burns, and I could see a human arm hanging solo over a signpost, with the body nowhere near. They weren't contacting me over the radio, which means their squad leader was probably the missing body.
But that still left out one person.
"Joker! Have you seen Duke anywhere?" I screamed.
"Duke? I thought he was with Yale!"
When they loaded the jamming equipment into our helmets, they took out most of the primary features such as the radio, which the squad leaders now had to carry on their back in an antique backpack. They also took out the squad monitoring system, telling the squad where the other squad members are and their vital signs. This meant that we had no idea where he was.
"TAKE COVER!!!!!" somebody yelled. I looked over and saw Duke throwing what looked like a cobbled together bomb. And through past experience, I knew it was, and that he had a habit of almost getting us killed by it. We immediately hit the deck and prayed for the best.
*BOOM* The whole area around the hall lit up. Fire vaporized the remaining aliens. All kinds of debris blew past us in a confused whirlwind. The explosion could be heard even through the sound dampening of our helmets.
Suddenly, it was over. We looked over our barrier and saw a blasted street; a huge crater was left where the alien defenders once stood.
Rex looked over at Duke, astounded, and asked "How many explosives did you use?"
"Uhh, I dunno. I just put some stuff together, strapped it to a grenade, pulled the pin and threw it."
"YOU COULD HAVE GOTTEN US ALL KILLED! USE SOME COMMON SENSE BEFORE I BEAT IT INTO YOU!"
"Woah, slow down! It's not like you were blowing them up, so I had to!"
It looked like Rex was going to make good on his promise before Joker stepped in. "Children, I don't want to get plastered by those fighters, so let's wait to kill each other until we finish the mission. Comprende?" the look in her eyes seemed to spell death, but her voice was calm.
Rex and Duke mumbled something, and then started walking up to the building. Joker followed them while Yale came to me. He proceeded to pull out the spikes and spray biofoam in the wounds to seal it until it could heal.
"Try to make sure that Joker gets shot next time. Preferably in some way that makes it so she can't speak." He muttered to me.
"I'll see what I can do. Friendly fire IS common in warfare." We laughed and he helped me to get back on my feet.
The Marines beat us to the door, but before they could open it two beams of green plasma incinerated the two at the door. Two Hunters broke their way through what was left of the doorway, their large shields protecting their behemoth bodies from our bullets. We opened fire anyways. The Marines bunched up to provide a target while we flanked them and poured fire into their unguarded sides. The Hunters were going to go down before they could take any more of us with them.
I saw something jump from the second story. I yelled to the Marines, but it was already too late. A Brute Chieftain, gravity hammer and all, came crashing down on the remaining Marines, sending their bodies flying one way or another. They couldn't have survived that.
I dived to the side as a hunter's beam nearly sent me the same way.
"Regroup!" I yelled, and the squad assembled next to me. Rex pulled out his rocket launcher.
"Those fighters will be there in a little less than a minute! Get in there." The captain reminded us.
The Hunters were charging up their guns again and the Chieftain was charging.
If this was the last thing I did, I was going to go down fighting.
We ran forward, guns blazing.