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This Is Our Land-Chapter 2
Posted By: Carson Woo<chinamancarson@yahoo.com.hk>
Date: 9 June 2011, 8:27 am


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"I can pretty much guarantee that at least one of us will make it outta here in one piece"
- Sergeant Major Avery Johnson

Chapter 2 - Capture
13/2/2992, 2353 Hours
Covenant Super Cruiser Pathfinder's Hull, Above Enemy Bridge

As the Eagle and the HEV drop pods slowly descended onto the Cruiser's hull, the 1st squad's sniper, Lance Corporal Taylor, peered at the hull and saw a single Brute Stalker on the hull. He reported to Gunnery Sergeant Gary Johnson, his squad leader using a single beam com launcher, which will hopefully not be detected by Covenant forces. "Single Brute. Jump pack ones. Wanna smoke 'um?"

Gary received the massage. After a moment of consideration, he flashed a green HED status light to Taylor that added," Use the silencer. Do it quietly." Taylor flashed him back a green light, then a red light. "More Brutes. They have their grenade launchers, so called Brute Shots. Suggest evasive action, Gunny." Gary relayed the massage to the marines and the new members of the squads. "Lieutenant," he asked the Spartan, Richard. "What do you think?"

"An usual engagement would be unwise," the Spartan - III replied, "I suggest  that you and your team take advantage of the element of surprise and try to stick the Brutes with silenced plasma grenades. I have discovered a whole cache of those grenades under your seat, Gunnery Sergeant. The decision is yours, though, because you have tactical command of this capturing mission. That's all." he slammed his fists together. "I am ready for everything."

Gary considered the plan, then agreed with the Spartan. "Okay, we will stick to your plan, Spartan. Haverson, Taylor and Clarke, you three and the Spartan will launch the grenades. Edward," he contacted the 2nd squad leader. "Adjust your entry trajectory. I need you to evade the Brutes. Pick off any stragglers by bumping them off."

"Roger."

Gary sent the Grenadiers a count down by sending red, amber and green status lights."Now!" he ordered. A hail of plasma grenades blew up midair, kill every Brute except one Brute Captain. The Captain growled while looking up to search for enemies. Edward intercepted a signal from to Captain and possibly for the Shipmaster of the Pathfinder. "The enemies have breached our lines!" the Captain shouted. "Shipmaster, I need reinforcements...." 

Taylor's Sniper Rifle coughed and the Captain's brain exploded when the high explosives 16.5 X 6.8 mm bullet breached the Captain's head. However, more Brute Stalkers jumped out, search for the Humans' blood. Two of the Brutes attempted to carry the Captain's body away, only to be killed by a plasma grenade threw by the Spartan. The Spartan was spotted though, for poking out his hand. A Brute Major launched a spike grenade at the Eagle, revealing the assault ship with its flaming light.

"The grenade is about to explode! Haverson, arm the HORNET mines! Set the ship's course straight down to the bridge! Abandon ship, now!" Gary ordered. "Yes sir!" Haverson replied, "Working... Armed!" "Okay, jump, now! Come on, marines!" Gary shouted.

The ODSTs secured their helmets and armor, activated their amor shields, then jump using the jump pack thrusters mounted on their back. The elite soldiers fired their MA9E assault rifles and a few M9B silenced sub-machine gun while throwing frag and plasma grenades. The Brutes' shields failed and their armor were breached. They fell one by one into the space, their bodies forever lost. The 2nd Squad also landed on the hull, gathering supplies from their Human Entry Drop Pods while attacking the brutes.

The only Brute survivor went berserk after seeing his teammates dying one by one. He growled and fired his Spiker using one hand and fired the Brute Shot using another. The Brute, a Minor Brute, aimed at Richard the Spartan-III. The Spartan was busy at evading the Eagle crashing down above his head so he cannot do anything to the Brute. He escape from the Eagle, but was about to die under the hands of a mere Minor Brute.

His shield flickered and failed, exposing his plain armor to the Brute. The ODSTs fired their rifles at the Brute, breaching his armor and spilled red Brute blood our. However, the berserking Brute held his ground. He send a large roar out to the space, and readied his Spiker to deliver a final blow at the poor Spartan. Corporal Eston turned around, knowing that she cannot do anything for the Spartan except praying for a painless death for Richard.

Richard closed his eyes, reading himself for a quick death.

For a few moments, Richard felt that spikes jabbed his stomach, but that feeling soon faded. He forced his eyes open, hoping to see that he was already in heaven, dead.

However, to his disappointment, he saw just the empty outer space and a handful of ODSTs and the Dreadnought. The Brute was gone. 'What the hell!' he thought. 'Where's the Brute!?' Then, his saw that his allies were all stoned. He turned around, and thought that it was caused by his death. But it was not.

The Eagle breached the Pathfinder's hull, and the powerful HORNET mines exploded inside the enemy bridge. A huge ball of flames consumed the enemies, and the humans can hear voices calling for help in the distance. A huge hole broke on the hull and the Brute Minor was swallowed into the flaming bridge.

"Enemy commander crew destroyed," Haverson, the controller of the mines reported to Gary after assessing the status of the Super Cruiser."Orders, sir? Sir?" Haverson turned to Gary's position, only to see the marines all were staring at the aft section of the ship. Lances of plasma torpedoes raced towards the Pathfinder's belly. Impacts on the shields were useless as the Pathfinder's shields were much stronger than the others. "The enemy's Shipmaster Brute, sir," Kola reported to the Sergeants. "He thought that we are about to capture the ship, so he ordered the engines to be overloaded. Detonation in 16 minutes. However, a slipspace jump can halt the overloading. Also, in case we find a way to halt the overloading, the Shipmaster ordered the other Covenant ship in range attack and destroy the Pathfinder."

Gary considered the situation and asked Private First Class Hubert, the squad's tech specialist. " Trooper, can you hack into the ship's control center and start a slipspace transition?"

Hubert took out a data pad and pressed a few buttons. "According to the ship's control center, sir," he answered, "the Brute aboard already started a slipspace transition. Maybe there's a mutiny sir." "So.. Why are we still here?" Edward inquired. Hubert shook his head. "I don't know, sir," he replied. "Wait, detecting new signals.... A Covenant AI! He's gone rampant and halted the Slipspace transition!" Hubert's hands shook Asa he typed in commands on the data pad. The data pad shown an error sign.

"You'll need to destroy the AI's data center, Gunny," Hubert said. "Then you can insert this data pad into one of the terminals. It will start the transition. However, there's only 10 minutes left!"

"That's mission impossible, Gary," Edward whispered. "Kill the AI, start the transition in ten minutes? Impossible." "No. It's not." Gary replied. He grabbed the data pad. "Remember my father's ship? He conducted engine overload after the Brutes threatened to capture the Last Of The Brave, then the ship AI started a slipspace transition without my father's command. However, the bastards Covenant shot the ship with its shields down." he explained. "Then the ship disappeared. According to my armor's library, when a slipspace transition is conducted with a hull temperature of over 10000 Kelvin, the ship will be sent across the universe and the universe's timeline due to the major heat inside the FTL drive. I may find my father and save us all."

"The shield generator is located 2 kilometers north from here," Hubert said. "We will need to break the hull, then throw a few fragmentation grenades into the generator. That shall disable the shields for a few seconds. The slipspace drive is just besides the generator. I can manually override the AI and start the transition."

"Lieutenant?" Gary asked the Spartan. "Can you and the Dreadnought do this on your own? We'd like to clear a perimeter outside the bridge. Then, we can establish a command center inside the bridge. There's something called the Engineers who can repair the bridge. Hubert," he turned to the technician. "Give you data pad to the Spartan." "Yes Sir!" "Deal," Richard replied as he inserted the pad in one of his helmet's slots. "I'll contact you once the shields are down."

The Dreadnought and Richard vanished in a flash of light -- then reappeared two kilometers away, now inside the hull of the Pathfinder. The MJONIR's new teleporter was a new installment to the UNSC arsenal.

"Let's go marines," Gary told them. "What are we waiting for?"

The eighteen marines helped each other to take out their 'Driller', a drilling machine first used by the Engineering Crops to take out enemy bunkers, was issued to all UNSC soldiers for emergency use. The driller was about 25 inches long and 10 inches wide. It was tipped with a C-13 foaming explosive portable mine for drilling.

"Ready, marines," Gary called out loud. "In 3,2,1, now!" 

The ODSTs snapped the driller into the hull, detonating the C-13 and blew a hole measuring 10 meters wide. The marines jumped into the ground. Besides them was the flaming bridge. "Let's spilt up," Gary ordered. The two squads patrolled each aide of the bridge.

Corporal Haverson  found a tight service corridor. Gary noticed the glyphs on the floor, and decided that the service corridor is for the Engineers. "Edward," he asked, "have you found anything yet?"

"No," the Sergeant replied. "But Eston detected a few contact on his radar. Possible Covenant. The contacts are quite big, maybe it is Ghosts or a Choppers. Be careful, it's ignoring us and coming to your position!"

"Roger that, hold position and set up firing pits. Deploy your machine guns along with the missile launchers."

"Yes, sir. Chen over and out."

Gary clicked off the COM. He told his squad,"Kola, deploy the heavy weapons," he ordered the squad's heavy weapons specialist. "Others dig out firing pits with your driller. I need at least 5 assault rifles in the pits in 3 minutes."

The marines did as told, and soon the 1st squad were all inside firing trenches. Haverson took armor platings from the cooled bridge and used them as shields for the marines. "Gunny, we look like cowards now," Private Jackson moaned. "Why don't we just attack those Covenant vehicles?"

"Stow the BS, marine," Gary barked. "You wanna live? Then shut the fu** up and man the machine gun." Jackson silenced than whispered to Private Gregorio, "This duty station really sucks. I am now serving under a coward, idiotic Gunnery Sergeant who don't have the guts to attack Ghost or Brute Chopper with 2 rocket launchers."

However, the Private's moans was overheard by Haverson, who reported to the Gunnery Sergeant. Haverson, serving as Gary's second in command, asked Gary to attack. "The men is unsettled," he said. "I think you should send a few to ambush the Ghosts, in which that we have advantage over 'em."

Gary thought about it. "Very well, Corporal," he replied. "Send Lance-Corporal Kola to lead the operation. Get the heavy weapons with you, but be careful..." "Gunny! We've got incoming, sir!" cried Private Gregorio. "I've got visual now! Orders, sir?" The Private's prophecy was proved right, as five Ghosts Recon Assault Vehicles charged at the marines.

"Shit!" Gary cursed, "Haverson, what's the bridge's status?" "Suitable for human life, sir," Haverson answered. "But something's inside, who ordered repairs to the bridge."

Kola cut off the Corporal, and reminded the Sergeant, "Three minutes left before the overloading," he said, "Sir, I suggest that we leave now, sir!" "Contact the Spartan, then," Edward joined the conversation through the COM. "I can't contact him!" shouted Kola.

"Shit! Crap!" Gary punched the floor. Suddenly, a blue light glowed and the floor gave away. "Holy Crap..." shouted Edward. Both teams dropped into a shaft and was ejected along with the shaft into the empty space. Another pod followed, and the three pods was surrounded by a flash of light and disappeared. Soon, the Pathfinder's aft glowed, and exploded.

*****************

May 23rd, 2554, 1748 hours
Aboard UGOH Fortress-Class Super Carrier, Medical Bay 392
In Orbit Of Charum Hakkor

"Die? Didn't you know? Spartans never die."
--- Kurt-051 

"What the hell?!?!"

"Crap!"

"Damn!"

"Shit!"

"May you.. Rot in HELL!"

"Arggggghhhhhhhh!!!!"

SPARTAN-051, Kurt, woke up in a floating bed. His armor was off, revealing scars and his pale skin. He forced himself up, but his muscles complained and he obeyed his body's orders. 

Kurt remembered why he was there. Before the FENRIS warheads detonated, a gold flash of light surrounded him, and he was brought to a surgery center. Then, he blacked out. Until now.

He checked his surrondings, and found out that the 3 meters wide room was empty, except his bed and an unknown alien nurse-like figure. The alien turned around and saw Kurt has woken up.

"Finally," the alien spoke, revealing that he was a male. "You've been in coma for about 1 and a half year! I've got many questions for you. But first, allow me equip you with your armor. Ah, yes. My name is Glory Flames of Light in your lauguage, or Thchestron Acpalios Dewaca Hanouin, son of General Flafucawa Hanouin, commander of the 2nd Fleet, United Justice." He reached out his hand. "Welcome to Charum Hakkor, the last world of Humanity."

Kurt ignored Thchestron's friendly welcome. "Do you know who I am?" he asked. "Probably you don't. You Covenant son of a gun." He punched Thchestron in the face, breaking his nose. Blood trailed down the bloody face as Thchestron backed off.

"I'm just trying to help!" Thchestron said. "I know you're devastated by the death of your soldiers, the Spartans, but you cannot be angry and hit other..."

"Real funny," Kurt snorted, "listen." He rose from the bed, ignoring the pain now. He pointed his index finger at the alien, Thchestron. "I am SPARTAN-zero-five-one, Lieutenant Commander Kurt Ambrose, senior officer on the UNSC colony, Onyx. Now, you will show my way out, give me my armor, then let me OUT!"

Thchestron wiped the disgusting liquid from Kurt's mouth off his face. "Look," he replied,"I am Lieutenant Hanouin of the United Governments Of Humanity, and acting commander of the 229 Regiment. I hope that you will accept your new armor, then you can get off."

Kurt slowly calmed down. "Fine," he said. "But I still cannot trust you. You've got that?" "Yes, Commander," Thchestron answered, smiling. "Follow me."

******************

April 18th, 2543
Battle of Psi Serpentis
UNSC Flagship, UNSC Everest

Listen to me, Covenant. I am Vice Admiral Preston J. Cole commanding the human flagship, Everest. You claim to be the holy and glorious inheritors of the universe? I spit on your so-called holiness. You dare judge us unfit? After I have personally sent more than three hundred of your vainglorious ships to hell? After kicking your collective butts off Harvest - not once - but twice? From where I sit, we are the worthy inheritors. You think otherwise, you can come and try to prove me wrong.
--- Admiral Preston J. Cole

"Fire at will, Lieutenant!" Admiral Preston Cole shouted. "Shiva and Archers away,sir." replied Lieutenant St. Clair. "Detonation in 1 minute, Admiral. The Io is now 59 kilometers away from the Everest. Exposure immediate."

"Commander Ching? Engage slipspace engines. Transit now!" Cole ordered. "Aye sir," answered Ching. "Transition in thirty seconds.""Good. New heading two two four by two two nine, Lieutenant Nevola." Cole told the navigation officer. "Aye sir." Nevola replied. "Coming avpbout. New heading confirmed."

"Sir? Major hull damage." Change reported. "Superstructure near collapse. " 

"Shit," Cole barked a rare curse. "Jump now!" "Aye, sir!"

A large blue ball surrounded the Everest and send it into slipspace. "We're clear," Nevola said. "Safe in slipspace." "Then we better not try our luck too far, Lieutenant. Remain in slipspace for a whole year will surely help us escape."

Cole sighed. "Before that, we better go into cryogenic tube and have some dreams."

A Year Later.........

Everest emerged from slipspace. Strangely, they are not alone... A Phoenix-Class colony ship was there, too.

The ship is CFV-88, the UNSC Spirit Of Fire.







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