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No Place for Heroes; Ch 4 - This Aint No Football Team
Posted By: DevilsInject<mj-power@hotmail.com>
Date: 31 August 2010, 12:51 am

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~ Digital Log
UNSC ID; 77856-34256MS

~ Data Pad Entry #6MS9 @ Forward Base "Hornets Nest"

      The forward base has grown, and we now occupy close to one whole block of the city. The centre of the courtyard is large enough for two Pelicans to sit, and four Warthogs are parked on the road adjacent. We have a field surgeon station, mess hall, and barracks.

      We've been here for a week now. It's safe and secure. We have over 100 men and women stationed at what we've dubbed "Hornets Nest" due to the constant buzzing from the Pelicans.

      Right now we've got two engineers welding extra plates onto a 'Hog, and welding seats in as well; creating two heavy duty transport and attack vehicles. The ONI teams showed up and scouted out a lot of the surrounding area. There's no Covies securely stationed within a mile and a half radius. It feels good knowing we can operate without any disturbances.

      The CO has his command centre set up in a sturdy two story building line with machine guns and soldiers. We're still waiting to get out hands on a couple Scorpion battle tanks.

      This place is locked down tight. Nothin' is gettin' in here. I have a good feeling we're gonna' be takin' this city back. Hoo-rah.

      Michael pushed open the door of a nearby shop and walked in. His squad was huddled around a table, cards in hand. Pete nodded when he walked in, and tossed two cards on the table. "Gimme two." Larke chuckled, "Alright, what ones do you want?" he asked as he tossed two cards towards Pete, who glared at him.

      Smith laughed and turned to face Michael, "Dumb fucker told him what cards he wanted, and gave away his whole hand." Pete punched Smith in the ribs, who in turn fell out of his chair laughing through wheezes. Michael on the other hand, walked over and patted Pete on the shoulder. "Way to be bud. Next time think before you speak."

      Shrugging his hand away, Pete stood and walked over to a terminal on the wall, and turned it on, inserting a data chip in. A mix of dubstep and hardstyle loudly pushed through the tiny speakers.

      Opus stood and walked towards the terminal. "Turn that shit off man. We're gonna get in deep. I don't wanna clean the latrines." He pushed the off button, and Pete sighed, plucked the chip out of the terminal and put it back in his pocket. Muttering something about a "fucking buzzkill" he stepped outside, pulling a small, filtered cigar from his pocket. At the same moment, a runner jogged into the room.

      "You guys better lock n' load. We're lookin' to expand the base a bit, but a couple squads we sent out encountered some resistance. They're pinned down two blocks from here, and you guys and 2nd Squad are going in to reinforce 'em."

      Michael nodded and turned to face the squad, "Alright guys. Get your shit together, Larke, take the shotgun 'cos we're gonna be gettin' up close and personal. Combat knifes, each of you. Dont try to take a Brute on with one, because I don't feel like sending a letter back to your mommas. Hoo-rah?" The squad returned the hoo-rah and jumped into action, clipping on vests and loading weapons. Pete came in, and picked his helmet up from next to the door, and grabbed his MA5C from the locker. "Mike, we goin' in on a new 'Hog?"

      "More than likely Pete, we're bringin' some people back, so 2nd Squad is gonna be bringin' one too. We'll be handing the 'Hogs over to the pinned down squads and humpin' it back here." Michael answered, as he and the squad jogged out of the shop, and towards the Warthogs.

      2nd Squad were already loaded up, with a man on the gun, a driver, a passenger and the rest of the squad sitting in the back; assault rifles and SMGs poking out the slits in the metal plates. The sergeant of the squad hollered from the passenger sheet, "Ya'll better hurry yer asses up; we got word that a group of rebels moved in on the Covies and our fellas; looks like we got ourselves a Mexican stand off!" He let out a booming laugh, and shoved a cigar into the corner of his mouth.

      Michael and the squad climbed into the 'Hog. Opus sat in the passenger seat, Michael sat in the driver's seat and Jake climbed behind the gun, and the rest of the squad piled into the seats. Michael hollered up to the other jeep, "Let's roll people, we have people to save." The engines roared to life and the two squads sped out of the base.

      The jeeps smashed through craters and pot holes, and flew over road bumps. The sergeant in the lead 'Hog let out a whoop as his jeep flew off a rather large crater and Michael scoffed. He knew the sergeant was a good fighter, he'd heard stories. But he was also known for being gung-ho, and brash.

      His name was Jessie Pates; an honest to god cowboy if there ever was one. Born in what was once Texas, he worked on one of the last ranches on Earth. Knew how to shoe a horse and tan cow hide. Tough as nails, and there was even a rumour that he ate one once.

      His squad was solid, and they'd only ever lost one man since they were enlisted. Michael had lost four. He turned the jeep and it skidded around a corner. A flash of blue light burst from the next block down, and the two Warthogs sped towards the street.

      Pates and his squad turned onto the street and flew down the yellow lines, guns blazing. They pulled up next to the two squads, and piled out. The gunner stayed on the .50, pumping rounds into the Covies across the street.

      Michael on the other hand, sped towards the next street. He turned and barrelled down the middle of the road. He planned on circling around and taking out the small rebel group that had showed up, taking pot shots and hoping to pick off the survivors. He turned the corner and Jake opened up with the .50.

      One rebel turned and brought his rusty rifle up to his shoulder. A .50 calibre round tore the man nearly in half as it ripped through his stomach. The other four rebels turned and opened fire on the jeep. A bullet skipped off the barrel of the gun and grazed Jakes face, who roared in anger and thumbed the triggers on the gun. The rebels crumpled and fell apart as the heavy rounds tore through their thin clothes.

      Michael pushed the pedal to the floor and flew down the street. Everyone in the vehicle laid into the group of Grunts, Jackals and Brutes. Bits and pieces of alien covered the streets, and blood started to pool underneath the growing pile of mutilated bodies. Within minutes the Covenant were wiped out.

      Michael and Pates squads helped move the wounded and dead into the 'Hogs. Only about one and a half squads worth of men remained. The others were dead or too wounded to fight again. In ten minutes they'd loaded the men onto the jeeps, and waved them off.

      Pete knelt down, and looked at Michael. "Guess we didn't need those combat knives did we?'

      Michael and Pates stood side by side and watched as the Warthogs drove around the corner, back in the direction of the base. "Y'know, I'd rather not hoof it back to that base. I'm not too keen on runnin'." said Pates as he lit his cigar, taking a long drag. He held it out to Michael, who accepted and took quick, but deep puff. He inhaled and let the smoke sit in his lungs; savouring the oaky taste of the tobacco on this planet. He turned towards the squads.

      "Let's move guys. We either start moving now, or it gets dark and we're stuck out here with the Covie and rebel patrols. And I don't want to tangle with those bastards right now." Michael started running, and the two squad's followed, full sprint. It would take them about ten minutes to get back to base.

      Michael slowed. And he heard the one thing he was hoping they would avoid. The low, monotone hum of a Covenant drop ship. To him it sounded like vultures, come to pick at the dead. It appeared over a low building, and opened up on the two squads.

      They scrambled like mad; running full tilt towards the base. They were 100 yards away, and their legs were pumping, breath heaving. Plasma struck the road and glass windows. Melted blobs of glass and asphalt sprayed on their helmets and faces. It looks like a beautiful, red hot rainstorm, save the rainbow.

      At about 30 yards Pates got hit. The plasma cut clean through his legs at the knees. Michael (who was behind him) watched the man almost float to the ground. The squads stopped, and opened fire on the drop ship before Michael waved them towards the base.

      Michael bent down and picked Pates up, draping him over his shoulders. He stood and forced his legs to run the last 30 yards. He ran. He felt the plasma blister his back, and the blood from the wounded mans legs soak his clothes. Pates was screaming, but he didn't hear it. He only heard his feet hitting the pavement and his own heart beating in his ears.

      The gates opened. A Warthog sped out with a mounted cannon. It was too fast for the drop ship. Within seconds, it out manoeuvred and overwhelmed it and the drop ship burst into flames, crashing into a shop front.

      Michael stumbled through the gate. The two squads were keeled over, panting, some throwing up. He handed Pates over to two medics with a stretcher and stood still, looking around.

      Half the base was gathered, watching in awe as the two squads rose. Pates' left, concerned for their friend. Michael's squad stood and gathered around their blood soaked commander. They panted and pulled off their helmets. Their brows soaked with sweat. They'd survived a 100 yard run from a Covenant drop ship.

      Larke shifted his weight, and shook his head, putting his hands on Pete and Smith's shoulders. He stood between them for a few seconds before finally lifting his head.

      "Bloody 'ell."