Posted By: Firerwolf<firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: 21 October 2011, 9:30 pm
Shar shoved and pushed the other kids away from her, trying to keep them from suffocating her. They were all crammed into the rear of a pelican with barely enough room. It had only been a few weeks since that man from the military had come to talk to her. He'd offered her a chance to get back at the Covenant—revenge for the death of her family on New Harmony.
Shar felt the deceleration, the shift in the ship's inertia, and the bump as they landed. The rear hatch opened and they flooded out. Shar stood near the back, watching as the other kids fought and threw sod at each other. She stayed back near the ships, trying to avoid their pointless fighting. Handlers forced them forward. That was when she saw him. The seven-foot-tall man in full MJOLNIR armor, reflective visor seeming to hide eyes that stared at them all.
A sound echoed through the field like thunder. It was followed by a man's voice over the PA. He introduced himself at Lieutenant Ambrose. Shar clenched her hands as he mentioned New Harmony, the reason why she had chosen to come. He then referred to himself as a Spartan. She froze when he said that 200 of them wouldn't be able to join the training. The next thing she knew they were being forced back onto the ships, and fitted with some gear.
The ships took off and Shar struggled to be able to secure they had given them in the cramped space. A man in navy gear stood at the back and barked at them to check their gear and report any looseness. Shar tugged at the straps, being sure that they were secure. The man then keyed a series of numbers into a pad and the rear of the ship opened. The kids all tried to crowd near the front of the pelican's bay. The navy man shouted something about how they would all jump and then showed them what cord they would have to pull. He must have been crazy. They were supposed to jump out of a moving pelican.
Shar froze as the man said that if they couldn't jump they couldn't be Spartans. Shar pushed at the kids in front of her until she reached the head of the pack. "I'll go," she volunteered.
The navy man nodded at her. "Good to hear. Go right to the edge, and hang on to the guild line."
Shar did as she was instructed and moved to the edge. She looked out at the passing ground below them and with a small leap, the wind took her. She tumbled through the air, every which way. She saw ground, then sky, then trees, followed by mountain. Her hand reached up, grabbing the red handle and pulling hard. She was suddenly snapped straight as her chute opened up behind her.
Her head spun and she grabbed the harness and looked down. The world was becoming larger under her, but it made her feel dizzy. She glanced up and saw more black cloth chutes above her. So others had gone.
She reached up, pulling on the straps, and it changed her angle. She dropped down toward the clearing where they had met up. She was going too far though and she knew she would pass it. Shar hit the ground a few meters away from the area where they had first seen the man in green armor. She hit the ground hard and her legs buckled under her. Pain shot through her legs and she collapsed to the ground. She felt a tug on her back as the wind caught the chute and pulled on her. Shar reached out instinctivly, grabbing a fence to try to keep herself in place. She wrapped her arms around part of the fence and her other hand pulled and tugged on her harness until it finally came loose. The harness was dragged away from her as the chute carried it off. She sat down on the ground and watched it move away across the ground. She stood, being sure she was steady on her feet, ignoring the pain in her legs. She walked back toward where they had started.
The man in armor was waiting and she walked past him, moving back to where they had been standing before. The other man, the one that had ordered them back onto the planes, moved over to her. "Made it to the ground in one piece?"
Shar nodded. "Yes, sir."
"Good to see it. But that was only the start." Mendez's face seemed carved in stone. His expression didn't give away any hint of emotion.
Shar nodded. "I'm ready."
"I hope you are." Mendez looked up as more of the children reached the ground.