Posted By: GLADIATRRR3000<email@example.com>
Date: 16 February 2006, 2:59 am
Roberts followed the rest of the squad out of the Phantom, watching the two marines who had shouldered their weapons and were carrying the wounded elite. One was holding onto its legs while the other was holding it by the forearms. His feet hit the swamp floor, and he took a deep breath of the air. It smelled bad, but compared to the smell inside the Phantom it might have been roses. "Hey, Sarge?" A marine called. "You better take a look at this
Roberts turned, looking at the marine who had just spoken. Hulley walked over to the marine, who was kneeling. He motioned for her to kneel as well. She did so, and the marine continued. "Take a look at these footsteps. There's elite footsteps, which are normal, grunt footsteps which surprises me while looking at the condition of the dropships, and I don't get this
but there's human footsteps too."
Hulley was silent for a second. "Human POWs, you think?" She asked. The marine opened his mouth, but Hulley answered her own question. "No
they don't take prisoners. Call HQ, check to see if there were any recent patrols in this area. Try to narrow it down to patrols within the last few hours, the swamp ground usually fills in footsteps by then."
A private walked up to the kneeling marines. "Ma'am, we've loaded the elite into the back of one of the Warthogs and we've radioed ahead. There'll be a team of medics ready to check out our prisoner the second we arrive."
"Good. Let's get back and have Anderson send some cranes over here. We should bring these inside the compound as quickly as possible." Hulley said, standing up.
Roberts walked back to the Warthog and took a seat. Johnson joined him after several seconds past and climbed into the back of the 'hog, leaning on the turret. "Shit stinks, don't it?" He asked Roberts.
"Yeah, I never smelled anything that bad before. Smelled like a 3 month old dead body." Roberts reminisced.
"I'm not talking about the smell. It did stink though. I'm talking about this whole situation. Something isn't right
y'know? 5 Phantoms, no fleet? That's it? And what's up with that elite hiding in that container?" Johnson rambled. Hulley passed in front of the car, jumped in the driver seat, and without a word, drove off.
They drove back on the path, the bump nearly caused Roberts to fall out. He grabbed onto the dashboard and looked at Hulley. "What d'you think of this situation, Miche
Sergeant?" Roberts asked, correcting himself.
Hulley grimaced when she heard Roberts almost call her by her first name, but responded as if she didn't hear anything. "I don't like it. We don't see any Covenant warships in the system, so how far did these Phantoms travel? And if the Phantoms traveled from out of the system, how is that elite still alive?"
The ride continued in silence until they reached the compound. They slowed to a stop, and several Warthogs pulled up along side them. A team of medics rushed to the Warthog dripping with purple blood and, with the help of several marines, put the elite onto a board and carried it towards the medical wing. Roberts, Johnson, and Hulley walked quickly after them.
They reached the medical wing and were held at the door by an exhausted looking doctor. "Listen, I doubt he'll live past the hour. He's lost extreme amounts of blood, and to be honest, our medicine probably won't work on him. They just aren't built the same as us."
"Well, what can you do to keep him with us longer? I need to figure out what the hell happened." Hulley snapped.
"Well, we can patch up some of his cuts and we could try to stop some of the internal bleeding, but an operation like that would last longer and might kill him."
"Put some gauze on his cuts and we'll be in shortly." Hulley said. The doctor nodded and pushed open the double-doors. Roberts leaned against the wall and Hulley unintentionally wrung her fingers.
"Funny, ain't it?" Johnson said. "We train for years to kill the bastards and here we are trying to save one."
No one spoke. After a few minutes, the doctor walked out, white robes slightly stained purple. "You can talk to him, but I doubt you'll learn much." Hulley thanked the doctor and pushed through the doors.
The elite was strapped to a metal operating table, leather harnesses holding it down below the knees, at the waist, and on the shoulders. There were purple-blood stained dressings covering its arms, chest, and throat. It obviously heard them coming, and in a deep, dog like voice it said, "Ah, the humans." The elite spoke no English; the marines spoke no alien language. However, the elite carried a universal translator, which was able to give commands to the lesser classes of Covenant and translate most words into English as well. The words that could not be translated were left up to guesswork.
"Yes, the humans. Tell me what happened to you and your friends and I'll make sure your death doesn't hurt terribly." Hulley said harshly.
"Ah, pain often times makes a death honorable. However, in these dire times, one must make sacrifices. You see, something much more horrible than you could imagine is now infesting the universe. The parasites, the Flood have been released. And here I am, forced to ask help from those I despise slightly less than the parasites themselves."
"Explain." Hulley barked.
where to begin? My ship, the Enduring Vigilance, was overwhelmed by the parasites while on the Sacred Ring. We quickly lost control of the Command Deck, and before we could retake it they jumped into Slipspace. My squad and I were aboard a Phantom, collecting supplies, when it was overrun by the parasite warriors. Dishonorably, I hid in the supply container. And the rest is common knowledge." It laughed. "By now they have most assuredly reproduced. It is up to you to quell their uprising so that we may, once again, focus on the less bothersome vermin."
The elite looked up towards the ceiling. "Ah
paradise." Without another word, he stopped breathing.
A heavy silence filled the air. "Pompous asswipe." Johnson muttered. "Anyone understand a damn word he said?"
"All I heard was there's something out in the swamp and it isn't good. Tell Anderson to get some aerial support and marines together." Hulley said, turning towards Roberts.
"We have to go hunting."