December 4: Part One: Precious Cargo
Posted By: GuildMasterAQ<firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: 13 December 2009, 4:26 pm
0435 Hours, July 4, 2541(Military Calendar), Mendeleev System, In-orbit, Planet Lauma
A white hot plasma torpedo impacted onto the side of the UNSC Shinobi that sent hot plasma wavering across the hull, burning away the weak Titanium-A armor. Flame geysers spewed from the sides and the fires on most of the decks grew larger. It was God's work that the Shinobi had survived as long as it did in the middle of the space battle over Lauma, an outer UNSC colony. But the ship's luck was wasting away as the frigate's structure burned away.
"The Cole Protocol has been initiated. All hands abandon ship now before self destruct. The Cole Protocol-two minutes remaining-" the ship's automated voice warned every unfortunate soul still on board.
The last D77-TC Pelican in Shinobi's hangar roared alive as the engines warmed up. Around the pelican, burning steel beams crashed into the floor around them, some melting the weak hangar deck and falling to lower decks.
"Hang on!" The pilot warned her passengers. She pushed the stick forward and the pelican accelerated out of the hangar. A CCS Battle cruiser approached the Shinobi, a sitting duck. One of its turrets warmed up to a dull red and a straight purple beam exploded from its bow and dealt the finishing blow to the Shinobi.
The pelican's pilot, Petty Officer First Class Renee Murink, relaxed in her pilot chair. She observed the large space battle occurring in front of her, a rare chance. The space was decorated with the streaming trails of plasma torpedoes and human ship wreckage. Several Archer pod missiles flew by the cockpit, and in the distance the rifts of a MAC round soaring through space tore into a Covenant battle cruiser.
"Romeo 142 this longsword Bravo 231. Get out of battle before you are vaporized."
"Negative Bravo 231, I'm en route to Lauma groundside with precious cargo." Renee replied sternly.
"I don't care if you're carrying Jesus! Clear out of the battlefield!"
Renee jumped as a machine arm reached for the com. She didn't hear him come in.
"Bravo 231, this is Spartan 021, and we have orders from HIGHCOM to get groundside now and we request an escort." He demanded in his cold hard voice.
Static filled the com for several seconds before the radio crackled.
"Roger, Romeo." Bravo replied. Four battle-scarred longswords crept near the pelican and formed a defensive formation. Four of the six longswords covered the top, two sides and bottom, hugging the pelican's hull. The other two hung above so that they could easily pick off any fighters that strayed to close without leaving the pelican defenseless.
The formation sped through space, dodging and weaving through the fields of wreckage, unexploded mines, and stray plasma and missiles.
"Seraphs, right side!" Someone announced. The two above lurched away to engage the incoming threat.
Seconds later, a shower of small plasma bolts rained on the formation. The plasma settled and sizzled on the pelican, leaving scorch marks. The hull's steel structure groaned inside the cockpit.
"Hold together..." Renee muttered.
An explosion occurred and the top longsword accelerated in front of the pelican, fire trailing from the engines.
"I'm hit! I'm hit! Bravo-124 has been hit!"
"Hold formation! We have to secure the-"
Static filled every com in the pelican. The craft tried to lean to the right, attempting to initiate a roll. The last two longswords decelerated and pulled away.
"Dang it!" Renee said and began to yank the controls. The pelican fought fiercely, and Renee was losing. The pelican slowly tilted more and more to the right as if it's life ambition was to roll over and threaten everyone aboard. Using every drop of strength, she continued to fight and yanked the stick to the left as far as it could go. For a second the pelican was stable, but she was still did not let go until her strength nearly vanished and the pelican stablized.
"Whew," She said panting, "there's some flying, Spartan!"
James tapped her shoulder a pointed ahead. The planet Lauma now filled half the cockpit, but a battle cruiser filled the rest.
Two of the battle cruiser's turrets warmed to dull red. Energy swirled around them, borrowing particles from the space around it. Lights across the battle cruiser blinked out as most of the ship's energy was converted to the weapons and brilliant purple beams appeared on either side of the pelican, effectively trapping it in. The internal temperature inside skyrocketed and the beam was blinding. Renee shielded her eyes, but it overwhelmed her. She keeled over in the seat, and James ducked behind the controls. Soon enough, the beams ceased and James stood up. Renee was still unconscious, but James had flying experience, all Spartans did. He gently removed Renee's body from the chair and sat down, taking a moment to remember all the controls he learned as a child. Ahead, the battle cruiser recovered and was warming another turret. James initiated a steep dive in an attempt to get below the vessel's shooting range. He accelerated, taking the pelican to the max of its speed capabilities. The third plasma beam exploded by the pelican in a continuous stream and barely missed the pelican, the heat boiled away a small amount of armor. James rolled and noted the blaring warning signal in the cockpit, warning strain on the pelican's frame.
The battle cruiser's shields flared as Archer missiles impacted the shield and explosions splashed across it. The cruiser's captain gave up on the pelican and turned to look at the threat as a Marathon cruiser flew over the Covenant ship. James slipped by and accelerated towards the planet. Well out of weapons range of any ship, he sat back and relaxed. He knew he would need every drop of energy for the intense fight on the ground.The space battle was only a small taste of the hell below.