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Heroic Last Stand - Pureheart (part 3)
Posted By: HairyGoggles<hairy.goggles@hotmail.co.uk>
Date: 31 July 2011, 6:18 pm

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Gauntlet expertly docked into the loading bay, the dull thuds of clamps holding the Pelican in place echoed slightly in the aircraft. Undoing the straps in her seat, Cookson stood up from the pilot's chair and sighed in relief before walking into the hold and declaring "Final stop ladies and gentlemen! Please take all of your belongings with you and have a nice day aboard the Pureheart!"
Team Trident cheered a little and stood up with their gear, Holly's still smouldering helmet in her right hand with her sniper rifle in the other whilst the rest put their helmets back on and placed their weaponry on the mag clamps on their back. Cookson pressed the bright red button to open the rear doors and with a groan of machinery, the ramp thudded down onto the deck, revealing Landing Bay Two. The landing bay looked like chaos to the normal eye, but within the maelstrom of people carrying munitions or mechanics fixing damaged equipment there was order as each person was tasked what they were commanded to do. But as soon as the SPARTANS stepped onto the deck of the Pureheart, everything around them seemed to stop as people looked at them in awe. Some saluted at the team whilst others simply gaped as the team walked past whilst Flight Sgt. Cookson stayed behind, working on inspecting her bird for the next drop. The heavy thud of the SPARTANs' armour seemed to echo above the noise of engines whining up and the shouts and orders coming from the crew in Adam's ears. As he led his team to the main corridor of Deck F, he nodded at some of the crew who paused to get a glimpse of their heroes in battered armour. He knew full well that he and his team were a morale boost to every soldier and crewmember aboard the ship and in the fleet. Team Trident were SPARTAN IIs, the best of the best, heroes in a war the humans were losing to the relentless Covenant. The very sight of Adam and his team were slivers of hope to everyone, the purple armoured SPARTAN smiled at that thought behind his upgraded Security class helm. The door leading to the main corridor and to the bridge slid open with a pneumatic hiss and the team walked through, heading for the main lifts.

Flicking on his comm. to Adam, Stewart asked him, "Who do you think is going to be scarier to debrief with, Captain Winters or Major Alsace?"
Adam smirked slightly, "I'd rather deal with a Scarab singlehandedly than get debriefed by Major Alsace, especially since her new equipment took a plasma bolt to it!"
Holly visibly pouted at the exchange as the team walked to the main lift, their leader pressing the button to call the lift before Holly retorted with an annoyed tone "It's not like I could have avoided it!"
Adam looked at her and unpolarised his large lens and replied "We all know that, but the trick will be convincing Major Alsace that it's the truth. You know how protective she is over the prototypes we field-test for the rest of the SPARTANs. Remember the laser that Meghan managed to mangle completely with her 'inspired' plan of using it as a wedge to move that trapped destroyed Wraith from the road?"
The team winced ever so slightly, nothing should scare a SPARTAN, but the ONI Agent's ice cold eyes and glare was more vicious than a pissed off Brute with a Gravity Hammer. A small rush of gravity indicated the lift going up to the bridge as Meghan protested, "Hey, my 'inspired' plan still worked though didn't it? I managed to clear the road for a convoy of civilians to escape."
Kaitlin instantly answered jokingly, "Yes Meg, but there was a perfectly good metal signpost in the road that would have sufficed!"
"Oh rubbish Katie! It clearly wouldn't have been dense enough!" The orange and black armoured SPARTAN shot back as the pair continued their ribbing.
"No, of course not…you seem to like dense things as they're just like you now aren't they?" Kaitlin smirked behind her Teal ODST helmet as Meghan gasped mockingly. "Such scandalous remarks! I will have to hurt you now Katie!" Meghan approached to swat her team-mate before Stewart cut in with a raised hand and a slightly amused tone in his voice,
"Ladies, please. You're embarrassing the rest of us."
The two female SPARTANs began to protest but the chiming of the lift indicating that it was there stopped them.

Just before the Spartans had a chance to step into the lift, a beep in their helms indicated an incoming transmission; Adam noted that it came from Captain Winters himself. Opening the comm link, Trident's leader called, "Captain Winters, Trident One here."
The voice of the Pureheart's captain crackled through, his voice sounded like he was pumping full of adrenaline as he said, "Trident, our debrief will have to wait. The space above the planet's going to Hell fast! Head to the Armoury and fix yourselves up. The way it's going up here we may have some alien guests on board."
The team tensed visibly, Holly looked at them curiously as without her helm she had no access to internal communications. Adam visibly nodded, replying with a firm voice, "Understood Captain, heading for re-arm and repair."
Taking off his helm, Stewart looked at Holly, frowning at the new burn that still hadn't been looked at; the area was already starting to heal fast but he could see the pain that Holly was ignoring. "Captain Winters needs us to re-arm and get ready for any Covenant visitors. You also need medical attention."
Holly nodded and the team entered into the lift, filling it out completely due to their armoured bulk. The door closed with a pneumatic hiss before Kaitlin keyed in to go the Deck C, the Armoury and the quarters of Team Trident. Meghan looked at Holly and asked her, "Considering the state of your fried helmet, what helmet do you think the Quartermaster will replace it with?"
Adam looked at the TACPAD on his left forearm and tapped in some data before informing Meghan and Holly,
"With the current types, it will probably be an ODST helmet as there's a decent amount for the 67th. Katie seems to have done perfectly fine with the modified version."
Holly nodded with a smirk, her green eyes sparkling slightly, "They hate us enough already since we're using their one piece of their equipment, imagine how they'll react with two ODST helmets being 'borrowed!' I think there'd be a mild riot!"
Stewart chuckled a little, taking off his Scout helm again to run his hand through his short dark hair, a jagged scar on his forehead present, courtesy of a fall during training on Reach when they were all around ten years old. Mendez told him after whilst in medbay that it was a reminder to keep your cool and watch your step, because in real combat, you won't get that second chance. The blue armoured Spartan took that to heart afterwards, always the cautious one within the team. The lift continued to ascend as Team Trident performed armour diagnostics whilst they waited to reach Deck C. As the doors opened with a chime, the five of them all walked in a diamond formation to the Armoury.


Meanwhile on the bridge, screens glowed green and blue into the faces of the crew as Intel from Novus III continued to run through the B-net. Voices updated the Captain and the rest of the crew of the Pureheart's situation and readiness as well as the ongoing battle below and in space. Team Trident filed in and stood to attention, waiting for the captain to debrief them once he had a moment. Captain Winters rubbed his salt and pepper coloured bristly moustache once before looking to the AI's hologram and asking, "Arianwen, has the Covenant Cruiser made a beeline for us yet? It seems to be quite interested in us from afar."
Arianwen's silvery white features frowned slightly as she rechecked all of the sensory arrays, ice blue code running up and down her body, her hologram dressed in the military uniform of the Pureheart before she replied in a firm voice, her Welsh accent brushing every syllable, "Negative Captain, although it's still scanning us, it's staying put and just observing. The other Covenant ships are also ignoring us, but they're pre-occupied with the rest of the fleet."

A flash of red code suddenly pulsed through the AI's hologram before she exclaimed, "Cachu! Sir, the Ardent and the Queen Victoria are out of action! A plasma bolt ripped right through the Ardent and the Queen Victoria' venting atmosphere and reactor coolant!"
Captain Winters and the crew stiffened, the Queen Victoria had a large amount of the population of the city of Sagan aboard whilst the Ardent was a vital lynchpin in the UNSC's defences. Running his hand through his short greying hair, Captain Winters looked to his raven haired and olive skinned Engineering Officer and ordered, "Jameson, prepare to heat up the reactors ready for a random Slipspace jump, once the last of our units are on board and Admiral Keene gives the word, we Slipspace out of here."
Jameson shook some of her hair out of her brown eyes and replied whilst tapping data into her console, "Aye sir! Slipspace ready in two minutes!"
Captain Winters gave a firm nod of approval before he looked to the Weapons control console and regarded the skinny middle aged man there, ordering, "Mikoyan, warm up the MAC cannon in case that Cruiser gets a little more curious. How many Archer missiles do we have left?"
Mikoyan consulted his console's green screen and answered in his thick Moscow accent, "MAC charging commander! It will take some time with the Slipspace engine also charging, Archer missile banks D through to G are still operational sir!"
Winters cursed in his mind, looking to the Ship's AI he commanded, "Arianwen, get the perfect balance to allow both MAC and Slipspace to be ready in the shortest time possible. Novus III's already going to Hell in a hand basket, but we're sure as hell aren't going to let that happen without a fight!"
Arianwen blinked once and answered with her cool voice, "Done Captain, we will have the MAC cannon ready in five minutes two seconds and Slipspace ready in three minutes, thirty four seconds."
Winters cursed again, his sharp blue eyes were weary with mental fatigue from the ensuing battle, but he held strong for the sake of his ship and her crew.