Discovery Chapter 1
Posted By: Helljumper<firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: 6 December 2009, 1:36 am
0748 Hours (Military Time), March 3, 2550 (Military Calendar)/ Planet classification Taurus III/ Jonus Star System, 74 kilometers east of New Pittsburgh
Lance Corporal James Franklin adjusted his position on the tree branch. His legs were going numb to the point that he was getting a tingling feeling in his toes. He stretched as much as he could while keeping his balance on the highest branch of the oak tree. The cloudless blue sky stretched for kilometers over the lush green forest as they did every day. He cradled his BR-55 battle rifle in his arms and laid his head against the tree trunk. Occasionally a bird or two would fly out of the rolling green carpet of the forest canopy below him and take for the sky. It was relaxing in addition to boring he thought to himself but compared to all the other duties at the refugee camp it was bearable. The decision between watch duty and latrine duty was a simple one and here he was day in and day out rain or shine.
Two years or at least that's how long the Marine sharpshooter thought it was since they had last contact with the enemy. The Covenant's conquest of Taurus III was swift. Yawning slightly Corporal Franklin fought to keep his eyes open. He adjusted his position on the branch but it didn't keep his eye lids from closing.
"James wake up something's happening!"
He turned his back to his girlfriend motioning with his right arm for her to leave him alone. "No James I'm serious it's all over the news." James turned onto his back in protest. Opening his eyes slowing, he stared over at the window as sunlight poured through. "You know it's my day off right?" He asked while scratching his balls through his boxers. When he received no answer, he turned his attention to the topless female sitting at the edge of the bed. Sitting up, James looked passed her at the flat screen television.
"Wait, what's going?" He asked moving closer to the edge of the bed.
"They're here, oh my God, they're here."
"Calm down , if the Covenant was really here, they would've call me by now."
The sound of vibration caught both lovers' attention. James' head snapped to the night stand as his data pad lit up and shook on the wood table. He reached for it as his girlfriend followed his every movement. Snatching up the device he entered the four digit password unlocking it. The Marine Corporal's eyes scanned the communiqué in disbelief. The following few minutes were a blur of motion as he pulled his UNSC Marine Corp fatigues over his built frame.
"Baby, I have to go, I have to report to Camp Benedict."
"But, what about me?" She asked staring up at her lover.
"The evacuation of New Pittsburgh is under way. Get dressed, don't waste too much time packing stuff, quickest way of the city would be by train." The worry on her face caught him off guard. He was never good at comforting others. "Baby it's okay," the Marine struggled to find the right words, when they escaped him, he simply held her in his arms. Her slim body quivered. James broke the embrace and repeated, "baby it's okay."
Closing the door to the uptown row house, James was surprised at the amount of people standing in the street. Skipping down the steps, he walked through the crowd as they all stared pass him towards downtown New Pittsburgh. Turning he observed what had they're attention. Hovering several kilometers over the skyscrapers of downtown a Covenant cruiser was activating its gravity elevator. The smooth lines of the nearly two kilometers long alien ship shined in the morning light. Several news helicopters braved flying around the purple spaceship as it simply hovered over the skyscrapers of downtown.
[intent]A moment later phantom dropships emerged from the bulbous head of the Covenant ship. Pairing up they disbursed away from the enemy cruiser as helicopters rushed to get away. Maneuvering too quickly a channel 4 news helicopter stuck its tail on a skyscraper. Glass and debris erupted from the side of the building as the aircraft fell ungracefully from the city's skyline. The resulting explosion was muffled but the gasp from the crowd was almost deafening.
Marine Corporal Franklin broke into a slow back peddle before turning around and breaking into a full out run. As he expected pack mentality took over and others followed. The once quiet uptown street leading into downtown New Pittsburgh was a flood of excitement as the freighted crowd surged away from the menacing Covenant ship. Franklin turned right on to Colonial Drive without slowing down. The crowd behind didn't follow but instead continued going straight. The sound of yelling and cars crashing narrated the frantic escape.
Colonial drive wasn't any better. Looters were already breaking into storefronts stealing electronics and jewelry. The Corporal continued pass as two cars collided at the next intersection. The force of the crash forcing the front of both sedans into the air as metal and glass crumbled. The body of the driver of the larger car flew through the windshield before his body landed on the roof of the other car. Blood flowed out of multiple head wounds as the victim's lifeless eyes stared in the Marine's direction.
James slowed as he approached the wreck. He debated helping but the decision was made for him as the fuel cell in the smaller sedan exploded engulfing the two cars in flames. The Marine shielded his eyes as he tried to ignore the screams coming from the twisted on fire wreck. Catching his breath he continued east away from the downtown. Over powering the chaotic yells and screams of the citizens of New Pittsburgh as they moved frantically through the streets, was the distinctive wine of a constables' squad car. The law enforcement officer's sedan navigated slowly through the crowd of civilians. Its loud speaker bellowed out orders for people to remain calm and to move towards Cole Avenue's subway station.
The Marine sprinted towards the constables' car. The two officers dressed in riot gear stopped in the middle of the street waving their arms down the street as they continued to issue orders through the car's loud speaker. The older constable noticed Corporal Franklin through the crowd first. He lowered the microphone from his lips and motioned towards his younger partner.
"Hey Marine, the enemy is that way," the older constable joked as he nodded towards the alien spaceship.
"Seems like they caught me with my pants down," James replied quickly covering the last few meters between him and the patrol car. The older constable laughed as he casually leaned on the sedan's door.
"Looks like you could use some weapons son."
"I figured I would try cursing at them first and if that didn't work maybe I would insult their mother." James replied.
Enjoying the Marine's response the gray haired constable motioned towards the trunk of the patrol car. Moving to the rear of the sedan, the younger constable opened the truck. He leaned in and produced a black tactical vest and threw it to James. Adjusting the straps, the Marine filled the magazine pouches with clips for the M7 submachine gun waiting for him. Loading the SMG he pulled the bolt loading a 5x23mm armor piercing round into the camber. The two constables followed the Marine's example, slinging their weapons across their chest.
"I have to get to my unit at Camp Benedict outside the city."